April 2018 Local Board Member Report

WLB logo croppedPurpose

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

  • Earthquake-prone building notices are being sent out to owners in the coming months. More detail in the portfolio report below.
  • 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.

Earthquake Prone Building Notices

Auckland Council has been assessing earthquake-prone buildings and engaging with their owners since 2007 under modern technical standards.  Mid-2017 saw the enactment of amended legislation that now requires all buildings that are deemed earthquake-prone to display a physical notice (A4 size) in a prominent position on the exterior of the building.

This legislated approach brings with it a concern that some owners and members of the public may misconstrue the notices as indicating a more imminent and dangerous level of risk than they are intended for, and as a result make undesired decisions on that basis.

At present batches of letters are being sent to affected owners, moving from one local board to the next, and in batches of approximately 200 letters at a time. Where a building has only received an initial seismic assessment (ISA), these letters give the owner the opportunity to notify the council if they wish to obtain a new assessment within the next 12 months, or accept the present report. In any case where they accept the present report, do not respond within a month, or where the building has already had a detailed seismic assessment (DSA), the building is issued with the formal notice. Once a notice is issued, these are then also recorded on the national earthquake-prone building register, which is freely and publicly accessible. Auckland Council’s own structures and those of the wider Council family that have been assessed over the last few years, and any earthquake-prone buildings will be affected by notices in the same way as those of the general public.

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.

  • 55 Wanganui Avenue, Ponsonby. LUC60312787. Additions and alteration to an existing dwelling subject to a Historic Heritage Overlay. The application is for the replacement of a rear lean-to. Heritage are supportive of the plans. The Local Board did not have input on this application.
  • 135 Parnell Road, Parnell. LUC60314527. Proposed exterior alterations to the first floor shop front façade to a special character building. Heritage were supportive of the alterations. The consent was granted non-notified.
  • 92 Garnet Road, Westmere. LUC60313417, SUB60313418. Resource consent (land use) is sought to demolish the existing buildings and construct three new dwellings (and associated works) and a subdivision around the approved land use consent to create 3 freehold lots.The proposal for three dwellings complies with site coverages and height, height in relation to boundary and other standards for the zone and in terms of earthworks and vehicle crossing, the effects will be appropriately managed. This was signed off and granted.
  • 77 Albany Road, Herne Bay. LUC60315836. Proposed additions and alterations to an existing dwelling, including the establishment of a basement garage, a new vehicle crossing on Albany Road measuring 4.8m in width and works within the dripline of street trees. The Local Board did not have input on this application.
  • 299 Queen Street, Auckland Central. TRE60316745. Remove one Puriri tree to enable a chilled water supply to the Town Hall. Earthworks within the root zone of other trees is assessed to be PA. This application is for the removal of a single juvenile Puriri tree that is in a depleted condition.  Below are excerpts from the planner’s report: ‘The applicant proposes to undertake works in the rootzone of protected trees in Aotea Square and to remove one young Puriri (Vitex lucens) tree to enable the installation of underground infrastructure cables and pipes, including a replacement chilled water supply to the Town Hall.  The proposal entails works in the root zone of trees to be retained to facilitate the infrastructure installation.  The applicant has provided a detailed tree works and tree protection methodology, which includes an undertaking for the services trench to be established by way of hydro excavation under the supervision of a qualified Arborist.  This aspect of the works has been assessed as able to comply with the standards listed at E26.4.5. of the Unitary Plan and is therefore a permitted activity. The Puriri tree to be removed is an estimated six metres tall with a girth greater than 400mm. Activity table E26.4.3.1. Rule (A92) of the Auckland Unitary Plan requires that the alteration or removal of trees greater than 4m in height or greater than 400mm in girth be assessed as a Restricted Discretionary activity. The tree to be removed is relatively small and is one of a group of six Puriri planted in 2009. The tree displays poor vitality with considerable die-back at branch extremities. Live growth consists of mainly epicormic shoots that provide approximately 10% of live crown cover. The Applicant has given an undertaking to mitigate the loss by the planting of large grade (400 litre) replacement Puriri tree in the same location when the works have been completed. The subject tree has been assessed as providing no significant ecological function such as soil retention of provision of habitat.  The tree has a limited tenure on the site due to its location and depleted condition The proposed removal is consistent with correct arboricultural practice.  Mitigation will be provided by way of the planting of a large grade replacement tree.  Removal of the subject tree will not significantly reduce screening and privacy afforded to persons on adjoining properties and will not have a substantial adverse effect upon local amenity values appreciated by people using Aotea Square. I agree with the Applicant’s AEE and conclude that the removal of the subject tree will result in an adverse environmental effect that is less than minor.  Overall, I consider that the proposal is consistent with the relevant matters of discretion and objectives and policies of the Unitary Plan.  I have also given specific consideration to the existence of any special circumstances and conclude that there is nothing exceptional or unusual about the application to suggest that public or limited notification should occur.’ The Local Board did not have input on this application.
  • 4 Franklin Road, Freemans Bay. LUC60317010. Alterations and additions to an existing dwelling. The proposal is for very minor changes to the exterior of the dwelling. The reason for consent is for the additions and alterations to the dwelling within the Built Heritage and Special Character Overlay. There was a pre-application meeting prior to the lodgement of this application where Council’s Built Heritage Specialist expressed their support of the proposal. The Local Board did not have input on this application.
  • 242-248 Broadway, Newmarket. LUC60317105. Additions and alterations to character supporting building, including comprehensive signage. Replacing the glazing on the street frontage; removing the glazing from the northern elevation and reinstating the brickwork that was originally in this location; removal of part of the rear elevation and the construction of a small masonry extension; changes to the interior of the building to allow it to function as a single tenancy; removal of the existing glazed verandah and replacement with a cloth verandah; installation of signage on the front façade. The Local Board did not have input on this application.

Significant Resource Consent Matters

59 France Street South, Newton – 9-level Apartment and Commercial Development

LUC60314195. The applicant (Urban Collective) has applied under the Auckland Unitary Plan for resource consent (LUC60314195) ‘to demolish the existing buildings on site and construct a new 9-level mixed use building containing 102 apartments, commercial spaces (including retail, food and beverage, and office activities), basement parking and all associated works’. Consent has previously been granted under HASHAA for ‘a qualifying development to demolish the existing King’s Arms buildings on site and construct a new 6-level mixed use building containing 75 apartments, commercial space at ground floor level, basement parking and all associated works’. The application reference was initially R/LUC/2017/1641 and through the change to SAP/CRM system, this changed the reference number to LUC60116075. The bundle reference number is BUN60302372 as there are other consents associated with this also.

1A Tuarangi Road, Grey Lynn. Construction of a three-storey building to incorporate an art gallery at ground floor and a residential unit at first and second floors

LUC60317016. The site covers an area of approximately 33m2 and is characterised by a small Governor pump house located in the rear portion of the site.  It is proposed to retain the majority (greater than 70%) of the existing pump house located on the site, however it will be encapsulated within the ground floor of the building. The existing pump house is a character defining building within the Grey Lynn special character area overlay – Business. The application requires consent for the following reasons: New buildings in the Special Character Area Overlay (Business) with identified character supporting buildings require restricted discretionary consent under table D18.4.2. New buildings in the Business – local centre zone require restricted discretionary consent under table H11.4.1. The development complies with all other requirements of the development controls. The Local Board requested public notification for this application given the height and change in character for this area if it were approved.

68 Vermont Street, Ponsonby. Childcare Facility

LUC60316515. To extend  an existing childcare activity, that will increase the number of children from 68 children to 104 children capacity and the number of staff from 15 to 21. Given the significant number of children in a residential area and accompanying noise and traffic generated, the Local Board have requested limited notification to the surrounding properties.

158 Saint Stephens Avenue, Parnell – Modifications to a scheduled heritage place (Parnell Baths)

LUC60316253. Includes the rebuild of the male and female staircases, replacement of reception floor area; replacement of one exterior wall; umbrella installation; and works to the filter plant building.

About Vernon Tava

Barrister. Lives in Auckland, New Zealand.
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