Monthly Archives: April 2008

New Residential Zones

The State Goverment has initiated a review of residential zones in Victoria.

Three new zones are proposed. The Substantial Change Zone to promote a significant increase in new dwellings. Appropriate locations are areas “…. close to community facilities and services, employment or public transport.” For this zone, any specified maximum building height cannot be less than 12 metres (4 storey).

The Incremental Change Zone is seen as applying to “….most of Victoria’s towns and suburbs where modest residential development can occur.” That means mostly single storey existing development yet the proposed zone provisions require that any maximum height specified cannot be less than 9 metres (3 storeys). Of course the usual reassuring nonsense is stated – in this case, that the purpose of the zone is to respect existing neighbourhood character. We know from experience how much weight that will carry at VCAT.

The third zone is a Limited Change Zone intended to recognise specific characteristics to be protected and provide limited opportunity for increased housing.

Perhaps most concerning is the intention to restrict advertising of development proposals where “…. there is limited offsite impact.” And guess who will decide when the offsite impact is limited?

The full proposal can be viewed at www.dpcd.vic.gov.au. Feedback can be submitted until April 18.