Here is a list of options for individual action, we hope you will add to it by making a comment below (please note comments are moderated):
- Be Vigilant – those big yellow signs are popping up all over the place – they are often hard to understand and written in jargon that residents find hard to understand, go to council and ask to see the plans, talk to your neighbours, and be interested in developments all over the area not just your own backyard.
- Subscribe to the Ballarat East Network – BE Net – we have got great numbers now on both this website and facebook, which is great but we need you to share and tell and share again – the idea is to share information about developments, share our experiences of supporting good sustainable design, making connections for residents working for positive change. You can subscribe by adding your details to the subscription box at right of this page, or in the footer below. Or by emailing your details to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Start a Neighbourhood Character process – what does your neighborhood look and feel like. There are some great examples of neighbourhoods, and streets, who have worked together to define their area. Start by recording the following info about your property, then talk to your neighbours about them getting their information together. It’s not long before you can give developers and council a clear picture of your neighborhood so they can start to respect it (this information was found in this practice note developed by the Department of Planning and Community Development):
- Trees and vegetation e.g. the amount and type of vegetation, size of rear gardens and private open space, street trees, canopy trees in rear yards, other front garden vegetation, public reserves forming a backdrop.
- Buildings e.g. height, mass, siting on plot, site coverage, distance from street (front setback), spaces around buildings, architectural style, materials, colours, porches and verandahs.
- Streets e.g. street pattern, width, pavements, road reserves, street trees, formality of street (or otherwise).
- Front fences e.g. height, style, material, colour.
- Topographical e.g. hills, valleys, rivers, creeks.
- Views e.g. to valleys, to ridgelines, to important landmarks.
- Act on a Voluntary 173 – Officially confirming that you agree not to subdivide your property, that becomes your neighbourhoods commitment and forms your character – we are not sure how this might work but its worth asking the question, and recently a developer, who is also a resident, has agreed to do this on environmentally significant land close to Canadian State Forest.
- Write to council – lobby for a Strategy in BE, then lobby for a budget, then talk to all the Councillors about how they intend to support good sustainable deign across the city, its election year! You will find all their contact details here on the councils website
- Attend council meetings – and ask questions about the planning process, the budgets, the views of Councillors – get active. The city publishes agendas, minutes and details of council meetings here on the city’s website.
- Make comment on the city’s Activity Centre Strategy – stay informed on what work is currently being done in our city, and share what you think – due March 26 2012
- Plant trees – plant trees, plant trees, plant trees – it’s the green of Ballarat East which makes it stands apart as proudly different, its really up to all of us
- Build over traditional subdivision lines – make it hard for developers of the future to build on every parcel of land
- Report moonscaping (like landscaping, only usually done in the dark of night when no-one is watching) and the cutting down of trees in your area – yes the trees are gone but the punishment and justice should remain. There are big fines for cutting down trees on public or private land so stay vigilant.
- Join or create your own “Friends of…” group to create supportive networks that work to protect significant areas. Head ot our groups page to see a list of those active in our area.
Please add your own ideas below, we would love to build this list…