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Granny Flat Changes

The Logan City Council has decided to charge $23,000 in infrastructure charges for the construction of granny flats. It won't matter if you are an investor or a home owner. The changes will affect you. Read below to find out what the ramifications might be and what you can do.

CHANGES IN A NUTSHELL

Street Frontage

An 18 metre street frontage will be required once the council adopts these changes to the definition of an auxiliary unit. Have a block with a strange shape or just under the threshold? Then you are out of luck!

Infrastructure charges

Council will charge an infrastructure fee of $23,000 as of the 1st of July 2018. This does not need State Government approval.

Lot Sizes

Minimum lot sizes will increase to 700 square metres. The council wants to change the definitions so that this change will be adopted without any leniency to individual situations!

Renting Granny Flats both Now and in the Future

The council will say "Granny flats are not affected if they are for relatives or family members."

 

FALSE, if you move out, or the relatives who are staying there move out, the following things could happen:

  • You will be forced to pay $23,000 to rent it out to other people.

  • The amount of people who would be interested in buying your property will be limited to people that could use the granny flat for relatives

  • The sales price of your property could be affected as purchasers would have to take into account these fees when they buy.

In fact, even if a relative was staying in a granny flat, by definition if they purchased their own food or paid a separate electricity bil, they could (by the council's very own definition) be considered a separate household right from the beginning!

Councillors behind the change:

Cr Russell Lutton - Div 2

russelllutton@logan.qld.gov.au

Cr Jon Raven - Div 5

jonraven@logan.qld.gov.au

Cr Stacey McIntosh - Div 6

staceymcintosh@logan.qld.gov.au

Cr Cherie Dalley - Div 8

cheriedalley@logan.qld.gov.au

Cr Phil Pidgeon - Div 9

philpidgeon@logan.qld.gov.au

Phone: 07 3412 3412
These changes go against recommendations by Council Town Planners 

The council says their decision is in the interest of local residents and is based on their own studies.

 

False, public records and minutes of meetings show that councils own policy makers recommended against these overreaching and money grabbing changes. To date, council has not shown a single report or any other evidence that would justify these dramatic changes. The council report shows the following:

  • Only 8 substantiated complaints were made out of 526 total built auxiliary units. This is an extremely small percentage.

  • Council estimates it lost out on $10,000,000 due to not charging out a $23,000 infrastructure fee.

  • The construction value for aulixary units was estimated at a little over $50,000,000. Council thinks it can increase costs by 20% and get away with it!

  • Auxiliary units require no extra infrastructure to be built. The council's own report shows 6 disadvantages to charging infrastructure fees including:

1) "The additional demand placed on services is minor and in some cases is not more than a typical household where considered with the primary residence;" and

2) "Infrastructure charges gained through the development of auxiliary units would not be spent in existing urban areas (i.e. where the contribution is paid), but rather, would bring forward the delivery of trunk infrastructure items identified in the Local Government Infrastructure Plan for high growth areas." That is to say, money you pay won't be used to improve the local area, but will be spent elsewhere!

Logan City Councillors have made one thing clear: The temptation of REVENUE RAISING and inventing a new USELESS TAX is just too much for them.
 

What we believe should be implemented.

Council Proposal

Street Frontage:

Street frontage will be changed in the definitions to 18m width.

This does not allow for flexibility regarding blocks just under this threshold or oddly shaped blocks. It also doesn't give flexibility to larger battle-ax shaped blocks with plenty of on-site parking.

Minimum Lot Size:

The minimum lot size will be 700m2 and become a definition.

Again, this does not allow for flexibility regarding blocks just under this threshold or blocks with plenty of space despite the size. It also doesn't take into account if the block is a corner lot.

Approximately 40% of granny flats (auxiliary units) constructed over the last 3 years were on blocks 499m2 or less.

Infrastructure Charges:

The council will levy an infrastructure charge of $23,000 on new auxiliary unit applications.

The council seems to think this is reasonable to increase building costs to the rate payers of the area despite:

1) Their own planning and development team 

Council's own experts recommended against the infrastructure charges in a publicly available report. Councillors decided to ignore the advice of these experts!
Our Proposal

Street Frontage:

Street frontage minimum requirement should be removed as blocks have a size-depth ratio requirement. Any block of a minimum size 600m2 will have a wide enough street frontage.

Minimum Lot Size:

The minimum lot size should be 500m2 and become an acceptable outcome to the house and dual occupancy code.

1) The previous minimum lot size for granny flats was 600m2. The previous town plan residential lot size requirement was 600m2 for subdivisions. We believe that changing the lot size requirement to 500m2 brings the auxiliary units into line with the pattern of previous town planning rules.

2) Lots in new developments are often less than 500m2. This reduces investors buying lots in new developments and building streets of auxiliary units. Developers will not reduce the amount of lots created to increase land size. It is not economical.

3) Making this requirement an acceptable outcome means properties that do not meet this requirement due to strange circumstances (older area block but just under the threshold or corner blocks) could apply for relaxation and have their situation looked at on a case-by-case basis. 

Infrastructure Charges:

The council should REMOVE the requirement for infrastructure charges.

1) Sydney's north shore council charges an insane $11,000 for granny flats which are smaller. That is an expensive area and that ludicrous charge was looked at by many as a money grab. Logan's $23,000 money grab is on another planet.

 

2) Granny flats are using already existing infrastructure and don't dramatically increase the usage. They are still subject to site coverage requirements. In many cases the choice is: a) a larger 5-6 bedroom house with another bathroom or b) keeping a 3-4 bedroom house and building a 2 bedroom granny flat (auxiliary unit). This is simply due to the maximum lot size requirement. This was covered in councils report.

 

3) Paying infrastructure fees doesn't help the area in which they are paid. Pay $23,000 infrastructure charges in Beenleigh and you can bet the council won't use that money to upgrade the roads, parks or other infrastructure there. This was highlighted in councils own reports.