Shire of Kalamunda changes zoning for blocks

New zoning rules are in place in the Shire of Kalamunda.
New zoning rules are in place in the Shire of Kalamunda.

THE Shire of Kalamunda has changed the zoning for blocks in Forrestfield, High Wycombe and Maida Vale, as well as a small part of Kalamunda Road, in a bid to meet the future needs of housing for its residents.

Shire President Andrew Waddell said the State Government was encouraging a more efficient use of land through strategic changes in housing density.

Local Planning Scheme Number 3 Amendment 82 delivers dual density codes (R20 and R40) for residents and landowners, which should result in changes to suburban block appearances within the Shire.

Planning document Directions 2031 and Beyond requires 50 per cent of all new dwellings to be infill development, allowing for a further 10,000 dwellings in the shire.

Planning officers said at the June 28 council meeting that the changes hoped to influence the character of the infill. Guidelines were attributed to quality and condition of the housing; block size and dwelling density; landscaping; vehicle access; walkability and connectivity to commercial centre; sense of safety; and security.

Despite a proposed amendment to lower the block ratios from 1000sq m to 800sq m being rejected due to a lack of time, Cr Simon Di Rosso said he felt as if the councillors were on a “moving conveyor belt they did not need to be on”.

The vote was split 5-5 on the zoning amendment, showing other councillors shared Cr Di Rosso’s concerns but with Cr John Giardina and Cr Sarah Lohmeyer away, Cr Waddell cast his discretionary vote and passed the amendment.

Cr Waddell said he had been advised by planning officers that the amendment needed to be passed as soon as possible due to it presenting the Shire with an opportunity for growth and for people to get more value for their properties.

Cr Waddell said he believed there may be an opportunity to amend the amendment later and change the size to the 800sq m requested by local residents in Maida Vale and Forrestfield and parts of High Wycombe.

“It is important to pass the new amendment first and then we may be able to alter it later,” he said.

Cr Di Rosso said he also wanted to change the requirement that the existing homes had to be demolished in the new scheme amendment.

“I think if people want to keep the original home, that’s an opportunity for them to sell the back part of their block and I would prefer we defer this to the next ordinary council meeting,” he said.

Cr Waddell said the Shire was trying to avoid the battleaxe block appearance throughout the foothills.