District Plan Subcommittee
Minutes of a meeting held in the Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, 30 Laings Road,
Lower Hutt on
Wednesday 10 July 2019 commencing at 5.30pm
PRESENT: Deputy Mayor Bassett (Chair) Cr MJ Cousins
Cr S Edwards Cr T Lewis
Cr C Milne
APOLOGIES: There were no apologies.
IN ATTENDANCE: Ms H Oram, Acting General Manager, City Transformation
Mr N Geard, Environmental Policy Analyst
Mr P Maaka, Urban Design Manager
Mr J Jeffries, Environmental Policy Analyst (2)
Ms H Clegg, Minute Taker
There were no apologies.
2. PUBLIC COMMENT
There was no public comment.
3. CONFLICT OF INTEREST DECLARATIONS
There were no conflict of interest declarations.
4. Recommendation to City Development Committee
Report No. DPS2019/3/132 by the Environmental Policy Analyst
The Environmental Policy Analyst and the Acting General Manager, City Transformation elaborated on the report.
In response to a question from a member, the Environmental Policy Analyst advised that the Master Plan was for a much larger area of the Western Hills than
the Private Plan Change covered and had not been proceeded with. He explained
that if the Private Plan Change was accepted, all costs would be borne by the requestor, whereas if it was adopted, all costs would fall to Council.
In response to a question from a member, the Environmental Policy Analyst and the Acting General Manager, City Transformation explained that officers were required by the law to ensure Plan Changes could be enacted, should they be approved. They added that it was too early to advise on the logistics of achieving this for Plan Change 36 and the Private Plan Change, as Plan Change 36 was before the Environment Court. They assured members that officers would keep the Subcommittee informed of the progress of Plan Change 36.
The Environmental Policy Analyst added that there were aspects of Plan Change 36 which the requestor had included in their Private Plan Change, such as protection of areas of significant vegetation from residential development.
In response to a question from a member, the Environmental Policy Analyst advised that the District Plan currently contained rules regarding Signficant Natural Resources on public land.
In response to a question from a member, the Environmental Policy Analyst advised that if a Private Plan Change was adopted, Council could make changes to it as it saw fit. He said that with an accepted Private Plan Change, Council would not have as much control as to the content. He added officers were comfortable with the level of investigation and information presented with the Private Plan Change.
In response to a question from a member, the Environmental Policy Analyst advised the Private Plan Change did not address walking tracks and track connectivity through the area. He added that any subdivision for the area would be a Restricted Discretionary Activity and that negotiations would occur with the Parks and Reserves Division with regards to walking tracks and reserves contributions at subdivision stage.
The Acting General Manager, City Transformation added that walking tracks were not a specific matter of discretion listed in the District Plan for assessment of subdivisions.
Members discussed how to ensure connectivity of walking tracks throughout the entire city in the future. Members acknowledged that most walking tracks were on public land and that the issue could also cross into the Climate Change Emergency work as walking tracks encouraged less reliance on travel by car.
At the request of a member, the Chair invited Mr S Gifford, a representative of Urban Edge Planning Ltd, to speak to the Private Plan Change.
Mr Gifford explained that the Private Plan Change could provide for a similar density of development as envisioned in the 2015 Master Plan mentioned in the officer’s report. He added that the Master Plan approach had not been pursued as it was too costly, it added an extra step and extra work to the process and there were no guarantees of approval. He also added that the subject land of the Private Plan Change was smaller than that of the Master Plan.
Mr Gifford advised that officers were happy with the information supplied of the behalf of the requestor and that the requestor was hoping Council would adopt it.
Mr Gifford further advised the requestor had already held initial talks with Parks and Reserves officers with regard to walking track connectivity. He added it was general practice for that level of detail to be decided at the subdivision application stage. He said that often the full development of tracks was a requirement in lieu of reserves fund contributions.
RECOMMENDED: (Deputy Mayor Bassett/Cr Cousins) Minute No. DP 19301
“That the Subcommittee recommends that the City Development Committee recommends that Council:
(i) notes that Urban Edge Planning Ltd on behalf of F.L.Y Building Ltd has lodged a private plan change request, attached as Appendix 1 to the report, seeking amendments to the zoning of adjoining properties adjacent to Major Drive and Kaitangata Crescent, Kelson;
(ii) accepts the private plan change request in whole;
(iii) asks officers to formally ask the developer to arrange a public meeting to be hosted by the Kelson Community Association to ensure the people of Kelson can be informed, aware and have an understanding of the Private Plan Change; and
(iv) asks officers to put on the District Plan Subcommittee work schedule how to enable track connectivity in the city at the time of district plan changes.”
Report No. DPS2019/3/68 by the Urban Design Manager
The Urban Design Manager elaborated on the report.
In response to a question from a member, the Acting General Manager, City Transformation advised that a draft “One Strategy” would not be ready prior to the local body elections.
Resolved: (Deputy Mayor Bassett/Cr Edwards) Minute No. DP 19302
“That the Subcommittee:
(i) notes and receives the report;
(ii) agrees that everything that the Central City Transformation Plan (CCTP) suggests for the District Plan can be deferred to the work done under the ‘One Strategy’; and
(iii) approves scoping work on the possibility of a District Plan solution to minimise poor development as a risk to the CCTP and Council’s $51M investment in RiverLink.”
Report No. DPS2019/3/133 by the Divisional Manager District Plan
The Acting General Manager, City Transformation elaborated on the report.
Resolved: (Deputy Mayor Bassett/Cr Lewis) Minute No. DP 19303
“That the Subcommittee:
(i) notes the information contained in this report;
(ii) notes that this review also meets the intent of section 17A of the Local Government Act 2002; and
(iii) agrees that a full section 17A review should not be undertaken at present because the review presented here is sufficient.”
Report No. DPS2019/3/69 by the Environmental Policy Analyst
The two Environmental Policy Analysts elaborated on the report.
In response to a question from a member, the Acting General Manager, City Transformation advised that paragraph 29 of the officer’s report was incorrect. She highlighted that the New Zealand Transport Agency was not party to the resource consents application. She clarified that two resource consent procedures may be necessary. She agreed to report back to members via email with details as to the procedure, costings and timeframes.
In response to a question from a member, the Chair advised that there was a request from the Hutt Valley Services Committee to the Mayor of Upper Hutt City Council, that the two Mayors hold talks with regard to the District Plan Review. He agreed to ask for a progress report from Mayor Wallace.
In response to a question from a member, the Environmental Policy Analyst (2) advised that, regarding the National Policy Statement on Urban Design Capacity, as well as detailed studies investigating residential capacity, models had been produced assessing business capacity also. He further advised that a draft report would be presented to the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment in August 2019, following a workshop to brief Councillors on the issue.
In response to a question from a member, the Environmental Policy Analyst (2) elaborated on the concept of development capacity and how the modelling worked.
Resolved: (Deputy Mayor Bassett/Cr Milne) Minute No. DP 19304
“That the report be noted and received.“
Cr Milne asked if officers could explain how the $29.6M figure reported in the Dominion Post on Saturday 6 July 2019 as corporate welfare or development remissions was derived and, if possible, to break it down into any constituent parts?
The Acting General Manager, City Transformation responded that investigations were continuing into the matter, with the senior officer involved currently away on leave. She added that she would provide a written answer via email to members as soon as possible.
Cr Milne asked if officers could advise on the accuracy or otherwise of the brochure headed “Hutt City Council plans to destroy our rural communities” which had been widely distributed to rural property owners throughout the city?
The Environmental Policy Analyst responded there were some aspects of the brochure based on fact, eg, the Urban Growth Strategy stated 6000 new houses would be required to cater for urban growth and that infrastructure would be required to provide for this. He added that there had been no detailed planning investigations into the matter. He was uncertain as to the brochure reference to “Ribbon Development”. He wondered if it meant the Wainuiomata Coast Road area, which he advised had many constraints to development including topographic, infrastructural, natural hazards, especially flooding and landowner opposition to further development. He added there had been no planning investigations regarding development of this area.
In response to a question from a member, that a $100,000 fee per household would be required to connect to services, the Environmental Policy Analyst advised infrastructural costs were not part of the District Plan work programme. The Acting General Manager, City Transformation advised that officer investigations were continuing into the origin of the figure. She added it appeared the brochure had been extrapolated from a number of documents.
Cr Milne asked for an update on Council’s work with private landowners, as resolved by Council in December 2018, what was planned over the next six months and what had been the result of court hearings regarding the relationship between Plan Change 36 and the Significant Natural Areas (SNA) process?
The Acting General Manager, City Transformation responded the SNA process was now reporting directly to the City Development Committee as an Ecology and Landscapes project, with the Strategic Adviser, City and Community Services the reporting officer. She added the officer was on leave and a regular update would be contained in the General Managers’ Report reported to the City Development Committee. She further added that the General Manager, City and Community Services was aware of the question. She further advised that an update on Plan Change 36 was contained in paragraphs 18-25 of the officer’s report, District Plan Update. She said that the Forest and Bird case was now linked into the full Plan Change 36 Environment Court hearing proceedings. She added that officers were waiting for a court hearing date.
In response to a question from a member, the Acting General Manager, City Transformation could not confirm whether rural property landowners had received any correspondence from Council regarding SNAs since December 2018. She agreed to update members as soon as she had gathered the requested information.
The Chair thanked officers for their work and involvement in all items to date.
J Miller Deputy Mayor D Bassett CHIEF EXECUTIVE CHAIR