No go for home zone plan

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NEW residential planning zones are set to go back on Kingston council’s agenda next month after the state government failed to endorse council’s inital Neighbour Residential Zone draft plan.

Following community consultation, council officers submitted a request in early October to the Department of Transport Planning and Local Infrastructure to exhibit a planning scheme amendment to show proposed new residential zones.

The government department advised council in late October that it could not exhibit the plan until state government authority was given and has subsequently issued a further practice and advisory note giving councils further options ahead of a July deadline for implementation.

Existing residential planning zones will be replaced with three new residential zones: a Neighbourhood Residential Zone maintaining minimal change of character of mostly single and double storey residential development; a General Residential Zone allowing “moderate change” to encourage some development in areas with good access to transport and services; and a Residential Growth Zone allowing “substantial change” where medium density housing and diverse housing types are possible, including townhouses and apartments of up to four storeys.

The amended state government guidelines for councils, issued in December, now give three options to local governments.

Councils can provide no feedback to the state government if residential growth zones are seen as appropriate for all residential zones, opt for a “direct translation” of the state government’s proposed zones without community consultation or engage with a “special fast-track” panel appointed by Planning Minister Matthew Guy to consider council and community feedback on proposed residential zones.

Kingston councillors will vote at February’s council meeting to decide which option the City of Kingston should pursue.

A state government spokesperson told The News that Kingston Council had been asked to prepare a direct translation of current local planning policy to the new zone structure, “not a wish list”.

“There is no arbitrary zone per cent that the state government is seeking; what we are seeking is a direct translation of council’s existing planning policy,” the spokesperson said.

“If they wish to amend anything further, they will have to have a planning scheme amendment process, not a ministerial intervention.”

Kingston Council CEO Paul Franklin said “council is looking into which implementation option will provide the best outcome for the community.”

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