West Byron plan may not be popular, councillors admit
BYRON Shire councillors have described an alternate zoning plan for the contentious West Byron area as something the community "may not like, but will be able to live with".
The land zoning plans have been updated which has resulted in "a significantly smaller footprint for residentially zoned land, and a subsequent increase in the area of land proposed for environmental protection", a council report said.
At the council's meeting on Thursday, it was resolved the council proceed with the preparation of the planning proposal to rezone the West Byron Urban Release Area as per the alternate zoning map for submission to the Department of Planning for gateway determination.
Cr Michael Lyon said the updated version will be "the new map of West Byron" if it gets approved by the State planning department.
"The point is to reduce strain on environment drastically and end up with a result we can live with," Cr Lyon said.
"I'm really excited by this as it will see a drastic reduction in the footprint of the site.
"I think these two (updated maps) are something the community, while they may not like it, will be able to live with.
"A large wildlife corridor for koalas has been put in, which is a vast improvement.
"Of course, it will only come into play and be effective if the two DAs currently lodged are rejected by the JRPP and the courts. Then any new DAs would have to be lodged under this new zoning.
In a council report it was stated the additions include the aligning of the southern boundary with the property boundary, acknowledgement of the 20 metre riparian buffer around the stream and a 50 metre buffer to the neighbouring property to the south.
Cr Cate Coorey agreed the council had "come up with something that could work".
"I don't think we are going to pretend the traffic is manageable, but this will hopefully give our koalas a chance and protect our waterways," she said.
A $25,000,000 staged development application under the current zoning of the site is seeking to turn nine existing lots into a subdivision of 282 residential lots and other associated works and will go to the Northern Regional Planning Panel (NRPP) next Monday.
A proposed $40 million development at West Byron was rejected by the panel earlier this year.
The Northern Regional Planning Panel (NRPP) is meeting Monday, April 8 at the Byron Theatre from 3pm to determine the development application.