A change of land zoning proposed by Lake Macquarie council would open the door for medium-density housing in a large part of Windale.
Councillors voted on Monday night to support a planning proposal that, if approved by the Department of Planning, would encourage medium-density housing in the walkable area between Windale and Mount Hutton shops, and enable expansion of the Windale shops.
About 19 hectares of land, most of which is between South Street, Sturt Street and Church Street, would be rezoned from R2 Low Density Residential to R3 Medium Density Residential.
Less than a hectare of land across the road from the existing shops would be rezoned from R3 Medium Density Residential to B1 Neighbourhood Centre.
The existing shops, zoned B1, and the proposed site across the road would have building heights lifted from 10 to 13 metres, which is the equivalent of a three-storey commercial building.
The planning proposal was unanimously supported by councillors in the development and planning standing committee meeting.
The matter was briefly discussed before the vote.
Lake Macquarie mayor Kay Fraser said the proposed changes were a "great way forward" for the suburb.
"Windale is centrally located," she said.
"It has the capacity to grow. It will attract a lot of young families to the area."
Councillor Baker questioned the costs of preparing associated documents, but backed the proposal.
"This is about putting some sensible planning in place," he said. "The area has changed a lot. The area is full of wonderful people.
"The changes support the growth of the area."
The council will seek a Gateway determination from the Department of Planning for the planning proposal, which seeks to amend the Lake Macquarie Local Environmental Plan 2014.
The council will also prepare a draft Windale Area Plan (WAP) to amend the Lake Macquarie Development Control Plan 2014, and place the draft WAP on public exhibition concurrently with the planning proposal.
The WAP outlines the desired future character of Windale and provides controls to guide development in that direction.
Affected landowners will be notified of the exhibition period of the planning proposal and development control plan amendments.