August 2016 Local Board Member Report

Logo croppedPurpose

This report covers my Waitematā Local Board Activities during August 2016 as 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

  • This is my final report to the Local Board for the 2013-2016 term of Council
  • I sat as a Commissioner on the notified resource consent hearing for 159 Victoria Road, Devonport on 3-5 August
  • I have included my report-back from the Local Government New Zealand conference in Dunedin and the LGNZ 2050: Futureproofing Our Communities
  • Bonus floor provisions have been tracked for 63 sites in the inner city. This work was initiated by Local Board Chair, Shale Chambers, in his first term: 2010-2013
  • 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

The end of my first term as an elected member of Auckland Council

This is the final report of my first term as an elected member of Council. It has been a privilege to serve in this capacity and I am standing for re-election in the hope that I can do it again.

I have led the Parks and Open Spaces Portfolio with Chair Shale Chambers. Highlights in this role include:

  • Completed Stage One of the Myers Park upgrade including new playground, lighting and the installation of CCTV. Secured funding for stage two of the upgrade  
  • Upgraded playgrounds in Tole Reserve, Costley Reserve, and Salisbury Reserve
  • Commenced the upgrade of the Western Park playground and the Grey Lynn Park playground
  • Re-installed the flying fox at Western Park
  • Confirmed funding for the development of multi-purpose clubrooms in Grey Lynn Park and a new home for the Richmond Rovers
  • Provided additional funding to the Grey Lynn Community Centre to expand community outreach
  • Secured funding for the development of the new Fukuoka Friendship garden in Western Springs
  • Supported the development of a Grey Lynn pump track with a $30,000 contribution from the Community-Led Small Build Programme
  • Delivered local improvement projects such as new BBQs at Cox’s Bay and additional skate elements at Victoria Park
  • Secured funding and delivery of a new Victoria Park entranceway as part of Auckland Transport’s bus stop improvements on Fanshawe Street

I shared the Heritage, Urban Design and Planning Portfolio with Member Christopher Dempsey. Highlights include:

  • Re-Imagining Great North Road community-led planning fund approved for Great North Road at Grey Lynn and Arch Hill
  • Continued the Symonds Street Cemetery restoration with planting, new signage and trails
  • Completed an inner city through-links network guide to be published in October. This is a long-awaited project that documents, for the first time in one place, the various through-links and viewing platforms that have been granted throughout the inner city as resource consent conditions granted for the concession of bonus floors on high-rise buildings
  • Completed planning and design for the Heritage Foreshore Walk which will illustrate and mark out Auckland’s dramatically different pre-1840 shoreline
  • Completed the Karangahape Road Precinct Plan
  • Completed the Domain Masterplan as a member of the Auckland Domain Committee
  • Developed the Earthquake Prone Buildings – guidance and approaches: a practical document for building owners, tenants and building managers with particular relevance to assuaging the concerns of owners of heritage buildings in the city who are concerned about the high costs and practical difficulties of bringing those buildings up to the new, more stringent, seismic code
  • Completed the Weona-Westmere public reserve coastal walkway (opening end of September 2016)
  • Completed the Newmarket Laneways Plan as a member of the Local Board’s working group and commenced consultation on a major Teed Street upgrade

There are many more projects that I would like to begin or see through, particularly the extensive works that will be undertaken on Karangahape Road, and I hope to have the opportunity to do so.

I would like to acknowledge and thank my City Vision teammates: Chair, Shale Chambers, Deputy Chair, Pippa Coom – both of whom will also be seeking re-election – and Members Deborah Yates and Christopher Dempsey, neither of whom are standing again. I wish both Deborah and Christopher all the best in their endeavours. Shale and Pippa both remain enormously committed to their work for the community and are consistently across all the detail in their respective areas. I have also found both Member Greg Moyle and Member Rob Thomas to be thoughtful and committed to their work. I have enjoyed their company.

Local Government New Zealand Conference 2016, Dunedin

I attended the LGNZ conference from 24-26 July in Dunedin as the Local Board’s representative. The talk of the conference was the Proposed Local Government Amendment Act focusing on the introduction of Auckland-style CCOs throughout the country and preparing smaller councils for amalgamations. This move is widely rejected by the LGNZ as an organisation and as a sum of its members. These conferences are a great opportunity to meet and catch up with other elected members and discuss their similar and different challenges. I always learn a lot and these experiences are valuable in application to my work as an elected member on the Local Board.

The highlight of the conference for me was the launch of the LGNZ 2050 discussion paper by the Young Elected Members Network (YEM): LGNZ 2050: Futureproofing Our Communities. I was elected as the Zone 1 representative on the YEM in 2014 and our main project since then has been to contribute a thinkpiece to the LGNZ for inclusion in their Policy and strategy work. We retained Castalia Strategic Advisors to interview sector experts and academics and write the piece guided by a steering group comprised of YEM Co-Chairs, Cr Aaron Hawkins (Dunedin City Council), Deputy Mayor ‘Ana Coffey (Porirua City Council), Cr Jinty McTavish (Dunedin City Council) and I.

I wrote the terms of reference for this project which took as its starting point the following big questions:

  • What are the big challenges and issues for New Zealand over the next 30-50 years?
  • The four pillars of sustainability: environmental, economic, social, cultural (and demographic)
  • What are the key drivers of change?
  • What are the “enduring questions” for the local government sector?

Another purpose of the project is enhancing youth participation in local government processes; building strong relationships between councils, young people and youth organisations; and, matters of Local Government New Zealand policy, and Central Government policy and legislation, on which young elected members share a view. Our over-arching focus 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’.

Sustainability is a concept that is embedded in local government legislation (‘sustainable management’ in the Resource Management Act 1991, ‘sustainable development’ in the Local Government Act 2002), policy and thinking. It is not only an environmental consideration, it has economic, social and cultural aspects. Yet, despite its theoretical centrality, it is often lacking in definition at the level of practical implementation. There is a rich body of academic literature, nationally and internationally, and numerous sustainability and low carbon strategies produced by councils throughout the country; but more needs to be done to review this body of knowledge, draw out the major themes and approaches, and assimilate them into a coherent work for discussion and policy development.

I attended the ‘Resilient towns, cities and regions – creating places for the future’ masterclass given by Jeb Brugmann, Founder of ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability. This masterclass took a deeper look at how to approach resilience as a new category of placemaking performance and as an investment-worthy proposition. Jeb led us through international case studies to explore the evolution of resilience as an emerging area of planning, regeneration and local economic development practice. He presented a framework and process for incorporating resilience elements in city, district and regional scale plans.

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.

Ongoing Projects

Work on the design or construction of the following has continued but there are no openings or substantive report backs for this month. A couple worth highlighting are:

  • Weona-Westmere coastal walkway construction continues
  • Western Park playground upgrade design has continued and will be due for public consultation in October

Waitematā Local Board Volunteer Activities August 2016

This section is written by Sarah Peters, Local Parks Volunteer and Biodiversity Coordinator as at 1st September 2016.

Volunteer Animal Pest Control Programme: trapping rodents and possums

Following a one month break, animal pest control activities re-commenced in August at: Auckland Domain; Newmarket Park; Alberon Reserve; Lemington Reserve; Tirotai Reserve.

Auckland Domain: Tree mulching, Sunday 31st July

Around 20 students from St Peter’s College undertook tree mulching at the Auckland Domain. This event had not yet taken place when last month’s report was written.

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St Peters College students at the Auckland Domain

Symonds St Cemetery: Rose pruning, Thursday 11th August

The annual Heritage Rose Society pruning event took place at Symonds St Cemetery with the help of five volunteers.

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One of the volunteer rose pruners

Weona Reserve: Planting event, Saturday 13th August

As part of the Weona Walkway Development, a community planting event took place in Weona Reserve.

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Communtity Planting event at Weona Wakway with Local Board members, Pippa Coom (3rd from left), Shale Chambers (6th from left) and Deborah Yates (rightmost).

Portfolio Report: Heritage, Urban Design and Planning

Planning

Bonus Floor Provisions and Accessways

There are over 60 public access routes through, around or via private buildings throughout the central city. Bonus floor provisions allow developers to increase the floor space of a private development by providing public access or benefit from the change. These usually take the form of pedestrian access ways through buildings, referred to as “through-site access”, and may include widened footpaths. Bonus provisions may also be gained through the provision of public viewing decks, plazas, and privately-owned art works that are accessible to the general public. Council is responsible for monitoring the consent conditions that result in bonus floor provisions and for working with building owners or managers to ensure that public access remains as agreed over time. The Waitematā Local Board has developed a comprehensive list of locations in the city centre where special access is provided via a bonus floor provision. It will be released to the public in September.

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/2016/3264, 1/10 Edgerley Avenue, Newmarket. Construction of six storey apartment building. The current proposal involves construction of a six storey apartment building with a basement level having a maximum height of 19.45m. The proposed building will contain 44 residential apartment units. A decision on notification input has not yet been made by the planning portfolio of the Local Board as we are still receiving further information on this application.
  • R/LUC/2016/3104, 2 Cremorne Street, Herne Bay. Council has received a resource consent application for 2 Cremorne Street to remove the Pre-1944 dwelling (built in 1919). It is zoned Residential 2b and no new dwelling is included in the proposal. The house is a hip-roofed bungalow, “English” in style. Most bungalows from this time are Californian in influence so the house is unusual in this respect. The heritage memo obtained as part of this application concludes that the house has intrinsic value as well as being an important part of the intact streetscape of the corner of Argyle and Cremorne Streets. I agree with this assessment and have requested public notification of this consent on the same basis as the heritage assessment.
  • R/VCC/2014/41/1, 7 Park Avenue, Variation of conditions. The main changes are to the built-form of the approved dwellings: Reduction from 4-levels to 3-levels and deletion of roof terraces, proposal for north-facing decks. We did not have input into the notification decision for this application.
  • R/LUC/2016/3273, R/REG/2016/3276, 2-8 Anzac Avenue, Auckland Central. New retail, continued operation of commuter car park & new LED billboard. The proposal involves the removal of 8 billboards across the site and the establishment of two new LED billboards on the corner of Anzac Avenue and Beach Road. 14 existing parking spaces will be removed from Beach Road and replaced with five new retail/food and beverage tenancies, and the existing carpark (with access off Anzac Avenue) is proposed to be reconfigured. Dispensation is sought for the new billboards as they are free standing and on a street frontage. Consent is sought for the new buildings, non-ancillary parking, discharge of contaminants and earthworks within 50m of a mana whenua site. Overall, consent is required as a discretionary activity. The Local Board requested limited notification of the LED billboard to any nearby residents who will be able to see the new billboard.
  • R/LUC/2016/2954, 160 Symonds Street, Grafton. Alterations to an existing building including alterations to the existing lift shaft of the Madison apartments. The proposal will result in a volcanic viewshaft infringement. The site is also located within the Upper Symonds Street Character Overlay. The AEE notes “The additional height results in a small area of the amended lift shaft infringing the rolling height plain for Volcanic Cones under the District Plan rules. The area above the plain is triangular shaped with a maximum length of 3.1m, width of 3m and at the highest point is 0.191m (19.1 cm) over the height plain.” The Local Board has a principle of requesting notification of any exceedance of volcanic viewshafts and would normally request public notification of this consent. However, in this case, the effect of the infringement was deemed less than minor given the lift shaft will be screened by the existing buildings of Meridian and Urba buildings and therefore there will be no change to the views of Mt Eden.
  • R/VCC/2016/1854/1, 442 Karangahape Road, Auckland. Application to change condition 1 of approved Resource Consent R/LUC/2016/1854 The additional built form will infringe the volcanic view protection shaft by 600mm. Consent is required to accommodate this overrun. There are rules within the District Plan and Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan that preclude the development from being publically or limited notified if it were being assessed as a restricted-discretionary activity. However, as a discretionary activity by virtue of being a s127 application, there are no rules that preclude notification such that an assessment in this regard is required. The Local Board has a principle of requesting notification of any exceedance of volcanic viewshafts so we requested public notification of this consent.
  • R/VCC/2014/3820, 5 Rose Road, Ponsonby. The application is a variation to consent conditions to change the following: air conditioning vents on the roof; a revised design of the sign and minor changes to the street facing façade; a new illuminated sign for the premise on the eastern elevation. The subject site is within the Ponsonby Centre Plan Area. The intensity of the activity, in terms of number of persons, number of staff and the parking space infringement has not been proposed to change. As this is an application to change condition 1 of the original resource consent which has permitted this activity, the proposal will be assessed as a discretionary activity.
  • R/LUC/2016/2179/1, 7 Rose Road, Grey Lynn. Demolish the existing building and develop a three level commercial/retail building. We did not have input into this notification decision.
  • R/LUC/2016/3467, 32 Fleet Street, Eden Terrace. Removal of existing dwelling and construction of six-unit apartment building. We did not have input into this notification decision.
  • R/LUC/2016/3407, 7 Arthur Street, Freemans Bay. Removal of a pre-1940 dwelling and construction of new dwelling. The heritage assessment did not support retention of this property as it is a significantly compromised example; as a result, we did not have input into this notification decision.
  • R/LUC/2016/2927, 147 Victoria Street West, Auckland Central. Consent for a new 11 storey mixed use development comprising ground floor and mezzanine office/retail space, 3 levels of hotel accommodation (Ramada Victoria), 6 storeys of 51 residential apartment units and a total of 73 carparking spaces including a basement level while retaining the façade of the existing heritage building at 147 Victoria Street. We did not have input into this notification decision.
  • R/LUC/2016/3598, 47 Marine Parade, Herne Bay. Additions to existing boat shed and construction of a cable car from the shed to the adjacent residential property. We have asked for public access along the waterfront to be maximised so that the passage of members of the public along the shoreline is not unreasonably obstructed by the construction.
  • R/LUC/2016/2923 – 79-83 Beach Road, Auckland Central. Proposed 15 storey mixed use development comprising 77 apartments and 487m2 commercial space at ground level. Includes one basement level with 7 parking spaces, loading and storage at 79-83 Beach Rd, Auckland Central. We recommended limited notification to the properties neighbouring the site due to shading, loss of privacy concerns.
  • R/LUC/2016/3730, 40 Drake Street, Auckland Central. The proposal involves additions and alterations to the existing building, to add three levels of residential floor space for three new residential units, and upgrade the building for earthquake strengthening requirements. Resource consent is required for external additions and alterations, to exceed the permitted height (16m permitted and 18.2m proposed), and to exceed the Maximum Total Floor Area Ratio (3:1 permitted and 3.72:1 proposed).  We did not have input into the notification decision.
  • R/LUC/2016/3644, 6 Laxon Terrace, Newmarket. Remove the existing dwelling and propose a new three-storey dwelling. Local Board requested limited notification for height in relation to boundary infringements to surrounding properties.

Resource consent matters of significance this month

252 Great North Road, Grey Lynn: SHA CONSENT

R/LUC/2016/3570. Proposed 5-level apartment building development (plus basement) comprising 37 dwellings, a ground floor retail unit and basement with parking, storage and services. I have discussed this application with the Grey Lynn and Arch Hill Residents’ Associations and they have given detailed feedback that I have passed on to the planners responsible.

55-59 Nelson Street, Auckland Central: Four apartment towers

R/REG/2016/3597, R/REG/2016/3602. The application proposes the construction and use of a new mixed-use development and includes all development aspects including earthworks, groundwater diversion and dewatering.  The development is comprised of four distinct apartment towers located over a shared podium floor and four levels of basement car parking and amenities  The development will provide for 237 apartments in a mix of studio, 1, 2, and 3 bedroom typologies. A total of 302 car parking spaces are provided over four basement levels.  Vehicle access will be from Nelson Street where it is proposed to provide for a loading space within the building.  A publicly accessible through site link connects Victoria Street West with Nelson Street.  It will be open to the sky in sections where there is not a building above.  Retail and food & beverage tenancies are located along its length.  A child care centre is proposed and boutique supermarket featured. Consents are required for a range of District Plan, Regional and PAUP reasons including; demolition of existing buildings; traffic related matters (parking,  access and loading) erection of new buildings; modification of height and MTFAR; contamination (NES) and discharges, earthworks and groundwater take & diversion.  Overall consent is required as a non-complying activity. We did not have input into the notification decision on this application.

75 Sarsfield Street, Herne Bay: Reconstruction of existing boatshed and the establishment and use of a helicopter landing pad on the replacement building

R/LUC/2016/3508. The application involves the reconstruction of the existing boatshed and the establishment and use of a helicopter landing pad on the replacement building. The applicant has applied for the noise component of this consent as a permitted activity. The Local Board asked that this application should be limited notified to surrounding properties on the basis of noise caused by the helicopter operation. We have also asked for public access along the waterfront to be maximised so that the passage of members of the public along the shoreline is not unreasonably obstructed by the construction.

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About Vernon Tava

Business broker, focused on sustainability, lives in Auckland, New Zealand.
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