Amendment C125 sets out residential zones and development standards aimed at protecting Monash's 'garden city' character and is the first stage of the implementation of the Monash Housing Strategy.
It was split into two parts after the Minister for Planning in 2017 increased height limits in general residential areas to 3 storeys. This was contrary to the adopted position of Amendment C125, and Council sought a change to the amendment to reintroduce the 2-storey height limit across Monash’s suburban areas.
The Minister for Planning advised in March 2018 he had approved Part 1 of Amendment C125, which introduced the Neighbourhood Residential zone and the Residential Growth zone to areas in Monash as adopted by Council. It came into effect on 19 April 2018.
More information associated with this can be found on the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website.
The Minister did not approve Council's request to introduce a 2-storey height limit in the General Residential zone areas and suggested Council further review the application of the zones. Council did more work on development controls in those areas and Council resolved in February 2019 (Meeting Agenda item 1.2) to no longer seek to include Accessible Areas and Boulevards in this amendment.
The Minister approved Amendment C125 Part 2 on this basis, retaining these areas in Schedule 2 to the General Residential Zone (GRZ2) for now. It came into effect on 14 November 2019, completing the stage 1 implementation of the Monash Housing Strategy 2014.
The approval of this amendment means most residential land in Monash must have:
- A 5m rear setback
- The planting of additional canopy trees
In addition to removing the Accessible Areas and Boulevards from the amendment, the Minister made other changes:
- Retaining land on the periphery of the Glen Waverley Activity Centre in the GRZ2 and requiring Council to consider the appropriate zoning for this land as part of the work for the Accessible Areas.
- Deleting the statements in the policy about the existing neighbourhood character and combining similar preferred character statements.
- Removing duplication, making minor consequential changes, and aligning the amendment with new guidelines.
More information and the full documentation associated with this amendment can be found on the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website.
Which zone is my property or street in?
To find out which zone your property or street is in, please see the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning's VicPlan map.
Through the amendment, Council's approach is to direct most new development towards activity centres, the Monash National Employment Cluster (in Clayton) and along Springvale Road and Princes Highway, so redevelopment is limited in local streets.
Some of the measures adopted by Council included:
- The rezoning of areas near the Damper, Scotchmans and Gardiners creeks and along the Dandenong Valley Escarpment to Neighbourhood Residential Zones where development will be less intensive
- Increasing the rear setback from 1m to 5m for properties in the General Residential Zone and in the Neighbourhood Residential Zones 3 and 4 along the Dandenong Valley Escarpment and in the Damper, Scotchmans and Gardiners creeks environs areas
- Increasing the rear setback from 1m to 7m for properties in the Neighbourhood Residential Zone 2 that abuts Damper, Scotchmans and Gardiners creeks
- Reducing site coverage (how much a building covers a block) from 60% to 50% in General Residential Zones and in the Neighbourhood Residential Zone along the Dandenong Valley Escarpment, and to 40% in areas abutting the Damper, Scotchmans and Gardiners creeks
- Rezoning parts of Clayton (in the Monash National Employment Cluster) to facilitate apartment-style development by using a mix of the Residential Growth Zone 3 and General Residential Zone 6
The rear setback requirement applies to new single dwellings and multi-unit developments. This will reduce the impact large homes have on neighbours by providing separation between properties.
While standards such as the 5m rear setback are expected, they are not mandatory. People can apply to vary any or all standards if, for example, they own an irregular-sized housing block.
Independent Panel report
Prior to Council adopting the final amendment, we asked an independent planning panel to assess what we were proposing. The panel heard submissions from Monash residents and property owners and provided its report and recommendations to Council in December 2016:
Amendment C125 - Panel Report (pdf, 10MB)
Amendment C125 - Panel Report (Recommendations) (pdf, 216KB)
Overall, the panel was supportive of Council's intention to protect Monash's 'garden city' character and made 35 recommendations. Council accepted some of the panel's recommendations.
The panel considered documents as part of its assessment, and requested these be published on Council’s website, which you can find here: Amendment C125 - Panel Hearing Information.