July 2015 Local Board Member Report

Logo croppedPurpose

This report covers my Waitematā Local Board Activities during July 2015 as Deputy Chair of the Finance Committee; Deputy Chair of the Hearings Committee; Lead of the Parks and Open Spaces portfolio; Heritage, Urban Design and Planning portfolio holder; and, Local Board representative on the K Road Business Association.

Executive Summary

  • Renewal of Tole Reserve playground completed. Opening ceremony on 15 August
  • Attended the Local Government New Zealand Conference in Rotorua from 19-21 July
  • Local Dog Access Rules submission periods ended on 17 July
  • Alcohol Ban Area submission periods ended on 17 July
  • Swimming pool fencing exemptions site visits and hearing by the Local Board Hearings Committee on 28 July
  • Resource consent lodged for Heritage Foreshore Project on 1 July
  • Met with Office of Treaty Settlements officers about the Gladstone Park and Fred Ambler Lookout settlement with Marutuahu iwi
  • Met with Board of Trustees members of Western Springs High School about the proposed re-build of the school
  • Opening ceremony at Waitematā Green in Wynyard Quarter on 28 July
  • Fukuoka Garden Steering Committee meeting

Comments

Local Government New Zealand Conference, Rotorua, 19-21 July

I attended with central funding as I am the Zone 1 (Auckland and Northland) representative on the LGNZ Young Elected Members’ Committee of the LGNZ National Council. Council paid the conference fee and accommodation. I paid for my own flights to and from Rotorua.

This was a great opportunity to talk to many of the 600 or so elected Mayors, councillors, community and local board members from all over the country about the similarities and differences in what we do.

YEM

The Young Elected Members Committee meeting at the LGNZ Conference, 19 July 2015, Rotorua

A highlight for me was the first meeting of the Young Elected Members group. The group was first mooted at last year’s conference and earlier this year I was elected as the Zone 1 representative  on this group. The over-arching focus of the YEM group is on intergenerational equity in all its manifestations. We see this as consistent with the core purposes of local government as codified in ss3,10(2)(c) and 14(h) of the Local Government Act 2002. This future focus is the perspective that will inform YEMs’ contribution to LGNZ policy and programmes, and is consistent with the overall LGNZ goal of ‘promoting and protecting local democracy’.

Our first piece of work to be completed by the end of 2015 is to develop our work programme in consultation with LGNZ staff and the GSAG. We will focus on the following outcomes

  1. Improved civics education around local government

We want to see more young people understanding what local government does, and how they can be involved in it

  • Over the next year we feel LGNZ could develop a youth-focussed outreach initiative as part of its Communication and Reputation work.
  • We feel there is also a role of a tool kit to assist Councils with youth engagement

[Connections with Ministry for Youth Development to be considered]

  1. Younger and more diverse electoral representation

We want to see higher voter turnout among people aged 18-24, and an increase in the number of YEMS standing/elected. We’ll aim to increase diversity within local government – so that government looks like the community it represents

  • We will be clearly available to speak to those wanting to stand
  • We will consider the establishment of a mentoring programme
    • Among YEM members
    • Between YEM and older elected members
  1. Effective YEMs

We want to build a network that is capable, co-ordinated and positioned to support and influence LGNZ and wider local government conversations.

  • Training for new YEMs upon election. We seek funding from LGNZ for this as well as working with LGNZ to improve training programmes
  • Travel and registration costs are a significant barrier to participation in conferences and face-to-face meetings for some YEMs. We seek funding to support meetings of the network and significant meetings at which they should be present
  1. A strong and future-relevant LGNZ

We want to support LGNZ’s continued development as a strong voice and support for the sector.

  • Review of zone meetings and conference, and feedback on how they can be better
  • Building longer-term priorities into LGNZ work plan
  • We will work with the Conference Committee to support progressive improvements in quality and relevance of these sector gatherings

There were also some excellent talks. Highlights were:
‘Performance and Customer focussed culture – taking your people with you’

Stephen Yarwood, former Lord Mayor of Adelaide

‘Sustainable funding for local government – what are the options?’

Penny Webster, Councillor, Auckland Council

Hugo Ellis, Partner, Cameron Partners

Dr Oliver Hartwich, Executive Director, The New Zealand Initiative

‘Disruptive governance – how do we increase our performance and create a strong link from strategy to transparent performance?’
Dr Lester Levy, CEO, New Zealand Leadership Institute

‘Telling our story and selling the value of our sector’
Kevin Roberts, Executive Chairman, Saatchi & Saatchi

Port Future Study

Stakeholders from a broad range of sectors and organisations identified as having an interest in future port and wider harbour development attended a Stakeholder Plenary event on 9 July. This was the first significant meeting of the Study and an important step in bringing all stakeholders together to meet each other and exchange views in an open and constructive forum.  A further session was held with Mana Whenua to self-select their own representatives on both of the stakeholders groups. The purpose of the meeting on the 9th  was for all of these stakeholder groups to begin discussions about how the study will be conducted and to select the Stakeholder Reference Group (SRG). Throughout the day stakeholders engaged in independently facilitated discussions and are currently working towards reaching agreement on self-selecting both the sectors and representatives of the SRG and the Consensus Working Group (CWG). Once this establishment process is complete the CWG will begin work on agreeing the study scope.

Portfolio Report: Parks & Open Spaces

Portfolio Responsibilities

Decision-making for and oversight of local parks and public council open spaces, including beaches, coastal walkways, reserves, sports fields, playgrounds, non-road reserve plazas and boat ramps. This includes location and naming of new parks, design and maintenance of park facilities and settings, and supporting community events and planting programmes in parks. Landowner consent delegation in respect of local parks and open spaces. Regulatory and policy oversight of local dog management. Advocacy to achieve local priorities relating to parks network development and input into the management and use of regional parks located within the local area.

Renewal of Tole Reserve Playground Completed

This is one of the five bundled ‘enhanced renewal’ projects approved by the Local Board. One of the lesser-known parks in the area, Tole Reserve serves the Ponsonby community at the Three Lamps end and is a popular dog exercise area.
The Tole Reserve opening ceremony will be on 15 August.

Auckland Domain Committee

I attended the Committee’s hui with iwi representatives to discuss the Domain Development Plan and design principles on 1 July.

Gladstone Park Treaty Settlement

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I attended a site visit to the park followed by a meeting with staff of the Office of Treaty Settlements (OTS) on 9 July. The OTS has negotiated Gladstone Park as a Treaty of Waitangi settlement for a Coromandel-based iwi grouping, Marutuahu. On 5 August 2014, the OTS wrote to Council announcing the proposed transfer of the Fred Ambler lookout recreation reserve in Parnell for ‘cultural redress’ as a part of comprehensive package of treaty settlements across the Auckland region and went on: ‘The Crown also intends to transfer the land at 27 Balfour Road, [the Parnell Community Trust Childcare Centre] and 110 Gladstone Road [the Parnell Tennis Club] to the Marutuahu Iwi as commercial redress on a deferred selection basis.’ Adding, ‘Both the vesting of the land in Auckland Council and the current reserve classification would be revoked as part of the transfer.’ This caused a great deal of concern amongst local residents. The public reaction prompted a press release from the Minister of Treaty Settlements, Hon. Chris Finlayson, (also made on behalf of Mayor Len Brown), stating that ‘some people have alleged Gladstone Park will be commercially developed and intensified. This is not true, I can assure the Parnell community that Gladstone Park will always remain a reserve, and will not be subject to intensification or commercial development.’

Negotiations and discussions are confidential. The Local Board is focused on ensuring that the reserve status of the park is maintained. My personal focus as Parks Portfolio Lead is that the experience of the public in terms of access and enjoyment remain unchanged after the transfer to Marutuahu.

Portfolio Report: Heritage, Urban Design & Planning

Portfolio Responsibilities

Heritage, Urban Design and Planning covers a mix of regulatory and non-regulatory activities including city planning and growth, heritage protection, urban design requirements, Local Board resource consent application input, and bylaw development, including advocacy to achieve local priorities relating to heritage preservation, good urban design and spatial planning. Regulatory and policy oversight of local liquor licensing, signs & billboards, brothels.

Heritage

PAUP Independent Commissioners Report on Special Character,  Pre-1944 Building and Demolition Overlay, and Volcanic Viewshaft Protection

The Panel of Independent Commissioners on the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan have issued interim guidance memoranda on Special Character,  Pre-1944 Building and Demolition Overlay, and Volcanic Viewshaft Protection. The purpose of the guidance is to inform all parties of the Panel’s interim position on these two matters.  They are not a formal recommendation/decision and is not yet binding on the Council, submitters or the Panel. They do, however, give a clear indication of the direction in which the PAUP will likely go on these matters.

These assessments have all been significantly guided by s32 of the Resource Management Act 1991 which requires that ‘benefits and costs’ be included in evaluation reports in the context of assessing efficiency and effectiveness. The most recent amendments in 2013 were intended to take effect in time for the preparation of the Auckland combined plan under Part 4 of the Local Government (Auckland Transitional Provisions) Act 2010.  The post-2013 s32(2) requires that:

An assessment under subsection (1)(b)(ii) must –

  • Identify and assess the benefits and costs of the environmental, economic, social and cultural effects that are anticipated from the implementation of the provisions, including the opportunities for-
  • economic growth that are anticipated to be provided or reduced; and
  • employment that are anticipated to be provided or reduced; and
  • if practicable, quantify the benefits and costs referred to in paragraph (a).

On this basis, applied for instance to volcanic viewshafts, the panel asks for an assessment of the ‘public value’ of all 87 of the viewshafts, taking into account ‘employment and economic growth opportunities (including lost opportunities)’, suggesting that although it is not necessary for submitters to ‘convert the effect of viewshafts in terms of lost floor area into dollar terms’, it would ‘assist in decision making.’  In fairness to the panel, they are bound to follow the guidance provided in this legislative scheme and assess current and proposed rules against it. The Panel made the following comments:

Pre-1944 Building Demolition Control Overlay

This overlay has in fact been of very limited effectiveness in saving old buildings. At the time of writing, the overlay has triggered the assessment of about 5% of buildings and seen scheduling of less than 1%. In any event, the Waitematā Local Board area will not be as affected as others by removal of the pre-1944 overlay given that heritage surveys have been carried out, at the urging of the Local Board, by a specialist team in Westmere, Grey Lynn, Ponsonby and Freemans Bay. They have identified 12 ‘hotspots’ in the current Res 1 fringe and we will know the full results of their survey in September.

  • The Panel hold that the overlay is placing unnecessary constraints and burdens on landowners seeking to develop their properties.
  • The Panel considers that there is inadequate analysis and evidence to justify this overlay in the PAUP.
  • In particular, additional analysis should include the implications of the overlay on the PAUP’s urban growth provisions and the basis of any such control under s6 and s7 of the RMA.
  • If the Council wishes to pursue this overlay, it should be done through a future plan change process.

Staff will report to the next Auckland Development Committee meeting with further advice on the implications of this interim guidance.

Volcanic Viewshaft Protection

Of far greater concern is the panel’s guidance note on the preservation of volcanic viewshafts. There are currently 87 volcanic viewshafts which have been painstakingly negotiated over the past 50 years. Following the construction of The Pines apartments on the side of Mount Eden Maungawhau in the 1970s, many Aucklanders were galvanised to protect views to our distinctive maunga. Auckland Council Regional Planner, Roy Turner, proposed that a cross-section of views be preserved for posterity. The Auckland Regional Council and Auckland City Council began a joint review of the viewshafts in 1996 and notified a revised list in 2005 with 34 additions and 24 removals. Section 32 RMA assessments, outlined above, are of particular importance in the Panel’s thinking on this matter and their view is that the objectives, rules and policies in relation to viewshafts do not meet the requirements of the section.

  • The Panel write that the ‘volcanic cones are a defining element of Auckland’s natural heritage. Views to and between the cones are generally worthy of protection.’
  • However, the Panel states that ‘not all views are equally significant or equally sensitive to development change’ and is unconvinced ‘that any development that penetrates a viewshaft would be inappropriate.’
  • 2 different methodologies have been proposed. Council have proposed a single level of protection for regional volcanic viewshafts and Housing New Zealand have proposed a 3-stage hierarchy of regional, district and local viewshafts. HNZ have complained that viewshafts are causing ‘a potential capacity loss of 1150 units’ to HNZ and 24,500 to developers city-wide.
  • The Panel consider an as-yet-undisclosed number of viewshafts to be not regionally significant pending further assessment.
  • They also consider that a great deal of refinement can be achieved due to GIS technology not available at the time many of the viewshafts were originally identified, and ‘improved development capacity modelling tools are now available to better understand the opportunity costs alongside the benefits so that better informed assessments can be made than in the past.’

The parties are to liaise with one another and agree by 31 July to provide further assessment detail by way of a work programme and a timetable to prepare for a resumed hearing.

Special Character

Special character is the second part of the two-part test in the pre-1944 Building and Demolition Control Overlay. So, even if the pre-1944 overlay survives, it will be significantly undermined if the following views of the panel are an accurate guide to what will be in the final unitary plan.

  • The Panel is not convinced that special character is ‘historic heritage’ requiring protection as a matter of national importance.
  • Therefore, if Council wishes to change the provisions from special character to historic character (i.e. a change from s7 to s6 of the RMA), then it should do so through a future plan change.
  • Additional special character areas raised through submissions should be addressed by a future plan change.
  • Howick should remain a special character area for the purposes of the PAUP process.

Seismic Exemplar Guidebook

Waitematā is blessed with many of Auckland’s historical buildings. Commercial buildings were commonly built of brick with decorative facades and they have a solid presence throughout the inner city and contributing enormously to its character. Although Auckland has a low likelihood of a damaging earthquake, we have a critical mass of heritage buildings that fall short of seismic performance standards and are considered earthquake prone.  The process of fixing them can be confusing and costly, causing some owners to consider demolition. Auckland Council has adopted a staged approach to the identification of earth-quake prone buildings with all potential earthquake prone buildings being assessed by December 2015. We are committed to the ongoing survival of the region’s rich built heritage and that includes ensuring it is structurally sound.  We don’t want to see seismic strengthening work adversely affect the intrinsic value of a building nor cause the unnecessary loss of heritage through demolition. This commitment has led us to produce this guidebook as a helpful tool to guide building owners, tenants and building managers. The book will guide building owners through the requirements and process for seismic strengthening and illustrate techniques that respect and protect heritage.

The guidebook provides a high level overview of the earthquake assessment process, an understanding of the common earthquake vulnerabilities of historical buildings, the retrofit process and an outline of the potential costs associated with this process. We have aimed to make it as accessible and easy to read as possible while retaining the necessary technical detail.

Branding and final design have been delayed until next financial year but the document will come  to the Local Board for endorsement at the August business meeting.

Adaptive Re-Use of Heritage Toilets

Auckland has a network of heritage toilets which no longer serve the needs of the community with the underground toilets in particular considered to be unsafe. In the past these have been leased for occasional storage or left vacant. There is now the potential to seek private sector partnerships to change the use of the facilities to meet the needs of the community. Re-development of the sites as cafes, bars, retail or offices could increase the vibrancy and activity around these sites. In addition to creating revenue, adaptive re-use of these toilets will allow the heritage aspects of the toilets to be show-cased. The toilets show everything from historic design to past public transport patterns and social norms. There is a well-established pattern of re-developing toilets into cafes and bars both within New Zealand and overseas.

At the Local Board business meeting of 14 July, we resolved the following:

Resolution number WTM/2015/88

MOVED by Member VI Tava, seconded by Member CP Dempsey

That the Waitematā Local Board:

  1. Endorse the approach to find partners for the adaptive re-use of the three toilets in Wellesley Street East, Sturdee Street and Custom Street West sites.
  2. Endorse the selection criteria which will be used to short list expressions of interest for the adaptive re-use.

Expressions of interest opened on 17 July, to run until 17 August, for five toilets at the following sites:

  • Customs Street West
  • Wellesley Street East
  • Corner Market Place/Sturdee Street
  • New North Road (Kingsland Rail Station)
  • Sandringham Reserve, Sandringham Road

A public open day was held at all five sites on Saturday 25 July from 10AM-4PM and staff were on hand to discuss the project.

Heritage Foreshore Project

Resource consent application R/LUC/2015/2474 was lodged on 1 July. This is a lengthy and detailed consent covering the 25 signage sites required for the Local Board’s Heritage Foreshore Project. The Project will mark at significant sites the original shoreline of the Waitematā area which is remarkably different from that of the present day.

Heritage Incentives Policy

The purpose of this policy is to establish a framework for a suite of incentives to support the delivery of natural and historic (built and cultural) heritage conservation. This project facilitates the delivery of an Auckland-wide policy for historic heritage and natural heritage working with teams across Council. This project focuses on non-regulatory incentives, which may include but are not limited to: rates relief and/or rates attachment; local government assistance grant schemes, advice, technical assistance and awards; targeted behaviour change and environmental education to build community capacity; fencing and riparian planting schemes; public-private partnerships; heritage events; promotion of a self-generating investment fund and the waiving of consent fees. Local Board formal feedback has been given this month and the final draft policy will be presented to the Regional Strategy and Policy Committee in September.

Heritage Assets Stewardship Plan

The purpose of the Heritage Assets Stewardship Plan (HASP) is to provide guidance on why Auckland Council owns heritage assets and how it should be managing them. The plan contains an overall statement of intent followed by principles to guide the most common aspects of owning and managing heritage assets. This plan and its principles are intended to link the Auckland Plan, the Historic Heritage Plan and day-to-day work on heritage assets and provide the basis for future levels of service to be developed. The Local Board will provide formal feedback on the draft policy over July and August with the final draft policy presented to Regional Strategy and Policy Committee for adoption in September.

Built Heritage Acquisition Fund: Vos Yard

Vos Yard is located at 38 Hamer Street, Wynyard Quarter. The building and associated features have significant heritage value as the last remaining wooden boat-building yard in Auckland, associated with a notable boat builder, Percy Vos. The interior of the 1937 gabled shed remains with its original roof structure, stairs, office and rails. Waterfront Auckland obtained $1 million in funding from Auckland Council, through the 2012/2013 LTP, to acquire the site from Sanfords who had consent to demolish and plans to re-develop. Work has been done since to determine an ongoing use and ownership model that justifies its restoration and maintenance. The vision is to create a visitor centre housing the restoration and maintenance of wooden boats and public facilities will be incorporated to showcase and transfer skills to new generations. Waterfront Auckland has already purchased the site for $4.7 million and undertaken to find a private sector third party to carry out the work and secure the balance of funding. Ownership will transfer to the third party when the restoration is complete.

At their meeting of 23 July, the Finance and Performance Committee voted to:

  1. Support the proposal to commit $2.3 million of the Built Heritage Acquisition Fund for the restoration costs of Vos Yard
  2. Advise Waterfront Auckland that this commitment can only be drawn down once Waterfront Auckland has raised the balance of the funding advised by the committee
  3. Advise Waterfront Auckland that this commitment expires on December 2017
  4. Require Waterfront Auckland to report to the Finance and Performance Committee on progress on a six-monthly basis

Two Magnolia Trees at 230 Ponsonby Road to be Removed from the Schedule of Notable Trees in PAUP

230 magnolia

The Magnolias at 230 Ponsonby Road

The magnificent Magnolia grandiflora trees at 230 Ponsonby Road are virtually certain to be removed from the schedule of notable trees in the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan.

The trees were recently assessed by Council arborists as part of Plan Change 305 in 2012. At this time the trees were found to not meet the threshold for scheduling under the operative Isthmus District Plan, however, they were retained on the schedule as there was no scope within the plan change to delete them. In response to a submission received on the PAUP requesting the deletion of the two Magnolia Trees from Appendix 3.4. Council’s arborist assessed the trees against the notable tree criteria within the PAUP. Council’s arborist concluded that the trees do not meet the threshold for scheduling under the proposed PAUP criteria. Officers’ recommendations went to the Unitary Plan Committee members who have delegation from the Unitary Plan Committee to approve such recommendations. The four councillors have approved officers’ position that the two Magnolia trees should be recommended in Council evidence for removal from Appendix 3.4. As such a record of agreement has been signed with the submitter which will be attached to Council’s evidence to the Independent Hearings Panel (IHP). At this stage Council expects to receive the IHP’s recommendations next July and to make a final decision in August/September 2016.

Planning

Resource Consents

The portfolio request information on resource consent applications of interest as a matter of course. The Local Board can have input into the decision on public notification of a resource consent application but not into the substantive matters of the application. The input of the Local Board is not binding on the commissioner making the decision. Nonetheless, on some significant applications we will include substantive comments along with our views on notification.

  • R/VCC/2012/3145/13, 16 Vinegar Lane, Grey Lynn. S127 Change of consent conditions 3 and 4 pertaining to lot 15 to increase the infringements of maximum height to existing pergola, lift and toilet in the rooftop terrace which infringe on the maximum height allowed in the design manual. The infringements are 820mm for the pergola, 870mm for the lift overrun and toilet and 970mm for the boundary wall. We asked for limited notification.
  • R/LUC/2015/2465, 50 Rose Road, Grey Lynn. Extension to the existing house. The site coverage infringement is 45%. As shown on the plans, the existing dwelling + sleep out + garage is 207.51m2 and the additions will be 43.95m2. The existing dwelling, sleep-out and garage already established on the site exceeds the permitted allowance of 35% already. The other infringement relate to the minimum front yard landscaping. There will be no changes proposed to the frontage along Rose Road. Based on the plans, the 50% landscaping would equate to 30.63m2. The proposed landscaping as a result of the additions would infringe this as only 24% (14.46m2) is proposed. We did not put in formal input on the notification decision.
  • R/VCC/2014/4834/1, 160 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby. Alteration of consent conditions to increase the height of the boundary fence. The application to vary the condition of the previous consent is to increase the boundary wall along the western boundary. They are proposing to construct a concrete block wall 2.4m above ground level that runs a short way along the southern boundary. Bamboo will be grown in front of the wall as well as ivy. Written approval from the adjacent sites, 2 Douglas Street and 3 Brown Street, has been obtained where they share a boundary wall. We recommended limited notification.
  • R/LUC/2015/2474, 25 sites. Foreshore Trail Project signage – more detail below
  • R/LUC/2015/2610, 67-101 Vincent Street, City. Consent application by the NZ Police to installation new Wi-Fi support antennas at the Auckland Central Police Station (67 – 101 Vincent Street). Resource consent is required for a non-complying activity given that the proposed antennas infringe on both the general maximum height control and the volcanic cone view protection shaft for Mt Eden. These antennae are minor additions to an existing mast structure and have a barely perceptible visual impact. I am particularly vigilant about infringements on the volcanic viewshafts and am satisfied that this will not be any worse than what is currently constructed. We did not put in formal input on the notification decision.
  • R/LUC/2015/1828/1, 15 Surrey Crescent, Grey Lynn. The original consent (R/LUC/2009/3305) was granted for the establishment of the heath service facility within Res 1 and associated parking infringements including the shortfall of parking spaces, waiver for one loading space, two existing vehicle crossings and being located along a defined road boundary. The consent applied for in this regard relate to the accessory building that is already on the subject site. The establishment of the accessory building does not infringe any of the relevant development controls, therefore it is a Restricted Discretionary Activity. We did not put in formal input on the notification decision.
  • R/LUC/2015/2585, 12 York Street, Parnell. The application involves the demolition of a villa on a site in the Mixed Use Zone. This is located within the pre-1944 building demolition control overlay of the PAUP. The application is currently being reviewed by Council’s Built Heritage Team. I have consulted with the Parnell Community Committee and they are not concerned about this application as the building is not of particularly high quality and is now surrounded by tall modern buildings. We did not put in formal input on the notification decision but on the condition that a careful heritage assessment be done.
  • R/LUC/2015/2658, 16 Mount Street, City. University of Auckland have made application for internal and external alterations to the O’Rourke building consisting of alterations to external balconies and windows to address an on-going weather egress and safety issue. Also proposed is the re-arrangement of floor space on level 2 and 11 of the building to provide 8 additional bedrooms (Level 2 is currently a staff flat and level 11 is a library space). A new curtain wall is to be placed around the existing covered stairwell to address current weather egress issues and the exterior of the building will be repainted. Whilst the alterations and conversion of floor space to non-permanent (student) accommodation are restricted discretionary activities, the application is overall non-complying as the maximum internal noise level (Rule 7.6.3) are exceeded as mechanical ventilation is not a practicable option for this building. We did not put in formal input on the notification decision.
  • R/VCC/2014/4695/1, 2 Graham Street, City. S127 Change of consent conditions to create additional easements. This is a subdivision application to vary a condition of the original subdivision consent (approved 10 February 2015) a four lot subdivision around the commercial development by Mansons TCLM Ltd at 151 Victoria Street West/2 Graham Street. The s127 application is to amend the easement arrangements shown on the approved plans relating to vehicle access and parking through the development only. Whilst there is no planning requirement for any particular arrangement in this matter, they need to amend the plan references in the conditions to enable s223 (approval of survey plan by territorial authority) to issue. We did not put in formal input on the notification decision.
  • R/LUC/2015/2642, 133-135 Ponsonby Road, Freemans Bay. Mixed use development within a heritage building. The proposal is to provide an upper level office and single residential unit by extending the building to the rear, creating a more uniform building profile and upgrading the ground floor façade to provide for both retail and hospitality (restaurant/café) in place of a generic Coca-Cola branded dairy frontage. Internal reconfiguration of both levels is also proposed to make better use of the space and to modernise the internal layout. We did not put in formal input on the notification decision.
  • R/LUC/2015/2657, 33-35 Ponsonby Road, Freemans Bay. Alteration to the facade of an existing building to create a new shop-front. The proposal is to replace the shop front glazing provided in 1990 as indicated on the attached plan. The applicant received comments from a conservation perspective prior to lodgement of the consent indicating the acceptability of the proposed change. Given that this is simply the replacement of glass and it is not heritage we offered no further feedback and did not put in formal input on the notification decision.
  • R/VCC/2009/2306/1, 150-154 Karangahape Road, Newton. To vary Condition 1 of existing Resource Consent R/LUC/2009/2306 (which currently comprises two panel antennas and one 300mm dia. microwave dish attached to the rooftop of a 29.4m building, plus five associated cabinets), with two replacement panel antennae. This is an application by 2degrees for the upgrade, operation and maintenance of an existing telecommunication facility (which currently comprises two panel antennas and one 300mm dia. microwave dish attached to the rooftop of a 29.4m building, plus five associated cabinets), with two replacement panel antennas, two additional panel antennas, and one additional cabinet. It is part of a collection of upgrade applications by 2degrees around the city centre and isthmus. We did not put in formal input on the notification decision.
  • R/LUC/2015/2563, 322-324 Karangahape Road, Newton. Alterations to front facade and design. This is an application to provide new façade treatment to the existing building occupied by Splash Club and The Mermaid. The alterations include introducing a horizontal louvre to  the parapet face and relocating existing signage to a central location on the building.  Restricted discretionary activity consent is required for alterations to the frontage of a building in the Karangahape Road Precinct and signage. We did not put in formal input on the notification decision.
  • R/LUC/2015/2570, 65 St Stephens Avenue, Parnell. Removal of two scheduled trees (Pohutukawa and English Oak) and upgrading of tennis court. The Local Board has requested full notification of this application. The trees are very significant, contribute substantially to the visual amenity of the area, and the local board has requested full notification as this is needed for the pros and cons of their removal to be weighed. Neither of the specialists (arborist and heritage architect) support the proposal. The application has been placed on a s37 extension of time and a meeting between Council and the applicants is scheduled for early August.
  • R/LUC/2015/2699, 142-148 Beaumont Street, City. Installation of six panel antennae and remote radio units and equipment cabinets. The applicant (Spark New Zealand) wishes to establish a new mobile telecommunication facility on the roof of the existing building and will feature six panel antennas; six remote radio units; a GPS antenna; and Radio equipment cabinets. The visual impact of these will be minor and they do not inhibit views. We did not put in formal input on the notification decision.
  • R/SUB/2015/2687, 26 Poynton Terrace, City. Subdivision by boundary adjustment. This is a subdivision application for a boundary adjustment of the Auckland Baptist Tabernacle site at 429 Queen Street to encompass 90m2 of carparking at the western site boundary only, and amalgamate with a newly created Lot with the adjoining property at 26 Poynton Tce.  The Tabernacle will then sit entirely within a single Lot and retain parking use of the new Lot through an easement.  No development or construction works are proposed to either 429 Queen Street or 26 Poynton Tce as a result of this boundary adjustment. We have recommended limited notification of this application to neighbouring and adjacent properties.
  • R/VCC/2012/4595/2, 43 Bright Street, Eden Terrace. Variation to conditions. Removal of the verandah at the front of the dwelling. Extend the upper floor 200mm over the garage with a small double hung window facing the street, which will add 4m² of building coverage.  Eave bracelet detailing at the front of the house. Increase the width of the garage to include entry stairs, which will increase impermeable coverage by 3m². Lift house by an additional 200mm from 500mm to 700m.  Two French doors on the northern side of the ground floor. We have no concerns with this application and did not put in formal input on the notification decision.
  • R/VCC/2012/3145/14, 1/4 Williamson Avenue, Grey Lynn. Variation of conditions to allow changes from previous proposal resulting in minor infringements to height limits, floor to floor clearances, setbacks and protrusions specifically related to Lot 21, Vinegar Lane. The infringements are in excess of the permitted height limit of 15 metres, being approximately 400mm; reduction in the floor to floor height; non-compliance with an floor area ration of 4.28:1; and window frames on the façade protruding approximately 200mm beyond boundary. We have requested limited notification to adjacent and neighbouring properties.
  • R/LUC/2015/2707, 36 Schofield Street, Grey Lynn. Construction of a new two storey dwelling on the existing site.
  • R/LUC/2015/2690, 1 Farnham Street, Parnell. Remove the existing dwelling from the site. This is one of a pair of pre-1944 gabled villas. The ‘historic heritage statement of significance potential’ in the Assessment of Environmental Effects says ‘The architectural form and detailing of this dwelling has clear classical references and traditional character which, alongside its neighbour to the east, gives it visual appeal in this part of Farnham Street. However it does not score strongly enough against inclusion indicators for historic heritage significance in terms of social, historical, technological value, nor does it possess outstanding physical attributes or qualities which would warrant its being considered for possible scheduling as historic heritage. Furthermore the historic context which was apparent from pre-Second World War aerial photographs of Farnham Street has been seriously eroded by encroaching industrial development to the point where it is unlikely that number 1 and its neighbour would be considered special character.’ This is a very common story. Although the house and its neighbour are fine, well-preserved pre-1944 houses, they are not of the very high standard required to be scheduled. To put this in context, in the entire Waitematā Local Board area there are currently 89 Heritage A-listed buildings and 275 Heritage B-listed. The ‘streetscape’ which has become a requirement for an area to be considered ‘special character’ is also an increasingly rare occurrence, especially in Parnell and this month alone has seen two splendid examples of Victorian/Edwardian architecture in that (the other being 12 York Street) fall short of the criteria because they are now surrounded by modern buildings. We asked for notification so that the merits of the building could be properly examined.
  • R/LUC/2015/2719, 15 Windsor Street, Parnell. Additions and alteration to an existing house in residential 1. We did not put in formal input on the notification decision.
  • R/LUC/2015/2754, 22 Sackville Street, Grey Lynn. Demolition of a residential dwelling within the Pre-1944 overlay. Reviewing the AEE and viewing the site, the building has been significantly compromised by poor maintenance and badly done renovations inconsistent with the original house. It is not visible from the street.  The applicants’ family have owned the property since before 1944, and they equated the existing building with that period. However, comparing the site photos to the 1940 aerial it is clear this is not the original house and is more likely to date from the 1950s. Being of post-1944 date, and to the rear site, it will not make any contribution to the pre-1944 streetscape.
  • R/LUC/2015/2748, 70 Sale Street , City. 10-storey residential building of ‘gateway’ level design. Exceeds the uncontested PAUP height limit of 30m by 2.5m and does not infringe the Mt Eden volcanic viewshaft protection. The building will exceed the District Plan car parking maximum of 100 spaces by 2 spaces. We did not put in formal input on the notification decision.
  • R/REG/2015/2802, R/LUC/2015/2801, 38 Fort Street, City. The applicant (Falconer & Co Ltd) proposes to demolish the existing building (currently containing Lipstix brothel) and construct a 17 storey mixed use building. The building is proposed to contain a basement to Level 2 restaurant activity, Level 3 – 9 office activity and Levels 10 – 17 residential activity (total 7 apartments).  No carparking or loading is proposed.  The site is contaminated and therefore consent under the NES and regional plans are required.  In terms of the District Plan the main areas of non-compliance are exceeding MTFAR, complies with the maximum height control, but does not comply with the street frontage setback control required in the Queen Street Valley Precinct, the apartments do not meet the minimum outlook control.  The design was reviewed by the Auckland Urban Design Panel.  The application is being processed by external consultant, Sally-Anne Halpin. We requested limited notification for parties adversely affected by the proposal.
  • R/LUC/2015/2799, Auckland Central, On-going repair, maintenance and minor upgrading of the Vector electricity network. Global consent pursuant to PAUP for earthworks, Historic heritage place and Kauri earthworks and within 50m place of value to Mana Whenua. We did not put in formal input on the notification decision as Mana Whenua will be informed and consulted.
  • R/LUC/2015/2813, R/VCC/2007/303/5, 145 Nelson Street, City. Vary comprehensive development plan and detailed design consents for Buildings A and B. In August 2007 consent was granted for a Comprehensive Site Structure Plan (Master Plan) involving the construction of five tower buildings atop a two level basement parking building – now known as the SugarTree development.  This Master Plan consent required that detailed design consent be sought for each stage of development.  The construction of Buildings A and B represents Stage 3 of the development and is the subject of the current applications (Stage 1 (now built) and Stage 2 have gone through similar processes).  Variations to the Master Plan consent have been made in the past to ensure that all consents relating to the development of the Nelson Street site remain consistent.  The land use application is the Detailed Design application and involves internal reconfiguration of apartment layouts to better meet market demand than that which was previously approved.  The application to vary the Master Plan is necessary to align with the Detailed Design application. We did not put in formal input on the notification decision.
  • R/VCC/2011/4605/15, 109 Fanshawe Street, City. Change condition 7, reallocate 8 trips from QA2. This application by Viaduct Harbour Holdings Limited is to vary the current approved Integrated Development Plan (IDP/Master Plan) for the city block containing the new Fonterra building, excluding the Caltex site.  The separate Goodman IDP for the city block of Gaunt/Daldy/Madden/Beaumont St that is currently processing, proposes a reduction in office activity which frees a number of “vehicle trips”.  VHHL propose to take 8 of these trips which enables them to provide an additional 21 parking spaces for its Building 13 on its city block.  This VHHL application is on hold as it cannot be progressed until the determination of the Goodman IDP application.
  • R/JSL/2015/2037/1, 99 Brighton Road, Parnell. Construction of a new dwelling on a vacant site and a subsequent 2-lot subdivision around approved existing development and to create a vacant lot in Residential 1. Shared driveway, drainage and services. They have the permission of neighbours. We did not put in formal input on the notification decision.

Resource consent applications of significance this month

Foreshore Trail Project signage

R/LUC/2015/2474. This is a lengthy and detailed consent covering the 25 signage sites required for the Local Board’s Heritage Foreshore Project. The Project will mark at significant sites the original shoreline of the Waitematā area which is remarkably different from that of the present day.

New Zealand International Convention Centre

Notification:

The resource consent applications for the New Zealand International Convention Centre (R/LUC/2014/5383 (land use consent), R/REG/2014/5396 (discharge permit), R/REG/2014/5398 (water permit)) – which will extend from Sky City and dramatically re-make the block bounded by Nelson, Victoria, Hobson and Wellesley Streets – have been considered by commissioners to have less than minor effects on the environment and will proceed on a non-notified basis. A press release issued on 10 July noted: ‘A second decision on whether to approve the application will be made by the same commissioners in the coming months. The commissioners have considered the environmental effects of the application, as well as the recent decision about the Ports of Auckland Ltd resource consent application, in coming to their conclusion on notification.’

Substantive Application:

We submitted the following input to the commissioners:

  1. The ‘airbridge’ over Hobson Street is 11 metres above street level and 4.4 metres wide. It will be an imposing presence in the airspace and it breaks sightlines to the Harbour for pedestrians going north and to the central suburbs for motorists and pedestrians going south. Although it is not in a protected viewshaft we oppose the airbridge on visual amenity grounds. A further issue with the airbridge is that it degrades the street scape by reducing activation at street level. It is for the benefit of Sky City and serves their interests in stopping customers ‘leaking’ from their buildings to the disadvantage of the general amenity and likely commercial viability of the surrounding area. We want to ensure that there are pleasant, safe connections across Hobson Street and an airbridge (what amounts to grade separation and giving up Hobson Street to a car dominated environment) is likely to undermine Council’s efforts to improve the street for all users. It would be particularly objectionable if the airbridge is used as justification for no additional crossing on Hobson Street.
  2. The very large scale parking provision greatly in excess of what the Unitary Plan proposes in its attempts to limit traffic congestion. The 1415 spaces sought is 847 greater than that currently permitted in the District Plan. 400 are for visitors to the Convention Centre and 380 for its staff, leaving an excess of 635, particularly for early bird and evening users. Some will go to the Convention Centre events but many will use this as additional parking for the Casino. We want to see this parking limited as far as is practical.
  3. There are two heritage buildings on the site. The Albion Hotel is to be allowed to continue to operate but it will be overshadowed by the Convention Centre and damage category from groundwater settlement from it is assessed as “very slight” and somewhat less for the TVNZ building which will have the Hotel closer to it than the district plan requires. Saint Matthews, across the intersection from the site, will also be overshadowed to some extent. However Nelson House, with a fine Chicago Style Art Deco façade and some remaining interior features will be gutted with only the façade retained. The application acknowledges ‘the proposal will undoubtedly result in a loss of heritage values’ but justifies it because the interior has been substantially modified. The applicant’s assessment ‘identifies the exterior and a few other elements of the building as having exceptional heritage significance.’ The substantial demolition of this building and the scale of the earthworks on the land containing this scheduled building are non-complying and should be scrutinised closely.
  4. 8 mature street trees will be removed and 18 affected. Although a much greater number are to be planted (40) than removed, it will take many years until they provide the same amenity and carbon sink as the existing trees.
  5. There will be 40 months of construction work generating noise, dust and traffic disruption. There will be up to 160 construction truck movements per day or 20 per hour. 200,000 cubic metres of earth will be removed from the site. The construction noise at the Albion Hotel and TVNZ Boundaries but not elsewhere is non-complying under the Operative District Plan. We want to see consent conditions imposed that will adequately mitigate these effects.

121-127 Beaumont Street Integrated Development Plan (IDP) / 109 Fanshawe Street Reallocation of Car Trips

R/LUC/2015/2098 – Goodman IDP Wynyard Quarter Area 2. Consent is sought for an Integrated Development Plan (‘IDP’) for the land bounded by Gaunt Street, Daldy Street, Pakenham Street West and Beaumont Street involving developing 10 building elements on the land up to maximum height ranging between 17m and 39m, arranged in two perimeter block style layouts split by the provision of an east-west lane. The building will accommodate a mix of commercial, offices and residential with basement carparking for 561 vehicles.

The District Plan sets out the maximum allowable office activity per Quarter Area. There is a calculation that converts the amount of office gross floor area (GFA) to a specific number of “vehicle trips”.  There is a theoretical maximum threshold of vehicle trips across the entire Wynyard Quarter which in part is based on the amount of office activity provided for in the District Plan.  Council are careful to ensure that there is not an exceedance of vehicle trips and office GFA across Wynyard Quarter because of the potential effect on the operation of the road network.  However, if an applicant proposed to exceed the trip numbers and GFA, Council would have to consider such an application on its merits. To facilitate developments VHHL has in the past chosen to move GFA (and associated vehicle trips) from one land holding to another. There are mechanisms in place to stop double dipping and thus ensuring overall that the Quarter is within the maximum trip numbers.

Consent matters include:

  • increase in permitted site intensity beyond the maximum permitted intensity identified on Quarter Plan B1 and an increase in maximum height in excess of the permitted maximum heights identified on Quarter Plan C1
  • concurrent development control modifications to increase the maximum height of development in excess of Quarter Plan C2, increase the maximum site intensity in excess of Quarter Plan B2, add maximum additional office GFA to the sites, remove the requirement to provide a north-south lane, provide access off Daldy Street through a Special Character Frontage and egress onto Beaumont Street, as well as having access and egress points off Pakenham Street West and Gaunt Street, with all accesses being through Defined Road Frontages, and to reduce the extent of ground floor required to be occupied by marine and fishing retail.

The portfolio holders and Local Board Chair met with the processing planner on 18 June to be briefed on the detail of this application. There are no matters which cause great concern but we will wait until a section 92 RMA assessment request, lodged by the processing planner on 6 July 2015, has unearthed more information.

The associated consent that cannot proceed until the IDP is finalised is R/VCC/2011/4605/15, 109 Fanshawe Street, City. Change condition 7, reallocate 8 trips from QA2. This application by Viaduct Harbour Holdings Limited is to vary the current approved Integrated Development Plan (IDP/Master Plan) for the city block containing the new Fonterra building, excluding the Caltex site.  The separate Goodman IDP for the city block of Gaunt/Daldy/Madden/Beaumont St that is currently processing, proposes a reduction in office activity which frees a number of “vehicle trips”.  VHHL propose to take 8 of these trips which enables them to provide an additional 21 parking spaces for its Building 13 on its city block.

7C Seymour Street, Ponsonby

R/TRC/2015/1737 – A consent was granted to remove a generally protected tree, a very large English Oak, on 7 July. The grounds were, convincingly, that the tree was internally decaying (despite the outward appearance of health) and at risk of failure endangering property and potentially human life; and, less convincingly, that the tree was not remarkable in its area. The tree was on a noticeable lean towards a neighbouring property. English Oaks, like those in the Domain which have recently failed without warning, can suffer significant internal rot while appearing outwardly healthy. It is always a shame to see a scheduled tree removed but on the facts this appears to be a justified case.

Regulatory

Alcohol Ban Review

The recent amendment to the Local Government Act 2002 requires alcohol bans to be evidence-based. For alcohol bans to continue there must be documented evidence that any area with an alcohol ban has experienced a high-level of crime or disorder that can be shown to have been caused or made worse through the consumption of alcohol. This is a statutory review that needs to be completed by 31 October. Any bans not reviewed by this date will lapse. Public submissions ended on 17 July and the Local Board Hearings Committee – of which I am Deputy Chair – will consider public submissions in hearings on the bans in the week of 3 August before making final decisions in September.

Local Dog Access Rules

The Council must have a dog policy and the Dog Access Bylaw gives effect to this policy. The policy and bylaw must set out areas where dogs are prohibited, where they will be required to be on-leash, where they can be off-leash and designated dog exercise areas. The Special Consultative Procedure (SCP) to review access rules ended on Friday 17 July. Our Local Board Hearings Committee – of which I am Deputy Chair – will consider public submissions at hearings in the week of 10 August before making final decisions by mid-September.

Swimming Pool Fencing Exemptions

The Local Board Hearings Committee was convened on 28 July to review swimming pool fencing exemptions. The proceedings are confidential.

Meetings/Events Attended

1 July:

  • Meeting with Tim Coffey and Dick Ayres of City Centre Residents Action Group
  • Auckland Domain Committee Iwi Consultation Hui

2 July:

  • Parks Portfolio Monthly Meeting
  • Auckland’s Green Lifeline seminar on pollinator pathways through the city and inner suburbs

7 July:

  • Pechakucha: The Bicycle edition

8 July:

  • White Ribbon Auckland Committee meeting

9 July:

  • Site visit to Gladstone Park, Parnell, with staff of the Office  of Treaty Settlements followed by three-hour meeting on the same

14 July:

  • Local Board Business Meeting, Grey Lynn Community Centre

15 July:

  • Future Urban Land Supply Strategy meeting

16 July:

  • Local Board Workshop
    • Ponsonby Community Centre update
    • Greenways Stocktake
    • Myers Park Stage II – Final Concept Plan
  • Joint Heritage, Urban Design & Planning and Transport Portfolios meeting on Nelson Street cycleway urban design concepts

19-21 July:

  • Local Government New Zealand Conference, Rotorua

22 July:

  • Meeting with Western Springs High School staff about re-construction of the school
  • Auckland City Centre Advisory Board meeting

23 July:

  • Finance Committee Meeting
  • Review of final draft of Western Park Development Plan
  • BIDS Workshop

28 July:

  • Local Board Workshop
    • Newmarket Laneways consultation outcomes
    • Local Board CAPEX fund
    • Quarterly Report review
  • Local Board Hearings Committee convened to review swimming pool fencing exemptions
  • Friends of Symonds Street Cemetery meeting
  • Opening celebration of Waitematā Plaza
  • Heritage Advisory Panel

29 July:

  • Fukuoka Friendship Garden Steering Group

30 July:

  • Parks Landowner approval for Cowie St overpass Newmarket Park end
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About Vernon Tava

Business broker, elected member of Auckland Council. Focused on sustainability. Lives in Auckland, New Zealand.
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