The top photo is Mimosa Road, Carnegie. The second shot is Bent St, Bentleigh. What both have in common is that the houses on the left are zoned Residential Growth Zone (ie 4 storeys); both middle ones are zoned General Residential Zone (ie 3 storeys) and the ones on the right are zoned Neighbourhood Residential Zone (ie 2 storeys). This is council’s version of a ‘transition zone’ and given that neither the RGZ or the GRZ1 have any decent setback requirements apart from the ‘optional’ ResCode, buildings at the back and the sides will be towered over – as many already are. This represents planning insanity and/or incompetence. Even developers for the current State Government Review of the zones recommended that streets do not have multiple zonings. In Glen Eira, countless streets have 2 or 3 zones within a 200 metre stretch. As one commentator pointed out, this is what happen when you sit at your desk and simply draw a circle on a map instead of undertaking a comprehensive analysis of your streets, your suburbs, your ‘neighbourhood character’, and the available infrastructure.

Prior to the introduction of the abysmal zones, all residentially zoned land was declared as R1Z with a preferred height limit of 9 metres. The zones changed all that with Council’s lazy and incompetent, ‘one size fits all’ approach. Areas zoned GRZ could now go to 10.5 metres and land zoned RGZ suddenly became 13.5 metres in height. Hyams in particular continues the myth that this represents a ‘neutral’ translation of previous conditions, whilst others such as Magee, Pilling, and Lipshutz have all stated how the zones are basically ‘superb’, or ‘positive’ or ‘very, very good’ and what a wonderful planning department we have.

We invite readers to comment on just how ‘good’ these new zones really are. The screen dumps below are parts of two separate streets in Glen Eira. The houses depicted are not mansions, but well kept period homes. Guess what they are zoned? We will reveal all shortly.