Plans for two contentious Coombs apartment complexes - which included a combined 335 units - have been knocked back amid concerns they would have resulted in a significant "overdevelopment" of their respective sites.
The ACT Planning and Land Authority has rejected Zapari Group's application to build 212 units at the corner of John Gorton Drive and Terry Connolly Street, as well as POD Projects Group's proposed 123-apartment complex at the Arthur Blakeley Way/Colbung Street intersection.
Local residents have hailed the "major slap down" of the two proposals, hoping the rebuke would serve as a warning to developers seeking approval for developments at odds with local planning rules.
Zapari Group faced a community backlash after last year lodging plans for an eight-storey, 212-complex on a 4,107 square metre site the Suburban Land Agency had earmarked for between 21 and 44 dwellings.
In a notice of decision, the authority's delegate George Cilliers, found Zapari's proposal was inconsistent with more than a dozen planning rules, relating to height, design, boundary setbacks, open space, apartment size and housing mix.
The bulk and scale of the $52 million complex would not have been "conducive to a high-standard of residential amenity", and would block sunlight to, and overlook, neighbouring properties.
"The above mentioned non-compliances are indicative of an overdevelopment of the site, making the land not suitable for a development with a scale and density proposed," the notice of decision read.
A total of 145 submissions were made during consultation on the proposal, which was also opposed by Transport Canberra, Icon Water, Evoenergy and the Suburban Land Agency.
Following the decision, Zapari Group managing director Nicholas Skepev said he would immediately start work on a revised plan for the site, which would include fewer apartments.
"We will be working with the community to lodge a reconsideration application which deals with the issues outlined in the notice of decision," Mr Skepev said.
"It is likely that will include a reduced yield."
Zapari bought the site from the ACT government for $3.35 million in February last year.
Many of the authority's objections to the Zapari proposal were echoed in its decision to reject POD Projects Group's three-building complex at Coombs' Section 39.
The developer had sought permission to vary the site's Crown Lease, which permitted 40 dwellings, to pave the way for 123 apartments spread across a five, six and seven-storey building.
The proposal was at odds with 10 separate rules outlined in Multi Unit Housing Development Code, according to the authority's ruling.
More than 100 submissions were lodged during the public feedback period, including one which stated the "unnecessarily huge development would overshadow neighbouring homes" and, because of the small apartments, create a "ghetto".
The Canberra Times contacted POD Projects Group's managing director Paul O'Donnell for comment.
Wright resident Ryan Hemsley, who set up the 'Save Molongolo' Facebook page at the height of opposition to the Zapari proposal, said the authority's ruling marked a "major slap down" of the two developments.
"I was surprised the development application even got this point, to be honest," Mr Hemsley said.
"I'm pro-development. I want to see more people living in this area - but that in no way means that I want to see the rules broken."
Weston Creek Community Council chair Tom Anderson welcomed the decision, which was delivered amid growing community concern about developers launching "ambit claims" for large-scale projects on relatively small blocks of land.
"There is a ray of hope that maybe, just maybe, this will be a turning point," Mr Anderson said.
Mr Anderson said he planned to meet with Zapari representatives later this week, but stressed he would not consider any revised proposal which exceeded 44 units - the amount earmarked for the site by the Suburban Land Agency.