A proposed amendment to Wagga's planning controls has sparked a debate over the line between housing more people in the central city versus heritage and privacy.
Wagga's Development Control Plan has had a provision since 2010 that allows landowners to apply for a second dwelling on a property above a garage.
However, a rise in the number of second dwelling applications last year prompted objections from other residents, particularly around Cooedong Lane.
Wagga City Council this week voted to put on public exhibition an amendment to the DCP that would include a "more flexible approach" to the Heritage Conservation Area in central Wagga.
A report to councillors stated that a trend for new types of business and residential activity was "currently driving interest in the renewal of properties in the Heritage Conservation Area nearby the Wagga CBD".
"This includes the addition of secondary dwellings, additional floorspace to the main residence or the utilisation of infill sites within the Heritage Conservation Area," the report stated.
The report stated the amendment would allow "property owners to pursue improvements in keeping with the heritage significance of the area".
Tompson Street resident Dr Michael Whitelaw told this week's council meeting the amendment should be delayed.
"The council provides the context for the development for each individual block and it has not done the work on what the context should be," he said.
"Secondary dwellings in the Heritage Conservation Area are dictated by the state government - they are not optional - but what is optional is that the council brings it in a fair and reasonable way."
The Esplanade resident Chris Roche told the meeting the amendment did not "go far enough in protecting the historical characteristics".
Mr Roche said he acknowledged that "Wagga is a growing city' he said the council needed to take into account "community expectations".
"Developments are essential but you are not elected to just say yes to developers only," he told councillors.
Mr Roche said residents who had lived in Cooedong Lane for decades were concerned by the council having approved a two-storey second dwelling despite a heritage report advising against it.
Cr Rod Kendall urged residents to make submissions on the draft DCP amendment to inform councillors of the "community's priorities".
Cr Paul Funnell said he approved of putting the amendment on display but worried that Wagga was at risk of losing the attractions of regional living such as backyard privacy.