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The Associations Executive Committee

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.

Residential Zone Amendments – Report to Members

By Committee, Melbourne City Council, Planning



State Government

1.   The Victorian State Government is in the process of amending residential planning zones and at the end of the process they will be classified either:

(a)   Residential Growth Zone close to transport and services and suitable for higher density living;

(b)   General Residential Zone which allows modest housing growth and diversity in keeping with neighbourhood character; or

(c)    Neighbourhood Residential Zone which limits housing growth and density allowing predominantly for single dwellings with a maximum building height of 8 metres.

City of Melbourne

2.    Our South Yarra postcode area has been initially assessed by the City of Melbourne planners as a General Residential Zone which in a planning sense is similar to the existing requirements.

3.   However, Council is seeking the opinion of and submissions from ratepayers and this has been the subject of considerable thought and discussion by members of the committee of the Melbourne South Yarra Residents Group. The committee believes significant parts of South Yarra should be a Neighbourhood Residential Zone (NRZ). The criteria specified by Government and Council for the NRZ are the following.

(a)    In a heritage precinct with heritage overlays.

(b)   In a stable, settled area.

(c)   Large contiguous streetscapes consisting almost entirely of single dwelling lots.

MSYRG Committee

4.    It is the view of the committee that large parts of South Yarra satisfy all or some of these requirements and have significant heritage value and neighbourhood character that should be recognised and protected.

5.   It is the view of the Committee that the streets marked on the attached plan are those that should be zoned Neighbourhood Residential and preparation of a submission to Council in those terms has been commenced.

MSYRG members

6.   However, before making any submission to Council the Committee wishes to bring these facts to the attention of all of its members so that they have the opportunity to consider and comment upon what is occurring. Further information can be obtained on the City of Melbourne website at:


7.   Accordingly, if any member wishes to express a view about the conclusion currently formed by the committee or any relevant issues about what should or should not be included within the Neighbourhood Residential Zone they should communicate in writing to msyrg3141@gmail.com or telephone Michael Butcher on 0411 722 635 between 1.00pm and 2.00pm any day.

Urgent response needed

8.   As our submission to Council must be completed by 25 April 2014 if a member wishes to express a view he or she must respond to this notice no later than 22 April 2014.


My apologies for the short time frame.


Michael Butcher
Melbourne South Yarra Residents’ Group Inc


Proposed Zoning plan