Whether you’re looking to find a property in the city, the suburbs or the country, it’s important to research planning maps for overlays and what they mean for your property. Many potential home buyers begin their real estate search with a heavy focus on location or price, but understanding land zoning in Victoria may help you make an informed decision.
For example, are you planning on subdividing land? If so, you will need a planning permit which may not be granted if the property is under certain overlays or zones. Is your property covered by a bushfire management overlay or heritage overlay? If you’re planning to renovate, your local council may enforce restrictions on what materials you can use and what can be altered in homes with historical or architectural significance.
Every property in Victoria is covered by planning zones, with most of the state falling under a residential or rural zone. This and more can be found at landchecker.com.au
What are residential zones?
The most populated areas in Victoria are classified as residential zones. There are three main types of residential zones which aim to respect neighbourhood character, landscape, and heritage characteristics while allowing for Victoria’s growing population:
- The Neighbourhood Residential Zone includes areas of predominantly single and double storey homes with identifiable characteristics and historical value that distinguishes the properties from others in the local area. This type of zone has minimum requirements around garden areas, height restrictions, but allows for a small number of non-residential buildings that serve the local community such as schools, clubs, and libraries.
- The General Residential Zone covers areas where population and housing diversity are expected to evolve to provide more diverse housing, such as Melbourne's outer suburbs. This zone includes minimum requirements around garden areas and height restrictions but aims to encourage development while respecting the existing neighbourhood character.
- Residential Growth Zones are areas where increased housing density and residential development is expected to keep up with population growth near activity hubs like town centres.
What are rural zones?
While residential zones cover the most populated areas in Victoria, Landchecker’s interactive map shows much of the state is part of a rural zone. If you’re planning on making a treechange, your property search will most likely give you options covered by six rural zones.
The most common rural zone is the Farming Zone. It applies to agricultural areas to protect the land and its infrastructure and encourage employment and population in rural communities. Other types of rural zones include the Rural Living Zone, Rural Activity Zone, Green Wedge Zone, Green Wedge A Zone, and the Rural Conservation Zone.
If a rural zone applies, you may need a planning permit to make any changes to your property including subdividing land and your local council may also require a farm plan prior to approval.