The small Snowy Monaro village of Kalkite is set to more than double in size if a planning proposal currently before council gets the green light.
Snowy Monaro Regional Council has already shown its support for the plan by submitting it to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment for a gateway determination.
The proposal, if it gets the final approval from the council, would allow for a subdivision of up to 220 residential lots, adding to the existing 160 dwellings.
Kalkite homeowner Warwick Winn said he found the council’s support of the proposed rezoning “incomprehensible”.
Mr Winn has owned a holiday home in Kalkite since 2013 and called the area a “slice of heaven”.
“There’s only 163 houses roughly in Kalkite, so you can imagine everyone knows everyone else,” he said.
“The character of Kalkite isn’t tight, dense suburban housing like they’re promoting.”
Mr Winn said the proposed rezoning does not align with the strategic plan for Kalkite.
“There’s not a single strategic document that talks about doubling or tripling the size of Kalkite. This is completely driven by someone who’s got a farm. They want to subdivide it up and make squillions, which they would, but it doesn’t align with any of that strategic planning.”
Mr Winn is among the community members who believe Kalkite does not have the facilities for the project.
“There’s a lot of land around Jindabyne, there’s a lot of land around Cooma and Berridale, where there’ll be the sensible place for this type of development yield to take place, not not out in a little village. It’s got to be where the schools, jobs and the medical centres and all those types of things are.”
The planning proposal prepared by Gyde Consulting on behalf of the developer, John Sacco Enterprises, asks for the site to be rezoned from RU1 Primary Production to a variety of new zones, which would allow for further proposed developments. These could include community centres, emergency response facilities, commercial and recreational spaces.
Gyde Consulting associate director Carlo Di Giulio said the project was designed to support tourism, employment, housing and emergency services.
He said the current owner had a history with the town and had owned the land for 20 years.
Mr Di Giulio said the current site was an ideal environment for low-density housing, given the existing housing shortage and affordability crisis in the Snowy Mountains Region.
“Our view is that the proposal will accommodate existing demand in the region and throughout much of NSW, rather than generate growth. This proposal would deliver housing that would address the existing shortage of housing.”
Following a meeting in September 2022, the council decided to support and submit the planning proposal to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment for a gateway determination.
“One of the conditions of the gateway determination was that community consultation will be undertaken. This is considered a complex planning proposal because of the size of the different zonings that have been applied for,” Gina McConkey, the council’s coordinator of strategy development, said.
In addition to online feedback forms, the council and the developer hosted two meetings in July at Kalkite and Jindabyne.
Ms McConkey said around 50 people attended the Kalkite consultation, whereas fewer than 10 people attended the meeting at Jindabyne.
Mr Di Giulio said community consultation had delivered both positive and negative submissions.
“The positive submissions noted that the proposal would increase housing opportunities for future generations, provide shopping convenience, improve firefighting capacity, provide employment/business opportunities, improve public access to the foreshore,” he said.
However, stakeholders raised concerns about whether the existing road, sewer, fresh water and telecommunication networks facilities could support such a proposed development.
“Concern was also raised in relation to the proposal’s impact to the existing character of the area with many stakeholders stating that they’d prefer the area not to change,” Mr Di Giulio said.
Ms McConkey said, at this stage, council had not made a decision to either support or not support the planning proposal. A decision would be made at a council meeting after the consultation has concluded.
“This planning proposal is not a subdivision application. Planning proposal is only about rezoning land, which can enable further development down the track.”
Snowy Monaro Regional Council will be accepting written feedback submissions until Monday 11 September on the council website.