New residential zones and development standards

Update – November 2019

The Minister for Planning has approved Amendment C125 Part 2 and it came into effect on 14 November 2019 when it was gazetted. This means that stage 1 implementation of the Monash Housing Strategy 2014 has been completed.

The approval of this amendment means that the majority of residential land in Monash will have strengthened and updated policy, and a requirement for:

  • A five metre rear setback
  • The planting of additional canopy trees:

However, not all land originally proposed to be rezoned to the new General Residential Zone – Schedule 3 will be rezoned. Council resolved in February 2019 (Meeting Agenda item 1.2) to no longer seek to include Accessible Areas and Boulevards in this amendment. Council will be undertaking further work in defining and consulting on development controls for these areas in the next 12-18 months. The Minister has approved Amendment C125 Part 2 on this basis, retaining these areas in Schedule 2 to the General Residential Zone (GRZ2) for now. Refer to the map for more information

Residential Zones in Monash map(PDF, 1MB)

What has the Minister approved?

In addition to removing the Accessible Areas and Boulevards from the amendment, the Minister has made other changes:

  • Retaining land on the periphery of the Glen Waverley Activity Centre in the GRZ2, and requiring Council to consider the appropriate zoning for this land as part of the work for the Accessible Areas.
  • Deleting the statements in the policy about the existing neighbourhood character and combining similar preferred character statements.
  • Removing duplication, making minor consequential changes, and bringing the amendment into alignment with new guidelines.

Further information and the full documentation associated with this amendment can be found on the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website.

Update - March 2018

Changes to the residential zones brought in earlier in 2017 by the Minister for Planning increased height limits in the general residential areas to 3 storeys.  This was contrary to the adopted position of C125.  Council sought a change to the amendment to reintroduce the 2 storey height limit across the suburban areas of Monash.

 As a result of the outstanding issue of 3 storey development in the General Residential areas the Minister has split Amendment C125 into two parts.

Part 1

The Minister for Planning has advised in March 2018 that he has approved  Part 1 of Amendment C125 . The approval will introduce the Neighbourhood Residential zone and the Residential Growth zone to areas within Monash as adopted by Council.  This means that the creek areas and the Dandenong Valley escarpment area will shortly be included in the Neighbourhood Residential zone.

Part 2

The Minister has not approved Council's request to introduce a 2 storey height limit in the General Residential zone areas.

However, the Minister has advised that: “I consider Part 2 requires further strategic work on the council's application of the GRZ. The adopted GRZ features a 9-metre-high discretionary building height control. This approach is no longer possible due to changes to the Victoria Planning Provisions introduced by VC110. Consequently, the council should review the application of the zone.”

The Minister has refused to approve the Design and Development Overlay (DDO13) and Development Contributions Plan Overlay (DCPO1) that were proposed around Clayton Activity Centre and within the Monash National Employment and Innovation Cluster.

The Minister has suggested that Council further review the application of the General Residential zones and the may be areas that warrant the application of the Neighbourhood Residential zone or the Residential Growth zone to better align with the revised residential zones and Councils Housing Strategy. Council is currently undertaking further review of this application.

Read the Minister's letter here(PDF, 930KB)


At its meeting on 28 February 2017, Council adopted new residential zones and development standards, aimed at protecting Monash's 'garden city' character. These changes (known as Amendment C125 to the Monash Planning Scheme) have been submitted to the Minister for Planning for approval.

Here is Council's media release: Acting to protect Monash's 'garden city' character.

While awaiting the Minister's approval, Council is able to start applying the new zones and standards as they are considered to have 'serious weight' given they have been adopted by Council. Applicants for new developments have been advised to start designing to the new zones and standards.

With applications that had already been lodged, Council began considering the new zones and standards as part of the assessment process after 31 March 2017.

The changes all flow from the Monash Housing Strategy, which was adopted by Council in 2014. Here is more information on the Monash Housing Strategy.

Enquiries: Council's Strategic Planning department on 9518 3555.

Main changes
Which zone is my property or street in?
State Government changes to planning requirements

Main changes

Council's approach is to direct the majority of new development towards activity centres, the Monash National Employment Cluster (in Clayton) and along Springvale Road and Princes Hwy, so redevelopment is limited in local streets.

Some of the new measures adopted by Council include:

  • The rezoning of areas near the Damper, Scotchmans and Gardiners Creeks and along the Dandenong Valley Escarpment to Neighbourhood Residential Zones where development will be less intensive;
  • Increasing the rear setback from 1 metre to 5 metres for properties in the General Residential Zone and in the Neighbourhood Residential Zones 3 and 4 along the Dandenong Valley Escarpment and in the Damper, Scotchmans and Gardiners Creeks environs areas;
  • Increasing the rear setback from 1 metre to 7 metres for properties in the Neighbourhood Residential Zone 2 that abuts Damper, Scotchmans and Gardiners Creeks; and
  • Reducing site coverage (how much a building covers a block) from 60% to 50% in General Residential Zones and in the Neighbourhood Residential Zone along the Dandenong Valley Escarpment, and to 40% in areas abutting the Damper, Scotchmans and Gardiners Creeks;
  • Rezoning parts of Clayton (in the Monash National Employment Cluster) to facilitate apartment style development by using a mix of the Residential Growth Zone 3 and General Residential Zone 6.

Once approved by the Minister for Planning, the rear setback requirement will apply to new single dwellings as well as multi-unit developments. This will reduce the impact that large homes are having on neighbours, by providing separation between properties.

It should be noted that while standards such as the five metre rear setback would be expected to be achieved in most cases, they would not be mandatory. People could apply to vary any or all of these standards if, for example, they owned an irregular sized housing block.

Detailed information about the changes is available in: Amendment C125 - final documents

More information is available in the reports Council considered at its 28 February 2017 meeting:

Report to 28 February 2017 Council meeting - Amendment C125 Consideration of Panel Report and Adoption of Amendment(PDF, 296KB)

Attachment 1 - Residential Development Framework Map(PDF, 625KB)

Attachment 2 - Zone and Schedule Changes(PDF, 749KB)

Attachment 3 - Strategic Research Summary(PDF, 190KB)

Attachment 4 - Summary of Community Consultation(PDF, 143KB)

Attachment 5 - Panel's Recommendations(PDF, 216KB)

Attachment 6 - Panel Recommendations and Officer Comment(PDF, 163KB)

Attachment 7 - Proposed New Zone Map(PDF, 1MB)

Which zone is my property or street in?

Here is a map which shows which zones apply where: Map showing new zones(PDF, 1MB)

State Government changes to planning requirements

Council is examining the local implications of some changes the State Government has made to Melbourne’s residential zones. Announced in early March 2017 and coming into effect from 27 March 2017, the changes:

  • introduced a mandatory requirement for a garden area in all residential developments in the Neighbourhood Residential and General Residential Zones, including single dwellings and subdivisions;
  • increased the maximum height allowed for developments in streets zoned General Residential (the majority of Monash) from 9 metres to 11 metres (three storeys);
  • removed the restriction on building more than two dwellings on lots within the Neighbourhood Residential Zone.

In light of the changes to the state framework, Council will consider whether it should propose further changes to its standards and zones, to achieve the original objectives of Amendment C125.

For more information on the State Government's changes, visit the Reformed Residential Zones website.


Independent Panel report

Prior to Council adopting the final amendment, we asked an independent planning panel to assess what we were proposing.

The panel heard submissions from Monash residents and property owners during September and early October 2016. It provided its report and recommendations to Council in December 2016:

Amendment C125 - Panel Report(PDF, 10MB)

Amendment C125 - Panel Report (Recommendations)(PDF, 216KB)

Overall, the panel was supportive of Council's intention to protect Monash's 'garden city' character.

The panel made 35 recommendations. Council accepted some but not all of the panel's recommendations. Its recommendations included that Council:  

  • re-introduce a five metre setback at the rear of properties in General Residential zones, providing space between back fences and houses for trees and gardens. Council had initially proposed this measure but withdrew the measure in 2016 because some residents said it would be too restrictive.

    At that time, Council decided to continue proposing setbacks of six or seven metres in areas near the Damper, Gardiners and Scotchmans Creeks. The panel supports a seven metre rear setback for properties that directly abut the creeks. The panel also supports Council’s proposal to reduce the amount of coverage buildings have across a site. However, the panel recommends abandoning a proposal to increase the minimum size of secluded private open space required on properties;
  • keep areas near Monash's creeks as General Residential (rather than rezoning them to Neighbourhood Residential as Council has proposed) but introduce overlays to protect vegetation and limit building size;
  • abandon a proposal to rezone parts of Clayton (in the Monash National Employment Cluster) to Residential Growth, a zoning which facilitates high density development. The rezoning has been put forward by the Victorian Planning Authority, but the panel concluded it was premature.

Here are some documents which the panel considered as part of its assessment. The panel requested that these documents be published on Council’s website: Amendment C125 - Panel Hearing Information.

Prior to the Panel report

At its meetings in May and July 2016, Council decided on proposed zonings and measures. These proposals have now been assessed by the independent planning panel.

Here are the zonings that are being proposed by Council (and that were assessed by the panel):  Map of Proposed Zones(PDF, 641KB)

Our proposals included:

  • Reducing the maximum amount of coverage that buildings have across a property block (the site coverage) from the current limit of 60% to 50%. In environmentally sensitive areas near the Damper, Gardiners and Scotchmans Creeks, the maximum site coverage is proposed to be 40% - 45%. Most properties in Monash have a site coverage lower than 50%. However, occasionally there are new constructions that exceed this coverage. This proposed limit on site coverage responds to community concerns about overdevelopment
  • Increasing the minimum parcel of private open space required on individual properties from 35m2 to 50m2 in most areas of Monash, except in areas near the Damper, Gardiners and Scotchmans Creeks where the proposal is to increase to a 60m2 parcel. The aim of this measure is to encourage people to have garden areas with room for trees. There has been no increase in the total amount of private open space required on individual properties - this remains at 75m2.
  • Introducing a rear setback of six or seven metres in areas near the Damper, Gardiners and Scotchmans Creeks. A rear setback is the distance between the back fence and a dwelling. Rear setbacks aren’t being proposed in other areas of Monash as many community members said the setbacks would place too much restriction on redevelopment

  • Requiring a minimum of two canopy trees in new multi-unit developments. There is no specific height set for the trees. Instead, it is proposed that the height of the trees be linked to the height of the new units (so if a site has a single storey building, the canopy trees only need to be as high as that building but if it has a double storey building, the canopy trees need to meet the height of that building).

Council decided on these proposals at its meeting on 31 May 2016, after undertaking extensive community consultation. Please find below relevant documents from this Council meeting:

Proposed residential zones - report considered at 31 May 2016 meeting(PDF, 230KB)

Map of proposed zones (Attachment 1)(PDF, 471KB)

Summary of changes (Attachment 2)(PDF, 122KB)

Additional strategic research (Attachment 3)(PDF, 190KB)

In-principle position adopted at 29 March 2016 meeting (Attachment 4)(PDF, 69KB)

Summary of community consultations (Attachment 5)(PDF, 148KB)

Summary of verbal submissions (Attachment 6)(PDF, 140KB)

Proposed zone corrections (Attachment 7)(PDF, 1MB)

At its meeting on 27 July 2016, Council resolved to include an area of Glen Waverley (bounded by Springvale, Waverley, Gallaghers and High Street Rds) in a Neighbourhood Residential Zone, as had been originally proposed.

In May 2016, Council had resolved to include this area in a General Residential Zone. However, residents from this neighbourhood contacted Council to oppose this change and to request that their area go back into a Neighbourhood Residential Zone.

Neighbourhood Residential Zones provide more protection of existing character whereas General Residential Zones provide more flexibility to property owners.

To read the motion Council adopted on this matter, see Notice of Motion - Extent of Proposed Neighbourhood Residential Zone 4(PDF, 135KB)