June 2019 Local Board Member Report

WLB logo croppedPurpose
This report covers my Waitematā Local Board Activities in mid-April to mid-May 2019 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

  • A scheduled ‘notable’ tree has been cut down without authorisation at 73 Argyle Street, Herne Bay
  • The retaining wall matter at 92 Williamson Avenue remains at an impasse
  • The bollards funded by the Local Board to be installed by the Cathedral in Saint Patrick’s Square are on track to be installed in July
  • The ‘Re-Imaginging Great North Road’ community-led precinct vision team have provided an update that most of their work will be completed by the end of June 2019
  • 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: Transport

Saint Patrick’s Square Bollards Re-Installation
There have been at least two more on-site meetings since my last report as previous, sometimes unrelated, decisions are re-litigated by various stakeholders. We are now assured by the project manager that the positioning of the bollards has been finalised to the satisfaction of all parties, quotes are expected to be in by the end of June and installation should be complete by the end of July 2019.

Retaining blocks at 92 Williamson Avenue, Grey Lynn

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Following my previously reported enquiries, Council Compliance Response officers have visited the site a number of times, including early morning and in the evening, to try to discuss the matter with the property owner who has successfully evaded them. Since the original (consented) proposal was put forward, the previous owner who was progressing it has passed away. This possibly explains why formal action wasn’t taken at that stage. The Compliance Investigations Unit are now looking into what further action they can take, including getting advice on any legal remedies that may be effective. Under the relevant bylaw, they can prosecute whoever put the obstruction there – however that was AC/AT. Under the Building Act the retaining wall is seemingly not “dangerous” while the blocks are there and so Council are limited in their potential actions. They have also commissioned engineers from Tonkin and Taylor to quantify the risk should Council remove the blocks and to advise if there are alternatives to the blocks that wouldn’t obstruct the footpath. Tonkin and Taylor delivered their report to Compliance in mid-May. We await advice from Regulatory Compliance on the conclusions of that report regarding the risks of removing the blocks given that the owner has not given any indication that they will stabilise their site and Council cannot do anything that would destabilise the wall and put pedestrians at risk.

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.

Scheduled tree cut down without permit at 73 Argyle Street, Herne Bay
A large, scheduled (one of only 208 such scheduled ‘notable’ trees in the Local Board area) Liquidambar orientalis has been cut down at this address. This was brought to my attention on Tuesday 4th of June by Member Avendano-Christie, who had seen a member of the public comment on Facebook. I checked my online map to confirm that the tree was scheduled and enquired with Resource Consents as to whether there was a consent for the removal. There is no consent in the system so enforcement officers were despatched the next morning and have confirmed that this was an unauthorised removal. I have asked what enforcement action will be taken for this very serious breach.

Update on ‘Re-Imagining Great North Road’ Community-Led Plan

On May 10 2016, the Local Board resolved unanimously to allocate $10,000 from its Community Empowerment Fund to the Grey Lynn Residents Association (GLRA) to lead a community-led precinct vision for the area of Great North Road between Newton Road and Surrey Crescent (Resolution WTM/2016/67). The original intention was that the GLRA would work together with the Grey Lynn Business Association, Arch Hill Residents Association and Grey Lynn 2030 to deliver the plan. More detail on this project can be found here.

Over time, this team has ended up being two locals who have driven the project as follows:

Part one: the Situation Analysis, was completed in November 2018. This is the collation of community feedback.

Part two: the Vision and Change Project is the laying out of 14 Change Projects that address key issues identified in the research phase. Each project is designed to support Auckland Council as per the Auckland Plan 2015 and the Local Board’s desired outcomes as per the Local Board Plan 2017. This should be completed by the end of June 2019.

Part three: the design/presentation phase involving 3rd party engagement. This should take a couple of months leading to presentation to the Local Board and wider community.

Liquor Licensing Applications
There were two new liquor licence applications this month in the Central alcohol licencing area. Neither are contentious and the Local Board did not have input.
• The Store on Quay, 130 Quay Street, City Centre. On-licence 8220039921. This is a high-end restaurant.
• Chuffed Coffee, 43 High Street, City Centre. On-licence 8220039823. A café.

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 and can also comment on the substantive matters of the application. The input of the Local Board is not binding on the commissioner or hearings panel making the decision but we are able to appear at notified hearings to speak on behalf of the Local Board. This is not treated as a submission for the purposes of the Resource Management Act but it is given weight by a hearings panel or commissioner according to the merit of the arguments made.

Significant Resource Consent Matters

Kākāriki House: 9-storey Mixed-Use Development at 16-20 Williamson Avenue, Grey Lynn

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BUN60339807: LUC60339808 WAT60339809. An application by Ockham Residential Ltd to build a nine-storey building containing 85 apartments with the ground floor comprised of five retail spaces amounting to a combined GFA of 350.5m2. The retail spaces are intended to be for a coffee shop and florist, an art gallery and artists’ space, two spaces for a public lounge bar combined with retail space, and two balconies at the first floor level to connect to the bars and retail spaces. The split basement levels will have 54 car parking spaces, 126 secure bike parks, 5 scooter parks (all to be allocated to the occupants of the private apartments) and one loading space for deliveries plus five visitor bike parks. 34 of the 85 apartments are designed to be able to be used as self-contained/serviced apartments. The developers propose street furniture and landscaping, and a 2.4 to 4 metre canopy that sits over the public footpath in the road reserve to provide pedestrian shelter. There would also be a communal fern garden at the ground level onto which the ground floor apartment balconies would open. The site has a height variation control of 27 metres total building height; 25 metres occupiable height which is more than the standard 18 metres maximum height for the Business Mixed-Use zone. The proposed development sits 10.37 metres above the maximum allowable roof form height of 27 metres, or 37.37 metres. The proposal also lacks complying setbacks for a building over 27 metres as per the relevant Mixed Use zone standards. The Local Board has recommended public notification of the consent on the basis of the over-height components of the proposal and the lack of set-backs for a building over 27 metres.

Construction of boat storage locker and cable car in coastal area at 12 Cremorne Street, Herne Bay
LUC60338861, CST60339578. Application to construct a storage locker on top of an existing jetty and enable occupation of the coastal marine area, including removal of a tree within a significant ecological area (SEA), works within the dripline of trees with the SEA and works within a site subject to land instability and coastal hazards. There is another application (reference BUN60332994, LUC60332792, CST60333011 – currently ON HOLD) for construction of a cable car and associated works to allow travel from a boardwalk and jetty which will be located within a coastal marine area. The Local Board have requested that both of these applications be publicly notified.

Public Space between Princes Wharf, Pier 2 and Ferry Building
CST60338601, DIS60338602, LUC60338603. 109-111 Quay Street, Auckland Central. The DPS will proved an enhanced public space in the area between Princes Wharf, Pier 2 and Ferry Building. The new public space is proposed to be undertaken in two main stages: Stage 1 (this application) includes the demolition of the existing wharf and deck and replacement with a new piled structure in the Coastal Marine Area (CMA) incorporating a tidal shelf of interconnected spaces, a Pōhutukawa coastal forest connecting the tidal shelf to Quay Street, tidal pools and outcrops.

Resource Consent Hearing: 109 John Street, Ponsonby
BUN60321172. Hearing held on 21 May 2019. Application to remove existing buildings in a Special Character Area and construct two new two-storey dwellings. Following the grant of a land use consent, the proposal involved re-subdivision of the application site (comprised of two freehold titles) to create two new freehold titles around the approved development. The planner rejected the initial application for lack of information and the owners re-submitted the application. The Council Heritage Team do not support the application. The Local Board requested limited notification to the surrounding properties in November 2018 and the hearing was being held on that basis. There were four submitters, all against, with three heard.

Other Consents
• 58 Albert Street, Auckland Central. TRE60335848. Removal of three street trees. Consent is ongoing, awaiting asset owner approval.  May require a s127 variation of consent as the trees are subject to conditions of consent relating to the adjacent development (LUC60312611). Negotiation between applicant and landowner is ongoing, once resolved will be forwarded to the DC for a decision.  Officer support depends largely on the outcome of the landowner consent deliberations so this is a watching brief. Currently on hold.
• 5 Rawene Avenue, Westmere. LUC60338468, SUB60338469. The applicant seeks resource consent to demolish the existing dwelling on site and subsequently construct two new dwellings. On completion, the site will be subdivided to create two freehold lots. I have reviewed the sun shading diagrams in the AEE and they show indiscernible shading in the area utilising the alternative HIRB provision. The proposed buildings sit within the Unitary Plan HIRB planes. The Local Board will not have input into this application which is currently on a s92 RMA hold for more information.
• 109-111 Quay Street Auckland Central. CST60338814, LUC60338815. To keep the existing interim Wynyard Crossing bridge and its associated ancillary activities and structures until 2 August 2023.

About Vernon Tava

Barrister. Lives in Auckland, New Zealand.
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