Zonings are the bread and butter of any Planning Scheme / City Plan. It is the backbone of Planning in general, and is the largest dictator of what you can and cannot do on any given piece of land. This is no different in the Gold Coast City Plan, with the most common zoning within the City being the Low Density Residential Zone. Findasite Town Planners (Findasite) receives many enquiries a week from existing / potential residents of the City, who want to know “what can I do at my / this property, as it is located within the Low Density Residential Zone”. To assist in addressing this common enquiry, Findasite have provided a basic overview.
Before beginning a basic overview of the Low Density Residential Zone, it is worth noting that the Low Density Residential Zone is often referred to as ‘Res A’. The Res A zoning no longer exists within the Gold Coast, with this land now commonly referred to as the Low Density Residential Zone. The use of Res A has not existed within the City for over 15 years, but some outdated software (i.e RP Data) still uses it, which can cause confusion among residents.
The purpose of the Low Density Residential Zone is described within the Gold Coast City Plan as, to “provide for Dwelling Houses, supported by community uses and small-scale services and facilities that cater for local residents.” The zone envisions low intensity, residential development with the majority of properties within responsible proximity of services and infrastructure. The majority of properties within the Low Density Residential Zone are improved by a single Dwelling House.
Opportunities do exist within the Low Density Residential Zone for higher density housing, including Dual Occupancy or Multiple Dwelling developments. However, these opportunities are restricted to properties with dual road frontage or those that are identified within the Residential Density Overlay as having a density of RD1 (1 Dwelling per 400m2), or higher. These properties are discussed in greater depth in our previous blog post. Opportunities also exist for non-residential land uses within the Low Density Residential Zone, however, these opportunities are also limited to properties that meet certain criteria. Non-residential land uses that can possibly be established within the Low Density Residential Zone include:
• Health Care Service (if located on a dual frontage property or on a higher order road)
• Child Care Centre
• Food and Drink Outlet
• Shop (if a neighbourhood store under 150m2 i.e corner store)
• Veterinary Service
In Findasite’s experience, City of Gold Coast’s biggest concern when establishing a non residential land use within the Low Density Residential Zone is, amenity of adjacent residents. These amenity concerns include acoustics (noise) and traffic. Should you be able to satisfy or mitigate potential adverse amenity impacts, Council is more likely to provide support for a non-residential land use.
In summary, opportunities for property development do exist within the Low Density Residential Zone, however are limited. Should you be potentially looking to purchase a property located within the Low Density Residential Zone or already own a property and are interested in its development potential, please contact Findasite Town Planners and we would be happy to provide some preliminary advice.