Works Committee Meeting

 

  BUSINESS PAPER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday 14 June 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Administrative Centre 30 Frances Street Randwick 2031

Telephone: 02 9399 0999 or

1300 722 542 (for Sydney metropolitan area)

Fax:02 9319 1510

general.manager@randwick.nsw.gov.au

www.randwick.nsw.gov.au


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Works Committee                                                                                                   14 June 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Works Committee Meeting

 

Notice is hereby given that a Works Committee Meeting of the Council of the City of Randwick will be held in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, 90 Avoca Street, Randwick, on Tuesday, 14 June 2011 at 6:00pm.

 

 

Committee Members:           The Mayor (M Matson), Andrews, Belleli (Chairperson), Bowen, Hughes, Matthews, Nash, Notley-Smith, Procopiadis, Seng, Smith, Stevenson, Tracey, White (Deputy Chairperson) and Woodsmith.

 

Quorum:                           Eight (8) members.

 

NOTE:    At the Extraordinary Meeting held on 28 September 2004, the Council resolved that the Works Committee be constituted as a committee with full delegation to determine matters on the agenda.

 

Apologies/Granting of Leave of Absences 

Confirmation of the Minutes  

Works Committee Meeting - 10 May 2011

Declarations of Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Interests

Address of Committee by Members of the Public

Urgent Business

Works Reports

W14/11     Tree Planting and Tree Guards for Commercial Zones

W15/11     Ficus ‘Hillii’ outside 9A Athol Street, South Coogee

W16/11     Ficus rubiginosa (Port Jackson fig) growing in Kokoda Park, Kensington

W17/11     Kensington and West Kingsford Traffic Management

W18/11     Update on Future Use of Top Yard at Council Depot    

Notice of Rescission Motions

Nil 

 

 

 

…………………………………………………….

Ray Brownlee

General Manager


Works Committee                                                                                                   14 June 2011

 

 

Works Report No. W14/11

 

 

Subject:                  Tree Planting and Tree Guards for Commercial Zones

Folder No:                   F2004/07359

Author:                   Bryan Bourke, Tree Management Officer     

 

Introduction

 

Council resolved at its Ordinary Council Meeting held on Tuesday 22 February 2011 to investigate and report on the technique of adding agricultural pipe to newly planted street trees and to report on the most effective tree guards available to protect street trees in commercial zones.  The specific Resolutions are:

 

(Notley-Smith/Belleli) that Council report on the technique of adding agricultural pipe to newly planted streets trees to facilitate easier and more effective watering.

 

(Notley-Smith/Belleli) that Council report back on the most effective tree guards available to protect street trees in commercial zones.

 

Issues

 

Council undertakes tree planting operations in accordance with an approved Specification which includes the incorporation of fertiliser and wetting agent into a prepared soil mixture and the subsequent maintenance of planted trees for a period of six months. Trees are planted and staked with two hardwood stakes and mulch is dished around the base of each tree. Trees are saturated with water and wetting agent at the time of planting and are provided with as much water as is necessary to maintain them in a healthy condition for the term of the maintenance period. 

 

One of the biggest problems associated with newly planted street trees is that residents accidentally ringbark tree trunks as they maintain the Council nature strip area outside their properties. Another issue is the ability to direct water to the root zone area of newly planted trees – particularly in the typically water repellent soils within the Randwick City area.

 

Council does not currently utilise a particular type or style of tree guard in its commercial zone tree planting operations.  However, a variety of different guards have been used throughout our Town Centres. This has meant that there is a lack of uniformity across the City. In general, where tree planting is undertaken as part of annual tree planting operations, Council’s tree management section utilises Arborgreen Civic wire tree guards. These are used because they are relatively inexpensive to purchase and they are easy to remove to replace dead or vandalised trees. They can also be re-used in less high profile areas once trees in commercial zones have become established.

 

Relationship to City Plan

 

The relationship with the City Plan is as follows:

 

Outcome 10:      A Healthy Environment.

Direction 10a:    Council is a leader in fostering environmentally sustainable practices.

 


Financial impact statement

 

The incorporation of an appropriate length of agricultural pipe and a plastic sapling protector sleeve into the tree planting process will have a negligible financial impact on the existing unit rate per tree.

 

The utilisation of a specialised type and style of tree guard into tree planting operations in commercial zones will have a sizable additional cost impact on tree planting operations in those zones. The quoted price to supply and install any such tree guard around a 25-litre, 45-litre or 100-litre tree and to plant and maintain that tree for six months is in the vicinity of $2,000 per tree. 

 

Currently, the cost to supply one Civic wire tree guard and to plant and maintain a 100-litre tree is approximately $800.00 per tree.     

 

Conclusion

 

There are two relatively inexpensive processes that, if incorporated into the tree planting/maintenance procedure, would improve the long-term health and survival rate of newly planted street trees.

 

One is the utilisation of a plastic sapling protector sleeve around the base of each tree and the other is the insertion of an appropriate length of agi pipe into the root zone area of each newly planted tree. Council’s Tree Gang and tree planting contractors have been instructed to include these measures into their tree planting operations and Council should see an improvement in survival rates as a result.

 

The most effective tree guards available to protect street trees in commercial zones are solid steel tree guards. There are a number of solid steel tree guards available that cost in the vicinity of $950.00 per unit.

 

Tree guards assessed for this report were all part of the range available from Arborgreen and were selected because of their availability, solid construction and aesthetics. This company supplies local government with a wide range of equipment, tools and machinery relevant to horticulture, arboriculture and landscape design.

 

 

Recommendation

 

That the report be received and noted.

 

Attachment/s:

 

1.View

Recommended tree guard styles for commercial area plantings

 

 

 

 


Recommended tree guard styles for commercial area plantings

Attachment 1

 

 

Recommended tree guard styles for commercial area plantings

 

  Ullswater with spheres painted black – 1800mm tall, 600mm diameter

 

Traditional Range - Ullswater with spheres – 1800mm tall, 600mm diameter

 Premium Range – Bellview Style - 1850mm tall, 600mm base dia./800mm top dia.

 Economy Range - Civic guard tall - style currently used in Anzac Pde, Kingsford 

 Traditional Range – Coniston Style – 1800mm tall, 600mm diameter

 

Traditional Range - Derwent Style – 1800mm tall, 600mm diameter

 

 

 

 Traditional Range – Ullswater Style – 1800mm tall, 600mm diameter

 

Bellview tree guard with Bradford tree grille in streetscape situation

 

 


Works Committee                                                                                                   14 June 2011

 

 

Works Report No. W15/11

 

 

Subject:                  Ficus ‘Hillii’ outside 9A Athol Street, South Coogee

Folder No:                   F2004/07359

Author:                   Bryan Bourke, Tree Management Officer     

 

Introduction

 

The owner of 9A Athol Street, South Coogee, has written to Council requesting the removal of a mature Council-owned Ficus ‘Hillii’ (Hill’s Weeping fig) growing on the nature strip outside that property.

 

Issues

 

The subject tree is one of a number planted in the nature strip along both sides of the street more than fifty years ago. Several trees of the same species have been removed from Athol Street in the past decade because of serious root damage to both public infrastructure and private property. The tree in question is approximately 15 metres in height with a canopy spread of around 12 metres. It is in good health and contributes significantly to the streetscape. It is an important provider of habitat and food source for a variety of native birdlife and other fauna.

 

The adjacent property owner has regularly requested that branches overhanging into his property be removed to facilitate more light entering his residence and to negate the amount of leaf litter collecting inside the property. This tree has had to be root pruned on a regular basis to deal with root damage to adjacent infrastructure and as much root pruning as is considered possible has been undertaken within the past two-three years. Although major root pruning was undertaken only two years ago tree roots have regrown and are now damaging the front brick fence and gate and are also protruding above the lawn area immediately adjacent to the residence. A large section of the brick retaining wall at the front of the property has been dislodged by fig tree roots and they are growing under the brick pavers running along the eastern side of the property.

 

Fig tree roots are also contributing to the collapse of the adjacent retaining wall between 9A Athol Street and 14 Denning Street, South Coogee.

 

The range of problems being caused by the roots of this tree are typical for the species and they are likely to continue and get worse for as long as the tree remains.

 

Relationship to City Plan

 

The relationship with the City Plan is as follows:

 

Outcome 10:         A healthy environment

Direction 10b:        Environmental risks and impacts are strategically managed.

Key Action:           Implement policies, programs and strategies to manage environmental risks and impacts.

 

Financial impact statement

 

The cost to remove and stump grind this fig tree and to replace it with two more appropriate tree species would be in the vicinity of $3,500 and this would come from Council’s annual tree management budget.

Conclusion

 

The range and seriousness of problems associated with this particular Ficus ‘Hillii’ street tree are typical of the species despite being managed by Council for well over a decade. However, the issues are ongoing and increasing in seriousness and if the tree is not removed within the near future they are likely to cost Council a considerable amount of money well into the future. Of growing concern is the increasing damage to private property being caused by the roots of this tree. A claim has been lodged with Council for a range of damage and at this stage an ex-gratia offer of $12,000 has been made to the affected property owner. These problems cannot be isolated and further major root pruning is unable to be undertaken because of long-term impacts on the health of the tree and liability implications for Council.

 

The removal of this tree will not contravene Council’s resolution that “no more than five percent of Ficus ‘Hillii’ (Hill’s Weeping fig) street trees be removed in any twelve-month period from streets where there are designated significant plantings of this species”.

 

 

Recommendation

 

That the Ficus ‘Hillii’  (Hill’s Weeping fig) street tree growing on the nature strip outside 9A Athol Street, South Coogee, be removed and replaced with two advanced Waterhousia floribunda (Weeping Lilly Pillys).

 

 

Attachment/s:

 

1.View

Series of photographs detailing tree root damage and the significance of the tree in the streetscape.

 

 

 

 


Series of photographs detailing tree root damage and the significance of the tree in the streetscape.

Attachment 1

 

 

Athol Street streetscape looking west towards Malabar Road/Arden Street

 

Ficus ‘Hillii’ growing on the nature strip outside 9A Athol Street, South Coogee

Root damage to retaining wall on eastern side of property caused by fig tree roots

 

Front brick fence dislodged by upward movement of fig tree roots

Service wires and power pole immediately adjacent to canopy of Hill’s fig street tree

 

Footpath along property frontage was recently replaced due to ongoing root damage

Canopy of fig tree overhangs into property and has to be pruned on a regular basis

 

 

Fig tree root running along eastern side of property dislodging pavers and brick work

Cracked brick retaining wall inside property dislodged by fig tree roots

 


Ficus ‘Hillii’ tree root growing inside property and travelling towards residence

 


Works Committee                                                                                                   14 June 2011

 

 

Works Report No. W16/11

 

 

Subject:                  Ficus rubiginosa (Port Jackson fig) growing in Kokoda Park, Kensington

Folder No:                   F2004/07359

Author:                   Bryan Bourke, Tree Management Officer     

 

Introduction

 

On 14 April 2011 Council received correspondence from a resident of 42-44 Doncaster Avenue, Kensington, advising that a large Port Jackson fig on the northern side of Kokoda Park, Kensington, had dropped a large branch and recommending that it might be prudent to have the tree inspected by Council tree staff.

 

Issues

 

On 15 April 2011, the subject tree was inspected and evidence was found that a number of large branches had failed within the canopy. Subsequent discussions with Council’s Coordinator Open Space Services revealed that three large branches had failed without warning over the preceding 12-month period.

 

This tree is located in between a footpath to the north and a walkway running through the park on the south side and these failures constitute a serious potential liability risk for Council. The failure that occurred in early April 2011 involved a branch falling onto overhead powerlines in Goodwood Street and landing on the footpath underneath. The tree is approximately 18-20 metres in height with a canopy width of similar dimensions and it is between 90-100 years old, hence reached the end of its safe life expectancy. It is listed on Council’s Register of Significant Trees for its cultural, historic, social, aesthetic and biodiversity values and at the time of its assessment for inclusion in that document in early 2007 it was found to be in good condition and health with a dense broadly spreading canopy and minimal pruning.

 

It is described as an outstanding specimen with a large spreading canopy and distinctive sculptural trunk, creating a dramatic sense of scale within the reserve and adjacent streetscape.

 

At the time of the Register assessment it was noted that no immediate threats were evident but that because of its age it should be periodically inspected by a qualified arborist.

 

Relationship to City Plan

 

The relationship with the City Plan is as follows:

 

Outcome 10:       A Healthy Environment.

Direction10b:       Environmental risks and impacts are strategically managed.

 

Financial impact statement

 

It is estimated that the cost to remove and replace this tree, should it be deemed necessary, would be in the vicinity of $3,500. The required expenditure would come from Council’s Parks and Recreation maintenance budget.

 


Conclusion

 

As a result of the visual inspection undertaken on 15 April 2011 a professionally qualified independent arborist was engaged to assess the tree’s health, structural condition and long-term viability for retention. The subsequent report provided to Council advises that multiple branch failures and limb removal sites are located throughout the canopy, with the majority being located on the southern and south-eastern side of the tree. A large section of the northern side of the tree’s canopy has to be regularly pruned away from overhead powerlines to maintain statutory clearances. Mature aerial roots have grown down and have grafted onto the original trunk and branch structure which, over time, has formed a totally intertwined structure. The canopy structure itself now consists of a main central upright stem, long lateral limbs that overhang Goodward Street and an extremely long lateral branch that grows towards the west with very little secondary branching. Several large diameter stems originally from the centre and southern side of the trunk have either failed or been removed – leaving an unbalanced canopy structure. Winding aerial roots appear to have constricted trunk and branch unions and this has made these unions more susceptible to failure. Powerline reduction pruning has increased the potential for branch failure where secondary growth has occurred at pruned branch sites. Because of the inherent poor structural composition of the tree and its recent history of sudden large limb failure, the possibility of further failures occurring is high. The tree has been assessed by the report author as having a very high hazard rating (H5), which translates to defects being very severe and the tree itself as being dangerous because of its structural defects, which include cavities, decay, included branches, wounds and poor form. It has also been assessed as having a high tree risk rating, which means that there is a very real risk of failure of either whole or part of the tree within the short term. 

 

As a result of the inherent structural defects within the canopy of the tree, its history of large and sudden branch failure and the very real risk of serious injury to persons and/or property the tree now poses, the tree has been afforded a low retention value consistent with trees that have short-term viability and/or sustainability. The arborist who inspected the tree concluded that remedial reduction pruning to Australian Standard AS 4373–2007 – Pruning of Amenity Trees was not a viable option as there are few areas within the canopy where this could be undertaken.

 

Retention of the tree was not considered a practical option and it has been recommended that it be removed as soon as practicable in the interests of public safety. 

 

 

Recommendation

 

That Council removes the large Ficus rubiginosa (Port Jackson fig) on the northern side of Kokoda Park, Kensington, and replaces it with a super-advanced Ficus macrophylla (Moreton Bay fig).

 

 

Attachment/s:

 

1.View

Photographs of the Port Jackson Fig

 

2.View

Kokoda Park Kensington Tree Report

 

 

 

 


Photographs of the Port Jackson Fig

Attachment 1

 

 

Series of photographs detailing the size of the subject Port Jackson fig and its prominence in the landscape, as well as evidence of where several large braches have failed in recent times.

 

Port Jackson fig viewed from Goodwood Street looking south

 

 

 

Location of branch which snapped in April 2011 – directly over powerlines

Location of canopy over powerlines looking west towards Anzac Parade

 

 

 

Canopy overhangs adjacent footpath and pathway running diagonally through park

Site where very large branch on south side snapped and fell onto pathway in 2010

 

 

 

Evidence of three large branches having snapped on south side of tree in 2009-10

 

Canopy of tree looking north towards Goodwood St – large sections now missing

 

 

 

Typical excessive fruit drop on roadway and parked vehicles during fruiting season


Kokoda Park Kensington Tree Report

Attachment 2

 

 










Works Committee                                                                                                   14 June 2011

 

 

Works Report No. W17/11

 

 

Subject:                  Kensington and West Kingsford Traffic Management

Folder No:                   F2004/08211

Author:                   Tony Lehmann, Manager Integrated Transport     

 

Introduction

 

In October 2009 the Council adopted (Hughes/Procopiadis) a recommendation to the Works Committee (W34/09) to investigate the implementation of a number of previously approved traffic devices within the Kensington/West Kingsford area.  The Kensington Precinct recently raised some concerns about these proposals and, as a result, Council officers attended the Precinct meeting held on 9 May, 2011.  After some discussion a methodology to manage traffic concerns in the area was agreed upon.  This report examines this methodology and recommends an approach which the Council may wish to endorse.

 

Issues

 

Many residents of the Kensington/West Kingsford area have long held concerns about the impact of traffic flows upon their amenity.  The Council had, in the past, undertaken some minor traffic works and had also planned to introduce some additional, previously approved, works this financial year.  Following concerns about these works raised by Kensington Precinct it was considered that Council officers should attend the May, 2011, Precinct meeting, in order to discuss the Precinct’s concerns and to assure the Precinct of the Council’s commitment to the area.

 

Ultimately a staged approach to the implementation of traffic devices was agreed upon.  The Precinct considered that within Stage One the previously suggested devices NOT be installed at this time, but that ‘gateway’ or threshold treatments be the first priority at each entrance, from the major roads, into the area.  This is considered an appropriate initial traffic management approach:

 

‘Threshold treatments or entry statements are coloured and/or textured road surface treatments that contrast with the adjacent roadway. Threshold treatments aim to alert drivers that they are entering a driving environment that is different from the one they have just left by the use of visual and/or tactile clues. They may incorporate either raised or flush median treatments….

..Threshold treatments are commonly used at the interface with the arterial road network…..’  (Austroads – 2008)’

 

Also, within Stage One, the Precinct suggests that improved signage be installed indicating load limits (two tonne) as well as the placement of variable message signage indicating motorists’ speed.  These are both considered appropriate as well.

 

The Precinct suggests that Stage Two be the introduction of a 40km/h speed limit in the area and the installation of additional volume and speed reducing devices within the Kensington precinct.  It was explained to the Precinct that the introduction of speed limits is not legally delegated to the Council and that the RTA would not consider such a speed limit reduction, without significant local area traffic management (LATM) devices having been installed.

 

It is considered that Stage Two would be the undertaking of an LATM Study.   Such a study would include a review of the outcomes/recommendations of both the “Assessment of Traffic Impacts upon Kensington and Parts of Kingsford” study and the “Pedestrian and Mobility Plan” study. The LATM study would also include a review of correspondence and would have a significant community consultation component as well.  The final details of the proposed LATM study would be reported to the Council at a later time.

 

Stage Three would be the installation of the traffic devices recommended by the LATM study, according to an agreed program of works. The program of works may extend over a number of years and would be based on a priority ranking which would be identified within the LATM study.

 

In summary the following table details a staged approach deemed appropriate:

 

Stage

Action

One

Design, consult on and implement threshold treatments as detailed

Two

Undertake Local area traffic management (LATM) study

Three

Implement program of works arising out of LATM study

 

Concurrent with each of these proposed stages would be an on-going dialogue with the RTA seeking its cooperation regarding the introduction of more effective traffic volume reduction measures (e.g. Left turn bans off Gardeners Road).

 

Relationship to City Plan

 

The relationship with the City Plan is as follows:

 

Outcome 9:       Integrated and accessible transport.

Direction 9d:      Residential amenity is protected by appropriate traffic management.

 

Financial impact statement

 

There is $140,000 in the draft 2011-12 budget for this purpose.  The ultimate cost for all of the works likely to come out of the LATM study is unknown at this time.  It is dependent on the style and number of, community endorsed, treatments proposed.

 

Conclusion

 

The Kensington Precinct has endorsed a staged approach to the implementation of traffic control measures in the Kensington/West Kingsford area.  This report proposes an approach which is consistent with the objectives of the Precinct and which is likely to receive RTA endorsement.  It also acknowledges the size of the task and suggests an implementation approach utilising an agreed program of works.

 

 

 

Recommendation

 

That the three staged approach to the introduction of traffic devices in the Kensington/ West Kingsford, as identified in this report, be adopted.

 

Attachment/s:

 

Nil

 

 


Works Committee                                                                                                   14 June 2011

 

 

Works Report No. W18/11

 

 

Subject:                  Update on Future Use of Top Yard at Council Depot

Folder No:                   F2004/06326

Author:                   David Kelly, Manager Administrative Services     

 

Introduction

 

At its ordinary Council meeting held 22 June 2010 it was resolved (Stevenson/

Andrews) that:

 

“a)    Council authorise the General Manager to undertake further investigations for the strategic alliance with Waverley Council and the proposed occupancy of the Storey Street Works Depot “top yard’.

 

b)     a further report(s) be presented to Council detailing the due diligence analysis and the negotiations between Waverley and Randwick Councils.

 

c)     a further report(s) be presented to Council after;

-    consultation with the local community; and

-    the preparation of a traffic study examining the potential impacts of the proposed use of the site as a Council Works Depot.”

 

After ongoing discussions with Waverley Council and an analysis of the proposal, it has become apparent that the proposed strategic alliance is not feasible and as such will not proceed.

 

Issues

 

The “top yard” of the Randwick City Council Works Depot at 222-232 Storey Street is currently zoned Special Uses 5. The “top yard” consists of one full parcel of land with an area of 5,895m and the residual of the existing Randwick Works Depot site above the escarpment.

 

The proposal to lease this area to Waverley Council has undergone some detailed analysis over the last few months in the areas of financial, operational, industrial and traffic generation etc, to ensure both Councils could be satisfied to proceed with this matter. Unfortunately Council has been advised by letter from the General Manager of Waverley Council that they are unable to accept the current market value of the occupation of the proposed facilities and required land footprint. This letter is attached for Councillors’ information.

 

Relationship to City Plan

 

The relationship with the City Plan is as follows:

 

Outcome 6:       A Liveable City.

Direction 6a:      Our public assets are planned, managed and funded to meet the community expectations and defined levels of service.

 

Financial impact statement

 

Council has incurred a total cost of $60,000 thus far on the preparation of concept plans and the valuation. Waverley Council has agreed to pay half of these costs.

Conclusion

 

With the current state of the property market it is considered to be prudent to wait for the property market conditions to improve to enable Council to receive the best possible return for this asset. Accordingly the best way forward would be to hold the land at its current zoning of Special Uses 5 (or its equivalent zoning under the new Comprehensive LEP) for the foreseeable future.

 

 

Recommendation

 

That:

 

a)     Council maintain the current zoning of the top yard of Council’s Depot at Special       Uses 5 (or its equivalent zoning under the new Comprehensive LEP) until the        property market improves sufficiently for Council to realise a competitive price    for the sale of the land; and

 

b)     Council recover half of the expenses incurred thus far on the preparation of      concept plans and the valuation from Waverley Council.

 

 

Attachment/s:

 

1.View

Advice letter from General Manager - Waverley Council

 

 

 

 


Advice letter from General Manager - Waverley Council

Attachment 1