Skip to main content

Share your feedback and ideas during Local Law review

Published on 10 October 2017

Local Law Review

Yarra Ranges residents have until the end of the month to have their say about the current local laws, including burning off, overhanging vegetation and unsightly property during Council’s Local Laws Review.

Council has been asking the community to take part in an extensive consultation process as part of the review, asking for feedback about local laws and how they could be improved.

We promise we aren't after your guinea pigs, we are just after your feedback.

Provide feedback here

The review was triggered by the upcoming expiry of the Open Air Burning Law (2008).

Council will be consolidating its local laws, including the Open Air Burning Law, into one volume, so they can be reviewed at once.

The laws will not be required to be reviewed again until 2028.

So far, more than 140 residents have given feedback about the local laws, suggesting improvements and changes around topics such as burning off, animal control and abandoned vehicles.

Some comments received thus far suggested increasing burning off days to include Sundays in residential bushland areas, to accommodate for different households’ schedules, while others suggested ideas such as adapting animal permits to fit property size, or bringing in lifetime registration for animals.

Yarra Ranges Council Director of Corporate Services, Troy Edwards, encouraged residents to use this opportunity to have their say about local laws that impact them.

“Our local laws are designed to protect what you love about the Yarra Ranges – the look and feel of our neighbourhoods and our safe and healthy environment,” Mr Edwards said.

“The community consultation will help provide Council with an indication of what’s working well with the current local laws and what’s not.

“We would potentially simplify laws to make them more locally relevant, or do away with some of the laws if they are not found to be useful by the community or Council.”

Between 2013-2017, Council received 1,609 customer requests regarding burning off, including smoke nuisance issues, fire risk concerns and potential breaches.

In the same period of time, 1496 requests were made regarding unregistered vehicles, caravans or trailers on roadsides and nature strips, along with 965 animal related requests.

The top ten local laws requests made to Council over the 2013-17 period were:

  1. Burning off
  2. Abandoned vehicles
  3. Animal-related requests
  4. Businesses and permits
  5. Unsightly properties
  6. Nature strip landscaping
  7. Vegetation and overhanging trees
  8. Native vegetation on Council land
  9. Camping
  10. Obstructions on Council land


“Local laws affect a number of things in the community, from when you can burn off to where you can have roadside trading and how many animals you can keep before requiring a permit,” Mr Edwards said.


“They also work differently within different areas. What might be appropriate in a rural area may be a nuisance in the urban parts of the municipality.”


Following the consultation period closing, Council will develop a community impact statement, describing which laws are included in the next draft local laws document and why they are there.


The community will be able to comment on this document and the draft laws in February or March 2018, with the final laws to be formally adopted mid next year.


Council will approach any changes to its local laws within the State Government’s legal framework for reviewing, amending and making local laws.


The current feedback form will close at 5pm on Tuesday, 31 October.


For more information, or to leave your feedback, visit the Local Law consultation page.

Pop up sessions

Mayor's Big Day Out at Burrinja - Glenfern Road, Upwey - Saturday 7 October, 10am - 3pm

Seville shopping centre - Saturday 7 October, 10am - 1pm 

Healesville Walk - Sunday 8 October, 10am - 1pm

Belgrave Big Dreams Market - Sunday 8 October, 10am - 12.30pm

Upper Yarra Arts Centre at Warburton - Monday 9 October, 10am - 12pm

Belgrave - Burwood Highway- Tuesday 10 October, 10am - 12pm

Chirnside Shopping Centre - Wednesday 11 October, 10am - 1pm

Mooroolbark Coles - Thursday 12 October, 10am - 12pm

Mt Evelyn IGA - Friday 13 October, 2pm - 5pm

Yarra Glen IGA - Saturday 14 October, 9.30am - 11.30am

Yarra Junction arcade, Saturday 14 October, 12.30pm - 2.30pm

Monbulk  - 72 Main Road, Saturday 14 October, 9.30am - 11.30am

Healesville Coronation Park Market, Saturday 15 October 2017, 10am - 12.30pm

Lilydale Marketplace, Sunday 15 October, 10am - 1pm

Join the discussion

Please read our comments policy carefully before contributing to the site.

27 comment(s) so far...

Some of the zonings don't make a lot of sense we are on 1 ache and most places around us are the same or more and yet we are classed as urban. Also feel the animal laws don't make a lot of sense. A goose or a couple of ducks should not require a permit.

Robert | 28 August 2017 08:40 PM | Report to moderator

Many people in the Yarra Ranges have asthma. It affects 1 in 5 children. Burning off adds to air pollution and harms people's health, especially asthmatics. At times people are not careful and burn really inappropriate and toxic stuff. Please do not alter the burning off laws to allow more burning off than what we have now.

Penny | 30 August 2017 08:33 AM | Report to moderator

I agree that burning off needs to be restricted to organic matter. I respectfully disagree with the assertion that more burning days would cause greater problems, and believe that the contrary argument is perhaps more valid. I think restricting residential bushland properties to burning off on only a few days a week means that the smoke is worse on these days. The same amount of branches and leaves will be burnt no matter which days you can burn off. By concentrating the burning off to a limited number of days, you intensify the smoke on those particular days.

Sarah _S | 21 September 2017 07:33 AM | Report to moderator

LITERALLY SICK OF BREATHING IN SMOKE ALL DAY I agree with comments regarding burning of toxic material. We often can smell burning plastic and the like. Can't be good for our health breathing this in all Saturday. We chose to live in the hills for the perceived fresh air and healthy lifestyle, but will probably end up with lung disease from breathing in all the smoke. Its really disgusting! My fresh washing smells like smoke. And it is bad for the environment. But there seems to be no way of enforcing the laws when residents don't abide by them. People around here are burning rubbish and building materials, and continually burning on the allowable days.

Another Upwey Resident | 22 October 2017 11:39 AM | Report to moderator

I believe that burning off days should be expanded to include some weekends in June/July - the buildup of branches and leaves in our property alone over that period can be something is excess of 5 cubic metres or more. If allowed to burn off more frequently, this will reduce the fire danger as well as allowing the smoke generated to be spread out over a number of days. Understand that people suffer from asthma - My daughter and I do as well, but reducing the fire risk is also important.

RayC | 23 October 2017 09:52 AM | Report to moderator

I agree, there is too much burning off, DONT ALLOW SUNDAYS. for burning off. The pyromanics, will burn anything, and 24/7 if they get the opportunity. Residential blocks in Monbulk, should have no burning off at all. Get A Green Bin. or if u want a large allotment, cut your branches, and PAY for a Mulcher Company to turn your waste into compost mulch. Persons want large allotments, but don't want to spend money for a mulching service, just pollute the neighbourhood. instead, its cheaper.

monbulk resident. | 23 October 2017 05:09 PM | Report to moderator

I agree no EXTRA burning off days. 2 of my neighbours burn GREEN waste and produce a chimney stack of disgusting smoke EVERY week. No washing can be hung out on a Saturday because of the smoke. I have breathing difficulties on the burning off days and it is already too often. Learn to compost your leaves - its not difficult and great for your plants. Only dry branches should be burnt - occasionally.

Andrew from Upwey | 26 October 2017 12:57 PM | Report to moderator

I acknowledge the concerns of the other respondents. I am an asthmatic myself. I would like the rules to remain as they are. I think they are a reasonable balance between health issues and bushfire protection

Trevor ahale | 30 October 2017 07:24 PM | Report to moderator

Roosters should not be allowed on properties less than 5 acres. The constant and continuous crowing all day and night from a neighbors property, who constantly ignores the regulations of Local Laws by having and replacing Roosters and then lying about their existence is hard to bear. It affects one's physical and mental health. I make this recommendation to help others who are subjected to ongoing noise from Roosters. WE are on an acre of land, and the size does not protect us, hence the recommendation to parcels of land greater than 5 acres.

Jennifer | 31 August 2017 09:30 PM | Report to moderator

Productive , happy chicken families should be allowed in any family garden. They are better pets than any dog or cat and those allergic to roosters should move to a concrete jungle appartment not a natural garden.

rosemary courtier | 23 October 2017 08:01 AM | Report to moderator

I agree wholeheartedly, Jennifer, roosters crowing at all hours is a definite problem, let alone the owners who don't seem to have the slightest respect for others' rights to an undisturbed full-night's sleep. As for being allergic to roosters, Rosemary, are You serious?!? Then again, Your comment does explain the arrogance that I've been subjected to for most of the year trying to deal with a rooster that crows almost-nightly at all hours of the night. Concrete jungle apartment, indeed!! As I said, no respect for others ...

Jase | 30 October 2017 11:21 AM | Report to moderator

Parking of cars on naturestrips ......many cars are being parked on Montrose road, and nauture strips.....which obstructs the view of people reversing out of their driveways,unable to see cars travelling down the road. Also digging up the naturestrips making it look unsightly .....signs should be erected to stop any cars being parked along Montrose road at any time as it it dangerous and illegal to park opposite solid single lines on any road.

Geoff | 06 September 2017 12:14 PM | Report to moderator

Totally agree with this. During the Lantern Parade in Belgrave cars were parked all along the nature strip & footpath on the Belgrave-Gembrook Road - from Belgrave station to where the footpath ends. Not only did their tyres dig up the nature strip and put deep dirt all along the footpath - but we pedestrians had to walk on the road because the footpath was full of cars. Dangerous and should be banned.

Damyn | 17 October 2017 06:12 PM | Report to moderator

The separation of Residential Bushland areas from Rural areas in the last burning off Local Law is ineffective. While the intent was noble, the practicality of having large blocks of over an acre declared RB and having to conform to limited burning off times to reduce fuel load, places those property owners at a disadvantage. Where there are large RB areas with under half an acre blocks, it would probably work if the RB area abuts an urban area, but not if the RB area is surrounded by rural, nobody has told any smoke generated that it cannot cross the line. It would seem logical to require RB areas to abut urban areas and not contain properties over half an acre.

John Anwin | 06 September 2017 02:24 PM | Report to moderator

That's all very well, but I live on a quarter acre block next to a three acre property - and the owner burns off right next to my bedroom and clothes line, every weekend he can. I've been complaining for years to the council, only to be told that there's no one available on a weekend to do anything about it. The last time a council officer actually came around, and it seems to have made a difference. He still doesn't obey the law (burns off using kero, has no water available, and doesn't bother sticking around).

AMC | 21 September 2017 03:56 PM | Report to moderator

I would hope that most people would take all reasonable precautions to minimize smoke and other nuisance to neighbors when open air burning, The situation you describe AMC, would seem to indicate that there maybe some "history" between you and your neighbor. However the situation does very well point out the inadequate and unrealistic expectation of using a property boundary fence as a suitable means of separating a RB area from a rural area.

John Anwin | 23 September 2017 08:09 AM | Report to moderator

John Anwin, the 'history' you suggest starts from the day I stood in his driveway and asked him politely not to burn off next to my house, as it was making me ill. His response was to threaten me and my pets, then order me off his property. After that, he increased the number of bonfires he had burning at a time, and moved them all next to the fence line. In his opinion, middle-aged women have no right to ask anything of him, no matter what the law states.,

AMC | 24 October 2017 04:57 PM | Report to moderator

Roosters should be allowed in residential areas subject to proper management. And subject to thete only being one on site. Roosters are required for fertilisation of eggs if you want to provide some sustainable, organic, low food miles food for yourself through making use of additional young roosters. They also help regulate the hens and give some protection to the flock from marauding foxes. My rooster has a 'collar' which restricts his crowing. He is placed in a large cupboard in my garage at night and is not let out until around 730 in the morning during the week and 830-9am on a weekend. He makes less noise during the day than the constantly barking neighbourhood dogs, who also bark at 1am 2am 3am 4am 5am and 6am when the uncontrolled foxes are around.

Claire Coutts | 21 September 2017 09:03 PM | Report to moderator

I agree that poultry regulations are misguided as are cat restrictions. Having kept poultry, dogs and cats for 60 years, know that roosters are essential for keeping free range hens healthy and productive and are often the only ones killed protecting from foxes. Cats should be out at night to control vermin but confined daytime to protect birds and insects. Dogs confined at all times and by breed which eliminates aggressive and noisy types. Anyone allergic to rooster crowing and not barking dogs needs psychiatric treatment in this supposed semi rural area. World trends are reverting to natural biodiversity even in central urban areas. so why are we so ignorant of local horticultural efforts to improve lifestyle and physical health?

rosemary Courtier | 23 October 2017 07:53 AM | Report to moderator

My son has just invested a small fortune on the Taj Mahal of chicken coops. He has already arranged with a friend to take his 3 chooks to visit a friends rooster when the time comes. It would be common sense to have a rooster but he is not allowed. His 3 chooks are very quiet and our neighbours are looking forward to when they start laying and we have excess eggs. Our dear old cat (she’s 19) has lived her life outdoors. Until some influential cat haters decided she had to stay inside at night, we had no problems with rats, mice or possums. She complains bitterly every night when we have to bring her in. She would much prefer to be outside, where nature intended. Has anyone ever noticed that dogs also chase birds and are often successful at catching them? It is how nature works. We also have two dogs who do occasionally bark. When they start, we bring them inside for a while, to make sure neighbours don’t have cause to complain. Every dog in the valley likes to join in at times, Our dogs are brilliant at answering the doorbell and we have never had an issue with burglars. I would never be without them.

Lyn | 23 October 2017 08:04 PM | Report to moderator

Regulation of burning off, neighbor regularly burns off on Sunday's. It is often green waste from his gardening business. Several times he I has left the fire burning and is not home, including leaving it burn overnight.

Heather Storen | 08 October 2017 11:43 AM | Report to moderator

My comment relates to the felling of trees that are over 30 meters tall but are close to the 10 meter rule of a habitable property. The forest is getting older and trees regularly fall down yet there is no encouragement to replace old trees with younger ones. Consideration should be given to rejuvenating the forest by careful replanting and managing trees that have grown so tall they now create a risk to houses which, when built, were not at risk.

Reginald | 23 October 2017 11:08 AM | Report to moderator

Our neighbours constantly burn off of green / wet waste and debris causing us to be engulfed in smoke, so much so that the children cannot play outside when they do this. I can tolerate my washing stinking of smoke (although it frustrates me) but being restricted from our own backyard by someone else's insensitive burn offs is extremely annoying. I'm not asking for less burning off but for more information and education about APPROPRIATE burning off - what and how to burn, and when you impact others (because this is clearly not obvious to our neighbours).

Burning Off Education Needed | 23 October 2017 05:04 PM | Report to moderator

Parking of cars on nature strips is common sense nowadays, as many new estates have much narrower roads. Cars just can’t squeeze through is there are cars on both sides of the road, which is often the case. Unless council decides to upkeep our nature strips, we should be able to use them for parking on. With multi-car families and usually one or two parking spots per house, safe parking is difficult if we have to leave them on the road.

Lyn | 23 October 2017 07:49 PM | Report to moderator

If people were taught how to build an efficient fire that didn't smoke everyone out and educated in composting there would be less inappropriate burning off.

The Patch resident | 24 October 2017 01:24 PM | Report to moderator

Clearly, we need a way of disposing of green waste on this side of the mountain - many other councils provide waste transfer stations in distant parts of their shire/city, where you can drop off recyclables such as cardboard boxes, as well as green waste - these councils often put it through a chipper and either use the mulch themselves, or sell it. The Belgrave area is largely ignored by the council - when are we going to get proper services? Perhaps we would be better off as part of, say, Casey, which is much closer.

AMC | 24 October 2017 05:03 PM | Report to moderator

Can we help with the housing availability and affordability crisis ? The zoning in our street in Montrose is confusing, we have subdivisions next door and around us but currently are not allowed to sub divide.

Montrose | 03 November 2017 03:53 PM | Report to moderator

Make a comment

  • * (Required) (This is what will appear on the site)
  • * (Required) (This will NOT appear on the site. We will only use your email address to let you know when your comment is published or if someone responds to it.)
  • * (Required) (Maximum 1200 characters)