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Neighbourhood Residential Zones

AUGUST 2014 The proposals were approved by a majority of five Councillors to one.  Our ward Councillor, Andrew Bond, voted against.

JAAG made four points at the Council meeting:
JAAG said that council’s first priority should be to bring Stage 1 into force, so that areas which are to be zoned Neighbourhood Residential under both Stages will have the protection of that zoning as soon as possible. However, the majority Councillors decided to proceed with both Stages at the same time. This will mean that protection for the NRZ areas will be further delayed. JAAG will nevertheless press the Council to resolve the matter quickly.

JAAG proposed that properties fronting Alma Road should continue to be zoned NRZ, in part because 96% of the Alma Road residents who made submissions to council were opposed to any change. This was not agreed. JAAG opposed the proposed exemption of aged persons housing from the restrictions applying in NRZ zones, just as it opposed the  favourable treatment for ‘social housing’ in those zones proposed in Stage 1.  JAAG’s opposition was on the basis that the effect of a development on local residents will be the same, whether the development is aged persons housing, social housing, or purely private.

JAAG submitted that the St. Michael’s school site should be zoned NRZ. This was rejected by the majority. “


On 1 July, the existing Residential 1 Zone was replaced with the General Residential Zone across Port Phillip. However this will be on an interim basis.  Council is working with the Department of Transport Planning and Local Infrastructure to achieve Ministerial approval of Council’s Stage 1 translation as quickly as possible. The General Residential Zone is the closest fit to the existing Residential 1 Zone. Council’s housing policy and other planning controls such as the Heritage Overlay and Design and Development Overlays (height controls) will continue to apply.

The main implication is that the ‘transitional provisions’ (which allow an exemption from meeting the mandatory height and density controls) will continue to apply to applications lodged after 1 July until the new zones are approved. Council will continue with Stage 2 of its implementation of the New Residential Zones. They anticipate that they  will report back to Council at the end of August with the outcomes of the Stage 2 consultation.  (JAAG made a further submission to Council 11/6/14 on Stage 2.)


On Tuesday, 13th May, the Port Phillip Council voted to ask the Minister for Planning to introduce the new residential zones by the 1 July, 2014 deadline.  Most of our JAAG area, including sites along Alma Road, will continue to be included in the Neighbourhood Residential Zone (NRZ), that is the most restrictive and best zoning.  It limits the number of dwellings on a lot but may be relaxed, particularly for social housing.  For Wellington Street south side (numbers 28- 64) and Robertson Avenue (numbers 3-7) a new 10 m. height limit will be introduced as an interim measure, pending completion of the current separate St. Kilda Road South Strategic Study.

Council also agreed to commence a ‘Stage 2’ process which could result in Alma Road sites being rezoned as part of the less restrictive General Residential Zone, without any fixed limits on the number of dwellings on a lot.  This process could also result in the 10 m. mandatory height limit for these sites being changed.  Alma Road site owners will soon get a letter from the Council about the process and seeking their input.

There was a real possibility that the vote outcome could have been much worse.  By us objecting, signing petitions and speaking at Council meetings, JAAG members clearly made a difference.  

JAAG would particularly like to thank our Ward Councillor Andrew Bond for his strong support. He moved the motion to introduce the new zones, which was carried by a healthy 5 votes to 1.  For a copy of the minutes click on this link  http://www.portphillip.vic.gov.au/Minutes_Ordinary_Council_13_May_2014.pdf


Octavia The vast majority of over 35,000 homeowners in Port Phillip including members of the Junction Area Action Group (JAAG) have previously welcomed Port Phillip Council’s proposed new Neighbourhood Residential Zones (NRZ) initiative, but after the controversial Council meeting on 22 April, the future of NRZ zones is now under a cloud! Through February and March Council undertook direct notification of all property owners in the Residential Zones of its proposed NRZ zones and consulted widely. It appears property developers and other vested interests are pressing Council to water down and or abandon its zoning plans and adopt Option 3 (**see below) which will result in General Residential Zones being applied across the municipality. If Option 3 is adopted, it would provide Developers and other vested interest that do not live in the area with a unique and city wide opportunity to develop at will. Many other councils, such as Stonnington have finalised their zoning and have incorporated NRZ. Should Option 3 be adopted, despite Council’s widely promoted and circulated current proposals to progress the translation of the new residential zones including the NRZ by the 1 July, 2014 deadline, it may result in the Minister for Planning applying General Residential Zone to ALL residential land in Port Phillip! It is extremely likely that tens of thousands of residents (particularly those who have been told by City of Port Phillip Council that their property will be in an NRZ) and who were entirely happy with their proposed zoning, will be shocked by Council not delivering on its zoning proposals. This massive ‘silent majority’ should not be ignored as it would be grossly unfair. JAAG urges Council to Adopt Option 1 to ensure the city’s residential heritage and neighbourhood character is protected from unwanted wholesale development. Option 1 – Progress the ‘consultation proposal’ without change and proceed to request a Ministerial amendment to introduce the new zones in the Port Phillip Planning Scheme. This option strictly applies Council’s existing Housing Policy but would not respond to any issues raised during consultation. This option can be implemented before the 1 July deadline. Option 2 – Progress implementation of the New Residential Zones through a two part process: – Stage 1 – make some changes (eg site specific changes / changes to schedules) to the ‘consultation proposal’ to respond to issues raised during consultation, and proceed to request a Ministerial amendment to implement the new residential zones before the 1 July deadline. – Stage 2 – consider undertaking more substantive changes (including potential changes to zoning for specific precincts) following further investigation and consultation with affected property owners. Stage 2 would be implemented through a separate process commencing in May thru to July/August 2014. Option 3 ** – Not progress the translation of the New Residential Zones at this point. This could be appropriate if Council wishes to undertake a comprehensive review of its Housing Strategy. This option would not enable completion an amendment before the 1 July 2014 deadline, and would result in the Minister for Planning applying the General Residential Zone as a default across all residential land in the municipality. Zoning background: Minister for Planning released three new residential zones in July 2013 to replace the existing Residential 1 and 2 Zones: • Residential Growth Zone (RGZ) • General Residential Zone (GRZ) • Neighbourhood Residential Zone (NRZ) If not implemented by this date, the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure (DTPLI) has advised a General Residential Zone will be applied on 1 July 2014. CALL TO ACTION: Please call or email your ward councilor asking for Option 1 to be adopted at the Port Phillip Council meeting on the 13th May 2014.


AlmaRdIn a recent submission to Port Phillip Council, Junction Area Action Group (JAAG) has expressed its support, in the interests of residents, for the proposed NRZ zoning in our area, both in the area subject to the default height limit of 8 metres and the area along Alma Road subject to a height limit of 10 metres. JAAG will vigorously oppose any attempt to water down these controls. We have recently heard of a campaign by a group of vested interests (people who do not live in our area) to raise the height limit in Alma Road- pictured left. JAAG strongly objects to this on the basis that it is against the interests of the local residents and contrary to their legitimate expectations arising out of the advice received from Council.” The Junction Area Action Group, which has more than 250 members was formed 12 years ago to protect the amenity of the area bounded by Wellington/Nelson Streets, Chapel Street, Alma Road and St. Kilda Road, essentially a ‘traffic island’ bounded by major arterial roads. JAAG’s interest extends to the historic Alma Park precinct between Alma Park, Alma Road, Chapel Street and Dandenong Road.    More info:  www.portphillip.vic.gov.au/new-residential-zones.htm
Please note that submissions to Council have now closed. But have your say on their website link above or here … via our Contact Us page.



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