Rezoning rewind

PEOPLE who bought one of 578 blocks in a precinct of Vincent thinking they could subdivide them into tiny lots have a rude shock in store: the council is changing the rules.

A balls-up by WA planners had caused a precinct around Cleaver and Hyde Park precincts to be re-classified as R80, meaning 240sqm blocks could be carved up even smaller (with owners potentially making a motzah). Given many of the blocks include charming old homes, the council balked at the prospect.

Cr Josh Topelberg’s warning that developers had started circling, drawn by the scent of potential profits, spurred it into action.

The council asked locals for their opinions and 58 approved reverting to the old zoning but 51 liked the new zoning.

“Rezoning will devalue my property,” one said, a sentiment echoed by many.

“I just paid $1.4million for this property because of the R80 zoning,” another complained. “The change will devalue my property. Just apply the R50 zoning to heritage properties if that is what you want to keep.”

The council’s defending its decision to revert back to R50, saying the change should never have been made in the first place: “The idea that people are being deprived of something they never had, I don’t buy that,” Cr Topelberg said.

“It’s restoring the status quo… no-one bought a 330sqm block of land thinking they could subdivide.”

by DAVID BELL

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