Item 9.3 - Attachment 2

Outline of Informal of Exhibition

 

Outline of Informal Public Information Process

 

At Councilís regulatory meeting of the 9 February 2009, the following resolutions were made with respect to draft Parramatta LEP 2008 (Draft LEP):

 

That after the plan is finally adopted by Council and sent to the Department of Planning (DoP) for a Section 65 Certificate to enable public exhibition:

 

††††††† That Council undertake an informal exhibition of the plan through each Ward over the pursuing four month period.

††††††† That a report is requested outlining the format and process of such an informal exhibition.

††††††† That for the purpose of exhibition a method of presentation be developed by Council which will allow easy recognition and understanding of the LEP document.

 

A meeting was held with Councilís legal advisor at which it was verbally expressed that Council would need to manage this process well to avoid possible confusion with the formal exhibition.The written opinion has also been received and has been referred to Councillors prior to the Council meeting.

 

The DoP has advised that it intends to issue a s65 certificate within 6 Ė 8 weeks of Councilís request and that the process for the informal exhibition should be completed before the s65 certificate certification is granted.Therefore, this report recommends a 4 week informal exhibition, rather than a 4 month process as outlined in Councilís resolution.

 

Council will need to clearly express that the informal information process is not a DoP endorsed public exhibition. Whilst the public is free to make submissions to Council about the information that will be on display, formal submissions will need to be made at the time of the formal exhibition.

 

Process for submission of draft LEP to the DoP

 

Council must follow a series of legislative steps to be able to submit its draft LEP. These steps are outlined below:

 

††††††† Consider section 62 submissions from government agencies. In preparing a draft LEP, Council is obliged to consult with government authorities and public agencies. Council has undertaken this step, however if significant changes are made to the draft LEP, Council may need to revisit the submissions. Guidance will be sought from the DoP on this matter.

 

††††††† Conduct a pre-Section 64 meeting between Council and DoP staff. The purpose of the meeting is for the DoP to identify issues it may have with the draft LEP. Council cannot submit its draft plan until it has addressed issues that arise from the pre-section 64 meeting. After the pre-section 64 meeting, Council staff may need to report to Council to advise of matters that the DoP has raised.

 

††††††† Prepare certain information required by the DoP to accompany the draft LEP (s64 submission). This includes:

 

†††† revised maps, reflecting the changes adopted by Council

†††† statements of compliance with section 117 directions as to whether Councilís draft plan is consistent with State Government directions including justifications for any variations

†††† changes to exempt and complying development schedules (as directed by recent planning direction No. 09-006), and

†††† an update on Councilís housing targets.

 

Informal Public Information Process

 

The principles for the informal information process are outlined below:

 

†††† That clear statements be made on all documents to indicate that the s65 certificate has not been issued and the documents and maps should not be relied upon for the purpose of making any decisions regarding property.

†† That it is clear that the informal information process does not represent a statutory exhibition under Section 66 of the EP&A Act.

†† That the exhibition material is presented in plain English with user friendly maps.

†† That property owners are notified in writing.

†† That Council support the process with information on its web site.

†† That travelling displays with ďdrop inĒ information centres be arranged for each Ward.

 

Timeline

In order to incorporate an informal exhibition process and continue the progress of the draft LEP in a timely manner, it will be necessary for there to be some overlap in the process of preparing and undertaking the informal information process and the preparatory stages of the s 65 submission. Table 1 below indicates approximate times for these processes. This will impose a heavy demand on staff resources, especially in the Land Use Planning Team and the GIS mapping team in Councilís IT section and may impact on the delivery of other projects. This is due to the concurrent preparation of both the informal information process and the statutory submission to the DoP.

 

As the Department has indicated that consideration and determination of Councilís Section 64 submission could be done in 6-8 weeks it is recommended that the informal exhibition be conducted over a shorter period of 4 weeks. This will avoid receiving s65 certification from the DoP during the informal information process that, depending on the DoPís response, may conflict with the information on display.

 


Table 1

 

Council adopts draft Parramatta LEP 2008

 

 

Organise and conduct informal public information process

 

 

 

Prepare information material (i.e. Ė website, letter to property owners, user friendly maps, venues and displays etc

 

Conduct informal public information process LEP

 

 

Approx time

6 - 8weeks

4 weeks

 

 

 

Prepare and submit draft LEP to the Department of Planning, seeking section 65 certificate

 

 

Prepare and revise draft LEP

 

Revise maps to reflect adopted LEP, prepare Section 64 submission to justify LEP, revise dwelling targets if necessary

 

 

Pre-Section 64 meeting with DoP. Advise Council of any changes DoP request to the draft LEP.

 

 

Submit draft LEP to Department of Planning requesting authority to exhibit (s64 submission)

 

Department of Planning consideration and issue of section 65 certificate

Approx time

6 - 8†† weeks

4 weeks

†† 6 - 8 weeks

 

Costs

 

The approximate costs involved in undertaking the task of preparing the draft LEP to submit to DoP and an informal information process are outlined below:

 

†††† In-kind labour costs of land use planning staff $75,000. GIS staff time would be additional to this.

†††† Possible creation of dedicated Council website for the information display $10,000-$15,000.

†††† Preparation of information documents, maps etc for display $5,000.

†††† Hire of premises if required $1,000.

†††† Letter to land owners with an information brochure (includes printing, posting) $40,000 - $50,000.

 

Legal Advice

 

Councillors have been provided with a copy of the legal advice prior to the Council meeting. The legal advice indicates that Council is able to carry out an informal public exhibition, but must manage this process very carefully so that it is not construed as a formal, statutory exhibition. The advice suggests the exercise is not branded as a Ďpublic exhibitioní, and an alternative title be used. As the minimum period for a formal exhibition is 28 days, concern is raised about the proposed 4 month period and the advice recommends a period of 4 weeks for the informal information process.

 

The legal advice cautions that an informal exhibition has the potential to create confusion, uncertainty and misunderstanding amongst some members of the community; and further that the Minister may form the opinion that the performance of Council in dealing with the draft LEP is unsatisfactory and could appoint another body to exercise Councilís powers to prepare, exhibit and consider the draft plan.

 

The strong advice is that any informal information process must be completed before the commencement of the formal exhibition to avoid potential legal challenge to the validity of the public exhibition process. Further, the advice is that Council should start the informal exhibition before the draft LEP is submitted to the Department of Planning under s64.