Green light for dual occupancy in rural zone
DUAL occupancy development is now allowed in the RU2 Rural Landscape Zone.
Coffs City Council voted unanimously to support the change at its July 26 meeting.
In a report considering the proposal, council staff noted that the change would allow an additional dwelling option for rural land owners, which has the potential to provide increased social, financial and physical support for residents of rural areas.
It may also permit farmers to keep farms productive by using an additional dwelling to attract and retain labour or provide an additional income stream to the farm.
Before the vote, the proposal was put on public exhibition and six submissions were received.
All submissions supported the concept of detached rural dual occupancy in some form with five submissions raising concern about the requirement to locate the second dwelling within 50 metres of the original dwelling.
In response to this it was pointed out that locating the second dwelling close to the primary dwelling makes it less likely to cause conflict with existing agricultural purposes. It also makes it easier to share access and services.
This issue of the potential conflict between lifestyle and farming was raised by Councillor Tegan Swan.
"People wanted to be able to do it, but we just have to get the balance right, that's why I added a dot point about encouraging vegetation buffers."
Following discussions is was agreed that any dual occupancy (detached) must be designed and sited in a way that: supports retention and supplementary planting of setback buffer areas; minimises native vegetation removal (including for bushfire protection); is responsive to the topography and other land-based constraints; does not create adverse drainage impacts; and does not result in visual and privacy impacts.