The City of Kingston is a growing middle-ring suburb of Melbourne experiencing increased residential development pressures for higher density. Even with lower car ownership rates and higher public transport patronage (compared to other Melbourne municipalities), parking is an ongoing issue. To accommodate growth and better manage the competing needs of residents, traders, workers, and visitors Kingston City Council (Council) undertook a review of its strategic parking overlay. Council commissioned a Car Parking Issues and Opportunities Paper which identified issues and opportunities for parking management in the municipality and presented options to ensure that parking policy contributes to creating more vibrant, equitable and accessible communities.
In November 2018, Council engaged Capire Consulting Group (Capire) to deliver community engagement with the purpose of understanding the local community’s preferences for different parking interventions. The parking interventions were developed as a result of the Issues and Opportunities Paper, some Council led and others where Council encourages community members to act. One of the key interventions discussed in the engagement was increasing on-site car parking requirements in new multi-unit developments. The current ratio is one car park for every one to two-bedroom dwellings in a multi-unit development. The Victorian Planning and Environment Act states that the required standard of onsite car parks to bedrooms ratio cannot be increased ‘unless there is an overwhelming strategic reason.’
Council used an online survey to reach a broad range of the Kingston community, allowing people to take part in the project remotely. Council published the survey on its ‘Your Kingston, Your Say’ webpage. Capire facilitated a workshop that allowed the participants to contribute their own knowledge and explore parking issues from different people’s perspectives. The workshop also aimed to get participants thinking about what changes they, as an individual, can make to alleviate the constraints on parking.
The findings from the engagement will help Council understand the parking interventions required to protect the character of the municipality’s neighbourhoods while accommodating new growth.