Council endorses new residential planning zones

Council has endorsed the introduction of the Victorian Government’s new residential zones in the City of Boroondara and will now ask the Minister for Planning to introduce the associated planning provisions into the Boroondara Planning Scheme.

Council believes the Victorian Government’s new residential zones will offer greater certainty and protection for Boroondara’s unique neighbourhood character.

Mayor of Boroondara, Councillor Jack Wegman said the implementation of new residential zones was a significant step and would offer the type of controls residents have been calling for over a long period.

“People throughout Boroondara value our unique residential character and the new planning controls will give us greater certainty and protection through the introduction of mandatory building heights and, in most areas, stricter standards for the look and feel of an area,” Cr Wegman said.

“We are using the research undertaken as part of the Neighbourhood Character Study to determine which zones are appropriate for which parts of Boroondara and propose that most of the City be included in the Neighbourhood Residential Zone.

“Over the past five years, Council has conducted extensive community consultation to gauge what local people value about their residential area and is consequently in an ideal position to fast track the introduction of the new zones.

Councillor Wegman continued, saying he was delighted that Council’s unanimous decision, which came at a meeting on 16 September, received such strong support from resident action groups.

“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to have the development pendulum swing back to a more appropriate position,” Cr Wegman said.

“While we understand that a change of this magnitude may affect people’s plans and may not suit everybody, that ought not deter us from making the hard decisions.”

These are the new residential zones that Council will ask the Minister for Planning to implement in Boroondara:

  • Neighbourhood Residential Zone – intended to provide for limited growth. Mandatory height limit of 8m.  Multi-unit provision allowing only two dwellings on a lot. Minimum subdivision area of 500sq metres or 300sq metres depending on the location.
  • General Residential Zone – intended to provide for moderate housing growth. Mandatory height limit of 9m or 10.5m depending on the location. No minimum subdivision.
  • Residential Growth Zone – intended to provide for higher density housing in buildings up to four storeys. Mandatory height limit of 13.5m. No minimum subdivision.

Council is also proposing to update its existing Neighbourhood Character Local Policy and introduce other design and development overlays which aim to implement the Neighbourhood Character Study adopted last year.

Within the next month, the City of Boroondara will notify all residents of Council’s decision to endorse the new residential zones, and also send the Minister for Planning a request to fast-track a planning scheme amendment to introduce the new planning provisions into the Boroondara Planning Scheme.

At this stage, the community will have an opportunity to let the Minister know, either directly or through Council, what they think of the new zones

“I invite residents to make a submission with respect to any concerns or issues they may have that will assist the Minister’s consideration of the proposed planning scheme amendment,” Cr Wegman said.

“The community’s feedback will build upon the extensive community consultation that informed the adopted Neighbourhood Character Study, upon which the new residential zones are based.”

Council is hopeful that the new planning provisions will be incorporated into the Boroondara Planning Scheme by the end of the year. Once this is in place, Council will undertake comprehensive community consultation, asking for formal submissions on any changes that are being sought. This is expected to take place in early 2014.

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