District Plan Committee
Minutes of a meeting held in the Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, 30 Laings Road, Lower Hutt on
Wednesday 20 September 2017 commencing at 5.30pm
Cr C Barry (from 5.35pm) Cr J Briggs
Cr T Lewis Cr C Milne
APOLOGIES: An apology was received from Cr Barry for lateness.
IN ATTENDANCE: Mr T Stallinger, Chief Executive (part meeting)
Mr A Cumming, Divisional Manager, Environmental Policy
Ms C Tessendorf, Senior Environmental Policy Analyst
Ms S Haniel, Committee Advisor
A karakia timatanga was said to open the meeting.
Resolved: (Cr Bridson/Cr Briggs) Minute No. DPC 17401
"That the apology for lateness received from Cr Barry be accepted."
3. PUBLIC COMMENT
Comments are recorded under the item to which they relate.
4. CONFLICT OF INTEREST DECLARATIONS
There were no conflict of interest declarations.
5. Recommendation to Council - 10 October 2017
Cr Barry joined the meeting at 5.35pm.
Speaking under public comment, Mr S Logan said that he was a Property Valuer. The Proposed Plan Change would destroy the character of neighbourhoods and devalue properties because it would cause shade, darkness, loss of privacy and ghettoise areas. Intensification could be done incrementally in the areas of VIC Corner to Ewen Bridge and the eastern side of the railway line, namely Cambridge Terrace, Epuni, Waterloo and Taita. He added that developers would be able to build big, characterless box shaped housing with no thought to design.
In response to questions from members, Mr Logan said that medium density housing needed to be in areas where it did not affect the values, peace and quiet charm of streets, and the emphasis for Residential Intensification needed to be on the promenade. He added that people would find ways around having to comply with the Design Guide.
Speaking under public comment, Mr R Perry said that he lived in Kings Crescent opposite the proposed line of housing intensification. The Proposed Plan Change would take away sunlight and views, and the valley floor was already a damp area. There would be no room for mature trees or traditional backyards for kids. Education infrastructure was not available in the proposed areas, and the current increase in housing demand may not be a long term demand.
In response to questions from members, Mr Perry said that Eastern Hutt School could barely cope with the current demand. Baby boomers were moving out of large homes and families would move into them. Intensification should be in areas where schools had capacity.
Speaking under public comment, Mr D Darby said that: growth was driven by employers employing more people and was not driven by increasing the number of houses; the survey was deeply flawed; there would be negative impacts of shading, privacy impacts, decreased property values, increased wind effects; there was an absence of Medium Density intensification west of Woburn Station; three storey houses would lead to slum dwellings; alternative sites would be in empty lots near Epuni Railway Station, and the declining retail area; businessess needed to be retained in Hutt City; and Council needed aesthetic and design standards. He tabled a 12 page submission.
He noted information from the Chair that Woburn was excluded from the Proposed Plan Change because it was zoned as a Special Residential Character Area. He noted further information that Council had worked with central government for many years regarding the rebuilding of houses in Epuni, without a result.
Speaking under public comment, Mr L Tyler said that Lower Hutt was a garden city and three storey dwellings would irreversibly damage the area’s character. Properties adjoining the Medium Density areas would have their amenity values protected, as stated in proposed rule 4F 1, however amenity values for properties within the proposed Medium Density zones would not be protected. Furthermore, the rail system could not cope with an increase in demand without substantially large investment.
In response to a question from a member, Mr Tyler said that retirement villages could free up substantial amounts of housing. Areas that would be suitable for residential intensification were the inner city, the Western Hills and Petone.
Speaking under public comment, Mr J Terris said that people were drawn to Hutt City because of its green space, recreational facilities, environment, schools and shopping. He further said that he did not see evidence of population pressure, and he understood that Wainuiomata had population decreases. The Proposed Plan Change would transform our garden city into a tenement city. He added that affordable and social housing was important, not three storey tennement blocks through an area of character.
Speaking under public comment, Mr J Rider said that he agreed with the previous speakers. He further said that the online survey framed the questions so that yes/no answers could not be given and the questions were geared to make the proposal appear to be a done deal. He requested that another survey be conducted.
Speaking under public comment, Mr L Jansen said that he lived in Brunswick Street and there was insufficient parking on his street for his family to park four cars. There was insufficient demand for the Proposed Plan Change, and if the changes were to occur, it would appear on a Land Information Memorandum (LIM) report which would make it difficult to sell his property.
Speaking under public comment, Ms M Merrett, representing Friends of Waiwhetu Stream, said that there would be increased storm water run off if the Proposed Plan Change was to proceed. Large houses on small sections in the catchment area of Waiwhetu Stream would increase the flood risk to residents of Waiwhetu Stream. The catchment area for Waiwhetu Stream was large and covered approximately 65% of the Lower Hutt population.
Speaking under public comment, Mr P Bassett said that if the Proposed Plan Change was to go ahead, his back yard, where his children played, would lose the sun. He considered that this loss would be morally wrong and not an acceptable change.
Speaking under public comment, Ms S Lafrentz said that 74% of people in Hutt City lived on the valley floor and there needed to be more housing on the hills, or outer areas, or apartments overlooking the river and the Central Business District. The City needed to retain its reserves instead of selling them because Hutt City had less reserve land per resident than other New Zealand cities. The Proposed Plan Change would create over-crowding and the increase in housing needed to be done with balance. She requested that a independent commissioner chair a hearing on the Proposed Plan Change, and that workshops be held for the public in each of the targeted areas.
Speaking under public comment, Mr R McDonald said that population growth was not an issue for Hutt City, however the City needed business growth. The only consultation referenced in the Section 32 report was the Panel consultation. He said that the proposed Design Guide had some nice designs, however, the detail could be changed. He further said that traffic and parking had not been addressed in the Proposed Plan Change. Furthermore there would be financial implications for home owners that they had not envisaged when they bought in the Hutt Valley.
In response to a question from a member, Mr McDonald said that intensification was flawed for all of the areas identified in the Proposed Plan Change. He added that the City needed more businessess before it increased the numbers of houses.
Speaking unde public comment, Mr D Bradley said that he did not pursue purchasing a property where the LIM report had shown that a retirement home could be built nearby. The Proposed Plan Change would affect property values. He added that he would not have known about the Proposed Plan Change if it were not for his neighbour telling him about it.
In response to a question from a member, Mr Bradley said that building plans could be changed to “get around” design guides. He noted information from the Chair that the Proposed Plan Change included a communications plan which would give people months to make submissions.
Speaking under public comment, Mr D Pettett said that Bristol Square would become a Medium Density zone under the Proposed Plan Change. Developer “cowboys” would be able to build without resource consent or neighbours’ approval. His property would be affected by shade and his kowhai trees would not survive in shade, therefore, the tuis would also be affected.
The Divisional Manager, Environmental Policy elaborated on the report. He updated members that two sections of the rail corridor were proposed to be zoned so that it was the same as the zone adjacent to it, consistent with the approach taken elsewhere in the District Plan. In addition, a commercial premise in Waterloo was proposed to be zoned as Suburban Mixed Use. He added that he expected issues about the Proposed Plan Change to be raised during consultation and submissions could be responded to on their merits.
In response to questions from members, the Divisional Manager Environmental Policy and the Senior Environmental Policy Analyst, said that stormwater run off was a significant issue. The Proposed Plan Change continued with the current permitted activity standard of 30% permeable surfaces in residential areas. Furthermore, Greater Wellington Regional Council’s (GWRC’s) Waiwhetu Flood Management Plan process would feed into the District Plan. They added that the online survey had been done by independent company Public Voice who had considered it to be a high quality survey. Furthermore, Council had to comply with the National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity. Some residents in Hutt City would be moving into retirement homes thereby freeing up some housing, however, more housing would still be required for growth. Hutt City was part of the Wellington Urban Area and Council was working collaboratively with neighbouring City Councils to address the demand on housing. They added that an incremental approach to residential intensification would take a much longer time period to achieve the desired changes.
The Chair said that realtors and people moving to the Hutt had observed that there was a lack of affordable housing. Furthermore, there would be opportunity to address issues of amenity during the plan change process.
Cr Barry said that he understood the submitters were concerned about how the Proposed Plan Change created uncertainty for home owners. The consultation process would give people an opportunity to submit their concerns so Council could make an informed decision.
Cr Milne said that evidence had shown that growth would occur in Hutt City, and house price rises were evidence of a change in supply and demand. Council had agreed to its Urban Growth Strategy. He urged people to submit during the consultation period.
Cr Cousins said the Proposed Plan Change would allow development to occur in the future and Council had to meet the requirements in the National Policy Statement. The Proposed Plan Change would be for the well being of the City.
Cr Briggs said that consultation on the Proposed Plan Change was required. He supported a consultation period through to the end of February 2018. He further said that change was not easy for people and a long drawn out process would leave people with more anxiety.
Cr Barry left the meeting at 7.00pm.
Cr Barry rejoined the meeting at 7.05pm.
RECOMMENDED: (Cr Bridson/Cr Cousins) Minute No. DPC 17403
“That the Committee recommends that Council:
(i) notes the Proposed Plan Change 43 Residential and Suburban Mixed Use which is attached as Appendix 1 to this report;
(ii) notes the accompanying Communications Plan attached as Appendix 6 to the report;
(iii) instructs officers to change the Communications Plan to include hosting Public Information days in community venues;
(iv) resolves to promulgate Proposed Plan Change 43 for consultation, attached as Appendices 1-5 to the report;
(v) instructs officers to publicly notify Proposed Plan Change 43 as soon as practicable; and
(vi) allows officers to make any non-policy related changes to the details of the Proposed Plan Change should the need arise.”
To view Appendices 1-5 to the report, use the links below:
Appendices 1, 2, 3 and 5 to the report: http://iportal.huttcity.govt.nz/Record/ReadOnly?Tab=29&Uri=4634108
Appendix 4 to the report:
1. APP 1 - PC 43 - Draft Proposed Plan Change - Parts 1 (Introduction), 2 (Public Notice), 3, 4 and 5 (Amendments)
2. APP 2 - PC 43 - Draft Proposed Plan Change - Part 6 (Maps)
3. APP 3 - PC 43 - Draft Proposed Plan Change - Part 7 (Section 32 Evaluation)
4. APP 4 – PC 43 – Draft Proposed Plan Change – Part 7 (Section 32 Evaluation) – Attachments
5. APP 5 - PC 43 - Draft Proposed Plan Change - Parts 8 (4A, 4F, 5E and Design Guide as proposed) and 9 (Submission Form
6. Information Item
Report No. DPC2017/4/122 by the Senior Environmental Policy Analyst
The Senior Environmental Policy Analyst presented the report.
Resolved: (Cr Bridson/Cr Cousins) Minute No. DPC 17404
“That the report be noted and received.”
There were no questions.
A karakia whakamutunga was said to close the meeting.
Cr L Bridson
CONFIRMED as a true and correct record
Dated this 10th day of October 2017