Let's plant trees instead……
A most sensible suggestion to intervene in the planning farce of the St Kilda Triangle has been made by Upper Esplanade resident Krystyna Kynst.
The previous Council removed mature trees from the site in order to expedite the ill fated BBC shopping center proceeding. Well as we all know, the Global Financial Crisis decapitated the developer's funding and he was unable to start but still had a valid Approval. Fortunately by December 2009 the then Mayor Frank O'Connor had negotiated the buy-out of the BBC Approval.
With hindsight these trees should have been replaced then, but it didn't seem a high priority at the time. No one had any inkling then that, for whatever reasons, the seven elected councillors would be unable to decide on the future of the Triangle within the remaining years of their term in office.
Krystyna has suggested that until the matter is finalised, the number of parking spaces on the site should be reduced from three hundred to two hundred (mainly for the Palais Theatre) and the car park replanted with mature trees.
This wouldn't cost much, it would make a really big difference immediately and would still leave it open for a more community minded future council to get rid of the cars and hopefully create a beautiful art garden at a later time; when it's wanted and can be afforded.
In the writer's experience it shouldn't be that complicated to decide to have a beautiful garden. Sadly, the last years have demonstrated that the City of Port Phillip is probably not yet ready for the sort of beautiful world class, sophisticated art garden proposed by some St Kilda citizens. A garden is not only a great idea, it's affordable and has strong citizen support, but it appears to be too simple a concept for the Council to embrace.
However, according to the Council everything is on track to finalise a 'vision statement' and then to make any necessary changes to the planning scheme before the end of the year. The future use of the Triangle can't be decided, they say, until all that has been done, so don't hold your breath.
Carlo Catani, where are you? Stopping the interminable planning talk and planting trees instead is starting to sound like a really good idea! I can just hear my great grandchildren explaining to their children how lucky they are that these beautiful trees were planted in 2012 as a temporary measure.