A GROUP of Marsfield dads reckon they’ve got an ideal Fathers Day gift thanks to Ryde Council’s decision to rezone their local area from an R3 zoning to a protective R2 zoning.

Council’s rezoning decision now has to gain consent from the State Government’s Department of Planning, which could take several months to make a decision.

The Dunbar dads – and a few worried mums – had recently been shocked to find that a new multi-storey local home development said to be “out of character with the local area” had been proposed, only to find it was very much in character with an R3 zoned area.

They took their case for rezoning to last week’s council meeting where local resident Peter Aylett urged the Council to protect “a beautiful family area” from over development.

Locals Peter Raptis and Gary Pilgrim agreed.

“We have 86 properties in the estate and none of us knew it was zoned R3 and when we found out we were shocked,” Mr Pilgrim said.

Peter Raptis also spoke at the council meeting.

“Everything around us is zoned R2 and are we going to short change ourselves with R3, which allows apartments?”

The unanimous vote to rezone the area was strongly supported by Ryde Labor Clr Jerome Laxale who agreed the current zone was out of character with the surrounding area.

“The last thing Ryde needs is more high density zones, especially when we have a State Government that’s not keeping up with the growth we have with the infrastructure we need.

“But of course the best reason to rezone this to R2 is that the residents themselves want it rezoned.”

Councillor Laxale – a young dad himself – said he did not want to pre-empt the State Government’s decision, but is pleased that residents are delighted with the council’s vote.

“We’ll invite Jerome and the other councillors to a Father’s Day barbecue in our neighbourhood, for sure!” one local dad said.

Dunbar Estate residents support Clr Jerome Laxale’s action to rezone their neighbourhood. TWT on-the-spot PHOTO