Bega Valley Shire Council is seeking feedback on a proposed amendment to the Bega Valley Local Environmental Plan 2013, to permit a wider range of housing types in mixed-use commercial and residential development in the B2 Local Centre zone.
Council's Director of Community, Environment and Planning, Dr Alice Howe said, "this means a wider range of housing types will be allowed within some town centres, provided they are incorporated into mixed use developments".
She said the only forms of residential accommodation permitted in the B2 Local Centre zones in Bega, Bermagui, Eden, Merimbula, Pambula and Tathra town centres are shop top housing and boarding houses.
"The changes we are suggesting will ensure that active street fronts are maintained in these commercial areas while providing options for accommodation for key workers, business owners and the ageing population above or behind commercial premises."
Dr Howe said Council was continuing to explore measures to support an increase in the diversity of housing stock to meet the needs of people who live and work in the shire.
The proposal states that development consent would not by granted for the purpose of dwelling house, dual occupancy, multi-dwelling housing, or residential flat building, unless the ground floor facing the street has an active commercial or health services facility.
The proposal has been put forward to be in line with Council's 2040 Bega Valley Shire Commercial Land, Residential Land, and Community Strategic plans, as well as the Strategic Planning Statement.
The proposal also come shortly after Council voted to exhibit a draft housing strategy on Wednesday November 3 that exposes the dire need for housing diversity in the Bega Valley.
Strategy seven of the housing strategy was a recommendation that a changes should be made to the environmental planning and zoning requirements to increase supply of well-located smaller strata dwellings.
The BVSC Affordable Housing Strategy can be accessed on Council's website.
"We need to improve housing diversity, particularly dwellings suited to older people, people with disability and the workforce rental market," said Dr Howe.
"Our proposed plan responds to this housing need and provides opportunities for people to live closer to the goods and services they need."
Comments on the planning proposal are welcome during the exhibition period which runs until Sunday January 23, 2022.
To comment on the proposed plan, visit the Have Your Say webpage.