June 2017 Local Board Member Report

Logo croppedPurpose

This report covers my Waitematā Local Board Activities during June 2017 as Lead of the Planning and Heritage portfolio; co-holder of the Transport portfolio; Local Board representative on the Parnell Business Association; and member of the Auckland Domain Committee.

 Executive Summary

  • I have created a public, online map of all the bonus floor provision through-site links and viewing platforms in the central city; as well public toilets and drinking fountains. The map can be found here.
  • On 26 June I sat as an Independent Hearings Commissioner on a Special Housing Area consent hearing for a development in Meadowbank.
  • 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’.

Portfolio Report: Heritage, Urban Design and 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, and brothels.

Mapping of Bonus Floor Provision Features

There are over 60 public access routes around or via private buildings throughout central Auckland. These features have been created by the operation of ‘bonus floor provisions’ of resource consents. This is a way for 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 provide for public viewing decks, plazas and privately-owned art works that are accessible to the general public.

I have created a public, online map available here. The map also includes public toilets and drinking fountains.

Screen Shot 2017-06-29 at 15.54.53

Screenshot of the Google Map available at http://bit.ly/2rNRTZs

In the city centre the Unitary Plan still provides for developments to contain activities or features that provide a benefit to the public and be awarded bonus floor area.  Rule H.6.11 is relevant and table H.6.11.1 lists the types of bonus features that apply.  There have been some changes between the legacy plan and the AUP (OP) in the list of bonus features and ‘quantities’, e.g. there are no longer bonuses for childcare facilities but bonuses still apply to the following:

  • Residential activities
  • Public open space
  • Through site links
  • Works of art
  • Light and outlook

There are also now heritage-related bonuses.

Council is responsible for monitoring the consent conditions that result in bonus floor provisions and for working with building managers or owners to ensure that public access remains as agreed over time.

Until recently there has been no central register of these conditions; they were recorded only in the consents granted for each site. This was an issue that was first picked up in 2011 by Shale Chambers, the first Chair of the Waitematā Local Board of Auckland Council. At the Local Board’s direction, over the past five years, staff have undertaken the painstaking process of unearthing all the bonus provisions so that we can create a list to both share with the public and protect the features from variations of conditions of which we would otherwise be unaware.

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.

  • 208 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby. Enclose same car parks for commercial floor space & use, establish a rooftop bar & restaurant. This site has already, recently, been significantly modified. We did not have further input into this application.
  • 1 Renall Street, Freemans Bay. Alterations and additions to the existing dwelling (heritage building) including internal modifications. The proposal involves: the construction of a new rear facing dormer with fake windows to the rear roof space of the site; internal alterations to the existing upstairs bathrooms, staircase and living room; the removal of the rear chimney. Reasons for consent applied for include: height in relation to boundary infringement; rear yard infringement; external additions and alterations in a Special Character Area; alteration to a category A building; alteration to a contributing site. The subject site is registered with Heritage New Zealand. Heritage New Zealand were briefed on the proposal and a written response in support of the works has been provided. We are satisfied to leave the resolution and conditions of this application to the specialist advisors.
  • 13-19 Newton Road, Newton. Replacement of existing double-sided billboards with new double-sided LED billboard structure. Existing dimensions: 6m x 3m (landscape); proposed: 6m x 4m (portrait). Initial view from the planner is that the reduction from two to one is clear merit advantage for proposal (i.e. reducing established clutter) with which I am inclined to agree. No further comment.
  • 100 Halsey Street, Auckland Central. New commercial building for hotel, entertainment and car parking activities. The proposal is for the erection of a eight level mixed use  building which includes a 154 room hotel sleeving an above ground car park (of 366 spaces) with an entertainment facility for the ‘All Black Experience’ (‘ABEX’). In essence, the proposal relates to the re-orientation of a consented building issued resource consent 2016 so that the building (Building 1) aligns with Pakenham Street rather than Halsey Street as consented in the 2016 consent. The applicant states this is to address the subject of ongoing judicial review proceedings in relation to building over the internal boundary, and as such the Applicant is seeking a fresh consent for Building 1 that will resolve this ongoing issue. The proposal ‘re-orientates’ Building 1 so it no longer covers the two underlying titles providing an alternate development option to the 2016 resource consent. Resource consent is required under the provisions of the AUP(OP); for the erection of a new building; for exceeding the 25 metre height control over the Halsey Street frontage of the site; for a shortfall in the number of required visitor cycle spaces; because the gradient of the vehicle access ramp is steeper than permitted; for the provision of signs; earthworks; and short term discharge of contaminants associated with earthworks. Overall, consent for a non-complying activity is required. We had no input into this application.
  • LUC60302437, 12 Anglesea Street, Freemans Bay. Construction of new dwelling and removal of a street tree. The proposal involves the construction of a new 2 storey residential dwelling with an internal garage and a swimming pool; the removal of a street tree to enable the construction of a vehicle crossing; and, the removal of two off-street parking spaces. Reasons for consent applied for include the construction of a new dwelling in the Special Character Overlay; building height in relation to boundary infringement; yard control; building coverage infringement; fences and walls infringement being more than 1.2m in height. Exceeding permitted earthworks range; the removal of a street tree; the construction of the vehicle crossing being more than 3m wide. We requested limited notification to neighbouring and adjacent properties to allow them to have input on the building height in relation to boundary infringement, building coverage infringement and the removal of a street tree.
  • 124 Halsey Street, Auckland Central. The proposal is to demolish the TMS warehouse building (with Asbestos Containing Materials)  to slab level (maintaining existing special character building on the site) at 124 Halsey Street. All car parking will be disestablished and the vacant site will be used for temporary storage of construction material for up to 24 months. The applicant stated that the site will be re-developed in the future in accordance with the Wynyard Central Integrated Development Plan (IDP). Overall a controlled activity consent is required. After seeking assurance that the special character building on the street frontage will be protected and maintained, we had no further input into the application process.
  • 112 John Street, Ponsonby. Addition and alterations to existing cottage. All works are to the rear of the building having no impact on the streetscape so we have not had input into this application.
  • 76 Albany Road, Herne Bay. Alterations and additions to an existing dwelling.Internal alteration and extension to the rear including new pantry, kitchen, family room, spa, BBQ, shower and store/pumps. Reasons for consent applied for include: external additions and alterations in a Special Character Area; alteration to a historic heritage area; side yard and rear yard infringements; building coverage infringement; landscaped area infringement; paved area infringement; fences and wall. No significant exterior effects visible from the street so no input into this application.
  • LUC60302751, WAT60302752, WAT60302753. 7 Rose Road, Ponsonby. Application to remove the existing building on the site which has an existing commercial use and approximately 700m2of total floor area. Construct a four storey building (including basement level, and mezzanine & roof deck) for a mixed commercial and retail development.  In more detail. The basement level will be comprised of 13 carparks and 6 bicycle parks, and will also include the buildings plant, storage area and waste rooms (total floor area of 510m2); the ground floor will contain 410m2 of commercial/retail space with a lift and lobby located along the western façade with Pollen Street (total floor area of 506m2). Level one will contain six retail units between 30.5m2 and 86.2m2 in size (total floor area of 546m2). Level two (plus a mezzanine and roof deck) will contain a number of small food and beverage retailers with communal seating area (total floor area of 543m2 with an additional 167m2 for the mezzanine above and 170m2 for the open deck area). Overall the building will compromise of approximately 408m2 of offices, 313m2 of retail units and a food court with 408m2 on level 2 and 138m2 of seating on Level 3. There will be no formal loading space provided for the site. We did not have input into this application.
  • LUC60114039, LUC30114104. 350 Queen Street, City. Proposals involve an increase in the gross floor area of the site above the maximum total floor area ratio. There are two proposed schemes – one for an apartment building, one for a hotel. The applicant intends to proceed with one or the other, depending on market demand. We have not had input into this application.
  • R/LUC/2017/1623. 60 Sarsfield Street, Herne Bay. Removal of an existing dwelling and construction of replacement dwelling. Key elements of the project include: demolition/removal of the existing 1960s dwelling and the majority of existing vegetation on the site. The hedge along the rear is to be retained in part; construction of a new dwelling which is predominantly single storey except where it features a lower level garage at the front, and an upper level bedroom near the centre of the dwelling; outdoor areas comprise a terrace area, which includes a pool and timber deck, and a large area in lawn at the rear of the site. At the site frontage it is proposed to reinstate the existing 1.8m high fence as the location of the vehicle and pedestrian gates will change as part of this proposal. A new driveway will be constructed to provide access to the garage, and will utilise the existing vehicle crossing; approximately 296m³ of cut and fill across a total area of approximately 481m² are required to generally level parts of the site, construct the dwelling foundations, and the driveway. There is a reticulated stormwater line available for connection within the road reserve, the applicant has prepared drainage services plans for a public extension to the site boundary. Council’s heritage specialist has assessed the proposal as being acceptable and not resulting in any adverse effects on the special character of the area, having viewed the site I can say the building is in no way remarkable and makes no meaningful contribution to the streetscape. No further input.

Resource consent matters of significance this month

1-19 Quay Street, Auckland Central. A new memorial artwork on the non-scheduled part of the red fence (defined as “building” under the Unitary Plan)

The proposal is for establishing a replacement memorial artwork for “Apihai Te Kawau’s Rock”, which is currently situated behind the ‘Red Fence’ at the southern portion of Bledisloe Container Terminal. The new artwork includes the removal of a small unscheduled portion of the ‘Red Fence’ (2 modern fence sections), the construction of a new basalt plinth and seat partially located within the adjacent road reserve and a new reinforced glass panel with interpretive text and graphics which will be located within the line of the ‘Red Fence’. “Apihai Te Kawau’s Rock” will also be relocated and seated on a central location on the new basalt and seat. Consenting matters include a new building not otherwise provided for within the Port Precinct Area A, as the new artwork is greater than 2.5m in height and therefore defined as a “building” under the Auckland Unitary Plan. The proposal therefore requires a restricted discretionary resource consent. Given the significance of the location and public interest, we have requested that the proposal be publicly notified.

71 Ponsonby Road, Freemans Bay: ‘The Garden Party’

LUC60303014. Additions and alterations to an existing retail building: two office floors above ground floor retail: ‘Garden Party’. Proposal to carry out additions and alterations to the existing building, including seismic upgrade to the two upper levels of the building.  The current uses of the ground floor of the building will remain retail activities, but will extend a further 306m2 of gross floor area to the rear, and will provide for two additional levels of office activity above the enlarged footprint.  Changes to the front of the ground floor in terms of the glazing, however it will overall retain the existing façade.  The application is to be reviewed by Council’s Heritage Specialist, as well as the Urban Design Specialists to get their feedback. This will be a watching brief as it occupies a significant site on Ponsonby Road.

277-305 Broadway, Newmarket

LUC60302415, DIS60303087. Comprehensive integrated retail development. Long term discharge of contaminants to ground and groundwater. the resource consent lodged for the site at 277-305 Broadway (“277 Broadway”), which has been lodged by Scentre New Zealand Limited.  The application is for an expansion of the Westfield shopping centre, extending the mall that currently fronts Broadway through to the rear boundary of the site adjoining Gillies Avenue.  The application is a new consent for the development of the site, with the applicant holding a consent for a different design (although that is shortly to expire). The application has an overall activity status of being Restricted Discretionary, and we are just finalising initial specialist reviews that will lead to a further information request.  Subject to final comments coming through, the questions raised are unlikely to lead to design adjustments, more design clarifications and further technical information being required (engineering related). The application is currently on hold under a s92 RMA request for further information but given the scale of this application and its impact on one of the city’s main roads, we requested public notification.

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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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