The image seen above comes from page 20 (of 424 pages!) from the current agenda. The Item concerns the controversial rezoning of the corner of McKinnon and Wheatley Roads to a Mixed Use zone with a 4 storey height limit. It is currently zoned Industrial 3 and hence not available for residential development.

We urge readers to carefully note the highlighted sections since:

  1. This is the first time in living memory that council has finally admitted that the Mixed Use Zone is classified as ‘residential’ according to its planning scheme! Previously all references to ‘residential areas’ have been cited as Neighbourhood Residential Zone, General Residential Zone and Residential Growth Zone only.
  2. Residents have objected on the basis that the land should be rezoned to GRZ in keeping with its proximity to surrounding residential properties. Whilst council admits that a GRZ rezoning ‘could also comply’, there is not one single sentence in the officer’s report which seeks to explain, much less justify, why this alternative zoning solution is not mentioned again or even considered. Given the real possibility that the ensuing planning application could include merely one shop or office, and 50 or so units, then we do not see that this will have any real impact on residential profits for the developer!
  3. The quoted planning scheme policies, also emphasise either ‘residential’ exclusively (ie grz) or, ‘residential or mixed use activity where appropriate’. Whether or not the proposed site is ‘derelict’ is of course another issue entirely.

Thus we have a situation where council has completely ignored 186 objectors (and 6 supporters) and instead of considering even the possibility of rezoning to GRZ or abandoning the amendment entirely, have recommended going to a panel. Given the location of this site surely a decent discussion of the most appropriate zoning needed to occur. Instead we get a recommendation that lacks transparency in our view, as well as justifiable validity.

PS: for an interesting comparison, we remind readers of a recent Amendment for North Road Ormond (C121) where the site was rezoned from Commercial 2 to Mixed Use Zone with its own special MUZ Schedule of NO.3. The height limit for this particular amendment  was a mandatory maximum of 10.5 metres! In McKinnon Road the proposed height is not merely 10.5, but 14 metres – well and truly above even the Residential Growth Zone stipulated heights! Thus, where there’s a will, there’s definitely a way! Here’s the North Rd site –