Yarra City Council officers have been asked to consider the community functions of laneways in the context of new development.
The issue was raised by a public submitter during discussion of planning scheme amendment C291yara, which will introduce built form provisions on Bridge Rd and Victoria St.
Lyndy U'Ren suggested a requirement to preserve the safety and amenity of street networks should be written into Yarra's planning scheme.
"[It] doesn't make sense...that rear laneways are expected to become thoroughfares and there's no consideration for the feeder streets to these laneways," U'ren said. "These are often shared spaces which are used as pedestrian paths, bike paths, and places for neighbours to stop for a chat...".
Cr Amanda Stone agreed, describing the issue as one councillors were "grappling with on a bit-by-bit basis... as our laneways are becoming appropriated by more intense development."
Referring to "a bit of a pressure-cooker situation", Stone asked officers if any strategic work was being done on the question. Acting planning director Mary Osman undertook to report back on the issue.
A full analysis of amendment C291yara, which was adopted at last week's meeting, will be published next week.
Yarra City council officers confirmed they are watching with interest a City of Port Phillip trial which enables private citizens to pay for the installation of kerbside electric vehicle charging, with cables embedded in nature strips and footpaths.
The limited trial involves 10 households in stand-alone houses paying around $5000 each for the installation of a powerline and charger that runs underground from their home to the footpath, 10cm from the kerb.
Acting planning director Mary Osman told last week's meeting officers had been discussing the trial with the City of Port Phillip and would report back to the council on it when the results were known.
Meanwhile, she said, Yarra should have 14 electric vehicle charging stations by January, with two new publicly-available off-street chargers being constructed courtesy of a state government program, one in the Docker St car park, and private companies planning to install more.