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Works Committee Meeting

 

  BUSINESS PAPER

 

 

 

Tuesday 6 December 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Administrative Centre 30 Frances Street Randwick 2031

Telephone: 1300 722 542

Fax: 02 9319 1510

 council@randwick.nsw.gov.au

www.randwick.nsw.gov.au


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Works Committee                                                                                             6 December 2016

 

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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, First Floor, 90 Avoca Street Randwick on Tuesday, 6 December 2016 at 6:00 p.m.

 

Committee Members:          The Mayor D’Souza, Andrews, Belleli, Bowen, Garcia, Matson, Moore (Deputy Chairperson), Nash, Neilson, Roberts, Seng, Shurey, Smith, Stavrinos & 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 - 8 November 2016

Declarations of Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Interests

Address of Committee by Members of the Public

Privacy warning;

In respect to Privacy & Personal Information Protection Act, members of the public are advised that the proceedings of this meeting will be recorded for the purposes of clause 69 of Council’s Code of Meeting Practice.

Urgent Business

Works Reports

W26/16     Tree Removal - Outside 6 Figtree Avenue, Randwick.................................. 1

 

 

W27/16     Coogee Bay Floodplain Management Committee...................................... 19

W28/16     Verge Planting - 16 Avoca Street, Randwick............................................ 27    

Notice of Rescission Motions

Nil  

 

…………………………………………………….

Ray Brownlee

General Manager


Works Committee                                                                                             6 December 2016

 

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Works Report No. W26/16

 

Subject:                  Tree Removal - Outside 6 Figtree Avenue, Randwick

Folder No:                   F2016/07359

Author:                   Bryan Bourke, Tree Management Officer     

 

Introduction

 

The owners of 4, 6 and 8 Figtree Avenue, Randwick, collectively wrote to Council on 30 October 2015 requesting the removal of two healthy Council owned Ficus ‘Hillii’ var. microcarpa (Hill’s Weeping figs) street trees growing on the nature strip outside their properties.

 

Issues

 

In the correspondence, the property owners highlighted that on 21 September 2015 they made a joint application to Council to have the fig trees outside their houses removed because of significant and extensive damage to each dwelling and front gardens caused by the roots of these two street trees.

 

On 25 September 2015 Council's Coordinator Tree Management Services wrote to the property owners advising that Council would remove the footpath outside their properties to undertake a proper assessment of the range and extent of damage caused by the tree roots. Council's Tree Gang commenced the work on 29 October 2015 and completed trenching and root pruning on 4 November 2015.

 

The adjacent property owners witnessed the undertaking of these works and as a result advised that two important issues had arisen that required Council's urgent attention before the footpath was reconstructed:

 

1.  It was apparent that the large tree roots from the fig trees outside their houses were going directly into their properties and they had taken photographs of these roots.

 

2.  In removing the footpath outside 6 Figtree Avenue the Council had damaged the fence, retaining wall and front step. The owner advised that work on their front garden area was only undertaken four years previously at significant expense and they wanted Council to rectify this damage as soon as practicable.

 

Importantly, they claimed they had been informed that Council intended to remove the two adjacent fig trees but the current ‘management plan’ was to reconstruct the footpath and to remove the trees in twelve months because of tree removal quota numbers. They pointed out in their correspondence that this was unacceptable to them because private homes were being damaged by Council street trees and rate payers’ funds were being wasted owing to the work unnecessarily being undertaken twice. In addition, the owner of 6 Figtree Avenue strongly asserted they did not want to have the remediation work done to their front garden only to have the path dug up again in twelve months’ time and have the same damage re-occur.

 

The report prepared by Council’s Tree Gang arborists on 4 November 2015 advises that the Ficus ‘Hillii’ street tree outside 6 Figtree Avenue was root pruned in 2010 in an effort to deal with the damage it was causing to both private property and public infrastructure.  This work would not guarantee that all intruding or potentially damaging fig tree roots had been removed.

 

The excavation and trenching along the area adjacent to the frontage of the above properties revealed continuing tree root intrusion into the properties, underneath front fences and into sewerage pipes. This was particularly evident outside 6 Figtree Avenue where a very large root entering the property was severed.  It is now evident that this root has died and is severely decayed. Some of the other Ficus ‘Hillii’ tree roots that were also severed at that time are now suffering from decay that has increased since they were last root pruned. At the time of the root pruning in 2010, all severed tree roots that were entering properties were poisoned in an attempt to ensure they would cause no damage to residences but some of those roots have regenerated despite this action.

 

Council’s tree report also advises that fig tree roots entering 4 Figtree Avenue have been severed as much as possible and this should allow the fig tree outside that property to be retained in the short term without any major structural damage occurring. It should be noted that Council’s Road Services section could only excavate to a safe depth to allow Council’s Tree Gang to sever the tree roots on the nature strip side where that would not compromise the stability of the trees. Because of the scope of alleged damage to private property, Council’s Insurance Officer commissioned a structural engineer to provide a report on damage to all three properties and to attribute the cause of this damage.

 

The structural engineer’s report concluded that cracks and misalignment to the porch pavers and the crack between the southern gate and residence at 4 Figtree Avenue, Randwick, were caused by a combination of long term differential ground movement and fig tree root intrusion. They are also of the opinion that the misalignment of the porch pavement and cracks to the front wall/door junction at 6 Figtree Avenue, Randwick, were also caused by a combination of long term differential ground movement and fig tree roots.

 

The property owner advises that excavation and paving works worth several thousand dollars were undertaken in November 2011 and those works included the removal of uplifted brick paving and the removal of fig tree roots wherever possible.

In just over five years, a number of those repaired pavers have ‘popped up’ again because they have been undermined by fig tree roots.

 

In relation to the fig tree outside 10 Figtree Avenue, Randwick, the structural engineer’s report advises that during their inspection of the subfloor area, they observed that many of the brick piers had subsided and were no longer supporting the bearers. It is their opinion, general ground settlement, leaking sewer and stormwater pipes have caused the subsidence of the piers and that it could not be attributed to fig tree roots.

 

Council’s Tree Gang arborists advise that the last time they trenched outside the front of 8 Figtree Avenue, Randwick, they severed a very large fig tree root running into the property and that this will mitigate any potential damage to the inside of the property in the short to medium term.

 

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 two fig trees outside 6 and 10 Figtree Avenue, Randwick, and their replacement with two super-advanced alternative species would cost in the vicinity of $12,000. The required funds would come from Council’s annual tree management budget.

 

Conclusion

 

The two Council owned Ficus ‘Hillii’ street trees growing outside 6 and 10 Figtree Avenue, Randwick, have significant aesthetic and historic importance. This avenue is one of only three streets containing numbers of this species which are listed on Council’s Register of Significant Trees.

 

The subject trees are estimated to be approximately sixty years old.  Up until this point, every effort has been made to retain them, despite the fact that associated tree root damage has progressively increased in both frequency and severity. The trees have been assessed as having significant scenic and amenity value and providing important habitat and food source for a variety of fauna. Because of the damage being caused by their roots, the impact of removal on land degradation would be negligible.

 

Using Australian Standard ASDR99307, it has been calculated that the trees have an amenity value of $19,200 each. Because of the size and amount of root material that has been required to be removed from the trees to effectively deal with the damage being caused by their roots, root pruning is no longer a viable option. This is supported by the findings and recommendations of Council’s Tree Gang arborists when large fig tree roots were recently exposed adjacent to where the trees are located.

 

A number of previously severed roots now show signs of fungal disease and decay and, are no longer performing any meaningful function. The structural engineer’s report advises that there is no definitive evidence that cracking to the three residential buildings has been caused by applied pressure from fig tree roots. In their opinion, this damage has been caused by long term differential ground movement.

 

Council’s insurers advise that there would be insurance excess applicable on claims involving all three properties should the two fig trees not be removed. The owners of all three properties have made it quite clear they will initiate court action against Council if steps are not taken to permanently abate any damage to their properties caused by these Council tree assets.

 

For the reasons outlined in this report, it would be difficult to retain the Hill’s Weeping fig growing on the verge outside 6 Figtree Avenue. The fig outside 10 Figtree Avenue could be retained and a reassessment undertaken in twelve months. The removal of either/both these significant public tree assets will certainly have a detrimental impact on the streetscape and this would be exacerbated by the fact that four other Ficus ‘Hillii’ street trees have had to be removed from outside 20, 22, 24 and 16 Figtree Avenue over the past decade.

 

Recommendation

 

That:

 

a)     the Council owned Ficus ‘Hillii’ (Hill’s Weeping fig) growing outside 6 Figtree Avenue, Randwick, be removed and replaced with an advanced Waterhousia floribunda (Weeping Lilly Pilly) – as nominated in Council’s Street Tree Masterplan.

 

b)     the Council owned Ficus ‘Hillii’ (Hill’s Weeping fig) growing outside 10 Figtree Avenue, Randwick, be retained and a reassessment of infrastructure and property damage caused by its roots be undertaken in twelve months.

 

Attachment/s:

 

1.

Series of photographs highlighting the importance of the subject trees in the streetscape and the range of damage being caused to both public infrastructure and private property by their roots

 

 

 

 


Series of photographs highlighting the importance of the subject trees in the streetscape and the range of damage being caused to both public infrastructure and private property by their roots

Attachment 1

 

 

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Works Committee                                                                                             6 December 2016

 

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Works Report No. W27/16

 

Subject:             Coogee Bay Floodplain Management Committee

Folder No:                   PROJ/10515/2009

Author:                   Sebastien  Le Coustumer, Drainage Engineer      

 

Introduction

 

The prime responsibility for planning and management of flood issues in NSW rests with local government. Randwick City Council has committed to carrying out Flood Studies and preparing Floodplain Risk Management Studies and Plans. They are carried out in accordance with the Floodplain Development Manual (NSW Government) and will allow Council and other stakeholders to be better informed and to better manage flooding in storm events.

 

The first step in the floodplain management process is to complete a flood study. For the Coogee Bay catchment, the study was adopted by the Council on 11 June 2013. The next step is to complete a Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan (FRMS&P) which determine options to reduce the flood risk.

 

The draft Coogee Bay FRMS&P was presented to the 14 June 2016 meeting of Council’s Works Committee. It was resolved to place the document on public exhibition.

 

The Coogee Bay Floodplain Management Committee met on 15 November 2016 to consider the final report of the Coogee Bay FRMS&P.  The report incorporated amendments to the draft resulting from the public exhibition.  A copy of the minutes, which reflects discussions and outcomes, is attached to this report.

 

The outcome of the meeting is as follows:

 

·           The Coogee Bay Floodplain Management Committee recommends that Council adopt the Coogee Bay FRMS&P, Final Report;

·           That the options outlined in the plan be implemented.

 

Issues

 

Public Exhibition

The community was invited to comment on the draft Coogee Bay FMRS&P via public exhibition of the document. The report was placed on public exhibition between 8 July and 5 August 2016. The public exhibition was advertised via the following methods:

 

·      On line via YoursayRandwick (including the draft FPRMS&P, map of the flood affected properties, summary map of the mitigation options, frequently asked questions);

·      An information letter including frequently asked questions was sent to all residents within the flood planning area (2,866 letters sent);

·      Advertisement in the Southern Courier;

·      All documents were made available in the reception area of the Council Administration Centre and at Council’s three libraries.

 

A community information session was held on Thursday 21 July 2016 between 6-8pm at the Coogee Legion Club, 200 Arden Street Coogee. The purpose of the drop-in session was to enable the public to ask questions directly of the study team including Randwick Council staff and consultant.

 

The following summarises the key outcomes of the public exhibition period and the responses received:

 

·      861 persons visited the Coogee Bay FPRMS&P page on Yoursay Randwick;

·      248 persons downloaded the Draft FPRMS&P Report, 346 downloaded the flood affected area map, 183 people downloaded the flood mitigation options map, and 45 people downloaded the FAQ sheet;

·      Residents from a total of 15 properties attended the drop-in session;

·      A total of 10 queries were lodged on the public exhibition website, two email queries were received from residents following the drop-in session, and Council received numerous telephone enquiries from residents regarding the FRMS&P.

 

Study Finalisation

Following review of submissions from the public during the exhibition period, amendments have been made to this FRMS&P Report. The most significant change to the FRMS&P as a result of public comment was the inclusion of an additional floodplain management option for flooding near the intersection of Brook Street and Smithfield Avenue.

 

The FRMS&P reduced the number of properties that were tagged as flood affected following the completion of the Flood Study. Analysis following the public exhibition resulted in the removal of flood tagging for a further ten properties, and the re-inclusion of seven properties to the tagging all of which were previously tagged under the Flood Study.

 

Implementation Program

The options to be implemented are presented in the table presented in Attachment 1. Each option is presented based on priority with indicative and recurrent costs, responsible stakeholder and performance measures.

 

Mitigation options

Three high priority mitigations options are identified in the plan:

-    Option FM1: addition of inlet pits along Clyde Street, along the upper Dolphin flowpath, and along Courland Street;

-    Option FM16: detailed investigation of the Rainbow Street depression due to the unique nature of flooding at this location and the need for more detailed background information;

-    Option FM10: Brook Street detailed investigation – this option is a result of the public consultation.

 

Response modification options

Six response modifications including flood emergency management, flood warning and evacuation, and community awareness programmes are identified:

-    High priority:

Option EM5: Council and SES develop localised evacuation procedures;

Option EM6: Detailed emergency response plan for Rainbow street;

-    Medium priority:

Option EM1: Council and SES develop an education program;

Option EM3: Flood signage is installed at key locations where significant flooding can occur;

-    Low priority:

Option EM2: Council and SES undertake regular school education programs;

Option EM4: Severe weather warnings and thunderstorm warnings should be provided on Council’s website or through the Australian Emergency Alert System.

 

Planning and development control measures

Two planning and development control have been identified as high priority:

-    Option PM5: review and update the development controls for emergency response and critical infrastructure;

-    Option PM6: amendment of the S149 certificates (see explanation below) and investigate the possibility to allow residents to request flooding information for their property through Council’s website

 

The Flood Planning Area (FPA) is used to identify properties which are subject to flood related development controls in the event of future development. The NSW Government’s Floodplain Development Manual typically defines the FPA by the 100 year ARI flood level +0.5m freeboard. This approach has been identified as appropriate. However due to the urban flood behaviour as opposed to riverine flooding, it is recommended to trim the flood extents based on the 100 year ARI event where depths are less than 150mm and flood affected area is less than 100m2 prior to adding the freeboard. There are 721 properties within the catchment that meet this set of criteria. For comparison, there were 1,033 properties tagged in the initial 2013 Flood Study based on the approach outlined in the Floodplain Development Manual.

 

Development controls will apply to tagged properties to ensure that the habitable floor level of developments is above the level of the flood. The Flood Planning Level (FPL) can vary depending on the use and vulnerability of the building/development to flooding. The controls that currently exist within Section B8 of the DCP apply to developments within the Coogee Bay Catchment.

 

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 overall capital cost of implementing the plan is estimated at $583,900. The flood mitigation (FM) options ($346,900) can be funded through the Stormwater Service Charge.

 

The remaining options ($237,000), but also the above flood mitigation options, may potentially be funded through grants from government agencies such as the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage. Options within the plan may also be carried out and funded by the SES.

 

Where necessary any additional funding of projects can be sourced through Council’s general revenue and budgeted for accordingly.

 

Conclusion

 

The Draft Coogee Bay Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan has been placed on public exhibition and has now been finalised to the satisfaction of the Coogee Bay Floodplain Management Committee.

 

Options are proposed to be implemented on a priority basis as funds become available.

 

Recommendation

That:

 

a)     Council adopts the Coogee Bay Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan.

 

b)     Options outlined in the plan be implemented.

 

Attachment/s:

 

1.

Proposed Coogee Bay Floodplain Management Implementation Program

 

2.

Minutes of the Coogee Bay Floodplain Management Committee Meeting held on 15 November 2016

 

3.

Presentation of the Coogee Bay Floodplain Management Committee Meeting held on 15 November 2016

Included under separate cover

4.

Coogee Bay Flood Plain Risk Management Study and Plan - Final

Included under separate cover

 

 

 


Proposed Coogee Bay Floodplain Management Implementation Program

Attachment 1

 

 


Minutes of the Coogee Bay Floodplain Management Committee Meeting held on 15 November 2016

Attachment 2

 

 


Works Committee                                                                                             6 December 2016

 

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Works Report No. W28/16

 

Subject:             Verge Planting - 16 Avoca Street, Randwick

Folder No:                   F2004/07515

Author:                   Stephen Audet, Coordinator Engineering Services      

 

Introduction

 

Council’s Nature Strip/Road Verge Planting Policy defines the process for applying for a verge garden.  The Policy also explains that the overarching criteria for approval is that the area is unsuitable for turf maintenance.

 

The residents at 16 Avoca Street, Randwick, have removed the turf and created a verge garden on the Carter Street frontage of their property between the footpath and the kerb. Council has received a complaint regarding the planting on the basis that it is not in keeping with the character of the street.

 

Issues

 

Council’s Nature Strip/Road verge Planting Policy requires an application and approval prior to verge planting being undertaken.  The policy stipulates that the permission will not be granted if the area is suitable for turf maintenance.

 

A complaint was received from the community in December 2015.  A subsequent inspection found the owner on site developing the nature strip into a garden mulched with wood chip and with pavers used as stepping stones. Council’s Verge Garden Policy was explained.  It was also explained that the use of woodchip mulch was not supported due to its potential to block drainage systems.  The garden was subsequently removed.

 

A further complaint was received in October 2016.  A subsequent inspection found a fully developed verge garden. 

 

In response to the investigation of the complaint, the owner has sought permission for the verge garden to remain on the basis that:

 

·           it is actively maintained;

·           it does not inhibit pedestrian movements or access to or from cars;

·           the coarse woodchip mulch has been removed;

 

Figure 1: 16 Avoca Street, Randwick, November, 2016.

 

Figure 2: 16 Avoca Street, Randwick, November 2016.

 

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

 

There is no direct financial impact for this matter.

Conclusion

 

The verge garden at 16 Avoca Street does not comply with Council’s Nature Strip/Road verge Planting Policy. However, the planting is low level, very well maintained and is not causing obstructions to other road users. 

 

Recommendation

That:

 

a)     the verge garden be permitted to remain on the basis that the owner of 16 Avoca Street agrees to continue to maintain the plantings such that the amenity of other road users in not unreasonably impacted.

 

b)        the complainant and the owner of 16 Avoca Street be advised of the outcome of this resolution.

 

 

Attachment/s:

 

Nil