If you own or live on any land that's zoned for housing in the Wollongong local government area, big changes could be coming your way over the next year.
Wollongong City Council has flagged a major shift for its housing development rules, proposing a raft of new measures like a high density zone in North Wollongong and zoning changes for the 58,000 low density residential properties between Helensburgh and Windang.
In a draft report, which councillors voted to progress on Monday night, the council outlined a number of future housing options which will be put out for community debate for two months.
Councillors said it was "one of the most significant reports that has come before council for a long time" and would "set the direction of how this city moves ahead for the next 20 years".
The draft Housing Options paper forecasts supply and demand for homes, with data showing that the council's existing planning controls and strategies will cater for the projected demand.
However, the city will require a greater proportion of smaller homes to address the demand from smaller households.
The paper also outlines the case to include Wollongong in the NSW Government's Affordable Housing planning policy, which it says would help to increase the number of affordable properties available to rent and purchase for very low, low and moderate income households.
The widest reaching proposed change would be a change to the R2 zoning.
Since 2010, this generic residential zone has applied to the majority of properties across the city, and now the council is looking at whether this needs to be refined or tailored to each suburb.
The new zoning rules - designed to recognise that Stanwell Park and West Dapto, for instance, have very different needs and constraints - could include consideration of transport, infrastructure and natural constraints like bush fire risk, flooding or bank stability.
Some areas may end up having a higher density, while others would have a lower building density, or have changes to things like floor space ratio, height limits and allowable land uses.
Other options put forward include an "R4" high-density zone in North Wollongong, a reduction and strengthening of the Wollongong hospital zone, and changes to certain "medium density" zones within central villages.
Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said the options were designed to change the development rules so that developers would build the type of homes required for the future population.
"At the moment, we get developers - especially in the northern suburbs - building dual occupancies, but they're building 3-4 bedroom, million dollar homes, which is putting pressure on those areas and not addressing the issue of affordable housing," he said. "So this would be about having a greater say over what can be built. The point of the exercise is to look at a variety of housing styles that permit one and two bedroom houses, to cater for people like empty nesters, down-sizers, small families."
"It needs to be well thought through, and this is a very serious document in terms of determining the future of housing in Wollongong."
The comments received from the public on the proposed options will be used to develop a Housing Strategy for the city, and to amend some of the planning controls as the council updates its Local Environment Plan.