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Family flats better catered for under 2GP

Family flats better catered for under 2GP

Dunedin (Friday, 16 October 2015) – There will be less paperwork and no consent costs for family flats in most instances if changes proposed to the Dunedin City District Plan go ahead.

Family flats, commonly known as granny flats, are not provided for under the current plan and generally require resource consent. Under the Proposed Second Generation Dunedin City District Plan (2GP), family flats are permitted activities in all zones except medium density zones. This means resource consent would not be needed, as long as performance standards are met. The standards include a limit on the size of the flat, a requirement to share connections to water and waste services, and the need to meet overall development density limits.

DCC City Development Manager Dr Anna Johnson says one of the key issues facing Dunedin is changing demographics, including an ageing population and an increase in single person households.

“We realise older people often want to live in the same neighbourhood, or live independently with the support of family.”

For these reasons, two other changes are also proposed in the 2GP.

One is that the status of retirement villages, rest homes and student hostels would change from non-complying to discretionary in residential zones. That means these activities are anticipated, but will still need resource consent to make sure the scale, design and location are appropriate.

The other proposed change would introduce two new medium density zones, one relating to defined areas within existing urban parts of Dunedin and Mosgiel, generally close to centres, and one near the campus between the Town Belt and the central business district.

Density relates to how many residential units there are per site area. Medium density housing can be in the form of houses on small sections, semi-detached or terraced houses, or two to three storey apartment buildings on larger sections. Much of South Dunedin and the residential areas around the University of Otago are examples of areas that are already developed to a “medium density” level.

Dr Johnson says as well as providing for a range of community housing choices, other key goals for the city’s residential zones include maintaining or creating attractive streetscapes and protecting amenity and public open space.

As part of meeting these goals, car parking requirements in residential zones have been reviewed. Key changes proposed include removing car parking requirements for scheduled heritage buildings to encourage re-use. The number of residential car parks required with a development would be based on the number of habitable rooms (rooms that are designed to be, or could be, used a bedroom) rather than floor area and the number of residential units.

The current District Plan does not allow garages and carports in front yards. However, in many parts of Dunedin this is the only part of the site where these can be built. As a result, there are many resource consent applications for these activities and these are usually granted, with conditions.

The 2GP seeks to reduce resource consent requirements, where possible, so it is proposed that instead of requiring resource consent for new garages and carports in front yards, these would be permitted if they met performance standards. These standards relate to setback, scale and the amount of road frontage and front yard space used.

Performance standards for boundary fences have also been revised and stricter controls are proposed for boundaries with the road or reserves. The overall height limit of 2m for residential fences has not changed, but the 2GP proposes that part of the fence over 1.4m (or 40% of the overall structure including gates) must be partially see-through, by using trellis or spaced palings etc. This requirement is to improve public safety, reduce the risk of property crime and maintain the amenity of neighbourhoods.

Other proposed changes include limiting the amount of hard surfacing you can have on your property. This is to help with water run-off, which has an effect on the stormwater network, and it also has benefits for residential amenity.

Dr Johnson says the community has been involved in preparing the 2GP and there has been a lot of discussion with residents over the past three years about what the new plan should contain.

The ultimate goal of the 2GP is the sustainable management of Dunedin’s natural and physical resources.

The 2GP is open for public submissions until 5pm, Tuesday, 24 November.

The 2GP has been prepared as an electronic plan and is most easily viewed online at www.2gp.dunedin.govt.nz. Printed copies will also be available for inspection at the 2GP drop-in centre at 11 George Street, Dunedin and at Dunedin Public Libraries and Service Centres.

At the drop-in centre, staff are available from Monday to Friday to answer questions about the 2GP and show you how to make a submission. Community workshops are also being held.

The DCC is required to follow a formal process in terms of submissions, further submissions, hearings and potential appeals. More information on this is available on the 2GP website.

ENDS

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