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Proposed Changes To Business 4 Zone

29 June 2001

Proposed Changes To Business 4 Zone Bring Benefits For Both Businesses And Residences Plan Change 71

Sweeping changes to Auckland City¡¦s Business 4 zone will provide more certainty for commercial developments and prevent unintended adverse consequences for residential properties.

Plan Change 71 proposes a split within the zone so that areas with high business/commercial concentrations and minimal residential development in some locations remain Business 4. Those with a more even business/residential mix, which are close to the central area or existing town centres near public transport routes, are separated out into a new Mixed-Use Zone.

The change is designed in part to halt the erosion of the Business 4 zone through the escalation of residential development within the zone where there is a concentration of industrial and commercial activity. After the change, the Business 4 zone will be for business only.

The new Mixed-Use Zone will provide more safeguards for residential amenities where there is a business/residential mix. These will include urban design, amenity and development controls related to such things as privacy, access to light, private open space and noise. There is currently little such protection for residences within the Business 4 zone.

Planning and Regulatory Committee chairperson Councillor Juliet Yates says the Mixed-Use Zone will enable a new urban environment to develop which uses public transport and adds to economic vitality through the diversity of services offered to workers by day and residents at night.

The Mixed-Use Zone will mainly apply to inner city Business 4 zones which ring the central area in Newton, Parnell, Ponsonby, Grey Lynn, Kingsland and Mt Eden, as well as those near centres, such as Onehunga, Ellerslie and Panmure, which are near shops, public transport and leisure and entertainment activities.

Councillor Yates says the proposed plan change is an attempt to correct some of the problems that have emerged within the Business 4 zone.

¡§This zone was created about 10 years ago and it has been spectacularly successful in promoting apartment living. It was never envisaged that it would attract residential development to the extent that it has,¡¨ Mrs Yates says. ¡§By 1996, much of the zone had become extremely desirable as a development opportunity because large sites were available. Residential development reached levels we had not foreseen: developers built there because there were few controls and people lived there because it was practical and trendy. There are now about 3000 residential units in the Business 4 Zone.¡¨

The Council recently did a field survey of the entire zone and also surveyed about 250 households by telephone in the area. This work showed that the main concerns arising from intensive residential development in the zone were:
„h Loss of land for business activity, especially in the inner city Business 4 zones
„h Problems at the interface between business and residential zones, particularly with regard to hours of business operation

„h Amenity of residential developments in the Business 4 zone, including concerns about street appearance, noise, open space and visual privacy
„h Potential reverse sensitivity. Many residents did not understand what the Business 4 zone meant in terms of planning rules and potential future developments.

Mrs Yates: ¡§We have carried out extensive research, we¡¦ve listened to what people have said and we are initiating this change to the District Plan as a result. I think it¡¦s an exciting response to a changing situation. We¡¦re taking into account the concerns of both businesses and residents and putting in place measures which we believe will help both groups.¡¨

The proposed plan change represents a significant task, in that the Council must individually notify each of the estimated 13,000 owners and occupiers of the Business 4 zone and the 2000 owners and occupiers of residential sites around the proposed Mixed-Use zone. They will be sent a letter and a copy of the proposed plan change. The change is also being publicly notified.

ENDS

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