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Plan change creates vibrant city mix

Plan change creates vibrant city mix

Auckland City will encourage a vibrant mix of compatible business and residential activities in the Auckland isthmus following a change to the district plan.

Councillor Juliet Yates, chairperson of the City Development Committee, says plan change 71 has been notified and public submissions have been to a hearing panel. The plan change makes changes to the business 4 zone and incorporates the ability to create mixed-use development.

Mixed-use development means a mixture of residential and business development. “Typically, this means a residential dwelling above a shop frontage,” Councillor Yates says.

Development of an “exclusively residential nature” would no longer be provided for in the business 4 zone.

“Overall, this is an important plan change. Research identified a number of effects on business areas as a result of the rapid increase in residential developments. Amendments to the old business 4 zone and the inclusion of regulations regarding mixed-use development will encourage better developments, better amenity and protect the pool of business land for future economic development and growth in the city.

“We know the city’s population is growing. This plan change will help ensure the city will also grow more beautiful and attractive to business and residents alike.”

“Plan change 71 was initiated to encourage the development of a vibrant mix of compatible business and residential activities close to the central business district, town centres or areas which have good access to public transport in a way which will allow the successful operation of business.”

Councillor Yates says other changes the hearing panel made to the plan change include: the removal of a number of sites from the mixed-use zone, if they had unique activity or locational characteristics new noise controls in the mixed-use zone specific controls for residential activity located near high voltage lines encouragement for buildings to be constructed right up to the street frontage. Existing apartment owners were also taken into consideration in the plan change, she says.

“Until now, apartment owners had to observe the caveat – let the buyer beware. However, this is little consolation to an angry apartment owner, who fails to see the empty site next door or the old single storey building, that would one day be replaced with a development built to the maximum height.”

Such developments were attempting to gain maximum value for the costs of construction.

“We tackled this problem in two ways. The law does not allow us to protect views, but we can ensure that daylight is provided to existing buildings, by requiring new development to be set back on the site.

“In return for this concession the new development may gain a bonus of extra floor space to offset the floor space lost, in order to protect the residential building. This solution was proposed by a number of submitters.

“Secondly, there is a new rule that daylight must be provided for new residential units within their own site. It is not fair that they should restrict an adjoining owner’s opportunities because of their lack of good design.” Councillor Yates says 15 appeals have been lodged in the Environment Court.

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