New local laws proposed for pets, short stay accommodation and more

Published on 12 June 2020

Person holding a small puppy

Council is inviting community members to share their thoughts on Council’s new draft local laws, which propose new rules to better protect and enhance neighbourhood amenity.

The Neighbourhood Amenity Draft Local Law (2020) is a refresh of Council’s local laws, which must occur every ten years.

The draft local law proposes changes to:

  • How many animals you can keep without needing a permit
  • Keeping roosters on your property
  • How Council can investigate and assist with unsightly properties
  • Camping on private land
  • Bins left out too long, that pose a safety risk
  • How Council can take action on cars stored on Council roads and land
  • Roadside trading and distances from other similar businesses
  • How community members can raise nuisance issues about parking and noise, in relation to short stay accommodation properties
  • Burning off in Bushland residential areas

Read the changes to the Local Law in full

Yarra Ranges Mayor, Richard Higgins said the new local laws are informed by two years of engagement with the community.

“We’re required to update our local laws every ten years by the State Government, but rather than being a formality, we wanted this to be a chance to understand what was useful for the community and what could use a bit of work,” Cr Higgins said.

“We heard from more than 800 community members through pop-up consultations in the community, an online survey and community meetings, and we received significant feedback about nuisance issues such as abandoned vehicles, unsightly property and amenity issues such as noise and parking.

“We also undertook an extensive internal review of our local laws, to see where we could simplify our existing local laws or remove them if they weren’t needed.

“The changes proposed in the Neighbourhood Amenity draft Local Law aim to strike a balance between the rights of our community members and the overall amenity of their neighbourhoods, and we want to know if they’ve hit the mark.

“I strongly encourage all community members to read through the draft local law and share their thoughts with us before 8 July.”

Share your thoughts on the local law

Cr Higgins said that the focus of Council in relation to the local laws is on education before officers look at imposing penalties or fines.

“It’s everyone’s responsibility to do the right thing in the community, thinking about how your actions can impact the people around you, but we know that not everyone is fully across the ins-and-outs of the local laws,” he said.

“When our officers receive reports about laws potentially being broken, our goal first and foremost is to work with everyone involved to get the best result – a lot of the time, educating people about the law and talking it through can solve the problem right away.

“However, where we have repeated issues or a serious incident reported to us, the penalties outlined in our local laws give us the ability to take further action where needed.”

Submissions on the draft local laws will remain open until midnight on 8 July, 2020. Submitters will be able to speak to their submission at a Delegated Committee of Council meeting.

This meeting will be livestreamed, with speakers to be notified of how to join the video meeting or call in their submission if they wish.

For more information about the draft local law, and to complete the survey, visit Council’s Neighbourhood Amenity Draft Local Law page.