MidCoast Council is proposing changes to its urban zones and residents are encouraged to "know your zone" and attend drop-in information sessions being held across the area over the next few weeks.
The changes range from a simple name change for region-wide consistency, or rezoning to align with current and future land uses, through to increased building heights that encourage vibrancy and development in larger centres.
"As a merged council, we currently have three sets of planning controls across the region which is confusing for everyone," Paul De Szell, council's director of liveable communities said.
The drop-in sessions are part of a check-in consultation designed to help people understand what zones currently apply to where they live, shop, work and play, and to secure community feedback relating to proposed zoning changes in towns and villages.
Feedback collated in this phase will inform the development of draft plans, which will be placed on exhibition during a second phase, before being finalised and implemented, Mr De Szell said.
"Reviewing our urban zones is one part of a much larger project to streamline our planning controls, and contemporise them at the same time so they cater for our communities into the future."
Rural zones will be addressed in a separate consultation later this year.
While not all zones are changing, planning controls directly impact what an area looks like, what activities can be undertaken, and the type of buildings the neighbours can construct next door.
Effective zoning also avoids mixing incompatible land uses, like a pre-school next to a pub, and maintains local character by ensuring consistency of building structures, Mr De Szell said.
To find out what's being proposed for your zone, drop-in and chat with a land-use planner at your nearest session, or visit www.midcoast.nsw.gov.au/zoningin where you can use the online mapping tool to look up what's being proposed for your neighbourhood. Submissions are invited online, by email or by post, before the consultation closes on Thursday, April 9.
Drop-in sessions run between 5.30pm and 7.30pm at:
- Gloucester Senior Citizens Centre, Tuesday, February 18
- Pacific Palms Community Centre, Thursday, February 20
- Harrington Function Centre (next to library), Monday, February 24
- Hallidays Point / Black Head SLSC, Tuesday, February 25
- Wingham Memorial Town Hall, Tuesday, March 3
- Old Bar Bowling Club, Wednesday, March 4
- Stroud School of Arts Hall, Thursday, March 5
- Taree Council Chambers, Thursday, March 12
- Forster Council Chambers, Thursday, March 19
Additional sessions will be held at:
- Old Bar, Lauders Real Estate carpark (near Coles), 2pm - 4pm Wednesday, March 4
- Taree Central shopping centre (next to Big W), 10am - 4pm, Tuesday March 10, Wednesday March 11, and Thursday March 12
- Tuncurry Plaza, shop 23, 29 Manning Street, 10am - 4pm, Tuesday March 17, Wednesday March 18, and Thursday March 19
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