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DRAFT Public Open Space Plan

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March 2007




               DRAFT
       Public Open Space Plan




                              www.latrobe.vic.gov.au
                                      Public Open Space Plan

CONTENTS



  Contents                                 Page 2

  Introduction                             Page 3

  Key Principles and Objectives            Page 4

         “Diversity”                       Page 5

         “Accessibility”                   Page 6

         “Connecting the Community”        Page 7

         “Sustainable”                     Page 8

  Related Plans                            Page 9

  Framework                                Page 10

  Actions - Ongoing                        Page 11

         2007/2008                         Page 12

         2008/2009                         Page 13

         2009/2010                         Page 14

         2010/2011                         Page 15

  Conclusion                               Page 16




                                                           2
                                      Public Open Space Plan

INTRODUCTION
A key responsibility of Latrobe City Council is the provision of public open space to
meet the broad expectations of the community. The public open space plan will
guide and define the provision of open space to meet the community’s expectations
from now until 2021 and beyond.

Latrobe 2021 - The Vision for Latrobe Valley clearly highlights that recreation
liveability is a key ingredient to making Latrobe City a vibrant, healthy and
connected community. To ensure it achieves the community outcomes stated in
Latrobe 2021, one of the strategic actions is to “align open space requirements
of the community with usable public open space.” The Council Plan 2006 –
2010 outlines a key action for the 2006/2007 year to be the development of a public
open space plan.

Latrobe City ‘s existing public open space policy document was adopted on 6
November 1998. This document defined, mapped and categorised the public open
space network, addressed a number of issues surrounding the provision of open
space and set out a five year action plan on the development, provision and
maintenance of public open space.

The Recreation and Leisure Strategy, adopted on 1 May 2006, identified that the
1998 policy document needed to be updated to ensure council was meeting current
community expectations and continued to meet expectations. The principles and
strategic objectives of the Recreation and Leisure Strategy are a key element to the
preparation of the public open space plan.

Public open space is defined as “any publicly accessible land that is set aside
for active recreation, passive recreation, community amenity space or nature
conservation.” This may include Council, Government or private land available for
community use.

This plan will provide direction for the management, development and maintenance
of public open space. The current draft document does not allocate responsibilities
for actions or recommend immediate increases in expenditure, instead affirming
that expenditure will need to continue to increase long term to maintain and develop
quality public open space.




                                                                                    3
                                          Public Open Space Plan

     KEY PRINCIPLES

     On 5 February 2007 Council endorsed the following key principles to be used in the
     development of the public open space plan.

1.   Latrobe City is committed to providing a variety of high quality public open
     space facilities including active sports grounds, walking and bicycle paths,
     playgrounds, bush reserves, lake sides, BBQ / picnic areas, civic areas,
     streetscapes, informal activity areas and amenity space.
2.   Provision in residential areas:
     Local - The majority of houses in residential areas should have access to a
     minimum of 0.5 hectares of public open space within a 500 metre radius.
     District - The majority of houses in residential areas should have access to
     district level public open space within a 3 km radius.
     Regional - Each town with a population of over 5,000 should have regional
     level public open space within the township boundaries.
3.   Council recognises that in rural areas larger land holdings and town based
     recreation facilities meet the local level needs of rural residents.
4.   All community accessible public open space should have a clearly identified
     use, either active or passive recreation, community amenity space or nature
     conservation.
5.   Community accessible public open space should be managed by the most
     appropriate governing body.
6.   Council is committed to ensuring future residential areas maximise the
     community benefit and functionality of public open space provision and
     development.

     Using these key principles this plan highlights four key objectives to guide the
     provision and management of public open space. Each of these objectives can be
     clearly linked to the strategic objectives of Latrobe 2021.


     Diversity
     Accessibility
     Connecting the community
     Sustainable




                                                                                        4
                                         Public Open Space Plan

DIVERSITY

The key principles used in the development of this plan will see Latrobe City commit
to providing a wide variety of public open space experiences. These experiences
include active and passive recreation facilities (for a number of sports, ages and
ability levels), community amenity space and nature conservation.

The range of public open space areas within Latrobe City includes, but is not limited
to
  – Sports facilities
  – Playgrounds
  – Walking and bike paths
  – Nature conservation areas
  – Lake and river sides
  – BBQ and picnic facilities
  – Civic areas
  – Streetscapes
  – Informal activity areas
  – Amenity space

These facilities are generally provided at three levels - regional, district and local.

Regional
Significant sites, serving the entire municipality, with a high level of amenity and
auxiliary facilities. Examples include major lakes, rail trails, racecourses, regional
playgrounds, large parks, large bush reserves and category “A” sports grounds.

District
Large sites including sporting facilities, major walking / cycling paths and district
playgrounds. Examples include Harold Preston Reserve, Traralgon, Ronald
Reserve, Morwell and Monash Reserve, Newborough.

Local
Smaller sites to provide for local areas including playgrounds, individual sports
fields, walking / cycling paths, local parks, community amenity space and
accessible street scapes.



                                                                                          5
                                       Public Open Space Plan

ACCESSIBILITY
Public open space needs to be appropriately distributed across the municipality,
with suitable access, for it to be well used and appreciated by the community.

The distribution of public open space within Latrobe City varies from town to town
and even neighborhood to neighborhood. This plan establishes minimum public
open space distribution levels for residential areas, based on current use. A number
of other councils around Australia apply the same measurement. Establishing the
provision level will assist in the future development of public open space and also
allow analysis of the public open space network as to whether it is above or below
these minimum provision levels.

Provision in residential areas

Local - The majority of houses in residential areas should have access to a
minimum of 0.5 hectares of public open space within a 500 metre radius.

District - The majority of houses in residential areas should have access to district
level public open space within a 3 km radius.

Regional - Each town with a population of over 5,000 should have regional level
public open space within the township boundaries.

By adopting the key principles, Council recognises that in rural areas, larger land
holdings and larger town recreation facilities meet the needs of rural residents.
Despite not providing local level public open space in rural areas, Council does
provide a number of district and regional level public open space facilities in these
areas including Hazelwood Pondage, Lake Narracan, conservation areas, river
sides, picnic areas and rail trails.

Adequate community access to public open space ensures residents use and gain
from its benefits. While it is impractical for every area of public open space to be
accessible to all members of the community, when developing or improving these
areas, accessibility needs to be considered. This includes how people get to areas
of public open space (walking, car, bike, public transport), the distance they need to
travel to access this space, the facilities (both purpose built and natural) available
and suitability for a variety of age groups, backgrounds and abilities.



                                                                                        6
                                      Public Open Space Plan

CONNECTING THE COMMUNITY
Well planned, maintained, utilised and accessible public open space is important to
the pride and well-being of a local community. One of the key strengths of the
current public open space network is the major role volunteers play in the
development and maintenance of these areas.

These groups, including committees of management, “Friends of” groups,
development groups and user groups, increase Council’s capacity to provide high
quality public open space. The contribution made by these organisations is
supported via significant financial and other assistance provided by Council.
However without the ongoing input from these groups and individuals, Council
would not be able to provide the current standard of public open space.

As outlined in the 2006 Recreation and Leisure Strategy, both the community and
Council benefit from cooperative engagement in the ongoing operation of public
open space. A community involved in the development, maintenance or upgrading
of public open space is more likely to use this space, value it and protect it from
inappropriate or anti-social use.

There are a number of things Council can do to ensure public open space is
connecting the community. These include:-
 – Providing appropriate resources to groups involved in the development or
     maintenance of public open space.
 – Provide opportunities for the community to be involved in the development
     and maintenance of public open space.
 – Maintain public open space to the highest standard possible with the
     resources available.
 – Utilise where possible the Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design
     (CPTED) principles to provide Public Open Space that does not create safety
     issues because of design or layout.
 – Provide the necessary facilities to meet community needs and expectations in
     a sustainable manner.




                                                                                      7
                                          Public Open Space Plan

    SUSTAINABLE

    One objective of the public open space plan is the ongoing sustainability of the
    public open space network.

    Council currently owns or operates, through committees of management, numerous
    bush land reserves and nature conservation sites. Through the Greening Latrobe
    Strategy, Council aims to increase areas of native vegetation within Latrobe City. In
    order to achieve this, it needs to encourage use of current and future public open
    space as nature conservation areas and if necessary, acquire new sites with
    significant native vegetation, alter current open space use and develop further
    conservation areas.
`
    One method for Council to increase public open space is through its provision in
    subdivision development. For future public open space developments to meet long
    term community needs, clear guidelines are necessary for developers to use in their
    subdivision planning on public open space requirements. These guidelines should
    address issues such as location, size and distribution of public open space, and
    associated facilities required such as playgrounds, lighting, pathways and active
    sport grounds.

    Council currently has numerous lease and licence arrangements in place for areas
    of public open space. While these have been successful for both the community
    and Council, there is significant variation between these arrangements. For better
    management and to ensure current arrangements are equitable, they need to be
    reviewed and a more streamlined approach developed.

    It is estimated that through Capital and recurrent budgets, Council spends over four
    million dollars per annum on maintaining and developing public open space and
    associated facilities. Based on past experience, this expenditure needs to increase
    to address current issues, suitably maintain facilities and meet the community
    expectations. While expenditure is currently meeting basic needs, any future
    increase needs to be carefully evaluated to ensure long term sustainability.




                                                                                         8
                                        Public Open Space Plan

RELATED PLANS
Council has adopted other documents that address elements relating to public open
space. In 2006 a Playground Strategy and a Recreation and Leisure Strategy were
adopted. These strategies focus on improving playground and recreation facilities
within the public open space network. Their principles and actions have been
incorporated into the public open space plan.

The following principles have underpinned the development of the Latrobe City
Recreation and Leisure Strategy and the Playground Strategy.

1. Council’s role and responsibility in the development and provision of recreation
and leisure opportunities shall be clearly defined.
2. There shall be a diverse range of accessible recreation facilities and services,
and open space areas available across the City.
3. Priority shall be given to supporting the provision of recreation facilities and
services that cater for both municipal and local level needs.
4. The provision and allocation of recreation facilities and services shall be
equitable according to age, gender, cultural background and ability.
5.Generally, there shall be a focus on the consolidation of existing sporting facilities
within the Region, and an emphasis on the provision of new (unstructured)
recreational pursuits and open space use.
6. There shall be a genuine attempt by Council to encourage the community into
recreational activities for the health, well-being and social benefits they provide.
7. Recreation and leisure facilities and settings shall provide safe and supportive
environments for participants.
8. The provision of recreation and leisure facilities shall maximise shared usage and
flexibility to meet changing community needs and aspirations.
9. A collaborative and partnership approach with community groups, government
agencies and the private sector will drive the provision of recreation and sporting
facilities and services, and the provision of open space.

By combining information from the public open space plan, the Recreation and
Leisure Strategy and Playground Strategy, Latrobe City Council has a clearly
defined plan of providing public open space and associated facilities to meet
community needs and expectations.




                                                                                       9
                                           Public Open Space Plan

 FRAMEWORK




                           Recreation And Leisure Strategy




                               Public Open Space Plan          Leisure Facilities Plan




Passive Recreation   Active Recreation                  Play               Nature Conservation




                                                                                                 10
                                             Public Open Space Plan

    ACTIONS
    The public open space plan outlines a four-year plan which, together with ongoing
    actions, will address current issues and meet objectives.

    Ongoing Actions
•   Provide adequate opportunities for the community to be involved in the sustainable
    development and ongoing management of public open space and associated
    facilities.

•   Continue to recognise the significant benefit to the community provided by
    committees of management, advisory and development committees in the operation
    and development of public open space by regularly reviewing the financial and
    operational support provided.

•   Continue to provide and encourage a variety of public open space experiences that
    cater for community members of all ages, interests and abilities.

•   Fully utilise opportunities that contribute to the objectives in this Plan for
    development public open space.

•   Continue to implement ongoing priorities developed from the Recreation and
    Leisure Strategy, Public Toilet Strategy and the Playground Strategy.




                                                                                        11
                                           Public Open Space Plan

    2007/2008
    Public Open Space Plan Actions
•   Review current public open space to identify areas either above or below the
    adopted distribution levels, classifying each area as either active recreation, passive
    recreation, community amenity space or nature conservation.

•   Use this information to update data on the Council GIS system.

•   Review the current lease arrangements over areas of public open space, in
    particular recreation reserve buildings and facilities.

•   Implement clear guidelines for the provision and development of public open space
    in new subdivisions.

•   Review entry signage at high profile locations and upgrade to provide consistent
    “branding” of high profile public open space sites.


    Recreation and Leisure Strategy Actions
•   Develop Morwell Outdoor Recreation Plan.

•   Develop a Tennis Development Plan.

•   Develop a Soccer Development Plan.

•   Traralgon Outdoor Recreation Plan – Implement Major and Minor actions.

•   Moe Outdoor Recreation Plan – Undertake detailed project design and consultation

•   Moe Outdoor Recreation Plan – Implement Minor Projects

•   Undertake Morwell Recreation Reserve upgrade.


    Playground Strategy Actions
•   Commence Year 2 actions identified in strategy.




                                                                                         12
                                            Public Open Space Plan

    2008/2009
    Public Open Space Plan Actions

•   Commence actions identified from the review of the public open space network.
    This may include sale of land, purchase of land and further development of existing
    public open space.

•   Identify gaps in current access for all abilities for regional and district Public Open
    Space and develop a plan to address high priority areas.

•   Identify areas of public open space that could be used to help achieve the
    objectives of the “Greening Latrobe Strategy”.

•   Develop and implement a consistent framework for the ongoing management and
    renewal of lease arrangements in place over public open space.

    Recreation and Leisure Strategy Actions
•   Develop Southern Small Towns Outdoor Recreation Plan.

•   Moe Outdoor Recreation Plan – Implement Major Actions

•   Morwell Outdoor Recreation Plans – Implement Minor Actions

•   Morwell Outdoor Recreation Plan – Undertake detailed project design and
    consultation

•   Implement Tennis Plan actions

•   Implement Soccer Plan actions



    Playground Strategy Actions
•   Commence Year 3 actions identified in strategy.




                                                                                              13
                                           Public Open Space Plan

    2009/2010

    Public Open Space Plan Actions
•   Continue actions identified from the review of the public open space network. This
    may include sale of land, purchase of land and further development of existing
    public open space.

•   Commence action plan to improve access for all abilities at high priority regional
    and district public open space sites.

•   Consult with all nature conservation and rail trail committees to ensure each group
    has a clear and prioritised development and management plan in place for areas
    under their control.

    Recreation and Leisure Strategy Actions
•   Morwell Outdoor Recreation Plan – Implement Major Actions

•   Southern Small Towns Outdoor Recreation Plan – Implement Minor actions

•   Southern Small Towns Outdoor Recreation Plan – Undertake detailed design and
    consultation

•   Develop Northern Small Towns Outdoor Recreation Plan



    Playground Strategy Actions
•   Commence Year 4 actions identified in strategy.




                                                                                          14
                                            Public Open Space Plan

    2010/2011
    Public Open Space Plan Actions

•   Continue actions identified from the review of the public open space network. This
    may include sale of land, purchase of land and further development of existing
    public open space

•   Continue action plan to improve access for all abilities at high priority regional and
    district public open space sites.

•   Review Public Open Space Plan.



    Recreation and Leisure Strategy Actions
•   Southern Small Towns Outdoor Recreation Plan – Implement Major actions

•   Northern Small Towns Outdoor Recreation Plan – Implement Minor actions

•   Northern Small Towns Outdoor Recreation Plan – Undertake detailed design and
    consultation



    Playground Strategy Actions
•   Commence Year 5 actions identified in strategy.




                                                                                             15
                                     Public Open Space Plan

CONCLUSION
The development and implementation of this plan will assist Latrobe City Council in
continuing to provide a diverse, accessible, connected and sustainable public open
space network as a key contributor to the Recreational Liveability Strategic
Objectives of Latrobe 2021.




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Description: DRAFT Public Open Space Plan