An independent planning panel has provided its assessment of Council’s proposed changes to local planning rules.
Overall, the panel is supportive of Council’s intention to protect Monash’s ‘garden city’ character. The panel also supports Council’s approach of directing the majority of new development towards activity centres, the Monash National Employment Cluster (in Clayton) and along Springvale Rd and Princes Hwy, so redevelopment is limited in residential streets.
“The broad strategy to direct more intensive forms of housing to locations that are well served by infrastructure, and to manage change in more sensitive locations, is sound,” the panel said.
Panel report and recommendations
Why has Council proposed these planning changes?
What is the proposed zoning for my area?
Panel report and recommendations
The panel made several recommendations, including that Council:
- re-introduce a five metre setback at the rear of properties in General Residential zones, providing space between back fences and houses for trees and gardens. Council had initially proposed this measure but withdrew it last year because some residents said it would be too restrictive.
At that time, Council decided to continue proposing setbacks of six or seven metres in areas near the Damper, Gardiners and Scotchmans Creeks. The panel supports a seven metre rear setback for properties that directly abut the creeks. The panel also supports Council’s proposal to reduce the amount of coverage buildings have across a site. However, the panel recommends abandoning a proposal to increase the minimum size of secluded private open space required on properties;
- keep areas near Monash's creeks as General Residential (rather than rezoning them to Neighbourhood Residential as Council has proposed) but introduce overlays to protect vegetation and limit building size;
- abandon a proposal to rezone parts of Clayton (in the Monash National Employment Cluster) to Residential Growth, a zoning which facilitates high density development. The rezoning has been put forward by the Victorian Planning Authority, but the panel concluded it was premature.
The full panel report can be viewed here: Amendment C125 - Panel Report (PDF, 3MB)
The summary of recommendations can be viewed here: Amendment C125 - Panel Report (Recommendations) (PDF, 216KB)
Here are some documents which the panel considered as part of its assessment. The panel requested that these documents be published on Council’s website: Amendment C125 - Panel Hearing Information.
Enquiries: Strategic Planning Department on 9518 3555.
Council is expected to consider the panel's recommendations at its monthly Council meeting on Tuesday 28 February 2017. Interested community members are welcome to attend the meeting, which will be held at the Monash Civic Centre (293 Springvale Rd, Glen Waverley), from 7pm.
At that time, Council may adopt its final position on these major planning changes. Any changes to planning regulations would then need to be submitted to the State Planning Minister for approval.
Why has Council proposed these planning changes?
With the planning changes, Council is aiming to maintain Monash's 'garden city' character and provide more protection against massive concrete overdevelopments. At the same time, the aim is to ensure local families still have the flexibility to redevelop their properties to meet their needs.
Under the residential zone changes being proposed by Council:
- More of Monash would be zoned Neighbourhood Residential (NRZ), a zoning which limits opportunities for increased residential development. Council is proposing to introduce the NRZ zoning across the Dandenong Creek Escarpment (taking in the majority of Wheelers Hill plus parts of Glen Waverley and Mulgrave). It is also proposed that properties abutting or interfacing with the Gardiners, Damper and Scotchmans Creeks (in Ashwood, Burwood, Chadstone, Glen Waverley and Mount Waverley) be rezoned Neighbourhood Residential. Currently, heritage precincts in Oakleigh and Hughesdale are the only parts of Monash that are zoned NRZ.
- Stronger guidelines are being proposed for development in areas zoned General Residential, which is the zoning proposed for the majority of Monash. For example, Council is proposing guidelines to limit the amount of a site that is taken up with buildings to 50% (the current limit is 60%)
- Residential Growth Zones are being proposed for parts of Clayton and Notting Hill, in and around the Clayton Activity Centre and the Monash National Employment Cluster. These changes are being proposed at the request of the Victorian Planning Authority, a State Government body. These proposed zonings would create capacity for at least 7,000 new dwellings over a 10-year period in the Clayton and cluster areas. Residential Growth Zones are also being proposed in some parts of the Glen Waverley Activity Centre.
The above changes all flow from the Monash Housing Strategy, which was adopted by Council in 2014. Here is more information on the Monash Housing Strategy.
What is the proposed zoning for my property?
At its meetings in May and July 2016, Council decided on proposed zonings and measures. These proposals have now been assessed by the independent planning panel.
Here are the zonings that are being proposed by Council (and that were assessed by the panel): Map of Proposed Zones (PDF, 641KB)
Our proposals include:
- Reducing the maximum amount of coverage that buildings have across a property block (the site coverage) from the current limit of 60% to 50%. In environmentally sensitive areas near the Damper, Gardiners and Scotchmans Creeks, the maximum site coverage is proposed to be 40% - 45%. Most properties in Monash have a site coverage lower than 50%. However, occasionally there are new constructions that exceed this coverage. This proposed limit on site coverage responds to community concerns about overdevelopment
- Increasing the minimum parcel of private open space required on individual properties from 35m2 to 50m2 in most areas of Monash, except in areas near the Damper, Gardiners and Scotchmans Creeks where the proposal is to increase to a 60m2 parcel. The aim of this measure is to encourage people to have garden areas with room for trees. There has been no increase in the total amount of private open space required on individual properties - this remains at 75m2.
- Introducing a rear setback of six or seven metres in areas near the Damper, Gardiners and Scotchmans Creeks. A rear setback is the distance between the back fence and a dwelling. Rear setbacks aren’t being proposed in other areas of Monash as many community members said the setbacks would place too much restriction on redevelopment
- Requiring a minimum of two canopy trees in new multi-unit developments. There is no specific height set for the trees. Instead, it is proposed that the height of the trees be linked to the height of the new units (so if a site has a single storey building, the canopy trees only need to be as high as that building but if it has a double storey building, the canopy trees need to meet the height of that building).
Council decided on these proposals at its meeting on 31 May 2016, after undertaking extensive community consultation. Please find below relevant documents from this Council meeting:
Proposed residential zones - report considered at 31 May 2016 meeting (PDF, 230KB)
Map of proposed zones (Attachment 1) (PDF, 471KB)
Summary of changes (Attachment 2) (PDF, 122KB)
Additional strategic research (Attachment 3) (PDF, 190KB)
In-principle position adopted at 29 March 2016 meeting (Attachment 4) (PDF, 69KB)
Summary of community consultations (Attachment 5) (PDF, 148KB)
Summary of verbal submissions (Attachment 6) (PDF, 140KB)
Proposed zone corrections (Attachment 7) (PDF, 1MB)
At its meeting on 27 July 2016, Council resolved to include an area of Glen Waverley (bounded by Springvale, Waverley, Gallaghers and High Street Rds) in a Neighbourhood Residential Zone, as had been originally proposed.
In May 2016, Council had resolved to include this area in a General Residential Zone. However, residents from this neighbourhood contacted Council to oppose this change and to request that their area go back into a Neighbourhood Residential Zone.
Neighbourhood Residential Zones provide more protection of existing character whereas General Residential Zones provide more flexibility to property owners.
To read the motion Council adopted on this matter, see Notice of Motion - Extent of Proposed Neighbourhood Residential Zone 4 (PDF, 135KB)