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Victoria’s New Residential Zones_____

Victoria’s New Residential Zones

The reform of planning zones in Victoria has moved another step forward today with Planning Minister Matthew Guy’s release of details of 3 reformed residential zones – the Neighbourhood Residential Zone, the General Residential Zone and the Residential Growth Zone.

The new zones will replace 3 existing residential zones – Residential 1, Residential 2 and Residential 3:
  • The Neighbourhood Residential Zone is intended to provide a high level of protection for local neighbourhood character, including restrictions on lot subdivision and a mandatory 8-metre height limit. It will recognise areas of predominantly single- and double-storey residential character, and will limit opportunities for increased residential development.
  • The General Residential Zone is designed to encourage “moderate” growth, and housing diversity, in areas with good access to services and transport. For individual Councils, a maximum building height and other built form requirements can be specified in a Schedule.
  • The Residential Growth Zone will be applied in areas which are appropriate for increased growth and density, and will support medium-density development in buildings up to and including 4 storeys, and some minor commercial uses to provide local services to residents.
Changes will also be made to some other existing zones – including the Mixed Use Zone, the Township Zone and the Low Density Residential Zone – to make them consistent with the new residential zones.

The new zones have emerged from recommendations of the Reformed Zones Ministerial Advisory Committee and from public consultation which occurred in the second half of 2012.

It is intended that the new zones will come into operation on 1 July 2013, with Councils then having 12 months to introduce the reformed zones in their local areas – including the crucial decision about which of the new zones will be applied to specific areas within each Council.

The "default" zone will be the General Residential Zone, which is likely to automatically apply on 1 July 2014 if another zone hasn't been chosen before then. The criteria for implementing the zones will be further developed between March and May this year.

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