March 2018 Local Board Member Report

WLB logo croppedPurpose

This report covers my Waitematā Local Board Activities in February to mid-March 2018 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

  • The Parnell Plan Working Group met on the 12th and 26th of February and 13th of March
  • The Local Board was briefed in a workshop on the 27th of February about the downtown public spaces prioritisation following on from the Queen Elizabeth II Square sale. Details are reported below
  • On 28th of February I attended the ground-breaking ceremony for the Seascape Auckland at 101 Customs Street East on behalf of the Local Board. On completion, this will be the tallest residential building in the country
  • 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 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.

Parnell Plan

Parnell Plan areaThe Parnell Plan Working Group met on the 12th and the 26th of February. The Parnell Plan will set a 30-year vision for Parnell, with a 0-10 year implementation plan. Local Board Chair, Pippa Coom, and I have been confirmed as the Board’s representatives with Member Northey as the alternate. The area of interest for the Plan is depicted in this map. The plan area boundary is depicted as a dotted line to acknowledge that the Plan will consider the wider context of the area, in particular with regard to connectivity. At the meeting on the 12th, the scope of the study was discussed – including the historic boundaries and a survey of the previous planning work that has been done in the area.

Prioritisation of Downtown Public Spaces

In May 2014 the Auckland Development Committee approved in principle the disposal of land on which the Queen Elizabeth Square (QES) stood, as part of the wider redevelopment of the Downtown Shopping Centre block (resolution AUC/2014/164). Under the terms of the development agreement with Precinct Properties Limited, the funds from the sale of QES are to be released to Auckland Council in early 2018, subject to satisfying conditions of the agreement. The September 2014 resolution stipulated that the proceeds from the sale of QES are to be reinvested in the delivery of at least two of three identified proposals identified potential alternative public spaces along the downtown waterfront. Namely:

  1. new or improved space west of Queens Wharf on the water’s edge at the foot of Lower Albert Street
  2. improved space around the historic ferry building and at the base of Queen’s Wharf
  3. new or improved space east of Queens Wharf in the Admiralty Steps area.

The delivery of the new public open spaces will be advanced as part of the Downtown Development Programme and funded through the sale of QES. The proceeds of the sale, $27.2 million, will be made available to the programme upon settlement which is imminent. The proceeds of the sale have been earmarked for the delivery of area 1 and 2. Area 3 is currently unfunded. The two identified locations for new public open spaces with the Ferry Basin and in front of the historic ferry building cannot be delivered until the seismic upgrade of the Quay Street seawall is complete and the ferry operations are relocated from their current location to the western edge of Queens Wharf. Work on the upgrade of the seawall is underway and construction for ferry operations is expected to begin in September 2018. Due to time constraints, full redevelopment of the Downtown Ferry Terminal cannot be completed until after the America’s Cup in 2021. However, the current programme for the Downtown Delivery Programme indicates that it could be possible to relocate piers 3 and 4 to the western edge of Queens Wharf within this timeframe. This would allow the delivery of a limited scope of the ferry basin component of the new public spaces. The remaining scope of areas 1 and 2 would then be delivered after the 2021 America’s Cup milestone, once the remaining piers 1 and 2 can be relocated to the western edge of Queens Wharf. The Admiralty Basin  public space cannot be delivered until there is greater certainty around the future usage of the port. The release of the Port’s 30-Year Master Plan has progressed conversations about the feasibility of this public space but it is unlikely that this area will be available within the next five years.

The expected timelines for the delivery of the Downtown Development Programme are as follows:

  • area 1: completed by December 2020, in time for the America’s Cup
  • area 2: the area in front of the historic ferry building will follow in 2022, once piers 1 and 2 are relocated
  • area 3: the Admiralty Basin public open space is not funded but it currently sits within the aspirational programme for delivery in 2025. The timing of this will be revisited in light of the Port’s 30-Year Master Plan, should the project be successful in receiving funding through the Long-Term Plan 2018-2028 process.

Eastern Viaduct

Public parking is now officially closed on the Eastern Viaduct, marked by the pack-in of the Volvo Ocean Race event. Following pack-out of this event on 23 March 2018, the majority of the Eastern Viaduct will transition into a waterfront public space. It was always intended that the 60 public car parks would be provided on an interim basis. In 2018, Auckland Transport established a reference design for future light rail using Fanshawe Street, which means it is now highly unlikely that light rail will run along the Eastern Viaduct/Te Wero Island  which secures the corridor as a walking and cycling connection to and from the city centre. Panuku Development Auckland will be working on a reference design, concept design, design development and detailed design for the area. The reference design will establish the likely future state and functional requirements of the broader area, with the aim of reducing redundant works, limiting conflicts with future stages, allowing for testing of the future state and allowing for costs to occur for these works outside of the funded scope. This is likely to include the Wynyard crossing replacement, Te Wero Island upgrades and Hobson Wharf upgrades. The current capital expenditure budgets for this project total $2.5M between FY17-19.

Westhaven Marina Pile Mooring Redevelopment

Lodging consent in March with a hearing likely in June and a decision expected in 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.

  • 70 Ivanhoe Road, Grey Lynn. LUC60315003. New 8-unit Residential Development. The proposal is for a 8 unit residential development on a rear site at 70 Ivanhoe Road (see attached plans and AEE attached). A previous consent was approved for the site in 2014 for a 6-unit residential development. The site is zoned Residential – Mixed Housing Urban Zone. Reasons for consent include –  construction of more than 3 dwellings, width of crossing and access, works on a site subject to instability and flooding and earthworks. Overall, resource consent is required as a restricted discretionary activity. The Local Board did not have input on this application.
  • D/82 Symonds Street, Grafton. LUC60315011. The applicant seeks to convert level 3 of the subject building into a three-bedroom apartment, with a floor area of approximately 190m2. No external alteration is proposed other than the changes to some of the windows to comply with relevant air conditioning requirements. The Local Board did not have input on this application.
  • 119-123 John Street, Ponsonby. LUC60315077, SUB60315079. A joint land use, and subdivision, and discharge consent to establish four two-storey dwellings with garages at the front together with associated parking, earthworks and landscaping, and to subdivide the approved dwellings with a freehold title. This site is unusual in that it was previously part of the school. The site has been rezoned to Mixed Housing Suburban with no overlays even though John Street mainly has Single House Zone with a Special Character Residential Isthmus A overlay. The Local Board did not have input on this application.
  • 3-5 Blake Street, Ponsonby. SUB60315266. Removal of existing buildings and construction of three new townhouses and unit title subdivision. This application seeks to remove two existing villa dwellings and develop three attached townhouses, on the corner of Blake Street and Prosford Street. The reasons for consent so far are for the construction of a new building – RD activity; for a HIRTB noncompliance on the western elevation – RD activity; for noncompliance with the minimum landscaping area – RD activity within the Business Mixed Use Zone; for a unit title subdivision – controlled activity; for not providing the minimum 2 metre separation between adjacent site’s vehicle crossings (site to the west) – RD activity. The Local Board did not have input into this application.
  • 398 Great North Road, Grey Lynn. LUC60315608. Section 127 amendment to approved consent for a commercial activity. The business wants to increase the number of dogs kept on the premises from 200 to 275 and allow overnight stay for 35 dogs. The Local Board did not have input into this application.
  • 50 Kelmarna Avenue, Herne Bay. LUC60315773. A s127 (LUC60304578-A) variation of consent has been issued on a granted consent (LUC60304578) for a special character area overlay prior to the declaration that is now in effect. Because the single house was not addressed under the first granted consent, the applicant cannot continue with the s127 and have to issue a new consent. The Local Board did not have input into this application.

Significant Resource Consent Matters

545 Parnell Road, Parnell. LUC60314480. Seismic upgrading of Jubilee Hall.

20 Park Road, Grafton. LUC60314181. DIS60314180. World War One Centenary Memorial at Auckland Domain.

About Vernon Tava

Barrister. Lives in Auckland, New Zealand.
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