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Zoning survey recalled over misleading error

The Lake News    August 28, 2022    3 min read   

By Aiden Taylor

Forest Lake ward Cr Charles Strunk will have to fix and reissue an important zoning survey for Jetty Walk residents after an error was found in the original documents.

The survey question and letter conveyed the wrong level of zoning density, which would have adversely restricted development in the Jetty Walk residential area if it was passed.

The original survey was distributed in the second week of August. It asked Jetty Walk residents if their area should be rezoned from medium to low density.

Cr Strunk said it should have stated “low-medium density” as the proposed outcome.

“Unfortunately we left out one word in the survey, so we are going to write to everyone again to let them know, and then if they want to resubmit a submission then that is fine as well,” he said. “So I take responsibility for that.”

Zoning survey recalled over misleading error
Photo: Cr Charles Strunk next to the entrance to Jetty Walk along The Esplanade.

Jetty Walk was a low-medium density area up until the 2014 city plan.

The survey was made to see if residents wanted the old zoning reinstated, rather than offer a new option for a lower level of density.

Residents Mark and Lynn King said they were relieved to hear the error will be fixed.

“What was proposed would have been a dezoning, and that would have had catastrophic effects on use of land for all residents within that zoning,” Mr King said.

For them, this would have been the difference between being able to, for example, build a set of three or four storey units on their land (low-medium density) or being limited to one or two storey homes (low density).

They bought a large 915 sqm block on The Esplanade in 2001 to have the extra flexibility.

“We did that with the comfort of knowing that we could subdivide it or put units up later in life and have it there as a bit of an insurance policy for our family,” he said.

Resident Mark King

A change to low density could have invited legal action through something called injurious affection.

“Members of council told us we would have the right to compensation if the proposed change went ahead,” Mr King said.

Under state law, injurious affection is applicable if an authority “limits the activities on or the use of that land, [or] interferes with the amenity or character of the land”.

Cr Strunk said he will send a corrected version of the survey to Jetty Walk residents.

Residents will have until September 30 to change or submit their response.

“If 51 per cent of the owners of the properties ask for a rezoning from medium density to low-medium residential then the council will then do up the required documentation and send it to the state government, who will make the final decision,” Cr Strunk said.

He said the aim of the proposed low-medium density change is to protect the Jetty Walk area from being overdeveloped by medium density dwellings in the future.

This concern goes back to 2018 when 1,076 people signed a petition objecting to a five-storey retirement home at 5 The Esplanade.

“If this development was to go ahead, that would lead to other changes and other developments in the Jetty Walk area, which would change the whole character of the village,” he said.

The Lake News

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