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June 2014

Residential Re-Zoning – Ratepayers Ignored

By Committee, Melbourne City Council, Planning, State Government No Comments

At the City of Melbourne (COM) council meeting on 3 June more than 100 ratepayers (including MSYG members) attended to complain that they had not been given an opportunity to consider and discuss the final report by the Council planning department for the rezoning of the residential areas (including South Yarra) provided for under recent state government legislation.

This was a particularly important meeting because of the imminent introduction of new residential planning classifications. The MSYRG and many residents had advised the COM that the Neighbourhood Residential Zone (NRZ) classification, a classification that provides the strictest protection against inappropriate development and building, is the only appropriate classification for many areas within our suburb of South Yarra. Areas where heritage and neighbourhood character are important features warrant the protection afforded by the new controls in an NRZ zone.

Council was slow to take up the opportunity and failed to include NRZ in a number of obvious South Yarra streets either because they failed to understand the purpose of the legislation, applied the legislation incorrectly or made mistakes due to running short of time to make an adequate and thorough assessment.

There was an admission at the meeting that Council officers ran short of time to adequately conduct a thorough consultation process with the community due to pressure to conduct and finalise other work within the COM (East-West tunnel related activities).

The MSYRG and other resident Groups within the COM felt that it was a very disappointing consultation process to say the least.

However, we are continuing to prosecute our strong belief that a NRZ classification is largely correct for important areas of South Yarra and preparing submissions to the government committee that will have the final say.

Melbourne City Council Meeting – June 3, 2014

By Meetings, Melbourne City Council, Planning



On Tuesday at 5.30pm on 3 June a Council committee meeting will take place at the Council meeting room, level 2, Melbourne Town Hall meeting room (Administration entrance Cnr Little Collins and Swanston Street)  at which a report from the Planning Department will be considered  in which recommendations are made for the new residential zones in South Yarra as a consequence of State Government changes to Planning Act.

The MSYRG  committee has made submissions to protect a number of streets which are important from a heritage and neighbourhood character point of view and have had meetings with the planners encouraging them to take advantage of this opportunity, in particular to limit the number of dwellings to two and the height to eight meters, by applying the Neighbourhood Residential Zone.

We have had some success but more can and should be done and as a consequence we will be submitting to the councillors on Tuesday night that the administration’s recommendations should not be accepted but the matter be adjourned until further consideration is given to the issues and in particular full discussion with ratepayers has taken place.

As it is important that councillors are made aware of the public feeling about this issue as many ratepayers as possible should attend the meeting.So please come to the meeting if you can and provide your support to the efforts of the Melbourne South Yarra Residents Group.

Thank you,


Michael Butcher.