MAROONDAH and Yarra Ranges councils have expressed concerns over the proposed planning zone reforms put out by the state government.
The reforms have been released for public consultation by Planning Minister Matthew Guy's office and neither council is happy with the changes.
Maroondah Council has voted to put forward a motion at a Municipal Association of Victoria meeting — slated for September 20 — calling for the state government to revisit the proposed new zones "on the grounds they provide for significant unintended consequences".
The council's MAV submission said it had "a number of reservations and concerns about the proposed new zones".
These include the potential to undermine policy around the central activity areas and that new residential zones would not protect residential character and amenity.
"In fact, the zones now allow substantial commercial uses without planning permits," the report stated.
At a meeting tonight, Yarra Ranges councillors will vote to endorse a report on the proposed changes and a submission that, if approved, will also be sent to the government as the council's official response.
The submission, compiled by director of planning Andrew Paxton, states that the council is "concerned that a thorough assessment of the proposed changes has not been undertaken and they may result in a range of unintended consequences".
Yarra Ranges's other concerns include the new rural zones not delivering changes to support agriculture that the council has advocated for — such as permit exemptions for hail netting or permission for farmers to include value-added sales .
"The increased non-rural uses will intensify pressure for urban-type development in these areas, competing with the need to preserve areas for agriculture and conservation," Mr Paxton said.
With public submissions closing on September 21, both councils questioned the timeframe of the consultation process. "The timing, coming up against council elections and caretaker mode, is somewhat questionable."