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Transportblog Unitary Plan Submission

Today is the last day, if you haven’t already, please make a submission before 5pm

Submissions for the Unitary Plan close at 5pm this afternoon so if you have been thinking about making a submission then you need to get on with it. I’ll be finishing our submission today however here are the key points we will be raising.

Specific Suggested Amendments:

Section Suggested Amendment Reason(s)
Chapter I – Future Urban Zone Zone should be split into two sub-zones, one which relates to areas suitable for development in the next 10 years and another suitable for development beyond that date. Zones could be referred to as “Future Urban (short term)” and “Future Urban (long term)”. 

The specific controls for the zoning, especially in “Future Urban (long term)”, would reflect the direction of some future urban zoning developing earlier and some later.

This change would give clearer direction about which parts of the Future Urban Zone are intended to be developed sooner and which parts later. This will enable infrastructure providers to plan with greater knowledge about the sequencing of land for development. 

This change would also minimise the risk of ‘leap frog’ development through private plan changes and enable the provision of quality transport infrastructure at the same time as development occurs.

Chapter I – Residential Zones Front yard setback requirements should be removed or reduced, particularly in zones where intensification is anticipated. Front yard setback requirements take up valuable space that could otherwise be used within the main area of outdoor open space (generally to the rear) and undermine high quality urban design outcomes where interaction between the dwelling and the street is encouraged. 

Front yard setbacks are likely to undermine achieving the ‘quality’ urban form the Unitary Plan seeks to achieve.

Chapter I – Residential Zones Density limits should be removed for development of four or more dwellings in the Mixed Housing Suburban zone. 

Density limits should not apply to the Mixed Housing Urban zone.

Density limits are an overly crude way of managing built form that undermine many of the goals of the Unitary Plan – particularly the provision of affordable housing, the provision of a variety of housing types and promoting a quality built form. 

Other development controls, particularly height limits and site coverage limits, adequately control any adverse environmental outcomes. Density controls are therefore superfluous and counter-productive to the goals of the Unitary Plan.

Chapter H –Parking Rules Removal of parking minimums from Mixed Housing Urban and Mixed Housing Suburban zones. 

Removal of parking minimums for Tavern activities.

Parking minimums undermine many goals the Unitary Plan is trying to achieve – especially in zones where intensification is proposed. Negative impacts of parking minimums in the Mixed Housing zones will include undermining the ability to intensify, adding unnecessary cost to the consenting process, undermining the ability to achieve quality design outcomes, acting as a hidden subsidy to private vehicle travel and undermining investment in public transport.
Chapter I – Business Zones (Mixed Use Zone) Some areas zoned for Mixed Use development should have a significantly higher height limit to reflect their location close to high quality public transport infrastructure (e.g. Morningside, Newton). Some areas zoned Mixed Use (e.g. Morningside & Newton) are suitable for higher density development than the rest of the Mixed Use zone. This is because they are close to strategically significant existing or proposed railway stations and other amenities/services. 

Enabling higher development densities in parts of the Mixed Use zone will enable best value to be achieved from significant investment in projects such as the City Rail Link.

Maps – Morningside All areas between Morningside train station and St Lukes Shopping Centre proposed to be zoned “Light Industrial” should be rezoned “Mixed Use”. Morningside station is a strategically significant station on the rail network once City Rail Link is completed. The station will be less than 10 minutes journey time from the city centre and the area surrounding it is generally not constrained by heritage/character, plus has a number of large site sizes. 

This is an area suitable for significant residential development due to its proximity to rail and to other amenities such as St Lukes, Fowlds Park and Mt Albert Primary School. The zoning should enable this development, which has already begun to occur over the past decade.

Maps – Mt Roskill The area bounded by May Road to the west, Mt Albert Road to the north, SH20 to the south and Mt Roskill Grammar to the east should be “upzoned” to Terraced Housing & Apartment Buildings This area has excellent access to high quality public transport (Dominion Rd buses & possible rail along Avondale-Southdown Line) and is close proximity to Mt Roskill shops. A good location for intensification that would support many of the high level outcomes in the Regional Policy Statement such as providing housing choice and minimising adverse impacts on special character (as this is not a heritage area).
Maps – Grey Lynn The sides of Great North Road between Ponsonby Road and Surrey Crescent should have an “Additional Zone Height Control” overlay applied to enable a higher height limit. This area has high quality public transport options, is on a ridge line and is relatively free of heritage constraints. It provides an almost unique opportunity for significant intensification in the Grey Lynn area.
Maps – Meadowbank Areas within an 800m walk of Meadowbank train station should be upzoned to either Terraced Housing & Apartment Buildings or Mixed Housing Urban (or a combination). Meadowbank train station is one of very few stations that has not seen upzoning around it – which is anomalous and inconsistent with various objectives and policies to enable intensification in areas with good access to rapid transit. This area also overlooks Orakei Basin, which provides good natural amenity and further increases the suitability of the area for intensification.
Maps – Central Isthmus Areas zoned Mixed Housing Suburban within the area bounded by New North Road in the west, the city fringe in the north, SH20 in the south and Great South Road in the east should be considered for rezoning to Mixed Housing Urban. The central isthmus has the best public transport accessibility of any part of Auckland, plus a gridded street network and frequent centres of various scales. It also has significant market demand for development. 

Rezoning areas from Mixed Housing Suburban to Mixed Housing Urban would enable a wider variety of housing typologies in an area suitable for growth because of its public transport access and other amenities. Mixed Housing Urban would still retain the broad character of the area.

 

Mixed Housing Suburban area generally avoid places where Special Character overlays are applied.

Maps – Greenlane Along both sides of Gt South Rd between Greenlane East/West and Main Highway proposed  “Light Industrial” should be rezoned “Mixed Use”. This area has excellent access to high quality public transport, has good access to other amenities and is free of heritage constraints.

 Areas of Support

Section Specific Matter Supported Reason(s)
Chapter I – Residential Zones 3.3 – conversion of a dwelling into two dwellings This is supported as it is a way of providing affordable housing and allowing intensification in areas where growth is otherwise very difficult (e.g. heritage or character areas).
Chapter I – Business Zones 1 – Activity Tables The strong restrictions placed on retail & office activity outside centres zones is supported. Out of centre retail & office activity results in areas very difficult to adequately serve with public transport but quite often have high concentrations of destinations.
Chapter H –Parking Rules Support not having parking minimums in the various zones listed in Table 3 of Transport: section 3.2. Parking minimums undermine many goals the Unitary Plan is trying to achieve – especially in zones where intensification is proposed. Not applying parking minimums in these areas is supported.
Maps – General General support of zoning areas close to rapid transit or high frequency public transport to zones that enable intensification – particularly Mixed Use, Terraced Housing & Apartment Buildings or a centre zone. Enabling intensification in areas with good public transport options will support the increased use of public transport and enable those living in higher density environments to be less car dependent in their lives, reducing the financial burden of transport on them.

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18 comments to Transportblog Unitary Plan Submission

  • Northshoreguynz

    Hi Matt,
    Any objection to a cut and paste job for my submission using the above?

    • It’s better if you can write it in your own words with your own reasons/motivation. Cut and paste jobs can tend to get treated as a single submission or glazed over.

      • George

        Agreed. You’re better to simply make a few points in your own words on some of the things you agree/disagree with. Even 50 words on a single point is useful.

  • Submission went in last week for me.

    I see we focused on similar things our Unitary Plan submissions although I was more focused on South Auckland. Also I submitted on Chapter D (Residential and Business Zone Objectives and Policies) as I was reworking some of the zones in the Unitary Plan.

    Now we await the second submission round and the Hearings later this year

  • Jacques

    Densification needs to occur first and most intensely in the inner city suburbs! Rezone Mt Eden, Epsom, Arch Hill, Ponsonby, Parnell, Grey Lynn, Freemans Bay as terraced housing and apartments.

    • Loraxus

      Not necessarily – intensification in a future hub like, say, Henderson or Botany (people, not car parks!) would work well too. Not everything needs to be in the central isthmus. That only perpetuates the long-distance commute. We can be a multi-centric city, even if our core is clearly the CBD.

      • atla

        Provided there is incentive and zoning for increased commercial activities in these future hubs too, not simply increased residential zoning.

      • The problem with Botany is transport. It’s all roads, roads, roads, and not even any kind of bus-way to link it back to the rail corridor. At least Henderson has a train station.
        A key requirement for any up-zoning needs to be that it’s either along the rail corridor or along the NBW, at least in the first few years. We don’t need more cars on the roads.

  • Simon

    Not just in those places. Areas viable for residential development within walking distance of stations on the rail network are all viable for intensification. Development along Vancouver’s skytrain network is the prefect example of this.

  • JimboJones

    What about the Single Lot size – 600m2 is too big in my opinion. 400m2 would be more appropriate or at least 500m2 means the old Auckland city Res 5 isn’t getting less dense

  • V Lee

    Thanks guys. I will adapt some of these for my submission. I have been meaning to do it but have just not have had time to pour through all the material in order to make a meaningful one.

    The specific maps submissions here is all fairly localised central/isthmus focused. Do you know of any resources more focused on other areas, particularly the North Shore?

    I would like to include some support for more intensification over here but haven’t had time to look at the details of the plan to do anything meaningful. I guess it is pretty hard given our crappy car centric road layouts and low potential for adding quality mass transit improvements. No one is really going to want to live next to the motorway so no option really of supporting intensification around busway stations like what is such a no-brainer of intensification around the rail stations throughout the rest of Auckland.

    • atla

      V lee – I think the ferries have been overlooked in terms of public transport modes on the Shore. It would be great to have small (walking distance) areas of densification around the ferry terminals. Eg I think the properties adjacent to the Beachaven terminal are currently zoned single housing but wouldn’t it be great to see some small scale apartments/townhouses enjoying views of the harbour here! Similar thing for bayswater.

      • V Lee

        Ferries certainly have their place and are under-utilised in Auckland. But similar to buses on suburban streets they are no where near as efficient at moving large numbers (or even medium numbers) of people quickly the way rail can.

        I agree areas suitable for fairly limited medium density upgrades are places like Devonport, Stanley bay, Bayswater and Northcote Point, Birkenhead point (I am including these in my submission). I would hesitate to support much more than this in these areas though due to the really poor links via other transport modes and little opportunity to improve these links in the future for anything like a feasible cost.

        • atla

          I agree it is limited and certainly not comparable with rail, but still was one thing I picked up that didn’t appear to have been given much thought in the plan.

  • Errol

    I think it is a mistake to simply rezone Ponsonby, Grey Lynn, Arch Hill, Freemans Bay, Parnell etc for terrace housing and apartments. This is because the heritage values of much of these suburbs are simply stunning, and are a significant city resource, similar to the restored and cherished city centres of many European cities. They are much better than the similar areas of San Francisco. While I support terrace housing and apartments in the centre, it is important that these are introduced in sympathy with what is there, rather than destroying a real treasure to gain a few more dwellings. Given that the roads are narrow in much of this area, the overall density is actually quite high. More sympathetic conversion of large old houses into two or more flats, rather than the current emphasis on construction of “mansions” on existing sections, would increase density while retaining what is special about the area.

  • nzdn

    Accept or decline? Support or oppose?

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