Keysborough South Maintenance Levy
What is the Keysborough South Maintenance Levy?
The estates within Keysborough South were designed in conjunction with Tract Landscape and Urban Design to create a network of green which threads throughout the development for the enjoyment of residents and the community. The linear reserves rehabilitate natural waterways and provide a network of open spaces for both active and passive recreation.
The estates foster pedestrian and cycling networks and provide for the retention of native remnant vegetation though the provision of 20 per cent open space, compared to the traditional open space amount of 5 per cent in other estates.
Owners in the Keysborough South estates are charged a maintenance Levy District of $350 per annum to cover the additional 15 per cent area requiring maintenance and for capital improvements within the estate that are not directly funded by Council’s capital works program.
Why was a levy established?
In 2006, Council entered into discussions with a property developer who wished to build a residential estate in Keysborough South, which was based on the provision of 20 per cent open space compared to the traditional open space amount of 5 per cent in other estates. The open space was to be finished and maintained to a high quality to act as an attraction for purchasers to purchase and reside in the area.
Council and the developer entered into an agreement under the Planning and Environment Act (Section 173 agreement) for the developer to establish and maintain the open space for an initial three year period, with this open space then reverting to Council to maintain into the future.
Given that, once the three years were concluded, the financial burden on Council was going to be significantly greater than other residential areas, the agreement between Council and the developer (and each successive owner of allotments within this area) was for a maintenance levy of $350 per annum to be paid for the additional maintenance costs above and beyond a traditional estate. The levy was to remain fixed for three years and then, at Council’s election, be increased by CPI.
The 2006 development represented stage 1 in the estate and was followed by Stages 2 and 3 in 2011, which had matching agreements.
Which area does the levy cover?
Management of the levy
From 2011-12, all revenue received has being placed in the Keysborough Maintenance Levy Reserve Fund.
There are approximately 4,560 allotments that are currently paying the $350 levy, raising revenue of $1.6 million per annum. It is unknown what the final amount of assessments will be when the developments are fully completed, but it is expected that this revenue will now plateau as development is reaching its maturity.
In 2019-20, it is projected that expenditure relating to the Keysborough Maintenance Levy will be $2.09 million, of which 75% is funded form the Keysborough Maintenance Levy Reserve Fund. The projected reserve balance at 30 June 2021 of $1.73 million.
As previous stages continue to be handed back to Council to maintain, it is likely in coming years that expenditure will exceed revenue and the reserve will start to diminish.
Open space maintenance
The following open space maintenance activities are undertaken by Council staff in all areas that have been handed over by the developer:
- General mowing
- Garden bed maintenance
- Litter collection
- Playground maintenance and repairs
- Graffiti removal
- Toilet & BBQ cleaning
- Park furniture and signage: cleaning, installation, replacement and repairs
- Tree planting, watering and pruning
- Footpath/cycling path repairs
- Fencing maintenance and repairs
- Weed control
- Footbridge/timber walkway repairs
- Irrigation and associated infrastructure
- Park lighting
Melbourne Water maintenance
Melbourne Water maintain the waterways, including the vegetation up to the high water mark, where it then becomes a Council responsibility in public open space. The maintenance levy does not include the activities of Melbourne Water and the area maintained by Melbourne Water is not included in the 20 per cent open space provision in that area.
Naturestrip maintenance in Somerfield Estate
As part of the subdivision guidelines, the developer responsible for subdivision of land must landscape in accordance with Council approved plans. This includes parks, gardens trees and naturestrips.
In most cases the developer is responsible for such maintenance for the first three years of the site.
Residents within the Somerfield Estate in can refer to www.somerfield.com.au/faq/ which provides general information relating to this subdivision.
For more information on the levy, download the Keysborough South Maintenance Levy fact sheet (PDF - 445KB) or contact Council.
The balance of the Keysborough Maintenance Levy Reserve Fund can be viewed by residents in Council’s Annual Report (see Note 27 - Reserves).