Melbourne offered bonus plot ratio (which in the US would be called bonus floor area ratio) in the 1980s and 1990s as a means of encouraging the restoration and/or preservation of historic landmarks as well as the creation of new arcades and footpaths in the CBD (Karanja and Rama, 2011; Storey, 2010). However, from a literal reading of today’s code, it is unclear whether Melbourne currently grants bonus plot ratio as a means of encouraging historic preservation or any other offsite community benefit as illustrated by the following passage from the city Code.
The maximum plot ratio for any city block within the Capital City Zone should generally not exceed 12:1, unless it can be demonstrated that the development is consistent with the function, form and infrastructure capacity of the city block, including the capacity of footpaths, roads, public transport and service.
Karanja, Francis and Rama, Ismo. 2011. Land use planning challenges and tools-tradable development rights: design considerations. Melbourne: Victoria Department of Environment and Primary Industries.
Storey, Rohan. 2010. Heritage Lost in a Forest of Towers. The Age. Opinion. November 19.