Black helium balloons were raised on The Hill on Saturday as part of a rally against the proposal to build a 172-dwelling residential complex on the former site of NBN studios.
Community group Open Newcastle oppose what they see as over-development of the Mosbri Crescent landholding, which backs onto Arcadia Park.
The group's spokesperson Louisa Connors, a resident of Mosbri Crescent, said 100 people attended the protest held opposite the studios on Saturday, including state member for Newcastle Tim Crakanthorp.
Protesters raised three balloons to represent the heights of the tallest buildings in developer Keith Stronach's designs, including one apartment block that is nine storeys.
Ms Connors said she was not opposed to the site's redevelopment but was concerned approval bodies would make "concessions" that allowed the $67 million project to proceed as planned.
"If you look at the height of the balloons it's wildly inconsistent with what's currently in the area," Ms Connors said. "The towers are a lot higher than the Newcastle East primary school.
"What we want is a medium density development closer to the standard controls."
Before the site changed hands, Nine had applied to Newcastle City Council to rezone the land from low-density to medium-density residential.
The NSW Department of Planning endorsed the changes last year. At the time the department's executive director regions, Steve Murray, said the new limit would allow buildings to be a maximum of seven storeys in height.
Mr Stronach's plans include a nine-storey building.