As a buyer’s agent and town planner, I am often posed the question: “how can I be the first person to hear about council rezonings or next big change?”
The answer is quite simple. You can’t.
The reason you can’t be the first person is for change to happen, it needs to have been proposed by someone and considered by council. Most people think that the ‘someone’ is council, but often that ‘someone’ is a major landholder or developer. So if there is a proposal in place, unless you are the one to make the proposal you simply can’t be the first person to find out about a major change or rezoning.
But it isn’t hard to be one of the first.
These days council, land owners, developers and state and federal government need to be much more open and upfront regarding any changes that may occur. So the community, at some stage, do get to hear about the proposed changes and make comment. What you need to do is make sure you are one of those members of the community to hear about it and get a say.
So where do you hear about changes first exactly? Here are a number of methods:
Election campaigns. Some politicians will use a proposed change as a political weapon. Be careful though... election promises can often result in broken promises.
Council or government meeting minutes. Every major change goes before a meeting and as a community we can access these details via the council or government website.
Websites. Often there are websites dedicated to major projects, such as proposed busways, new Neighbourhood Plans, etc. Keep a close watch on these and sign up for any free newsletters.
Community meetings and information sessions. This is one of the best methods of being kept informed as the results of these meetings often get publicised as a newsletter on the websites mentioned above, so by attending meetings you are one step ahead of the pack.
Become a community representative. In a lot of cases the community, represented by both residents and professionals, are able to nominate to be community representatives, whereby they attend all of the community meetings (and background meetings) in a leadership role.
Take note of major land acquisitions, amalgamations, and development applications. Some of the more recent changes in Brisbane are the result of land owners or developers taking the initiative and proposing a development above and beyond what current rules and regulations allow, but in most cases with good reason, especially if the land size is large and strategically located.
For example, there are over 30 Neighbourhood/Local Plans recently completed, underway or recently proposed in Brisbane, the vast majority of which will create significant changes to current planning rules in a number of locations.
To be perfectly honest, a lot of people already know about all of the above methods of following progress and change, but how many of them can seriously tell you they know the details of more than one or two of the 30 plus Local Plans recently adopted or underway in Brisbane?
So as you can see, there is a lot of information out there, provided we are willing to go find it!
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