SIMPLY wanting to sub-divide hectares of land was not an option for landowners west of Sapphire Beach but this may soon change.
A backlash from residents got the wheel turning within Coffs Harbour City Council to rezone properties previously listed as RU2 to large rural residential.
West Sapphire resident Peter Wardman, who has lived there for more than 40 years, said one side of The Mountain Way was already zoned large rural residential.
Mr Wardman said the only distinction to the land over the road was it was in a different water catchment area.
Living on a 10ha property, Mr Wardman said there was scope to subdivide and build two or three properties.
He said this sentiment was shared by many of the residents who were "middle to old age" and struggled to maintain their properties.
Another West Sapphire resident, Grenville Duce, said the land was mainly residential and no longer rural.
From the hills, you can see remnants of banana plantations and blueberry netting, but mostly open land.
Mr Duce said the purpose of rezoning was for the future and alluded to the projected population growth.
"We're talking about Coffs Harbour which is in a fast growth phase," he said.
"If it doesn't happen now, it'll never happen."
According to the North Coast Regional Plan, released by the NSW Government, the population of Coffs Harbour is expected to rise from 34,650 to 43,600 by 2036.
At Thursday's council meeting, councillors were presented recommendations not to rezone property based on prevailing environmental and economic constraints.
Cr Jan Strom moved a new motion however.
She said it was a "vitally important we offer some options for solutions here" and that it was important to speak to the community.
Cr Strom moved the motion to allow residents wanting to lodge a development application to access all of the council reports free of charge - either on an individual or precinct basis. She also included opening discussion with private and council planners.
The new motion was voted for unanimously