April 2016 Local Board Member Report

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This report covers my Waitematā Local Board Activities during April 2016 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

  • Attended a meeting against anti-Asian violence organised by the Chinese Students Association of New Zealand on the evening of 1 April at University of Auckland
  • Opening of the Francis Street Reserve community garden, an initiative of the Women’s Centre and SKIP on 9 April
  • Laid wreath for the Local Board at the ANZAC Day Civic Ceremony on the Cenotaph at Auckland War Memorial Museum on 25 April
  • Local Board Extraordinary Meeting on Annual Budget on 26 April
  • The Local Board received a report on improving compliance procedures and public awareness of bonus floor provisions and through-site links in the Waitematā city centre area.
  • I keep track of resource consent applications as they are received by Council, requesting further information, plans and Assessments of Environmental Effects for applications of interest. Significant applications are referred to the relevant residents’ associations for their input which I then relay to planners as part of the Local Board’s input. Reporting of resource consent applications, planning portfolio input, hearings and decisions in the Local Board area for this month is detailed in the Heritage, Urban Design and Planning section of this report under the headings ‘Planning’: ‘Resource Consents’

Comments

Meeting against anti-Asian violence

chinese meetingIn the wake of a recent spate of attacks against young Chinese in Auckland, in the city centre and Albert Park, the Chinese Students Association of New Zealand organised a meeting at the University of Auckland on the evening of 1 April to discuss the public response. There was a large turnout almost filling the Fisher & Paykel lecture theatre (the University’s largest) and large panel of speakers including Councillor Mike Lee and Mayoral candidate, Hon. Phil Goff MP. Auckland Central MP, The Hon. Nikki Kay, called a meeting of police, parks staff and the Chair and Deputy Chair of this Local Board ( I did not attend); they concluded that the Local Board will produce a report on lighting, CCTV and other safety options. In the meantime, Cr Lee has spoken with City Watch who will now be patrolling Albert Park. Ultimately, I agree with Cr Lee’s position that the most effective solution to the inner-city crime problem is increased police patrols.

ANZAC Day Commemorations

I was honoured to be the Local Board’s representative at the Civic Ceremony this year, attending with Cr Mike Lee, laying the wreath at the Cenotaph.

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.

Francis Reserve Community Garden Opening

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On 9 April, we opened the Francis Street Reserve community garden, an initiative of the Women’s Centre and SKIP: designed to give single mothers and their children the opportunity to share a dedicated safe, open space which allows mothers to not have to watch their children as closely as usual and the children an opportunity to experience the growth cycle and seasonality of growing produce.

Western Springs Masterplan

Regional Facilities Auckland (RFA) have been leading the stakeholder engagement and meetings for the Western Springs Masterplan to which the Local Board currently has allocated $20,000. The purpose of the plan is to bring together the various individual stakeholder plans and consider common issues such as transport and the implications of Western Springs becoming more of a regional and events destination. Due to staff capacity issues and also the approach of first trying to bring together the stakeholders and build relationships and share direction this has not been able to happen this financial year.

Dove Myer Robinson Park

Parks will raise tarseal to concrete block edge where only a few millimetres gap is apparent to make flush with adjacent ground levels and eliminate trip hazard; set plaques into tarseal and remove concrete plinths; remove path to nowhere but renew steps to allow access up steep bank. Remove lower half circular path and reinstate to grass. The current plantings the lower circular path will be removed and replanted with low growing species such as carex and meulenbekia.Some additional seats will be added.

Portfolio Report: Heritage, Urban Design and Planning

Planning

Bonus Floor Provisions and Through-Site Link Report

This month the Local Board received a report from Opus with the purpose of mutually improving compliance procedures and public awareness of bonus floor provisions and through-site links in the Waitematā city centre area. The paper’s summary is as follows:

Executive Summary:

  1. The city centre has many buildings and sites that required more floor space than was/is allowed.
  2. As a result they have had to implement Bonus Floor Provisions.
  3. These are typically pedestrian easements through the site, and often public viewing decks, plazas, artwork and other provisions that provide public amenity on the site.
  4. Many of the conditions of these bonus floor provisions have been lost in the past few decades, due to inconsistent tracking of the provisions.
  5. A list was compiled of all bonus floor provisions from multiple people and sources knowledge. This register currently lies with the compliance team.
  6. The sites have now been audited, and since the beginning of the project, have significantly increased in compliance (~95%).
  7. Some sites are still non-compliant, as they are under construction, or have more complex situations (See 35 Hobson Street).
  8. There are improvements to be made in the auditing process, and in improving public knowledge of the provisions.
  9. This report will find that some sites can be audited less frequently, through risk criteria.
  10. The report will also make recommendations on improving public knowledge of the provisions in order to increase their amenity value.

The Local Board, through the Heritage, Urban Design and Planning portfolio, is now examining how to make this information more accessible to the public.

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/LUC/2016/1258, 410 Great North Road, Grey Lynn. Replace an existing office building with a smaller office which will be fabricated offsite and installed above a new three-car garage on the site. This application with plans was forwarded to representatives of the Grey Lynn and Arch Hill Residents Associations for input and they did not raise any objections to take forward to the planners so we did not have input into this notification decision.
  • R/LUC/2016/1263, 22 Princes Street, Auckland Central. University of Auckland seek consent for alterations to the clock tower building, a category A scheduled building in the District Plan and a registered building with Heritage New Zealand. The alterations are internal works such removal of internal partitions, floor coverings and ceilings and upgrades to lighting and fire alarms. The application is a restricted discretionary activity under the Operative Plan and a discretionary activity under the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan  (PAUP). We did not have input into this notification decision.
  • R/LUC/2016/1296 – 203-271 Victoria Street West, Auckland Central. Auckland Council are proposing, in conjunction with Spark, to establish a basketball court, north of the existing skate park in Victoria Park. The project is adjacent to the Beaumont Street road frontage, nearby the Quest Apartments. Consent is sought for earthworks, structures for recreation within Public Open Space 1, works located within a Māori heritage area / site and place of significance to Mana Whenua, and a new driveway for the underbridge car park which is located within an interchange control area (due to proximity to the intersection of Beaumont and Fanshawe Streets). The overall activity status of the application is discretionary. We did not have input into this notification decision.
  • R/LUC/2016/1317, 156 Victoria Street West, Auckland Central. The application is for the demolition of an existing building on 156 Victoria Street. Consent matters include the demolition of an existing building and consideration of site management, edge treatment and site amenity.  Demolition would enable the site to be used temporarily as a non-ancillary commuter carpark, and also enable access to 51-59 Nelson Street for that building’s proposed demolition in the future. Council is processing a separate resource consent application by Wilsons carparking to establish the non-ancillary commuter carpark for a 3 year period (ref: R/LUC/2016/1204.)  We did not have input into this notification decision.
  • R/LUC/2016/1294 at 36-42 Customs Street East. This application is for internal and limited external works to Australis House, Britomart Precinct, to accommodate future tenancies (such as office, retail, food and beverage and other permitted activities) in the basement, and ground to fourth floors of the building. No specific tenancy fitouts area proposed, rather this consent will provide a “global” approach to enable future fit outs to an agreed “Tenancy fit-out guidelines and procedures” document. Consent is required as a restricted discretionary activity under the Operative Plan and for a discretionary activity under the PAUP for alterations to a scheduled building. We did not have input into this notification decision.
  • R/LUC/2016/1371, 230 Richmond Road, Grey Lynn. Additions and alterations to existing dwelling. Work on a house in a special character area overlay. Infringement of height to boundary controls by vertical height of 1.2m over the 10.8m horizontal length western boundary, infringement of site coverage by 6.6%, street fence taller than 1.2m. The affected neighbours provided written consent for the height to boundary infringement so we did not have input into the notification decision.
  • R/TRC/2016/1366, 50-52 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby. Pruning of Pōhutukawa tree. Foundation North propose to prune one scheduled Pōhutukawa tree located on the site, adjacent to Crummer Road. The pruning is according to the specifications of Council’s Heritage Arborist. The tree was pruned in 2012 to restructure the canopy and a second round of pruning is warranted to manage the subsequent regrowth. We did not have input into the notification decision.
  • R/LUC/2016/1513, R/REG/2016/1514, 1 Halsey Street, Auckland Central. Construction of accommodation and retail building. The application is for the construction of a new 8-storey apartment building with retail tenancies to the Halsey Street frontage and associated parking on levels 1 (ground) and 2 (level with Dock Street at rear) .  A demolition consent in respect of the existing building was granted in January 2016.  A total of 28 apartments are proposed with a mix of one and two bedroom units.  12 car parking spaces are provided with car lift servicing level 1 parking.  Consents are required for the erection of a new building, infringement of MTFAR by 379m2, modification  of a loading space requirement, site contamination (regional and NES) and works in the dripline of a street tree.  Overall consent status is non-complying. We did not have input into the notification decision.
  • R/LUC/2016/1485, 50 Cook Street, Auckland Central. Consent is sought to demolish the existing buildings located at 50 & 52 Cook Street, and to construct a 15 storey apartment building comprising ground level retail, and a mixture of studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments above. The proposed works require consent for varying matters including earthworks for the excavation of a basement/pit, works within the dripline of two street trees, and numerous development control modifications, including outlook space, verandah length, car parking and loading area design, and loading space shortfall. Due to insufficient information submitted with the application in regard to effects relating to contamination and groundwater, the application will be rejected under section 88 and returned to the applicant.

Resource consent matters of significance this month

Extension of Pop Up Globe Season by One Month

R/LUC/2016/1206. Pop up Globe Auckland Limited are looking to establish the temporary activity for a replica pop up globe representative of the original Globe theatre in London for an extended time period. The applicant was granted consent in September for the Globe under the reference number R/LUC/2015/3537. This consent is for the time period covering 1/01/2016 to 6/05/2016. The applicant is now seeking consent to continue the activity from the 06/05/2016 to 5/06/2016. The proposal is a discretionary activity. Although this extension will delay the commencement of works on the Myers Park Stage II development, we have agreed given the unique contribution that this event has made to the cultural life of the city.

Integrated Development Plan: 100 Halsey Street

R/LUC/2016/1206, R/REG/2016/1209: Integrated Development Plan (IDP) including 2 buildings for hotel, entertainment, offices and public car parking, and R/LUC/2016/1208: land use consent for IDP Stages 1A and 1B. Consent is sought for an Integrated Development Plan covering the block of Wynyard Quarter bound by Halsey Street, Pakenham Street West, Daldy Street and Gaunt Street, and land use consent for two buildings for various hotel, entertainment, car parking, and office purposes. Specifically the entertainment facility is to be known as the All Blacks Experience (“ABEX”.) Consent matters include; Integrated Development Plan with height control infringement; demolition (of part of the existing bus depot workshop and associated offices annexure)  and construction of buildings; car parking; maximum parking space infringement; the provision of more than 100 parking spaces; earthworks; and the development of a contaminated site and short term discharge. This is a revised application from one lodged last year.  The main difference being that a 10-year ‘sunset’ clause on the use of the car parking building for non-ancillary parking is introduced to ensure its temporary nature and limits put in place that the spaces are used during working hours by occupants of Wynyard Quarter.

136 Grafton Road: Alterations to the Scheduled B Building formerly housing the Whitecliffe Art School and now the Church of Scientology

R/VCC/2010/4573/1. The proposal varies a 2010 consent (which received an extension earlier this year to allow works which are underway to be completed in accordance with the original consent. This application triggers local board input as it involves works to the exterior of a Scheduled B building at 136 Grafton Road. The works are associated with signage on the façade of the building. The proposal involves: a cross is proposed to be located on the parapet at high level on the face of the main building at the corner of Grafton and Carlton Gore Roads; a cross is also proposed to be erected on the chapel facing onto Carlton Gore Road. This will replace an existing cross on the building. Two banners are proposed to be erected on each of the Grafton Road and Carlton Gore Road frontages. Four banners are proposed to be erected on the facades of the building facing into the internal courtyard, two on each of the north and south east elevations. We requested public notification of this application on the basis of effects on the heritage structure; effects of the signage in terms of size and coverage of heritage frontage of building; effects of lighting on occupants of apartment building across the road (‘Phoenix Gardens’ at 135-145 Grafton Road).

Digital Billboard: 25-27 Quay Street, Auckland Central

R/BEX/2015/4792. Digital signs have been a controversial issue of late on account of their brightness and visibility from significant distances. The consultant planner has advised the applicant that they are unable to support the application. The proposal did not receive the support of council’s urban design expert on the basis that this is not a suitable location given in particular the design and development aspirations for the location. The application is supportable from a traffic and lighting perspective based on the reviews undertaken. The applicant now wishes to proceed to a hearing with an Independent Commissioner making the final determination. At this stage the hearing is likely to be mid/end of May.

Meetings / Events Attended / Appearances

1 April:

  • Attended meeting about anti-Asian violence in the city organised by the Chinese Students Association of New Zealand

7 April:

  • Parks Portfolio meeting

9 April:

  • Opening of the Francis Street Reserve Community Garden

12 April:

  • Local Board Business Meeting

14 April:

  • Local Board workshop
    • Ponsonby Road Project update
    • Karangahape Road Streetscape Enhancement project update
    • Local Board work programme bi-monthly report
    • Newmarket Laneways Project

19 April:

  • Local Board Workshop

21 April:

  • Parks portfolio meeting

25 April:

  • Laid wreath for the Local Board at the ANZAC Day Civic Ceremony on the Cenotaph at Auckland War Memorial Museum

26 April:

  • Local Board workshop:
  • Local Board Extraordinary Meeting on Annual Budget

28 April:

  • Finance Committee meeting

 

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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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