A significant development proposed for a hilly bush block at the back of Keiraville will include green rooftops, ponds and communal vegetable patches.
But a residents' group says the plans for 14 Cosgrove Avenue, which would allow dozens of new homes to be built in the already congested suburb, are a "massive overdevelopment or mini-city".
Chinese development group offshoot, Surewin Parkview, hopes build 47 dwellings at the four hectare site, which has views over the botanic garden and into the city.
The details of the proposal lodged last week are not yet on public exhibition through Wollongong City Council, but the developers say it will "provide a diversity of housing ... and integrate with the escarpment landscape".
To be known as "The Cosgrove" it will include five buildings of three-and-four-bedroom homes, the developers - who bought the site for $7 million in 2016 - said.
"The architecture and landscaping are integrated through such elements as green roof tops while the building materials have been chosen to blend with the surroundings.," consultant Helen Deegan said of the proposal.
"We've taken into account the topography and geology of the site as well as factors such as stormwater, heritage and biodiversity."
She said planners had also considered "the details that most impact others, like visuals, traffic and parking".
But Felix Bronneberg from the newly reformed Keiraville Residents Action Group said the plans to develop in the "bushfire-prone foothills" would ring alarm bells for many residents.
"I'm gobsmacked that this DA located in a high fire risk zone has been lodged while NSW is experiencing bush fire Armageddon," he said.
"The right place for this type of development is in the inner city close to amenities and services, not at the edge of Keiraville, as proper planning principles would dictate."
He also said the site was "located close to ground zero in terms of saturation parking and traffic problems due to its proximity to the University of Wollongong."
"From an environmental perspective, the development will see the loss of bushland, habitat and will be located in a high fire risk zone," Mr Bronneberg said.
"There is potential for this development to be used for student accommodation exacerbating the impact on residents living within the vicinity."