Works Committee Meeting

 

  BUSINESS PAPER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday 13 November 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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                                                                                           13 November 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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, 13 November 2012 at 6pm.

 

 

Committee Members:           The Mayor (T Bowen), Andrews, Belleli, D’Souza (Deputy Chairperson), Garcia, Matson, Moore, Nash, Neilson, Roberts, Seng, Shurey, Smith, Stavrinos and Stevenson (Chairperson)

 

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 - 14 August 2012

Declarations of Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Interests

Address of Committee by Members of the Public

Urgent Business

Works Reports

W25/12     Senior Outdoor Gym - Jack Vanny Memorial Park - Maroubra

W26/12     McDougall Street, Kensington - Resident petition for retention of brick footpath

W27/12     Tree Removal - Outside 31 Duke Street, Kensington

W28/12     Tree Removal - Outside 41 Duke Street, Kensington

W29/12     Supporting "Sense of Community" Street Parties    

Notice of Rescission Motions

Nil 

 

 

 

…………………………………………………….

Ray Brownlee

General Manager


Works Committee                                                                                           13 November 2012

 

 

Works Report No. W25/12

 

 

Subject:                  Senior Outdoor Gym - Jack Vanny Memorial Park - Maroubra

Folder No:                   PROJ/10599/2011

Author:                   Joe Ingegneri, Manager Technical Services     

 

Introduction

 

At the Ordinary meeting of 19 October 2010, Council resolved as follows:

 

“(Woodsmith/Andrews) that Council:

 

a)   considers the proposal for an Outdoor Seniors Exercise Area in Jack Vanny Memorial Park in the 2011-12 Parks Capital Works Budget;

b)   also seek input on the proposal from its Access Advisory Committee & Older Persons Advisory Committee; and

c)   consider a further report on a proposal to consider a similar facility for disabled people.”

 

This report covers the issues dealing with points (a) and (b) of the above resolution.  Point (c) will be dealt with as a separate report at a later stage pending further investigations on the subject.

 

Issues

 

Background - Placement of the Equipment

A site analysis was carried out to determine the best location within Jack Vanny Memorial Park for the placement of the outdoor gym equipment.  The factors considered were as follows:

 

·           Reasonable distance to access by public transport

·           Proximity to car park and disabled car parking areas

·           Proximity to public toilets/ accessible toilets

·           Level of passive surveillance

·           Relatively flat/levelled area

 

Two sites were identified meeting all these requirements.  Refer to Attachment 1.

 

Community Consultation

From February to March 2012, Council officers undertook community consultation as follows:

 

1.     Presentations to Council’s Access Advisory Committee and Older Persons Advisory Committee.

2.     Advertisement in the Southern Courier.

3.     Advertisement on Council’s website including access to the consultation survey within the ‘Have your say’.  We also provided a link to a survey to gather further information in regard to how people would get to the site, options for specific location for placement, equipment layout and types of equipment.  See Attachment 1.

4.     Invitation to register interest to be part of a working focus group through ‘Have your say’ on Council’s website.

5.     Advertisement in Council’s E-News.

6.     Information letter to residents on Marine Parade fronting Jack Vanny Memorial Park.

7.     Information leaflet - letter drop to Maroubra residents in the area shown in Attachment 2.

 

Community Consultation Outcome

At the end of the consultation period, Council had 381 unique visits to this project on the RCC website.

 

·           42 participants took part in the online survey.  Refer to outcome of survey in Attachment 3.

·           Council received 7 individual submissions objecting to the proposal.

·           Council received 3 individual submissions supporting the proposed location.

·           Council received 6 individual submissions and a petition with 103 signatures objecting to the location at Jack Vanny Memorial Park.

·           7 people registered interest to be part of a working focus group.

 

Individual submissions supporting the proposal are summarised in Attachment 4.

 

The main reasons the community objected to the proposed location at Jack Vanny Memorial Park are:

 

1.     Proximity to existing residences across Marine Parade.

2.     Interference with the natural coast line and the need to preserve the unbuilt environment and views at this location. 

3.     Noise generated from the proposal.

4.     Congregation and invitation for antisocial behaviour.

 

Following from an evaluation of all submissions received at the end of the consultation period and considering the objections to the location, Council officers assessed a second site for the placement of the equipment.  

 

The secondary location assessed is the grassed area between Maroubra Beach Promenade and the Skate Park. See Attachment 5.  This location meets all the criteria determined for suitability as mentioned in the section above – ‘Placement of the Equipment’.  Furthermore, its proximity to the Surf Lifeguard office means additional passive surveillance and access to first aid if required.

 

The proposal and both locations were presented to the Access Advisory Committee & Older Persons Advisory Committee in April 2012.  Both committees expressed concern with the location adjacent to the skate park. Their preference for the final location of the outdoor gym is Jack Vanny Memorial Park.

 

The issues raised in regards to the proposed secondary location between Maroubra Beach Promenade and the Skate Park are as follows:

 

1.     The location could be potentially intimidating and a noisy environment for seniors and people with mobility impairment.

2.     Lack of parking spaces at weekends.

3.     Jack Vanny Memorial Park location offers better access for community transport vehicles.

 

Refer to Attachment 6 – Abstract of Minutes – Access and Older Persons Advisory Committees.

 

On the basis of the feedback from the consultation, we have selected a third location behind the Maroubra Beach playground, between the Maroubra Surf Club and the Beach Pavilion. See Attachment 7.

This location is easily accessible, with parking and amenities nearby including an accessible toilet. It is close to the lifeguards and has ample passive surveillance. This location meets all the desirable criteria and addresses the issues raised in the consultation.

 

Relationship to City Plan

 

The relationship with the City Plan is as follows:

 

Outcome 5:            Excellence in recreation and lifestyle opportunities.

Direction 5b:         A range of sporting and leisure activities.

 

Financial impact statement

 

There is $60,000 available in the 2012-13 Capital Works Budget for this project which was carried forward from 2011-12 Capital Works Budget. 

 

Conclusion

 

The outcome of the community consultation has shown that the local residents oppose the placement of the outdoor gym at Jack Vanny Memorial Park. A secondary location between the Maroubra Beach Promenade and the Skate Park was selected as an alternative. The Access Advisory Committee and Older Persons Advisory Committee advised that they do not support the secondary location and prefer the outdoor gym to be located at Jack Vanny Memorial Park on the proviso that accessible toilets be provided.

 

On the basis of the criteria for a suitable location and the feedback from the consultation, we have selected a third location behind the Maroubra Beach playground, between the Maroubra Surf Club and the Beach Pavilion. This location is easily accessible, with parking and amenities nearby including accessible toilet. It is close to the lifeguards and has ample passive surveillance. This location meets all the desirable criteria and addresses the issues raised in the consultation.

 

 

Recommendation

 

That Council install the outdoor gym for seniors at the grassed area between Maroubra Surf Club and the Beach Pavilion as per location area shown in attachment 7.

 

 

Attachment/s:

 

1.View

Consultation Survey

 

2.View

Consultation -  Letter Drop Catchment

 

3.View

Survey Report

 

4.View

Summary of Individual Submissions

 

5.View

Proposed Location - Second Option

 

6.View

Abstract of Minutes - Access and Older Persons Advisory Committee

 

7.View

Seniors Outdoor Gym - Third Option (Recommended)

 

 

 

 


Consultation Survey

Attachment 1

 

 


Consultation -  Letter Drop Catchment

Attachment 2

 

 


Survey Report

Attachment 3

 

 


Summary of Individual Submissions

Attachment 4

 

 



Proposed Location - Second Option

Attachment 5

 

 


Abstract of Minutes - Access and Older Persons Advisory Committee

Attachment 6

 

 



Seniors Outdoor Gym - Third Option (Recommended)

Attachment 7

 

 

 



Works Committee                                                                                           13 November 2012

 

 

Works Report No. W26/12

 

 

Subject:                  McDougall Street, Kensington - Resident petition for retention of brick footpath

Folder No:                   F2012/00447

Author:                   Stephen Audet, Coordinator Engineering Services     

 

Introduction

 

The footpaths on both sides of McDougall Street, Kensington are of brick construction.  The condition of the footpaths is poor and they have been included in the 2012-13 Footpath Capital Works Program for reconstruction with concrete.  Council has received a resident petition opposing the replacement of the brick footpath with concrete.

 

Issues

 

The condition of the existing brick paved footpaths in McDougall Street has been assessed as poor.  The footpaths contain a number of defects along their lengths that create a potential hazard to pedestrians.   A locality plan is attached to this report (Attachment 1).

 

These defects include raised pavers, sunken pavers, large gaps between pavers, missing pavers, broken pavers and undulations.  The defects are found continually along the length of the footpaths.  Council staff have assessed the footpath against the relevant Australian Standards 1428, and also Council’s own standards, and found that there are significant non-conformances, particularly in the area on access and mobility.  The footpath is therefore considered to have deteriorated in condition to the stage that it requires renewal.

 

McDougall Street is classified as a local road.  Council normally constructs concrete footpaths on local streets as the most appropriate material for a number of reasons including:

 

·           Cost effective capital cost;

·           Durable material requiring minimal maintenance;

·           Readily available and easily matched for repairs;

·           Allows utility trench restoration with minimal disruption;

 

The reasons that the footpath was not nominated for reconstruction with brick pavers include:

 

·           Council’s standard for local streets is plain concrete;

·           Excessive capital cost of laying new pavers that is approximately 250% that of concrete;

·           Ongoing maintenance requirements due to weeds, tree roots and movement of pavers;

·           Properly relaying the brick pavers would result in a reduced footpath life than a concrete path

·           Difficult to match size, shape and colour of pavers when repairing footpath;

·           New pavers would need to satisfy current standards, particularly with regards to slip resistance and wear characteristics.

·           The establishment of a precedent to use pavers in local streets;

 

The option of reusing the existing pavers presents a number of challenges.  There are missing and broken pavers.  Many of the existing pavers are also in a condition whereby they may not withstand the process of relaying.  It is anticipated that a proportion of new pavers would need to be sourced to supplement the reuse of the existing pavers that are found to be in suitable condition.  The process of relaying the existing pavers will also add an additional layer of cost associated with the labour required to carefully remove and sort the pavers. 

 

The residents of McDougall Street have submitted a petition that objects to the brick footpaths being replaced with concrete and which requests that the existing brick footpaths be maintained.  The petition represents the views of the majority of residents, having been signed by residents from 32 of the 39 properties within McDougall Street. The resident petition makes specific reference to McDougall Street being located within the bounds of the West Kensington Heritage Conservation Area.  The petition and accompanying letter also refer to the path as a heritage element with the West Kensington Heritage Conservation Area. The residents of McDougall Street also note in their submission that the footpath visually compliments the heritage housing stock within the street, providing authenticity and character.

 

Council’s Statement of Significance for the West Kensington Heritage Conservation Area has not identified the brick footpaths as contributing to heritage significance.  The Statement of Significance generally identifies the shared character of the houses themselves.

 

In addition to the petition, Council has received a small number of separate submissions from residents who had signed the petition.  These submissions focussed on the complimentary character of the footpaths to McDougall Street’s housing stock, and requested that Council reconsider the re-use of the existing brick paving.

 

A further detailed submission was received by long term resident of McDougall Street and his letter has been included as an attachment to this report in line with his request.

 

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

 

The cost of replacing the brick footpath with concrete has been estimated as $97,000.  This amount has been funded in the 2012-13 Footpath Capital Works Program.

 

The cost of reconstructing the footpath with new brick pavers on a concrete base (current standards) is estimated at $248,000.  This amount is not available within the current years Capital Works Program. 

 

Major Maintenance (240m2) with the reuse of existing bricks (where applicable) supplemented with new bricks when required is estimated at $45,000.  It is likely that the future maintenance will be greater than concrete.  Additionally, the relaying of the failed driveway on a concrete base utilising as much of the existing bricks as possible will cost $40,000.  Hence, the total project will cost $95,000.

 

Conclusion

 

The footpaths in McDougall Street, Kensington require reconstruction. There is strong support and desire by the residents of McDougall Street to maintain the look and feel of the existing brick footpath. Whilst the brick footpath has not been formally identified as contributing to the heritage significance of the West Kensington Heritage Conservation Area, they are considered by the residents of McDougall Street as important and complimentary to the residential architecture and heritage character of the street. 

 

It is proposed to reconstruct the major failures in the existing brick footpath utilising as much of the existing bricks as possible.  It should be noted that some new bricks may be required.  Additionally, the existing driveways that have failed will be reinstated utilising the existing bricks on a concrete base.

 

 

Recommendation

 

That :

 

a)     the resident petition supporting the retention of a brick footpath in McDougall Street, Kensington, be noted. 

 

b)     Council reconstruct only the major failures in the footpaths in McDougall Street with existing bricks (where practicable) and new brick pavers where required.

 

 

Attachment/s:

 

1.View

McDougall Street Locality Plan

 

2.View

Resident Petition - McDougall Street Proposed Footpath Construction

 

3.View

Resident letter accompanying McDougall Street footpath petition

 

4.View

Letter from Resident

 

5.View

Letter from resident to the Mayor seeking support to retaining brick footpath

 

 

 

 


McDougall Street Locality Plan

Attachment 1

 

 


Resident letter accompanying McDougall Street footpath petition

Attachment 2

 

 

 

Randwick City Council: McDougall Street Proposed Footpath  Construction

 

We the residents, of McDougall Street and surrounding streets, located in the registered Heritage Conservation Area of the West Ward Precinct of Kensington within Randwick Council, oppose the removal due to maintenance of the current, longest lived and last surviving brick paved footpah in the area to be replaced with a new 1.8 metre or 1.3 metre new concrete pathway running both sides of McDougall Street.

 

The footpath in its current form has been and represents the long term commitment to conserving Kensington’s residential heritage and remains a true aesthetic pleasing and functional asset. It is one which needs to be protected in keeping with Randwick Council’s current and long standing conservation policies as this path has been layed and survived well for the many years it has been in place with routine maintenance. The upgrade of street lighting like no other nearby street and few stree trees make this footpath when maintained a unique, valuable and viable asset to the residents and locals than concrete which is not without its own trip hazards and ongoing costs both to lay and maintain.

 

46 signatures

 


 

 

Randwick City Council

30 Frances Street

Randwick NSW 2031

 

Mr Steve Audet

Coordinator Engineering Services

Randwick City Council

 

5 September 2012

 

 

Petition Against the Removal of the Brick Footpath Along McDougall Street Kensington

 

 

Dear Mr Audet,

 

Thank you for allowing time to visit with each member of the street individually, inclusive of the owners of the investment properties located on this street. This has been an enlightening experience and one from which I have learnt a great deal.

 

The residence of 32 McDougall Street was singled out and featured in print at Bowen Library as a residence of interest chosen by Randwick City Council (RCC), the only residential house in this publication, others featured were of government built buildings. McDougall Street is one of the oldest streets in this pocket.

 

McDougall Street has a lot of long-standing residents, several than forty years. Most residents were happy to share their views in favor of retaining and maintaining the brick footpath as well as street related stories as to why and how this brick footpath has lasted so long. Most apparent was the consistency with the logic that since funds have already been allocated for this footpath, then these funds would be better spent repairing this footpath and then maintaining it on a routine and regular basis.

 

I understand that the facades of many of the houses in this street have remained true and have been kept at great cost to their owners, due in part, to strict building codes. This is what attracted most of us residents initially to reside in the street and general area. The period features and style of housing are matched by the brick footpath that gives this street its authenticity and character. The current brick footpath is in keeping with this era and has a value of its own, not just a monetary one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Naming the West Ward Precinct of Kensington as being a Heritage Conservation Area, RCC goes to great lengths to enforce this specific point. One would think that this would be consistent within RCC guidelines for maintenance and upkeep of it’s heritage areas.

This brick footpath is a “functional asset” and is of significant heritage value in a residential area. You will note that not one bit of the brick footpath has any Ashphalt infill, evidence that RCC is proud of the brick pathway.

It would strongly appear that RCC has not undertaken regular routine maintenance and repair of the above brick footpath for an extended period of time and the brick footpath left to rot by RCC in recent years unless challenged by its residents.

 

RCC needs to make substantial efforts to regain lost time and repair it. This petition sends a clear message regarding the state and repair expected of this brick footpath and that the residents of McDougall Street expect RCC to act to repair and maintain the same bricks without delay to the same high standards seen between Todman Avenue and Baker Street, not rip it up in its entirety and lay concrete.

 

One only needs to look at the very top of McDougall Street to see the prime example of the lack of routine maintenance and repair of a footpath area. This area remains in its original state with sandstone curbing and appears as it was once was years ago.

 

Concrete does not even come close to being an aesthetic nor more suitable solution to RCC making a better and safer footpath. Concrete when raised by tree roots cracks and presents even greater trip hazards as can be seen by a short walk down either Virginia or Milroy Streets. The footpaths here are very raised and are more difficult to repair, unlike brick works as it will move more evenly with the contour shape creating lessor trip hazards and fundamentally easy repair issue, with lessor associated costs. Todman Avenue from Baker Street to Lenthall Street is a prime example of where routine maintenance of a brick footpath has resulted in a valuable “functional asset” being retained and in good condition requiring minimal maintenance in the longer term.

 

McDougall Street brick footpath is a very interesting feature of our street, the brick footpath is one of the very last to remain. Most importantly it has survived surprisingly in as good a condition without any recent maintenance to it specifically.

 

McDougall Street brick footpath has held up and remained in good condition in parts where RCC has in the past addressed issues regarding the footpath when raised by McDougall Street residents and repaved sections with the same bricks at the specific request of its residents. I was such a resident years ago who made a request to RCC again when I was notified this area was to be concreted and the brickwork has remained in great condition ever since in front of my house instead of concrete. RCC has demonstrated it is possible. This alternative maintenance program working from top to bottom of both sides of McDougall Street to repair and strengthen the brickwork is what the residents of McDougall Street want to have happen.

 

If the same courtesy with regard to the timely repair of the brick footpath should be extended to each individual resident (as was suggested with the concrete proposal) with regard to their own specific driveway then I would strongly suggest this would result in a big uptake by individual residents and result in the continuity of the brick footpath. This would also result in continuity of surface instead of a patchwork of cements.

 

The shady road trees planted by RCC in McDougall Street have long since been removed and provide for the flat surface to continue unhindered, (trees remain in Milroy Street where a relatively new concrete footpath has already been laid which is the street locality of the recently reported incident I understand). This previously being an excuse to remove the brick footpath is not valid in McDougall Street. 

 

Substantial new street lighting on both sides of McDougall St, make McDougall Street the brightest and best lit street in the area with new poles having been installed. Throughout all these works the brick footpath has remained true and most of the brick entry paths. The care factor to retain the brick footpath is evident.

 

New and heightened road levels which has resulted in the odd side of McDougall Street’s sandstone curbing being removed whilst the other side remains sandstone still sees the brick footpath on both sides of McDougall Street and bricked front entry nature strip pathways remain intact.

 

I have provided many pictures with this letter which clearly illustrate that very little routine maintenance works specifically to the brick footpath appears to have been undertaken in this street. Routine maintenance- cutting of grass nature strip, edging and weed removal has not been undertaken as part of the RCC’s routine maintenance program in years allowing grass to grow over the heated brick footpath and front entryways to the extent shown.

 

Please note the driveway of 30 McDougall Street; brick paved driveway/footpath, sandstone lip. This is what all driveways should be required to be like, in keeping with the streetscape, not a hotchpotch of concrete. Houses sympathetically and newly renovated have embraced the brick footpath choosing to carry this through to their own driveways and entry paths demonstrating the foreseen value in continuing with the paved bricks being less porous than new pavers. Unfortunately the most recent 20a and 22 McDougall Street driveways were allowed by the RCC despite objections made.

 

Additionally please note the small brick paved nature strip, photo’s attached. These entries located outside most front gates still lead from the road side to the brick footpath. They too, are paved bricks and again should be embraced by the RCC maintained and preserved and where possible re-instated having been overgrown.

 

This petition and all its signatures of the McDougall Street residents should speak loud and clearly to RCC as to a unanimous response what we as a collective want to have happen and see in our street. Action is now required to ensure the brick footpath’s and entries are repaired and now continued routine maintenance ensuring the bricks are retained for the next one hundred years.

 

As I have been quite open with regard to this matter I am assured that if RCC wants any confirmation or is unclear regarding what the residents of McDougall Street want having been individually sort out by me to provide comment then you are welcome to make contact with myself and all those on this petition as rate payers.

 

I was particularly offended by the poor notification letter holding little information, addressed to no one but a resident when such major works impacting and affecting my home were being proposed. It made a mockery of the justification for proposed works and notification processes.

 

It is unfortunate that with nearly every footpath installed someone can injure themselves however if the risks are managed then the likely hood can be prevented.

 

I look forward to your response. If you would like to discuss this further please do not hesitate to reply or contact me, mobile:

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Letter from Resident

Attachment 4

 

 

 




 



Letter from resident to the Mayor seeking support to retaining brick footpath

Attachment 5

 

 

 

 
 


 


 


 







Works Committee                                                                                           13 November 2012

 

 

Works Report No. W27/12

 

 

Subject:                  Tree Removal - Outside 31 Duke Street, Kensington

Folder No:                   F2004/07359

Author:                   Bryan Bourke, Tree Management Officer     

 

Introduction

 

The owner of 31 Duke Street, Kensington, wrote to Council on 29 February 2012 highlighting a number of damages issues being caused to his property by tree root intrusion and requesting the removal of the Council owned Ficus ‘Hillii’ (Hill’s Weeping fig) growing on the nature strip outside his property.

 

Issues

 

There is a range of damage being caused by the roots of this tree, including cracking and undermining of the front fence of the adjacent property, large tree roots encroaching into the front yard and garden area, and roots regularly uplifting and damaging the Council footpath, driveway and kerb and gutter outside 31 Duke Street, Kensington.

 

The owner of this property has been experiencing drainage and sewer blockage issues for well over a decade which have been regularly cleared by Council’s plumber. During that period he has logged at least eight service requests with Council requesting that the damage either be permanently rectified or that the street tree responsible be removed.

 

The property owner first wrote to Council on 10 July 2007 and detailed a number of issues associated with the roots of the tree and requesting that Council address those issues. He also advised Council that he would be seeking compensation for damage caused to his property by the roots of the tree.

 

The subject tree is approximately sixteen metres in height with a canopy spread of around twelve metres. It is in good health and contributes to the visual amenity of the Duke Street streetscape. It is also a provider of habitat and food source for a variety of native birdlife and other fauna. The tree canopy has to be regularly pruned away from overhead low voltage powerlines by tree trimming contractors to maintain statutory clearances. It forms part of a predominantly single species streetscape which is listed on Council’s Register of Significant Trees – primarily because the mature Hill’s Weeping figs growing along both sides of the street have notable visual, aesthetic, cultural and social importance.

 

Over the past decade the adjacent footpath and driveway have had to be repaired on several occasions because of tree root damage but roots continue to enter the adjacent property, as well as causing ongoing and increasing damage to public infrastructure. On 19 September 2012 Council’s Tree Gang excavated and trenched along the front of 31 Duke Street, Kensington, and this revealed a number of fig tree roots entering the front of the property. It also revealed that fig tree roots had entirely blocked the resident’s stormwater pipes as well as one root that had grown under the steps leading up to the front veranda of the residence.

 

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.

 

Financial impact statement

 

It is estimated that the removal of the fig tree outside 31 Duke Street, Kensington, and its replacement with a super-advanced alternative species would cost in the vicinity of $4,000. The required funds would come from Council’s annual tree management budget.

 

Conclusion

 

The Council owned Ficus ‘Hillii’ growing outside 31 Duke Street, Kensington, has important visual and historic significance. Duke Street is one of only three streets within the Randwick LGA containing numbers of this species which are listed on Council’s Register of Significant Trees.

 

The subject tree is estimated to be approximately sixty years old and up until this point every effort has been made to retain it, despite the fact that associated tree root damage has progressively increased in both frequency and severity. The tree has been assessed as having important scenic and amenity value and with providing much needed habitat and food source for a variety of fauna. Because of the damage being caused by its roots, the impact of removal on land degradation would be negligible. Because of the size and amount of root material required to be removed from the tree to effectively deal with the range of damage being caused by its roots, root pruning is not a viable option.

 

The current situation with tree root buttressing means that while the tree is retained it is impossible to re-instate the adjacent kerb and gutter in its original location. While the Tree Gang were trenching along the front of the adjacent property the owner brought to their attention two large fig tree roots that were undermining his front fence and causing cracking to the fence itself and the walkway leading up to the front stairs.

 

The tree root that was growing under the front steps was severed and poisoned by Council’s Tree Gang while they were undertaking excavation and trenching works. Fig tree roots have also caused ongoing damage to the surrounding bitumen roadway and compaction caused by vehicles parking adjacent to the tree will affect its long-term health and viability. Even if root pruning were a viable option it could not be undertaken because it would seriously compromise the stability of the subject tree – particular as the majority of canopy weight is on the opposite side to where any such root pruning would be required. This is supported by the findings of Council’s Tree Gang arborists when they undertook trenching works on 19 September 2012.

 

It should be noted that the range and seriousness of root related damage caused by this significant street tree asset is typical of the species and that any such damage will continue and increase for as long as the tree is retained.

 

Council has resolved that where Ficus ‘Hillii’ constitute the predominant species in any street and where those trees have recognised historic and heritage significance, no more than five (5) percent of vegetative canopy cover is to be removed in any one calendar year. However, the proposed removal of this street tree asset would not contravene that resolution and it is only being recommended because there are no viable long-term management options available that would deal with the damage being caused by the roots of this tree. Its removal would certainly have a detrimental impact on the streetscape but this could be mitigated to some degree by planting a 100-litre replacement tree in the roadway.

 

 

Recommendation

 

That the Council owned Ficus ‘Hillii’ (Hill’s Weeping fig) growing outside 31 Duke Street, Kensington, be removed and replaced with a super-advanced Ulmus parvifolia (Chinese Elm) – as nominated in Council’s Street Tree Masterplan.

 

 

Attachment/s:

 

1.View

Series of photographs detailing the importance of the subject tree in the streetscape and the range of damage being caused to both public infrastructure and private property by its roots.

 

 

 

 


Series of photographs detailing the importance of the subject tree in the streetscape and the range of damage being caused to both public infrastructure and private property by its roots.

Attachment 1

 

 

Fig tree is imposing and visually significant in the streetscape – note powerline cutout

 

Driveway, footpath and kerb/gutter had to be removed because of tree root damage

Fig tree root undermining and lifting adjacent front brick fence and footing

 

Tree roots have entered the front yard area of property and cracked front fence

Large fig root has undermined sandstone flagging and spreads throughout front yard

 

Fig tree root was growing under front steps but has been removed and poisoned

 

Council tree root has entered and completely blocked terracotta stormwater pipe

 

Mass of fig tree roots has undermined kerb and gutter and prohibits reconstruction

Fig tree roots have lifted and damaged adjacent driveway on a regular basis

 

Proximity and size of fig tree roots will not allow kerb and gutter to be reinstated

Tree root blocking stormwater pipe has been severed by Council’s Tree Gang

 

Fig tree roots have crushed adjacent PVC stormwater pipe and rendered it unusable

 

 


Works Committee                                                                                           13 November 2012

 

 

Works Report No. W28/12

 

 

Subject:                  Tree Removal - Outside 41 Duke Street, Kensington

Folder No:                   F2004/07359

Author:                   Bryan Bourke, Tree Management Officer     

 

Introduction

 

The owner of 39 Duke Street, Kensington, has written to Council on several occasions over the past decade requesting the removal of the Council owned Ficus ‘Hillii’ (Hill’s Weeping fig) growing on the nature strip outside 41 Duke Street, Kensington.

 

Issues

 

There is a range of damage being caused by the roots of this tree, including cracking and undermining of the front fences of two adjacent properties, large tree roots encroaching into the front garden areas of both, and roots regularly uplifting and damaging the Council footpath and driveway outside 39-41 Duke Street, Kensington.

 

The owner of 39 Duke Street has been experiencing drainage and sewer blockage issues for over a decade which he has always attributed to either damage being caused by fig tree roots or blockages being caused by the accumulation of fig leaves from the Council street tree.

 

The subject tree is approximately sixteen metres in height with a canopy spread of around ten-twelve metres. It is in declining health but contributes to the visual amenity of the Duke Street streetscape. It is also a provider of habitat and food source for a variety of native birdlife and other fauna.

 

The subject tree is regularly pruned away from overhead powerlines by Ausgrid tree trimming contractors to maintain statutory clearances and to keep foliage well clear of an adjacent street light. It forms part of a predominantly single species streetscape which is listed on Council’s Register of Significant Trees – primarily because the mature Hill’s Weeping figs growing along both sides of the street have notable visual, aesthetic, cultural and social importance.

 

Over the past decade the adjacent footpath has had to be repaired on a number of occasions because of tree root damage but roots continue to enter the adjacent properties, as well as causing ongoing and increasing damage to public infrastructure. On 20 September 2012 Council’s Tree Gang excavated and trenched along the front of this property and this revealed a number of fig tree roots, with one in particular undermining the front brick fence at 39 Duke Street in an area where a crack is quite evident. The Tree Gang also trenched along the front of 41 Duke Street on 3 February 2012 to a depth of approximately one metre and severed all visible tree roots entering that property. This was undertaken as a result of the owners of that property writing to Council over a number of years highlighting a range of damage to both their property and adjacent public infrastructure being caused by the roots of the Council Hill’s Weeping fig.  

 

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.

 

Financial impact statement

 

It is estimated that the removal of the tree outside 41 Duke Street, Kensington, and its replacement with a super-advanced alternative species would cost in the vicinity of $4,000. The required funds would come from Council’s annual tree management budget.

 

Conclusion

 

The Council owned Ficus ‘Hillii’ growing outside 41 Duke Street, Kensington, has important visual and historic significance. Duke Street is one of only three streets within the Randwick LGA containing numbers of this species which are listed on Council’s Register of Significant Trees.

 

The subject tree is estimated to be approximately sixty years old and up until this point every effort has been made to retain it, despite the fact that associated tree root damage has progressively increased in both frequency and severity.

 

The tree shows signs of decline and there are a number of branch inclusions as well as a large wound on the north-western side of the trunk where a branch had to be removed. Despite this, the tree has been assessed as having important scenic and amenity value and with providing habitat and food source for a variety of fauna. Because of the damage being caused by its roots, the impact of removal on land degradation would be negligible. Because of the size and amount of root material required to be removed from the tree to effectively deal with the damage being caused by its roots, root pruning is not a viable option. Ongoing stormwater pipe blockages and water and leaf litter build up became so bad at 39 Duke Street that two years ago Council redirected the stormwater pipe from the property boundary to a stormwater pit located outside 41 Duke Street. This situation was further exacerbated by the fact that fig tree roots have damaged and uplifted the sandstone kerb to the point that ponding of water in the street and gutter surrounding the tree is a constant problem unable to be effectively addressed while the tree remains. While the Tree Gang were trenching on 20 September 2012 the owner of 41 Duke Street brought to their attention two large fig tree roots inside their property that were continuing to cause damage even though several outside the property had been severed and poisoned on 3 February 2012. One very large root in particular had undermined the entranceway into the residence and another had affected the footing of the front sandstone fence. With the agreement of the property owner both these roots were removed by the Tree Gang and poisoned on the side entering the property. The property owner at 39 Duke Street has provided Council with photographs showing cracking to the front of his residence which he asserts has been caused by the roots of the nearby Council street tree but this has not been supported by any sort of evidence. However, the size and spread of roots recently exposed within the front yard area of 41 Duke Street would suggest that it is entirely possible that roots from the same tree would be capable of travelling underneath the residence at 39 Duke Street.  

 

Large fig tree roots have also caused ongoing damage to the surrounding bitumen roadway and compaction caused by vehicles parking along the street has probably contributed to the decline in the health of the subject tree asset. Even if root pruning were a viable option of itself it could not be undertaken because it would seriously compromise the long-term health and stability of the subject tree – particular as the majority of canopy weight is on the opposite side to where any such root pruning would be required.   

 

Council has resolved that where Ficus ‘Hillii’ constitute the predominant species in any street and where those trees have recognised historic and heritage significance, no more than five (5) percent of vegetative canopy cover is to be removed in any one calendar year. However, the proposed removal of this street tree asset would not contravene that resolution and it is only being recommended because there are no viable long-term management options available that would deal with the damage being caused by the roots of this tree. Its removal would certainly have a detrimental impact on the streetscape but this could be mitigated to some degree by planting a 100-litre replacement tree in the roadway.

 

 

Recommendation

 

That the Council-owned Ficus ‘Hillii’ (Hill’s Weeping fig) growing outside 41 Duke Street, Kensington, be removed and replaced with a super-advanced Ulmus parvifolia (Chinese Elm) – as nominated in Council’s Street Tree Masterplan.

 

 

Attachment/s:

 

1.View

Series of photographs detailing the importance of the subject tree in the streetscape and the range of damage being caused to both public infrastructure and private property by its roots.

 

 

 

 


Series of photographs detailing the importance of the subject tree in the streetscape and the range of damage being caused to both public infrastructure and private property by its roots.

Attachment 1

 

 

Although providing visual amenity fig tree outside 41 Duke St is in fair condition only

 

Fig tree roots are seriously compacted and tree has a number of structural defects

 

 

Sandstone kerb and gutter has been undermined and lifted by fig tree roots

 

Large fig tree root has entered property and undermined entire entranceway area

 

 

 

Cracks in residence at 39 Duke St – owner claims they are caused by fig tree roots

 

More cracks owner claims are attributable to tree roots from Council’s street tree asset

Crack in front brick fence at 39 Duke Street caused by lifting action underneath footing 

 

Fig tree root directly underneath fence at front of 39 Duke St where crack is located

 

 

 

Bag of fig tree roots retrieved by plumber undertaking works in bathroom at 39 Duke St

 

Fig tree roots typical of those outside the property frontage at 39 Duke St, Kensington

Stormwater pipe at 39 Duke Street replaced by Council to improve flow off property

 


Works Committee                                                                                           13 November 2012

 

 

Works Report No. W29/12

 

 

Subject:                  Supporting "Sense of Community" Street Parties

Folder No:                   F2004/07232

Author:                   Tony Lehmann, Manager Integrated Transport     

 

Introduction

 

Council has received requests for approval to temporarily close roads for street parties. Street parties can be a positive way of allowing residents and neighbours to interact, reinforcing community values and creating a true “Sense of Community”.

 

Under the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS – formerly RTA) guidelines temporary road closures for such street parties are able to be approved by Council directly, provided that the applicants adhere to Council’s Schedule of Conditions. The standard conditions that Council imposes on event organisers are to keep the general public and the participants of the event safe, to direct traffic safely around the event, to inform the emergency services of the event and to reduce the impacts of the event on non event users.

 

Issues

 

The usual way to manage traffic for temporary road closures, in order to comply with the relevant OHS act, is to create a Traffic Control Plan (TCP). A TCP describes the layout of traffic control devices such as barriers and signs. The layout should be designed by suitably qualified traffic control designers. However, in some circumstances further transport management measures are required. For example, Council has recently received a request from residents of Aboud Avenue, Kingsford, to temporarily close the road for a street party. As Aboud Avenue, is within 100m of a state road, the RMS requires a Road Occupancy Licence (ROL) and a Transport Management Plan (TMP). A TMP is a report on how Traffic and Transport will be managed, the likely traffic impacts of the event on the regional or state road network and its impacts on the public transport and emergency services.

 

Organising traffic control can be a complex process and many resident organisers require assistance to correctly design and implement appropriate traffic control. Council’s officers can assist residents in preparing simple traffic control plans for the events.

 

To further assist residents of Randwick, and to improve opportunities for residents to build a sense of community, it is proposed that traffic control measures required for neighbourhood street parties be arranged by Council, on behalf of the event organiser.

 

Council’s insurers confirm that approved street party events may be able to be provided cover under Council’s Casual Hirers protection through Statewide Mutual for a public liability claim arising from an incident which occurs upon the street.  Event organisers will need to satisfy the requirements of Council’s insurer prior to the approval of the street party being granted.

 

Relationship to City Plan

 

The relationship with the City Plan is as follows:

 

Outcome 2:     A Vibrant and Diverse Community.

Direction 2c:    Strong partnerships between the Council, community groups and government agencies.

Outcome 6:     A Liveable City.

Direction 6c:    the safety of our community is paramount and is acknowledged and supported through proactive policies, programs and strategies.

 

Financial impact statement

 

Depending on the dates and times of the proposed street party the traffic control would be undertaken by Council staff or by external contractors (arranged by Council). The costs for traffic control would be approximately $1,500.00 per site. At this stage Council has received seven applications for such street parties. The subject streets are:

 

·      Aboud Avenue, Kingsford

·      Park Avenue, Randwick

·      Farnham Avenue, Randwick

·      Hamilton Street, Coogee

·      Brandon Street, Clovelly

·      Blackwood Avenue, Clovelly

·      McDougall Street, Kensington

 

It is likely that a few late applications will also be made.  Therefore, Council should allocate $13,000 to cover the costs associated with these seven (7) events, as well as any late applications, with funds being allocated from the 2012-13 Contingency Fund.

 

Conclusion

 

As part of Council’s commitment to building “a sense of community”, support should be given towards neighbourhood street parties. To safely close the road to facilitate street parties, appropriate traffic control should be implemented. To assist residents and encourage them to hold neighbourhood street parties, it is proposed that Council arrange, on behalf of the residents, all traffic control measures associated with street parties.

 

 

Recommendation

 

That Council:

 

1.    support “Sense of Community” street parties by arranging, on behalf of residents:

 

(a)  traffic control plans

(b)  the preparation of traffic management plans and road occupancy licences for submission to the RMS (if necessary), and

(c)  all traffic control measures associated with street parties including all signage and other materials as well as labour on the day of the event.

 

2.    vote $13,000 to cover the costs associated with the street party applications, with funds being allocated from the 2012-13 Contingency Fund.

 

 

Attachment/s:

 

Nil