Wellington.scoop.co.nz »Six floors in the suburbs


by Felicity Wong
Councilors will vote on October 20 to release Wellington’s draft district plan for “consultation.” After a majority of them ignored the overwhelming amount of commentary on the draft space plan last year, it’s worth wondering if going to great lengths this time around will make a difference.

Last time around, Labor Councilor Fitzsimons said she was “voting for everyone who did not participate in the consultation” and for “future generations” (ie imaginary people).

Still, if you care about the city, you should take a look at the submissions, at least for your street or neighborhood, and submit a view next month.

The new zoning maps were released on Friday, associated with nearly 200 pages of the final Space Plan. They show the effect of political decisions taken by majority on June 24. Take a look at the maps to see what will happen in the draft district plan for your area.

Largest pedestrian watershed

The biggest change from the draft development plan is the increase in areas in which development of 6 floors and more will be authorized as of right (i.e. without neighbors being able to oppose it). ).

Development of six floors and above will be permitted in many new areas and now includes the Terrace, Bolton Street, Wesley Road, Talavera Road, Salamanca Road, Rawhiti Tce Road, the north end of Upland Road, the most of the Aro Valley and Mount Cook, and even in Hay St, Oriental Bay, not to mention the large areas of Mount Victoria (Roxburgh St, Hawker St, Stafford St, Austin St and Ellice St etc.).

This extension of the zone of 6 floors and more results from the political decision taken by a majority of councilors on June 24 to increase the “pedestrian catchment area” of an area covered by a 10-minute walk (from the edges of the city central), to the 15-minute walk area.

The previous draft space plan had used the smaller 10-minute ‘pedestrian pool’, but the Labor Advisors (Day, Fitzsimmons, Matthews and O’Neil) and two of the Green Advisors (Free / Foon) voted for it. expand, with councilor YIMBY Condie and anti-colonialist adviser Paul (who is excited to build a new city on top of the existing one).

Small print enclosures

The “character neighborhoods” of the first suburb are reduced to only 29% of the size they are in the current (current) district plan. The planning rules of the new draft district plan are expected to weaken protection even within these small areas.

The new rules will encourage development in general and reduce the effectiveness of the rule within the remaining small ridings, requiring the consent of resources before demolishing a pre-1930 building. The rule will no longer apply in the remaining 71% of suburbs with character.

This is a lot of potential destruction of heritage and character in the inner suburbs for a small gain in housing.

A relatively small increase in the number of new dwellings will probably result from the increase in zoning in the inner suburbs. Council figures show that it will only provide housing for an additional 3,800 to 6,300 people (1,500 to 2,500 new homes). One thing is clear, new homes in these areas will not be affordable.


MRT: Berhampore and Newtown

Certain small crowns are however less badly off than initially proposed. The worst effects of the proposed upzoning are from Berhampore and south of Newtown.

They were initially in the (now) dreaded “walking-catchment area” of “planned rapid transport”. Since LGWM did not actually provide for any particular rapid transport, the space plan removed the earlier proposed zoning of 6 floors and above in large swathes of Berhampore and south of Newtown, at least for now.

But with LGWM also consulting on rapid transit options, it’s possible that these large (zoned 6-story and higher) zones will return to the table. In case you thought the ‘consultation’ made its legal sense (keeping an open mind), Regional Council President Daran Ponter made it clear that this is not a numbers game (it is that is, it’s not democracy), just another information gathering exercise.

It is clear that LGWM’s focus has shifted to becoming an advocate for urban development opportunities. This is the only way to make the cost / benefit ratio work for rapid transit – to propose to transplant a population so that it can be served by a new MRT.

In the meantime, sticking a label on curved buses and some plastic lane dividers will likely be MRT’s affordable justification for overzoning, until the imaginary people arrive.

With LGWM moving into the housing development space, we are likely to see as much new housing after seven years as we have seen improvements to public transportation.

Obliteration of the suburbs of Onslow

Which brings us to the post-truth overhaul of the Johnsonville Heritage Railroad. The train was recently designated as MRT and, therefore, is responsible for the potential erasure of the suburb of Onslow, with over 6 floors in even larger areas of Khandallah.

The following streets and everything in between are proposed to be zoned for a development of at least 6 stories: Kim St, Baroda St, Woodmancote Rd, Clark St, Simla Crescent, Amapur Dr, Ngatoto St, Lucknow Tce , Clutha Ave, Everest St, Cashmere Ave, Madras St, etc. It is proposed to accommodate an additional 3,817 to 4,585 people.

In Ngaio, zoning of at least 6 stories is proposed to extend from Fox St, Awarua St, Chelmsford St, Motueka St, Makererua St, Collingwood St, Kenya St, Imlay St, Abbott St and Colway St etc. . This is available to accommodate from 2,330 to 2,770 additional people. Councilor Matthews has been a strong supporter of this (from her small, boutique-exempt neighborhood on historic Tarikaka Street).

Like Newtown and Berhampore, Onslow residents will now be motivated to oppose the MRT either by proving that they do not yet have it or by shutting it down, as this justifies the unwanted overzoning and risks a fundamental change in the beloved local character. It would be a truly dystopian result, although a rail cycle track – or even curved buses – would be great.

Other suburbs

According to Council figures, Tawa and Karori will still do the heavy lifting, accommodating an additional 6,170 to 7,965 and 5,585 to 7,600 people, respectively. These suburbs have prominent YIMBY advisers (Condie and Day in Tawa / Johnsonville, and Matthews in Onslow / Karori) who advocate strongly for overzoning and development.

Johnsonville is to become a sea of ​​zoning for a development of at least 6 stories, covering a large area from Hawtrey Tce to the north, Prospect Tce to the west, Fraser Ave to the south and Chesterton St and Helston Rd to the east to Paparangi, and everything in between, plus a high density area of ​​up to 8 floors in its center (metropolitan area). This is the unsightly dead zone caused by the Stride Investment land bank (owner of the Queensgate shopping center in Hutt City).


Another major change is the narrowing of Thorndon, removing the east side of the freeway (Hobson St, Selwyn Tce and Portland Cres, etc.) from its residential area and enforcing much higher height limits in the downtown area. in these areas.


But wait. The territorial plan indicates that the Council will stagger its infrastructure spending. Over the next 10 years, he will focus on improving infrastructure in Tawa, Johnsonville, Te Aro, Adelaide Road and Newtown. Other suburbs will benefit from infrastructure investments designed to support increased development in 10 to 20 years.

Meanwhile, this caveat about bulk development notwithstanding, the development of pepper potting may occur in all of these areas at random. If necessary, the facilities can use large wastewater tanks (like the Sharp building in Taranaki Street), regularly emptied by a modern night cart.

To treat

This year, counselors need to be educated from the residents’ perspective. Next year it will be crucial to make formal submissions. This is when the legal process will begin and you will need to make a formal presentation on the ‘notified’ district plan in order to qualify to make your point before an independent hearing (and then to surrender). to the court). In other words, assuming that next year’s local elections do not solve the problems satisfactorily.


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