June-July 2016 Local Board Member Report

Logo croppedPurpose

This report covers my Waitematā Local Board Activities during June and July 2016 as Lead of the Parks and Open Spaces portfolio; Heritage, Urban Design and Planning portfolio holder; Deputy Chair of the Hearings Committee; and, Local Board representative on the K Road Business Association.

Executive Summary

  • Ground breaking for the City Rail Link on 2 June
  • Auckland Domain Committee met on 9 June and 27 July. Domain Plan approved conditionally at the final July meeting
  • Feijoa Guild event 23 June
  • Western Park paving renewals completed in June
  • Opening of Quay Street Cycleway on 8 July
  • Opening of Grey Lynn Park Greenway on 9 July
  • Approval of Heritage Foreshore Wayfinding signage
  • Attended the Local Government New Zealand Conference in Dunedin as the Local Board’s delegate
  • 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

Ground Breaking for the City Rail Link

It was a highlight of the term to attend the CRL groundbreaking on the 2nd of June. There are too many advocates to name who have championed this project over the years but among the elected members I believe special tribute must be paid to long-time rail transport advocate, Cr Mike Lee, and Mayor Brown without whose tireless advocacy this project would not have got government buy-in.

Feijoa Guild Event

On 23 June, at Chuffed Café on High Street, one of the more fulfilling community projects in which I’ve been involved this term came full circle. On 2 August 2015 a grove of six Feijoa trees was planted on Churchill Avenue, at the base of Constitution Hill. I was proud to plant one of the trees, a ‘mammoth’ variety Feijoa, which I dubbed Lady Fiona. The ‘Feijoa Forest’ started from a community initiative led by self-described, City Centre Fanatic, Mik Smellie, a recent recipient of a 2015 Waitematā Good Citizens’ Award. Mik wanted to create more opportunities to grow food in the city and involve inner-city residents in this process. Community Development Facilitators brokered relationships between the Parks Department and the community.  Mark Miller, the Local Board’s Parks Advisor, working from the premise of ‘say yes and make it happen’, was very open to the empowered communities approach. Mark worked closely with the Feijoa Guild and enabling the Feijoa Forest  – working with Mik to identify possible sites, talking to all the necessary people within council.  Mark approached the Local Board, as the land owners of the site, gaining our approval, and a Memorandum of Understanding was drawn up between Auckland Council and the Feijoa Guild. Mik has been working hard, with a FB page and regular updates, to create this exciting opportunity for the people of inner-city Auckland and to put on this launch. At the June event, we were treated to a fascinating and very entertaining talk on the trees of the inner-city by Council Arborist, Simon Cook. We also discovered who were the winners of the hotly-contested best feijoa chutney contest.

Opening of Quay Street Cycleway: 8 July

Quay St

Opening of Grey Lynn Park Greenway: 9 July

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Auckland Domain Plan Conditionally Approved

On 27 July, the last meeting of the committee for the 2013-2016 term of Council, the Auckland Domain Plan was approved with the exception of the History section for which a small working group has been convened.

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.

Western Park Paving Renewals

Western Park PathwaysRenewals have been completed as at the end of June.

All works in the park (including the footpath renewals) are as per the widely publicly notified and consulted Development Plan. Feedback on lighting and the fitness trail was pretty evenly split.

Balancing CPTED principles and the public feedback, the lighting of the western route as a ‘commuter’ route is a reasonable compromise. The new lights will be set to go on early enough for morning commuters at 5 a.m. and turn off at midnight. The timers can be altered to fit public feedback and evidence as it comes to light.

The old fitness trail, scattered around the park will be removed and a smaller number of new items will be relocated around the spots field to create a more compact fitness trail – aggregating all active recreation in the lower part of the site and re-tuning the remainder of the site to a more passive recreational space with a focus on ‘natural’ landscape and heritage.

Report from Sarah Peters, Local Parks Volunteer and Biodiversity Coordinator for July 2016

Meola Reef: Corporate tree planting Wed 6th July

Maersk staff members planted 500 plants at Meola Reef as part of the ongoing ecological restoration activities in the reserve.

Symonds St Cemetery litter clean- up: Mon 18th July

Eight staff members of the Langham Hotel undertook a litter clean-up at Symonds St Cemetery.

 Lemington Reserve: Community tree planting Sat 23rd July

A small local community planting event took place behind the scout hall at Lemington Reserve.  Local resident Stephen Knight-Lenihan will finish off mulching the new plants over the next few weeks.

Auckland Domain: Tree mulching Sun 31st July

A Saint Peters College tree mulching event was planned for Sunday 31st July.  This will be reported on in next month’s update.

Volunteer Animal Pest Control Programme: trapping rodents and possums

There was the usual one month break in animal pest control activities during July.

Portfolio Report: Heritage, Urban Design and Planning

Planning

Heritage Foreshore Wayfinding Project

Designs and text approved at portfolio meeting of 28 July.

Newton-Eden Terrace Area Plan Resumed

Newton area studyThe Newton/Eden Terrace was started in 2013 but suspended when the CRL station proposed for Newton shops was cancelled in favour of a connection to Mount Eden station instead. The work was resumed in early-2016 and consultation has now been completed. A draft was presented to a joint meeting of the Albert-Eden and Waitematā Local Boards on 5 July.

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/2016/1910, 19 Morgan Street, Newmarket.  Application for additions and alterations to a commercial building. This will result in a shortfall of 15 car parking spaces. We did not have input into this notification decision.
  • R/VCC/2014/3968/1, 35 Wanganui Avenue, Herne Bay. The application is to change the style and size of the car-port situated at the northern property boundary of the subject site. This is in Conservation Area C, defined in the District Plan as ‘one where the built form or landscape character predominates and is finely articulated or united historically and aesthetically by form or physical character. Its primary purpose is to preserve the unique character and fabric of the area.’ The Local Board requested limited notification to surrounding properties given the conservation status of the site.
  • R/VCC/2014/4225/1, 26 Faulder Avenue, Westmere. The application is to reduce the horizontal non-compliance of the Height IRTB infringement, moving the pool the north-eastern boundary, and adding a cover to the rear deck. No change has been proposed to the approved street-facing elevation. We did not have input into this notification decision.
  • R/VCC/2014/3273/1, R/VCC/2015/1199/1, 8 Hereford Street, Freemans Bay. Variation to Condition 1 – reduce number of residential units from 130 to 122 and increase car parks by an additional 58 spaces. We did not have input into the notification decision for this application.
  • R/LUC/2016/2275 & R/REG/2016/2276, 50 & 52 Cook Street, Auckland Central.

Consent is sought to demolish the existing buildings 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 various matters including earthworks, groundwater diversion (elevator pits), works within the dripline of two street trees, and numerous development control modifications, including for site intensity, outlook space, verandah length, car parking and loading area design, and loading space shortfall. The overall activity status is non-complying. We did not have input into the notification decision.

  • R/VCC/2015/1075/2, 1 Queen Street, Auckland Central. The proposal involves the amendment of condition 30 (Construction Noise) of the approved resource consent for the Commercial Bay development by Precinct Properties to temporarily exceed the construction noise limits during the demolition phase. Consent is required as a discretionary activity for the variation. We requested limited notification to the surrounding properties likely to be affected by the additional noise.
  • R/LUC/2016/2179, 7 Rose Road, Grey Lynn. Demolish the existing building and develop a three-level commercial/retail building. The proposal is to demolish the existing building at 7 Rose Road and construct a new three-storey building. Some brief details: Basement level (requiring excavation) to have 12 car parks and storage. Ground level – commercial or large format retail. First Level – retail. Second Level – restaurants (food court-style); roof terrace – dining; part of the building exceeds the maximum height control of 12.5m; parking shortfall of 48 spaces; earthworks of 3755m3.
  • R/TRC/2016/2277, 9-11 Sussex Street, Grey Lynn. Remove one Pohutukawa, one Puka and one Cabbage tree. The site has multiple scheduled trees listed as notable trees under the Isthmus District Plan and Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan. The applicant is proposing to remove two scheduled trees: one Kermadec Island Pōhutukawa tree and a Cabbage tree. It is also proposed to prune 20% of the scheduled Puka tree on the site. We asked for public notification of this application.
  • R/LUC/2016/1685/1, 272 Parnell Road, Parnell. Conversion of the existing  building to residential apartments and retail together with a new penthouse level at 272 Parnell Road, Parnell. In summary, the proposal seeks consent to: convert the existing building to provide 21 residential  apartments provide two retail units at ground floor level; provision of 38 car parking spaces; a new verandah along the Parnell Road frontage; replacement seating for bus stop; external alterations and additions comprising recladding and new penthouse addition; provision of services for wastewater, stormwater and water. The Local Board did not have input into the notification decision on this application.
  • R/JSL/2016/2732, 20 Wharf Road, Herne Bay. Proposal to relocate the existing dwelling to the north of the site and a vacant lot subdivision. The Local Board did not have input into the notification decision on this application.
  • R/LUC/2016/2923, 79-83 Beach Road, Auckland Central. Demolition & construction of 14 storey mixed use building including 71 apartments. Consent is sought to construct a 14 storey mixed use building. The building includes apartments on levels 1 to 14 with commercial/retail tenancies at ground level. The proposal requires consent for a new building, to exceed  maximum height, to exceed Maximum Total Floor Area Ratio, site access within a defined road boundary, and shortfall of one loading space. The applicant is currently confirming whether consent is also required for groundwater diversion. The overall activity status is non-complying. We did not have input into the notification decision.
  • R/LUC/2016/2927, 147-149 Victoria Street West, Auckland Central. Demolition & construction of new mixed use building Inc. office, retail, hotel & 51 residential apartments, & associated earthworks. Consent is sought to demolish the existing buildings and construct a 9 storey mixed use building. The ground floor comprises office, retail and hotel lobby. The remainder of the building comprises a mixture of hotel rooms and permanent apartments. The proposed works require consent for various matters including demolition, partial demolition of a character building, new buildings, non-permanent accommodation, to exceed Maximum Total Floor Area Ratio, street frontage alignment and height, earthworks and groundwater diversion (basement). The Local Board did not have input into the notification decision on this application.

Resource consent matters of significance this month

Les Mills renovations at 186-188 & 190 Victoria Street West, Auckland Central

R/VCC/205/6181/1, R/LUC/2016/2134, R/LUC/2016/2023, R/REG/2016/2024, R/REG/2016/2136, R/SUB/2016/2137. Consent is sought by Les Mills Property Limited to vary the existing 2006 resource consent in relation to the approved car park building fronting Wellesley Street (186-188 Victoria Street West); and demolish the existing buildings and construct a new (4-5 level) commercial (plus ground floor retail) building on the adjoining site at 190 Victoria St West incorporating a revised/relocated through site link. In addition, consent is also being sought to a boundary adjustment subdivision is proposed between the above sites at 186-188 & 190 Victoria Street West. No changes are proposed to existing 2-level or 3-level Les Mills Buildings detailed as buildings “A” or “B” or the approved (and yet unimplemented) “swimming pool” building at 186-188 Victoria Street West. Key changes to proposed car park building involve additional building height (and parking levels), removal of the lower building basement level, removal of the proposed through site link (and its relocation to 190 Victoria Street West) provision of on-site loading, the addition of 22 ancillary parking spaces to be used in association with the new office (and retail) building at 190 Victoria Street West and various changes to the entry/exit and parking layout arrangements. Various regional and PAUP consents are being sought for the proposed developments across both sites. Overall, the applicant is seeking a discretionary activity approval. We did not have input into the notification decision for this application.

9 Princes Street, Auckland Central

R/VCC/2015/4569/1. Consent is sought to vary the conditions of resource consent R/LUC/2015/4569 to increase the building height by 1.37m, modify the floor layouts for apartments and the ground floor area, modify car parking area layout, enclose some balconies to turn them into conservatory areas, and modify the western elevation of the building. The building height increase and the axo-skeletal frame will result in shadow being cast over the Old Government House grounds, therefore exceeding the maximum height for admission of sunlight into this public place (as shown on Planning Overlay May 4). The existing building has been used as offices and is largely being converted for residential living. This variation is assessed as if it were a discretionary activity.

Alteration to Scheduled ‘Vulcan Building’ at 118 Queen Street, Auckland Central

R/LUC/2016/2051. The application is for alterations to a shop frontage on the ground floor of the Vulcan building. The alterations include the removal of the tiled section of the wall and its existing signage, and replacing this with a new door and a smaller wall sign, to enable for a larger, glazed and open street frontage. Consent matters include alterations to a Category B scheduled building. Overall the proposal is a discretionary activity. We did not have input into the notification decision.

Special Housing Area: 10-12 Kingdon Street, Newmarket

R/LUC/2016/2175. This application by New Investments Ltd is a Qualifying Development application in a Special Housing Area. The proposal is a mixed use 6-storey building, containing retail activity at ground floor, ancillary parking on Level 1 and 4 levels of apartments above (47 apartments). The proposal requires consent for a variety of reasons under the PAUP, including (but not limited to) exceeding the Additional Height Control for Newmarket, being a new building in the Special Character Business – Newmarket overlay, and various technical matters such as earthworks, flooding and contamination. Overall the application is a discretionary activity. Given the strictures of the SHA legislation and planning regime, we were not able to have input into the notification decision for this application.

Partial demolition of a dwelling at 47 Albany Road, Herne Bay

R/LUC/2016/2475. Proposal to:

  1. create a parking pad on the front boundary for two vehicles
  2. remove trees within the front yard and re-landscape
  3. remove existing picket fence and replace with square-top picket fence and pedestrian gate to a maximum height of 1.2m
  4. remove trees within the rear garden and create a new level lawn with a retaining wall on the boundaries around the rear yard to a maximum of height of 1.4m below natural ground level
  5. boundary planting along the rear boundary
  6. new French doors to the existing verandah, with new lacework and balustrade
  7. demolish internal walls and construct internal wall for the creation of bedrooms, bathrooms, a sitting room, and an extension of the dwelling to the rear to accommodate extended kitchen, dining and living spaces
  8. expand the attic space to accommodate one bedroom with dressing room and ensuite
  9. new skylights
  10. new windows and doors, patching of windows to be removed
  11. install a rear patio with pergola above and sliding doors from the rear extension
  12. new fencing where required
  13. installation of a detention tank in the front yard to mitigate additional impermeable area discharging to a combined line.

We requested limited notification of the application to residents living within the Conservation C area.

Demolition of a building within the pre-1944 overlay: 243 Ponsonby Road

R/LUC/2016/2934. We requested public notification of this application as the remaining heritage villas on Ponsonby Road contribute substantially to the character of the streetscape and we have had significant public feedback on the importance of retaining these buildings. Public notification was granted by the duty commissioner.

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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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