Thoughts on zoning

Mitchel Hanlon
Written by: Mitchel Hanlon

If our homes are our castles, we should be able to do pretty much anything we want there, right? Well, not exactly. There are these things zoning codes and regulations that can influence our rights by restricting them. 

This may be so even if we are just moving dirt around on our lots. What if we want to do some landscaping? How about our own renovations or an extra flat on site?

The legal framework for land use zoning in Australia is established by States and Territories, hence each State or Territory has different zoning rules. Land use zones are generally defined at local government level, and most often called Planning Schemes.

While it’s the state’s responsibility to create the zoning laws, it’s up to local councils to interpret and apply them in the local context. If you’re a developer, your success hinges on a good working relationship with these powers that be.

Major zoning categories include commercial, industrial, mixed-use, residential, agricultural and public use. From there, more specific codes can apply as well as "overlays" relating to heritage, flood mitigation and bushfire requirements.  

Zoning will affect what changes to the property are allowed, how and when. It could also impact future values in both negative and positive ways. 

Hanlons are skilled in Surveying and Land information which goes hand in hand with zoning requirements for Land Subdivisions, Community Development work and Council surveys at a local government level. Contracting to many public, private and individual clients, our particular speciality is project surveying for major infrastructure projects such as railway, roads, commercial and public buildings, bridges and subdivisions.

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