July-November 2017 Local Board Member Report

WLB logo croppedPurpose

This report covers my Waitematā Local Board Activities during July to October 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. The general election campaign and aftermath proved to be more time consuming than I had expected, hence the lengthy gap between reports.

Executive Summary

  • I have created two new online, interactive maps of the heritage sites and the notable trees in the Waitematā Local Board area.
  • The Fukuoka Garden was formally opened on 17 July. I spoke as the Local Board’s representative at the opening following Mayor Goff and Mayor Takashima of Fukuoka City.
  • The Local Government New Zealand Conference was held in Auckland at Sky City between the 23rd and 25th of July. I attended as member of the Local Board and also as the Zone 1 representative of the Young Elected Members Committee of LGNZ.
  • On 28 July I sat as an Independent Hearings Commissioner on a panel to approve a day/night cricket match extending into Sunday at Eden Park. The consent was granted.
  • I attended the Independent Resource Consent Commissioner re-certification course on 9 August to renew my accreditation to sit on resource consent hearings panels. I am the Local Board’s delegated member for these matters. I passed my re-certification and will now be eligible for hearings commissioner work until 2022.
  • The Waitematā Good Citizens Awards were a highlight of the last few months. Held on 12 October, I was pleased to present the individual achievement awards with Deputy Chair Chambers.
  • 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’.


Fukuoka Garden Re-Opening

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The Fukuoka Friendship Garden was demolished by CCO, Regional Facilities Auckland (RFA), in January 2014 to make way for Auckland Zoo’s Tasmanian Devil enclosure. Although RFA claimed that they had asked Fukuoka City for permission to demolish the garden, it was quickly recognised as a mistake and then-Mayor Len Brown made a formal apology. By August 2014 Council’s Sports, Recreation and Parks Committee resolved to re-instate the garden, agreeing to a $1 million + budget. Shortly afterwards, the Fukuoka Friendship Garden Steering Committee was formed, with representation from Deborah Yates and I from the Local Board, chaired by Cr Cathy Casey, two members of the IMSB and members of the Friends of Fukuoka Garden Society. Much diplomatic as well as planning work was done; the Steering Committee, including myself and Mayor Len Brown, were hosted at the home of the Japanese Consul-General on the evening of the 20th of January 2015. A blessing ceremony was held at the new site of the gardens on the next day. On 31 March 2015, the Fukuoka Friendship Gardens Steering Group was re-named the  Fukuoka Gardens Advisory Group. This change of name was to reflect the changing role of the group as concept plans had been produced and the governance role of the Local Board became more direct. The project presented many and varied design and budgetary hurdles but our commitment to delivering the garden never wavered. It was with a great deal of pride that I attended the official opening ceremony on 17 July and spoke for the local board in the formal speeches. The new garden is over twice the size of the original and will be a stunning asset that will only improve over time as the ageing of the garden’s components is designed into the final product.

LGNZ Conference 2017

The Local Government New Zealand Conference was held in Auckland at Sky City between the 23rd and 25th of July. I attended as member of the Local Board and also as the Zone 1 representative of the Young Elected Members (YEM) sub-committee of LGNZ.

I attended the YEM meeting on the first morning and ensured that the new members pick up from where we left off last term and select areas of interest in the LGNZ 2050: futureproofing our communities document to develop as work programmes for this triennium.

I attended the following talks, speeches and workshops:

  • Building tomorrow’s places 2050: the role of technology
  • Leader of the Opposition
  • Creating tomorrow’s places 2050
  • Liveable spaces and loveable places: community infrastructure
  • Shane Taurima, Māori Party
  • Sustainable development 2050: inspired action to build great communities
  • Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of NZ First
  • Managing community expectations for freshwater for freshwater quality and quantity and delivering the government’s objectives
  • Looking after tomorrow’s places 2050: meeting our nation’s water needs
  • James Shaw, Co-leader of the Green Party
  • Closing keynote: Futureproofing our communities
  • Local Government AGM

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 Historic Heritage and Scheduled Trees

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Heritage Sites: Unitary Plan A&B-listed, and Heritage New Zealand Category 1&2

I have created a Google Map of ‘Historic Heritage’ sites in the Waitematā Local Board area, comprising: Unitary Plan A & B-listed sites (Schedule 14(1)), and Heritage New Zealand Category 1 & 2 sites. I have also made a map of ‘Notable Trees’ (AUP(OP) Schedule 10).

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Notable Trees Scheduled in the Unitary Plan

Council holds a wealth of information about historic, natural and cultural heritage but it isn’t always in a form that is readily accessible. I am very proud of our heritage sites and protected trees and I am dedicated to sharing them with as many people as possible, so I created these maps as a way to visualise them. Google Maps is an ideal tool as anyone can load it on their phone or tablet and can take their own walking tour with just their device as their guide. There are four different hierarchies of historic heritage listed in two different places: in the Auckland Unitary Plan (Historic Heritage A & B-listings) and two created by Heritage New Zealand (formerly the Historic Places Trust, categories 1 & 2). This map puts them all in one place and allows the user to compare and contrast the lists by toggling the ‘layers’ on and off in the map’s legend. More detailed information for each site appears when you tap the marker.

Civic Trust Heritage Panel

Heritage Panel 2017

Civic Trust Heritage Festival Panel: (l to r) Vernon Tava, Alan Matson, Sandra Coney, Sally Hughes, Noel Reardon, Rebecca Vertongen, John Radford (photo credit: Pippa Coom)

I was a speaker on the Civic Trust Heritage Festival Panel, representing the Waitematā Local Board as the lead of our Heritage, Urban Design and Planning portfolio, held on the evening of 3 October in the newly-refurbished Ellen Melville Centre.

The topic was whether enough is being done to protect heritage in Auckland. I was in very distinguished company with (l to r) Allan Matson, Sandra Coney, Sally Hughes, Noel Reardon, Rebecca Vertongen, John Radford and Hamish Keith. I focused particularly on my work making heritage more accessible via the creation of online maps as well as the Heritage Foreshore Walk. Probably the great insight of the night was Noel Reardon’s observation that heritage is well protected but that ‘character’ has virtually no protection.

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.

  • LUC60303179, SUB60303220. 40 Webber Street, Grey Lynn. Establishment of three residential units. Associated subdivision for three residential units. Land use/subdivision application for the removal of one dwelling and to construct three new two-storey townhouses with associated earthworks, landscaping and infrastructure. Each dwelling will have one allocated car parking space accessed from a new shared driveway. The dwellings will be under the 11m height limit. As an application for three dwellings is currently under appeal, the proposal is a Non-Complying activity under the AUP(OP) the proposal is a Restricted Discretionary activity. We did not have input into this application.
  • 182 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby. Minor alterations and landscaping works to Former Ponsonby Fire Station Building. Relocation of existing vehicle crossing on Lincoln Road. Change of activity from Fire Station/Training Facility to Retail, Food, Beverage and Office. The site is zoned as Business Town Centre, however, the special character overlay over the site is split with the ‘Special Character Areas Overlay – Business Ponsonby’ over the front portion of the site and the ‘Special Character Areas Overlay – Residential Isthmus A’ over the rear of the site. It has been assessed by Council’s heritage expert as being acceptable and not having adverse effects on the special character and streetscape. Parking on the site is to remain but will be associated with the retail/office use on the site.
  • SUB60303739, TRE60304218. 22 Fleet Street, Eden Terrace. Unit title development of new building. Removal of Swamp Cypress tree.
  • 10 Fleet Street, Eden Terrace. Linked to BUN60303621 (parent bundle). The proposal involves the construction of a new four storey apartment building containing 4 residential units.  The building generally complies with the relevant development standards for the relevant zone, Business – Mixed Use zone.  There are moderate to large scale earthworks to allow for the lowered floor level of the ground floor.  Access is on both frontages and involves the loss of one parking space. We did not have input into this consent.
  • 10 Kingdon Street, Newmarket. Multi-storey, Mixed used development. Change of use for 2 levels (levels 3 and 4) on a previously granted but unimplemented consent from residential (apartments) into visitor accommodation. Accordingly the bulk and location of the building remains unchanged, and the ground floor commercial activity and residential activity from levels 5-9 are all consented and remain unchanged. Consent is being sought for this as a separate and standalone consent, so all matters are being re-consented, however as noted above, there is an existing consent on the site for the same built form to accommodate commercial on ground floor, parking, and residential above this. We did not have input into this application.
  • 311-315 Great North Road, Grey Lynn. New workshop and storage addition. Infringes rear yard setback. Height in relation to boundary and impervious areas. Industrial activity in residential zone. 3 properties.
  • 4/38 Picton Street, Freemans Bay. Consent to replace existing cladding and change roof shape. Build stairs down side of building to replace existing damaged stairs.
  • 4-6 Francis Street, Grey Lynn. Demolition of existing church building. A significantly compromised building of no great architectural merit. No objection to this demolition was lodged by the Local Board.
  • 18 Norfolk Street, Ponsonby. GRANTED. Additions and alterations to an existing dwelling. Additions and alterations in Special Character Overlay require consent. involves external additions and alterations to an existing dwelling which includes extending the rear of the dwelling, construction of an attached double garage along the front road boundary, provision of a new vehicle crossing 4.8m wide, construction of a swimming pool and landscaping along the site frontage and side boundaries which is located within the Single House Zone and Special Character Areas Overlay – Residential Isthmus. The site is not subject to any appeals therefore the Auckland Unitary Plan (Operative in Part) AUP (OP) are operative for the site. The proposal infringes a number of standards under Special Character Areas Overlay – Residential Isthmus of the AUP (OP) including maximum permitted building coverage, minimum landscaped area, maximum fencing height, yard setback and width of vehicle access. The proposal has been reviewed by relevant Council specialists in regard to heritage and traffic matters and can be supported subject to appropriate conditions of consent.
  • LUC60109268-C. 38 Fort Street, Auckland Central. Proposed variations to the conditions of R/LUC/2015/2801 to authorise amendments to the approved building design associated with a proposed hotel use. The proposal is to vary the consent conditions of R/LUC/2015/2801 to provide for changes to the design and appearance of the approved building, including a change in the use of approved dwelling and offices spaces to visitor accommodation. The floor plates on each level will expand slightly, predominately to the northern rear of the building, resulting in an increase in the gross floor area of the building from 2,900m2to 3,275m2. The proposal also includes new signage beneath the approved canopy, and on the façade of the building. The processing of this application is nearing completion.
  • LUC60122797-A. 12-14 Customs Street West, Auckland Central. Variation to conditions on Heritage site. The proposal is to change condition 1 of the resource consent R/LUC/2017/389 to include all internal works in the non-heritage fabric area of the Custom House Building. The proposed works include: painting of interior walls and windows; new flooring, ceiling and wall finishes in non-heritage area; mechanical, electrical, communications, fire, hydraulics and security service upgrade; bathroom upgrade; balustrade upgrade; and interior fit-out. This application was referred to the Local Board on 14th The consent has been approved and issued on 27thSeptember.
  • 30 Fanshawe Street, Auckland Central. Restoration and alteration of the Fosters and Co. heritage building. The proposal is to remediate and redevelop the Fosters & Co Category B Historic Heritage Place, and construct a new 24-storey apartment tower comprising 92 apartments. Eight new commercial spaces are proposed within the existing building at ground level. The building will exceed the 11:1 Maximum Total Floor Area Ratio for the site due to the enclosure of the proposed balcony spaces with sliding glass as opposed to balustrades. The proposal also involves the disturbance and discharge of contaminated land.
  • 28 Fleet Street, Eden Terrace. Removal of an existing dwelling on the site, and redevelopment of the site to construct a new 7-level building consisting of residential apartments, and a ground level street facing retail unit. No car parking is being proposed, although it is noted that the retail parking standard for the Mixed Use Zone is under appeal therefore they will need to assess against the District Plan parking requirements. Consent is also required for the following reasons (based on information received thus far): the site is a sloping site, therefore consent is required for earthworks to create the building platform, this also triggered groundwater diversion consent; t​he building infringes both maximum occupiable and maximum total building height standards; t​here are various outlook space infringements. ​The application has been through initial review from our urban designer, development engineer, groundwater specialist and contamination specialist. The application is also currently going through the cultural facilitation process offered by Council, due to the groundwater diversion. Some iwi groups have expressed interest in the application. Delayed due to s92 request for more information. ​
  • 560 Richmond Road, Grey Lynn. To remove a dwelling and use the site as a car park for a period for 5 years. In order to deal with a car parking shortage for the West Lynn Painters and Panel Beaters operating at 570-580 Richmond Road / 33 Surrey Crescent, they proposed to: demolish/remove the existing dwelling on the site; level, seal and fence (1.8m high) the site; utilise the land for up to 13 car parking spaces for staff and cars waiting to be repaired. Hours of use – 7am to 6pm Monday to Friday and 8am-1pm Saturday.  Sundays and public holidays the site will be locked up. Landscaping proposed along the road frontage and the norther/residential boundary. The Local Board have recommended notification of this application as an intact heritage villa – built as one of a pair – will be removed for a carpark which is not a high value use.
  • 26 Tole Street, Ponsonby. Removal of a dwelling from 26 Tole Street and replacement dwelling which falls within the Special Character Overlay. The building is not visible from the street. It is a transition Edwardian house but and has had some rather clumsy fibrolite modifications in a ‘faux Tudor’ style; it has fallen into serious disrepair and is now something of a blight on the landscape. There is limited visibility of either the current or the new building from Tole Reserve.
  • 3 Browning Street, Grey Lynn. The construction of an 82m2upper floor to accommodate a new master bedroom with dressing room and ensuite. As well as a library which has outlook over Browning Street; a 6m2 addition to the existing dining area and the construction of a louvretec roof beyond, above the outdoor living area; the additions will be constructed using paint finished weatherboards and joinery as well as corrugated iron roofing to match the existing dwelling; and, the proposal also includes improvements to the outdoor living areas including replacing the existing timber deck and extending it to wrap around the existing swimming pool. Additionally it is proposed to construct an outdoor fireplace at the southern end of the deck.
  • 44 Kelmarna Avenue, Herne Bay. Removal of three street trees and alteration of a road chicane to allow vehicle access to an existing formed parking pad.
  • 473-529 Karangahape Road, Newton. The proposal is for a total of 4 signs on the façade of the existing building for the new Tesla dealership. The building has three frontages so two signs are proposed along the Karangahape Road, one on the Hereford St frontage and one of the Mahon Way frontage (see attached plans and AEE attached). The site is zoned Business-City Centre Zone and located with the Historic Heritage Overlay Extent of Place (2739, Karangahape Road: Historic Heritage Area) and Karangahape Road, Precinct. Reasons for consent include –  signs not otherwise provided for in the Karangahape Road Historic overlay and alterations to a building within the Karangahape Precinct. Overall, resource consent is required as a restricted discretionary activity. Please note the proposed signage complies with the Signage Bylaw 2015 and does not require dispensation.
  • 135 Victoria Street West, Auckland Central. Re-clad of ‘Victopia’ Apartment Building. Removal of veranda on Nelson Street façade. The applicant seeks to carry out re-cladding works to the building and remove the existing verandah along Nelson Street permanently due to weather-tightness issues. The verandah along Victoria Street West is to be retained, but the corner verandah will either be retained or redesigned (to be confirmed by the applicant). A wind report has been provided by the applicant to demonstrate that the wind effects on pedestrian footpaths along Nelson Street and Victoria Street West will still comply with the required wind standards under the AUP(OP) despite the removal of the verandah along Nelson Street.
  • LUC60115078-A. 2 Churton Street, Parnell. Proposed variation to approved consent for: additional basement level (Basement 2) for carparking, changes to the approved basement (Basement 1) to incorporate the new access ramps to the lower level; increased GW drawdown and earthworks volume. Minor changes to internal layout of units on levels 1-6, and the creation of a new dwelling on level 6 to total 19 units (approved for 18). Vehicle gates added to access ramp. Changes to Churton Street façade (largely resulting from building code fire wall requirements). Cladding changes and up-lighting of areas of façade. Requested limited notification due to increased traffic movement, disturbance from excavation and lighting to surrounding properties.

Resource consent matters of significance this month

151 Queen Street, Auckland Central. Additions and alterations to the existing building including the removal of a through site link and public toilet (TSL from Wyndham Street to Mills Lane)

This application effectively supersedes the historic consent in which a through-site link between Wyndham Street and Mills Lane, and a public toilet on Wyndham Street, were consented. The link will be removed altogether and the toilet will be replaced by a retail store. The bonus floor space that was earned with the previous conditions will be offset instead by the purchase of heritage floor space.

There are numerous buildings in Auckland’s city centre that have through-site links (TSLs) that have been implemented through the resource consent process. Many of these TSLs were implemented through condition of consent. Toilets are a far less common addition.

There are examples of past conditions pertaining to the implementation of TSLs being  worded to ensure their implementation but not specifically their retention. Further (within a certain historic period of consenting) it was not required for these links to be registered as a covenant. It is my understanding that this was rectified about 14 years ago and that such conditions are now registered on the title.

In this instance, with regard  to the application LUC60309526, 151 Queen Street, neither the TSL nor the public toilet have been registered on the title and the condition on the original consent only required the TSL and toilet to be implemented in accordance with its approved plans to the satisfaction of the Council. It does not specifically require their retention in perpetuity nor did it require the TSL and toilet to be registered on the title to indicate ongoing provision.

On behalf of the Local Board I raised our strong opposition to the removal of the TSL and public toilet but was informed by the responsible planner that the legal position was clear and their removal would not be sufficient to occasion even notification of the consent. 

While the City Centre Master Plan identifies specific TSLs throughout the CBD, this does not include a through site link from Wyndham Street to Mills Lane. In a similar way, the AUP (OP) Map H8.11.9 identifies specific blocks that are able to obtain an additional 0.5:1 Floor Area Ratio (on top of the standard bonus awarded). This means that sites within the CBD can gain extra floor space by providing a TSL within their development, but those specifically identified in the aforementioned map, are able to obtain further additional floor space for the same bonus feature (TSL). This can be interpreted to mean that any existing TSL that is highlighted on this map is of importance and would be expected to remain. The site in question is not identified as such.

The policies in the AUP (OP) are silent on the retention of current public amenities. Nowhere does it stipulate that the removal of bonus features should be avoided, or that their retention is required. However, the AUP (OP) H8.6.18 states that qualification for a bonus requires the TSL to have an access easement registered on the title to which the link applies to ensure preservation of the link and its ongoing maintenance by the owner of the title.

Policy H8.3(32) states:

“Encourage public amenities to be provided within developments, including publically accessible open space, works of art and through site links.”

This policy along with the need for a registered easement encourages the provision of a TSL and its continued preservation.

However, in the case of some existing TSL (or other public amenities) like 151 Queen Street, where there is no requirement for an easement to be registered. Policy H8.3(32) does not provide Council with a clear conjecture in the case where it is proposed to remove a TSL.

The public toilet at the Wyndham Street side of the development – which had been closed  for some time by the owners due to ‘anti-social behaviour’ – was removed in the same fashion as the TSL by the superseding application with bonus floor space instead being compensated for by the purchase of heritage floor space.

223 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby

LUC60305787. Mixed use building additions and alterations. One of a row of two-storey, wooden, pre-1900 character houses neighbouring Ponsonby Manor and Saint John’s Methodist Church. On the other side, on the corner of Pember Reeves Street is the modern building known locally as ‘The Fridge’. Demolition consent has already been granted.

108-112 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby.

LUC60308454. Demolition of non-character parts of existing Character-contributing building, erection of mixed use office and retail building, and associated works. The Bolliwood restaurant building on the corner of Ponsonby Road and Pollen Street. The development leaves in place all but the rearmost non-heritage parts of the building.

165-167 Jervois Road Herne Bay: 5-storey apartment building

LUC60309244. Involves a land use consent for the construction of a new five-storey mixed use building containing commercial activity at ground level and apartments on the upper floors of the building with basement car parking and associated works. The site is zoned Business – Local Centre Zone under the Auckland Unitary Plan (Operative in Part). The proposal infringes a number of standards including noise standards, earthworks, height under the AUP (OP) and parking and loading standards under the AUP (OP) and Isthmus plan for the commercial units on the ground floor.

30-34 Customs Street East: 11-storey hotel

LUC60309356. This proposal includes the erection of an 11-storey hotel with mixed use tenancies and the refurbishment of 2 heritage buildings. A very high-quality design by Cheshire Architects with Heritage New Zealand approval of the refurbishment of the alterations to the heritage buildings.

100 Anzac Avenue

Application for external alterations and additions to an existing building, as part of its remediation works. The works include the following: addition of a glazed curtain wall system to enclose the east and west terraces on levels 1 to 12, additional glass screens to screen the terraces on level 13, replacing the existing building cladding on the north and south elevations, replacement of the existing canopy along Anzac Avenue, replacement of existing privacy screens, and replacing the existing balustrades on the balconies along the building’s northern elevation. The proposed works do not change the height of the building; however they will increase the building’s gross floor area (GFA) by 1,566.96m2 and its floor area ratio from 7.3:1 to 10:1, which will exceed the site’s MTFAR (6.5:1).

About Vernon Tava

Barrister. Lives in Auckland, New Zealand.
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1 Response to July-November 2017 Local Board Member Report

  1. Pingback: Closure of Public Toilet at 151 Queen Street | Vernon Tava

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