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New Victorian Residential Zones.
How will they affect you?

Amendment V8 recently introduced three new residential zones into the Victoria Planning Provisions on 1 July 2013.

What is changing?

The existing Residential 1, Residential 2 and Residential 3 Zones are to be replaced by three new residential zones:

- Residential Growth Zone (RGZ)
- General Residential Zone (GRZ)
- Neighbourhood Residential Zone (NRZ).

When will the zones be introduced?

Councils will have until 1 July 2014 to introduce the new residential zones into their local planning schemes. Where Councils have not finalised an amendment to implement the new zones by that time, the General Residential Zone will be implemented to replace all land zoned Residential 1, 2 and 3.

There are a number of inner-east and south-eastern Councils that are well advanced in selecting the areas to apply each of the zones, including Glen Eira, Stonnington, Boroondara and Whitehorse Councils. Glen Eira City Council is the first Council to introduce the new zones on 23 August 2013.

Where will the zones by applied?

  • Neighbourhood Residential Zone – in minimal change areas where existing character of predominantly single and double storey residential development is to be maintained. The Department of Planning and Community Development describes this zone as "the strictest planning zone in Australia."
  • General Residential Zone – in moderate change areas; offering good access to services and transport. New development is encouraged to respect the neighbourhood character while allowing for moderate housing growth and a diversity of housing types.

  • Residential Growth Zone – in substantial change areas where medium density housing growth and diversity of housing types is encouraged (ie townhouses and apartments of up to four storeys around activity centres and close to train stations) with a limited range of non-residential uses to serve local community needs.

Some changes that could affect you:

Neighbourhood Residential Zone

  • This zone includes a default mandatory maximum height of eight metres, which can be varied by each Council via the zone schedule to be a higher or lower mandatory height limit.
  • No more than two dwellings are allowed on a lot, unless varied by the Council to a higher or lower maximum number of dwellings using the zone schedule.

General Residential Zone

  • The zone includes a default discretionary height limit of nine metres (equivalent to three storeys) which can be increased or decreased to a mandatory height limit by each Council.

Residential Growth Zone

  • The zone includes a discretionary default height of 13.5 metres (equivalent to four storeys) which can be increased to a mandatory height limit by each Council.
  • ResCode standards will apply to four storey development.

Transitional Provisions

Transitional provisions were introduced on 22 August 2013 by Amendment C104 to ensure that existing permit applications for residential development and subdivision that have been lodged but not decided are not unfairly disadvantaged. These include:

  • For planning applications lodged prior to the introduction of the Neighbourhood Residential Zone in any given municipal planning scheme, these applications will not be subject to the maximum number of dwellings limitations or the maximum building height provisions. However, applications will still be assessed against the purpose of the zone, which seeks to limit the intensity of development.
  • For development approved prior to the introduction of the Neighbourhood Residential Zone in any given municipal planning scheme, transitional provisions ensure that development is not prohibited from being subdivided.
  • There are no transitional arrangements proposed in the General Residential Zone (GRZ) or Residential Growth Zone (RGZ) other than in relation to ResCode continuing to apply to 3 storey development for any application lodged prior to 22 July 2013.  For all applications lodged after this date ResCode will apply to 4 storey development.

Applications lodged before introduction of the new zones in Glen Eira City Council will be assessed against the rules in force at the time of lodgement.

For further assistance in relation to the new residential zones and their potential implications for existing and future projects, please contact Danny Hahesy at our office or call 9682 8568.


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