Kotara is not the first and won't be the last Newcastle suburb to feel the pinch of higher-density development.
City of Newcastle expects the local government area's population to grow from 162,000 to 188,000 over the next 12 years.
Many of the new 26,000 will be accommodated on greenfield sites in the city's western fringe and in inner-city apartment blocks.
But the plethora of townhouses and small unit developments popping up in formerly sleepy suburbs will also absorb some of the extras.
Kotara is at the start of this curve. Neighbourhoods closer to the CBD, including Adamstown and Merewether, have grown accustomed to seeing a single-dwelling block turn into multiple units or townhouses as the developers move in.
But Kotara back streets like Grayson Avenue and Bryson Avenue, with their low bungalows, Hills hoists and sprawling blocks, are family-oriented in a particularly nostalgic Australian way.
Balancing the needs of residents in such neighbourhoods with the desire to limit urban sprawl by increasing the population density of existing suburbs is a challenge for local councils in cities across the country.
For local governments determined to refuse a proposed development which neighbours resist but which does not exceed planning rules, the Land and Environment Court inevitably awaits.
As residents living near Adamstown's 84-unit Foundry redevelopment found out in April, the outcome is often not palatable, despite the efforts of the council. In that case, the development was 3.3 metres higher than what was allowed under the zoning.
City of Newcastle chief executive officer Jeremy Bath told the Newcastle Herald on that occasion that the "council can't, or at least shouldn't, refuse complying development, which The Foundry largely was".
Unfortunately for those resisting change in Kotara, the suburb's block sizes mean developers can stick to the rules in a low-density zone and still make a pretty penny.
The onus on government is to diminish the impacts of that development as much as possible by ensuring infrastructure keeps pace with the new houses.
Footpaths, roads, stormwater and parks should all improve, if needed, with the rise in population density, otherwise Newcastle's long-vaunted amenity will increasingly become a thing of the past.
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