NEW residential planning zones across Kingston are no closer to coming into force almost two years after being flagged by the previous state government.
Kingston Council had its request, after community consultation, to have more than 75 per cent of the region classed as non-growth Neighbourhood Residential Zone areas, effectively rejected by the state planning department (‘Kingston back in the zone’, The News 17/9/14).
Neighbourhood Residential Zones “protect and maintain liveability and neighbourhood character” under the state government proposals.
The government’s independent Residential Zones Standing Advisory Committee (RZSAC) advised former planning minister Matthew Guy (Liberal) to give Kingston Council another chance to develop its future housing policy.
Kingston councillors unanimously voted at last week’s public council meeting to brief incoming local Labor state MPs “on the importance of reviewing the implementation of the new residential zones”.
Cr Rosemary West said Kingston remained vulnerable to overdevelopment while the situation remained unresolved.
“Just about every council planning meeting we have planning applications that would not have got through if the new residential zones had been in place with their mandatory height limits,” she said.
Cr West noted a two-storey height limit would apply in the Ormond St and Barkley St area in Mordialloc, for example, yet applications for three-storey apartment blocks had been lodged.
Cr Steve Staikos hosed down suggestions council would have to go back to the drawing board after council spent several months consulting with the community before lodging its original RZSAC submission last year.
“Council isn’t going to be starting from scratch. We aren’t working with a blank canvas,” he said.
“We can feasibly review what we’ve got, update it and consult with the community and use it as a basis for which we can not only justify our RSZAC submission but also defend ourselves at VCAT if and when the need arises.”
The Plan Melbourne proposal has forecast Kingston’s population will rise to 180,100 in 2031 compared to 148,300 in 2011.
This would mean more homes in the region are needed for the projected 21 per cent increase in population.