TRIPLE-STOREY buildings will be encouraged by Yarra Ranges Council in parts of some suburbs and rural towns.
Under a C97 amendment passed last Tuesday, the council will allow these buildings in parts of Lilydale, Kilsyth and Mooroolbark and in towns such as Mt Evelyn, Yarra Junction, Yarra Glen and Healesville. These 'consolidation areas' will have higher-density residential development up to 11 metres tall.
Other parts of Chirnside Park, Lilydale, Kilsyth and Mooroolbark have been zoned as 'incremental metro' areas allowing developments up to nine metres tall. Lots of less than 500 square metres require a permit.
Councillors Len Cox and Richard Higgins unsuccessfully argued for a reduction in the height limits.
Cr Cox said the aim should be to make "life more liveable" for all residents. He argued a permit should be required to build above 7.5 metres in all zones, and for lot sizes in Kilsyth and Mooroolbark's consolidation areas to be at least 300 square metres.
Cr Higgins feared "developers will abuse our generosity" and that parts of Yarra Ranges would become like Croydon, with single-storey homes overshadowed by three-storey buildings.
Other councillors argued that other controls were rigorous enough to protect these areas from overdevelopment.
Areas near the Upwey, Tecoma and Belgrave rail corridor have been listed as 'incremental rural or foothill' areas, allowing for lots of less than 500 square metres but buildings must cover no more than 30 percent of the site.
Cr Samantha Dunn said the controls ensured there would be no medium-density development in these Dandenong Ranges 'gateway' towns.
Amendment C97 awaits the approval of Planning Minister Matthew Guy.
To view the C97 document, visit yarraranges.vic.gov.au/Residents/Planning/Planning-Scheme-Amendments/View-Current-Amendments.