Changes to some GRZ & NRZ schedules

Planning Scheme Amendment GC76 was prepared by the Minster for Planning and introduced on 21 December 2017. The amendments affect ten of Victoria’s metropolitan and peri-urban Planning Schemes.

The changes introduce new schedules to the General Residential Zone in the Banyule, Frankston, Kingston, Knox, Maroondah, Moreland and Whittlesea planning schemes that specify a maximum building height for dwellings and residential buildings consistent with building heights contained in existing overlays that are greater than the default height in the GRZ.

Regular permit applicants will be familiar with the state-wide residential zone reforms, of March 2017, which set maximum building heights for dwellings and residential buildings in the GRZ. These are now replaced with varied height requirements in the schedules to the zones, in the planning schemes listed above, to reflect existing local planning controls approved prior to March 2017 (such as heights specified in Design and Development Overlays).

For example, Schedule 2 to the GRZ in the Maroondah Planning Scheme sets a maximum height limit for a dwelling or residential building of 13.5 metres and 4 storeys, whereas Schedule 2 to the GRZ in the Moreland Planning Scheme is 14.5 metres and 4 storeys.

The Councils effected by the above changes were included in GC76 because they agreed to the changes. We understand that the remaining Councils with similar conflicts in their height controls are continuing to work with the department to resolve those discrepancies.

Amendment  GC76 also amends schedules in the Neighbourhood Residential Zone (NRZ) in the Manningham, Moreland, Nillumbik and Yarra Ranges planning schemes by removing local variations in schedules which specify a maximum number of dwellings on a lot, a maximum building height of 9 metres for dwellings and residential buildings and additional height exemptions for slope or land liable to flooding.

These references in local NRZ Schedules were considered either redundant or duplicating standard provisions approved in the reformed Neighbourhood Residential Zone and have been removed to reduce confusion for planning scheme users.

The takeaway: applicants should review the Schedules to zones carefully to ensure a clear understanding of development opportunities and constraints, different planning schemes and schedules may have different height limits in the same zone.

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