December 2017 Local Board Member Report

PurposeWLB logo cropped

This report covers my Waitematā Local Board Activities during November 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. I tend to only report on the Planning and Heritage Portfolio as Transport is amply covered in the body of the monthly agendas and the Chair’s reports.

Executive Summary

  • This will be the final report for 2017. The next will be for the first local board business meeting of 2018 on the 20th of February
  • I visited Māori Hall at 11 Edinburgh Street, Newton, on the 3rd of November with Chris Casey and a legal representative from the church trust that owns the building to further examine its renovation and re-purposing as a community hall
  • I attended the City Centre Residents Group AGM on the 6th of November
  • The Auckland Domain Committee held a meeting at the War Memorial Museum on the 30th of November at which we toured the grounds and the museum before the business meeting
  • 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.

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.

  • 69 Argyle Street, Herne Bay. LUC60310466, SUB60310467. Additional dwellings with subdivision around existing dwellings (main consent BUN60310465).
  • 14 Harcourt Street, Grey Lynn. LUC60310578. Additions and alteration to an existing dwelling subject to a Special Character Overlay. The proposal is for a new basement garage and new vehicle crossing and driveway with some fenestration changes to the northern and southern façade of the existing dwelling. The site is zoned Single House Zone and located with the Special Character Overlay  – Residential Isthmus A. Reasons for consent include –  additions and alterations to a building within the Special Character Overlay , the proposal does not comply with a side yard setback, the access gradient does not meet the 1:20 transitional platform and creation of impervious area discharging to a combined sewer network. Overall, resource consent is required as a restricted discretionary activity.
  • 77-97 Symonds Street, Auckland Central. LUC60310659. To develop a new building to accommodate 251 guest rooms/suites together with additions and alterations to the existing Cordis Hotel. A land use consent is sought to develop a new 16-storey (50m high) building as an extension of the existing Cordis Hotel. The new building will accommodate an additional 251 guest rooms. The proposal involves retaining the existing access and vehicle movement arrangement, and as a result the new building is not built out to the street frontage at street level. The proposal will require the removal of a Pin Oak along Symonds Street. The proposed new building will comply with maximum height and maximum total floor area ratio. Further, additions and alterations to the existing Cordis Hotel are also proposed. These include undertaking internal alterations to the existing ground floor of the Hotel to provide connectivity to the proposed new building, minor extensions to the existing Hotel restaurant resulting in two additional boxed ‘bay windows’ with visibility over City Road, and an extension to the existing ‘Greys’ bar to encompass the existing patio adjacent to the hotel entrance. Overall consent is required for a restricted discretionary activity.
  • 1 Greys Avenue, Auckland Central. SUB60310665. 8-lot fee simple stratum subdivision tailored around an existing and approved redevelopment of the site.
  • 9 Farnham Street, Parnell. DIS60311078. Construction of a six-floor apartment building made up of 19 apartments and unit title subdivision to create a separate titles.
  • 15-31 Wellesley Street West, Auckland Central. LUC60311052. Refurbishment of building. The applicant seeks to carry out internal modification to the existing hotel rooms located in the former Archibald Clark and Sons Warehouse Building (#2088, Category B Historic Place under the AUP (OP)) at the above address. The proposed works include: conversion of several one-bedroom hotel rooms to studio, redecoration of walls, repainting of existing ceilings, fit-out for bathrooms, duct works for the installation of fresh air supply systems, and repairing/replacing the existing window panes, where necessary. The majority of the proposed works will be limited to the existing footprint of each apartment/hotel room. Overall consent is required for a restricted discretionary activity.
  • 60 Cook Street, Auckland Central. LUC60311345. Commercial/residential apartment building. Consent is sought for demolition of the existing buildings on site and construction of a 10-level commercial and residential apartment building containing 218 units. The building will exceed the 5:1 Maximum Total Floor Area Ratio for the site with 6:1 MTFAR proposed.  Overall consent is required for a non-complying activity.  Other consent matters include demolition; construction of a new building; infringement of outlook space and frontage height control; shortfall of cycle parks and one loading space. This application will be referred to the Local Board for comment given the exceedance of Floor area ratio.
  • 45-53 Ponsonby Road, Freemans Bay. LUC60311788. Change of use from a restaurant to cocktail bar that lies within 30m of a residential zone. The proposed hours of operation are 12 midday to 2am the following day.
  • 159 Beaumont Street, Auckland Central. LUC60311946. Wynyard Precinct Sub-Precinct D.
  • 18 Westmoreland St West, Grey Lynn. LUC60312095. Redevelopment of existing warehouse building at 18 Westmoreland Street from salvage yard/trade supply to mixed commercial and all enabling works.
  • 19/75 Parnell Road, Parnell. TRE60312026. Removal of one Phoenix Palm and two Chinese Fan Palm trees within the courtyard of the Mayfair Building.

Resource consent matters of significance this month

A number of demolitions in prime locations

These will all be unlamented demolitions. The common denominator is that they are unimpressive, newer buildings (1960s-1980s) surrounded by either vacant lots or older heritage/character buildings.

  • Broadway, Newmarket
    • 378 Broadway. LUC60311184
    • 288-290 Broadway. LUC60311185
  • Wynyard Quarter
    • 101-107 Beaumont Street. LUC60311186
    • 2 Westhaven Drive. LUC60311187
    • 23 Westhaven Drive. LUC60311189

113 Jervois Road, Herne Bay

LUC60311085 (main consent BUN60311201). Construction of a new mixed use building comprising 1 retail tenancy and 9 dwellings. The proposal is to construct a new mixed-use building with retail on ground floor and residential apartments. The proposal requires resource consent for regional for ground water and land use for infringements with the standards. Reasons for consent include: groundwater take, works within the root zone of a street tree, new vehicle crossing, vehicle access and gradient, over the maximum height, height in relation to boundary, outlook space and yards.

51-53 Albert Street, Auckland Central

This application has a long and complex history. The latest application, which is still awaiting s 92 RMA requests for information, is for a breach of the maximum total floor area ratio and will also deal with access by vehicle to the construction site and finished building by car and truck across the legal road part of Saint Patrick’s Square.

In February 2009, land use consent was granted to a previous site owner for the redevelopment of the site to construct a 46-storey residential apartment building including 15 mezzanine levels and 31 levels of residential accommodation under consent reference R/LUC/2006/7101. The building was proposed to accommodate 150 apartments, a café, a through-site link and 95 parking spaces. Separate vehicle entrances and exits are proposed from Albert Street, to provide access to the loading area and eight levels of carpark stacking within the basement. The consent provided for either demolition of the entire building (Option A) or reconstruction and retention of the Albert Street façade and demolition of the remainder of the building (Option B). The application was limited notified and 8 submissions were received. The [then] Auckland City Council determined to grant consent subject to a range of conditions.

The consent was subsequently appealed by two parties related to Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. This appeal was subsequently withdrawn following the approval of a variation to the consent (R/VCC/2009/1516) which addressed the concerns raised by the appellants regarding noise and geotechnical matters to do with extensive proposed basement excavations by significantly reducing the scale of excavation. A further variation to the original consent was approved on a non-notified basis in 2014 that modified Condition 2, which required the sites at 51-53 Albert Street and 55 Albert Street to be held together for development purposes (consent R/VCC/2006/7101/1).

In July 2013, consent was granted to extend the lapse period of the existing consent by 3 years from 18 February 2014 to 18 February 2017 (R/EXT/2006/7101/1). In August 2013, consent was sought and obtained for the demolition of the existing building only (R/LUC/2013/3468), that consent has now lapsed.

In December 2016, a section 127 RMA application was lodged to vary both the development and demolition consents to confirm that only Option B of the original consent (retention of the Albert Street façade and demolition of the rest of the building) would be pursued. This application was approved in January 2017. As part of the assessment of that application, Council’s Built Heritage Specialist, Dr Bryan Pooley, raised concerns regarding the proposed removal and re-instatement of the Albert Street façade, and regarding the loss of the St Patrick’s Square façade. These matters were addressed and another variation (R/VCC/2006/7101/3) was granted on 19 April 2017 with conditions changed to ensure the protection of the heritage building.

In May 2017, consent was granted to extend the lapse of the original consent to 18 February 2022.

I was briefed by resource consent staff on 6 December 2018 about a new application to exceed gross floor area and use the part of St Patrick’s Square that is still legally a road as an entrance for construction vehicles. I met with Cathedral stakeholders on December 8th.

There are still issues to be dealt with regarding truck and car access to the site as it is no longer possible to have this on Albert Street due to the City Rail Link works and, once they are finished, the side of Albert Street on which the building fronts will be a busway. The part of the Cathedral plaza between the St Patrick’s Square frontage and Wyndham Street is still legally a road so the applicants have rights to bring in vehicles for construction and service vehicles, including taxis and coach buses, once construction is complete. Much of the detail in this particular application will be around these matters. AT have already signalled that an arrangement can be reached with passenger vehicles to stop on Wynyard Street. The applicant is also prepared to work out a traffic management plan with AT and Council to restrict the use of the loading zone to off-peak times and not at lunchtimes.

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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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