Council has a year to ensure that the worst effects of amendments to the State Government’s Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code, which come into force on 6 July, are mitigated by incorporating minimum lot sizes and other measures into the Kiama Local Environment Plan (LEP).
The amendments, reported on in our 12 May edition, will allow more developments to be approved as complying developments, which can be determined without the need for a Development Application (DA).
While minimum lot sizes are currently included in Kiama’s Development Control Plan (DCP), these are trumped by the Code. The LEP, in turn, trumps the Code on this issue.
Other local controls contained in the DCP, such as setbacks, can be overridden by the Code.
By including minimum lot sizes in the Kiama LEP, Council will be able to prevent the possibility of dual occupancies on 400m2 blocks, as the Code allows.
Importantly, the recommended changes propose that the minimum lot sizes for dual occupancy, introduced in 2017 to cover newly zoned R2 land, be extended to cover all land in the respective zones.
“The only mechanisms available to us to manage the application of the Code are through permissibility and minimum lot size provisions in the LEP,” says Council’s Director Environmental Services Linda Davis.
The changes to the LEP, to be made through a Planning Proposal, seek to:
- introduce a minimum lot size of 600m2 for dual occupancies and 900m2 for multi-dwelling houses (terraces) in R2 zones in Kiama, Gerroa and Gerringong
- introduce a minimum lot size of 800m2 for dual occupancies and 1200m2 for terraces in R2 in Jamberoo
- make terraces permissible with consent in the R2 zone
- introduce a minimum lot size of 400m2 for dual occupancies and 800m2 for manor houses and terraces in the R3 zone
- introduce a E4 Environmental Living zone which prohibits dual occupancies, residential flat buildings and multi-dwelling housing
- rezone the western portion of the Silver Hill/Cedar Ridge area from R5 to E4.
The Minister for Planning has allowed for the twelve month deferral of the new code following intensive lobbying by Kiama and other councils.
“It was what we were after,” says Mayor Mark Honey. “I would have preferred a two year amnesty, but we need to be grateful for small mercies.”
Complying developments can be handled by private certifiers rather than going through the DA process.
It is interesting to note a Council report that says that in 2017, 83 per cent of complying development certificates issued in the LGA were done by private certifiers. Eighty per cent of construction certificates for building work were also issued by private certifiers.