People are keen to find out more about the new Environmental (E) zone review process that is currently under way.
People are keen to find out more about the new Environmental (E) zone review process that is currently under way. Byron Shire Council

The zoning issue that's worrying Northern Rivers landowners

STAFF at one North Coast council have been inundated with inquiries about the new environmental (E) zone review process that is currently under way.

In the last four weeks Byron Shire Council staff have spoken to more than 250 people about the review.

Director of sustainable environment and economy, Shannon Burt, said at least 100 residents had face-to-face meetings with staff.

"It's great to see so many people interested in the E zone review because it is important for all Byron Shire land owners to understand how the E zones work and how they apply to their properties," she said.

"Council's professional planning staff can help landholders with questions or concerns about the E zone process, which is important to minimise any misunderstandings.

"The E zones are a guide to how certain land can be managed and they also determine what areas should be protected for environmental reasons.

"Generally the E zones have been well received by landowners, especially when they realise the zones do not stop existing lawful uses of their land, and they do not have to do any extra work to manage areas of important vegetation.

"There are some people who have done a lot of work revegetating their properties and it's important for them to know that no new E zones will apply unless the landowner agrees.

"Staff who have been meeting with land-owners are saying some people are even requesting that Council increase the area of proposed E zones on their properties.

"Our priority is to work with land owners to get an agreed outcome wherever possible."

Ms Burt said most of the council's meetings with landowners had been constructive.

She encouraged people to look at the new maps on the council's website and submit their thoughts and comments," Ms Burt said.

The council's website also has a Q&A video. For more information phone 6626 7126.

The closing date for submissions is December 8.



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