RZ1, RZ2, Rz3 & Rz4 in Canberra

The Housing Rule in Canberra uses zones based on the Territory Plan 2008. These zones serve as a practical guide for the government to accustom the planning controls for a particular area or block of land. These zones define how the land can be used and what can be built in the area.

There are 23 different zones which are divided into seven main groups – residential, commercial, industrial, community facilities, parks and recreation, transport and service and the non-urban zones.

We are briefly summarizing the residential zones – RZ1, RZ2, RZ3, RZ4 & RZ5. Residential zones in the ACT are areas where the main use of land is housing. Some childcare centers, medical clinics and community halls are permitted to meet the needs of the residents. Industrial and commercial constructions are prevented in these zones to protect their residential character.


In general, this is the area or residential zone where most housings in Canberra are built.

  • Low rise and low-density houses
  • Minimal change can occur especially on the original pattern of the single dwelling.
  • Dual occupancies are permitted on blocks over 800m2, however, they are not permitted to be subdivided or unit titled (and therefore cannot be sold separately).
  • Basement car parking is not permitted on single dwellings if beneath a 2 storey dwelling.
  • New RZ1 areas do not allow multi-unit housing 

RZ2 – Suburban Core Zone

  • Low rise and higher density than RZ1
  • This is the area where houses are built around shops or commercial hubs.
  • Residences are possible to be near shops and public transportation 
  • RZ2 blocks that are over 700m2 that can accommodate a mix of a single dwelling and multi-unit development that is low to medium density in character.
  • Most developers and builders look for these blocks for redevelopment projects.
  • There are opportunities for redevelopment in these areas but with a limited extent of change concerning the original pattern of subdivision and the density of dwellings.

RZ3 – Urban Residential Zone

  • Low rise but is slightly higher density.
  • Build housing that is suitable for commercial and employment areas.
  • Maximum height of 9.5m and could be two-story’s.
  • Apartments are allowed
  • Have good access to facilities and services and/ or frequent public transport services.
  • Allows for medium scale multi-unit development.

RZ4 – Medium Density Residential Zone

  • Medium rise and medium density
  • Contains urban expansion and accommodate population growth along major transport corridors.
  • Maximum height of 12.5m which could be three-story’s 

RZ5 – High-density residential zone

  • High rise and high-density
  • Maximum height of 21.5m which could be up to six story’s
  • If near to low rise residential blocks, facilities or parks, can only build a maximum of three story’s 

More information

For more information about the Rules for Residential Zone in the ACT, you can refer to this link from the ACT Government on Planning 

We build secondary residences called The Pod. The Pod falls under the RZ1 and RZ2 category. The most popular we build on our RZ1 blocks. If you have an RZ1 block we can build a secondary residence for you and we need to comply with all the secondary residence policy rules for example setbacks including easements, as well as the disability rules and regulations. We are located in Canberra and we build in the surrounding regions. Any questions please contact us on 1300 THE POD

Not sure what zone your block is?

Check on the ACTMapi portal and you’ll find out.

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