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Decipering Councils' intentions - help required

Discussion in 'Living Room' started by Lizzie, 21st Oct, 2015.

  1. Lizzie

    Lizzie Well-Known Member

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    Okay - I have done the circuit of the Rates Section - Duty Planner - Lands Titles - Lands Information - back to Rates - Duty Planner - and did finally get an answer to my question from the second Duty Planner but, for some reason, I don't really trust the answer given (might be the bureaucracy cynic in me).

    We live in a rural area - on 27 acres (10 hectares) - and are currently rated as "farmland". The minimum lot size in our area is 100 acres (40 hectares) under the current LEP, so we are an unusual sized block. I have asked council in the past if, considering we are already an oddity, are we able to subdivide off our unused 10 acres ... and received as firm but friendly "no".

    Yesterday we received a letter from council advising that our property has been re-categorised as "rural residential" ... ie ... a rural outlet with the primary use as a residential premises ... and - lo and behold - our rates will go up.

    It's not a significant rate increase - only $82/yr, so it's not going to break the bank - and we have the opportunity to dispute the reassessment that the land has "limited potential for a commercially viable farming enterprise."

    As many of you know - we grow a commercial crop of garlic, and a small commercial crop of wine grapes - so we do run viable farming enterprises on the property. With such, we could easily argue against the change and rate increase.

    My question is ...

    Does this "change of category" signal a potential change in the zoning and allow subdivision in the foreseeable future - especially given we are literally 2km out of town? If it does, then we'll just pay the extra rates and go with the eventual zoning ... if it doesn't, we'll dispute as a matter of principal.

    Has anyone came across this type of re-categorisation before? The Duty Officer was adamant there was no changes pending in the LEP zoning for the property - by my inner doubter wonders what is really going on ...
     
    Chrispy and EN710 like this.
  2. Chilliblue

    Chilliblue Well-Known Member

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    Lizzie, find a local town planner so you can get the correct advise
     
  3. DaveM

    DaveM Adelaide Buyers Agent & KFC Strategist Business Member

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    Hi Lizzles, i would suggest shooting a message to @AndrewTDP who can likely assist with checking whats allowable
     
  4. Lizzie

    Lizzie Well-Known Member

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    I know our LEP zoning doesn't allow up to go any smaller - in fact, it was recently increased to 100 acres (after our property was formed). We are able to build up to 6 tourist accommodation cottages on the property, but we don't want to do that.

    It was more that the "rates department" are re-categorising the property ... but the LEP isn't changing. I was wondering if anyone had prior dealings where the "re-categorising" leads to "re-zoning"
     
  5. AndrewTDP

    AndrewTDP Urban Planning Consultant Business Member

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    Thanks @DaveM for the tag. Missed it.

    A similar thing happened up around Warnervale on the Central Coast - changed from rural to urban investigation or rural small holdings on rates notices. The rezoning was 15 years away, and still hasn't happened for much of the land.

    It is a good indication that Council is considering such a change into the future, but rates and zoning can act quite separately, and the decision is probably based on the land uses of the majority of property in that area. Unfortunately it can't be used as a justification to request a rezoning though.

    Couple of quick questions
    Are the rest of the blocks around you less than the minimum lot size?
    Are you the last house facing the rates notice, or are other properties further out of town also facing it?
     
  6. Lizzie

    Lizzie Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Andrew ... All the other properties around us are 100 acres minimum. We are third from the edge of suburban limits - but the two blocks between are 100 acres.

    I suspect the rates changes are to try and capture a few subdivisions of 10 acres "lifestyle" blocks nearby, and we just got caught up in it by size classification even tho we still farm. Council happy for us to lodge a dispute application and stay as farmland.
     
  7. AndrewTDP

    AndrewTDP Urban Planning Consultant Business Member

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    Generally (and this is generally, haven't spoken to Council about specifics) the rates will not impact upon future rezoning.

    I suspect you're right. They probably did a search on their GIS system and just identified those lots under the limit and did a blanked application to all of those lots under the minimum size.
     
  8. Lizzie

    Lizzie Well-Known Member

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    Super thanks Andrew ... as suspected ... we will lodge request to remain as "farmland"
     
  9. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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  10. Lizzie

    Lizzie Well-Known Member

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    Ah - the old "brown paper bag" trick ... fortunately I'm not that desperate :D