05 Jul 2013


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INTERIM DIRECTIONS FOR UNITARY PLAN shapeauckland.co.nz 05 July 2013

Auckland councillors agreed this week to refer a set of nine directions for changes to the draft unitary plan to Local Boards, for their consideration and feedback (see here for more information).

Details of these nine areas are being sent to Auckland’s local board members today. They are outlined below:

1. Principles for Building Heights in Centre Zones

a) Height controls should take into account:

the status of the centre in the Auckland Plan hierarchy
public transport/transport projects (e.g. AMETI)
the size and depth of the centre
the interface between zones
current building heights
landscape features
historic heritage
existing design controls/guidelines previously developed for a centre through a precinct or master planning exercise
(b) Centres with similar characteristics should have similar controls (rules)

(c) Heights should decrease from centres out to surrounding residential areas

(d) Heights should enable flexibility to achieve good design outcomes

(e) Heights should enable buildings to adapt to different uses over time (e.g. generous floor to ceiling heights at ground floor level)

(f) Apply a more refined approach to larger town centres, (i.e. heights may vary within the centre). [This was revised to include all town centres not just larger ones]

(g) Heights in centres should not be reduced from existing operative plan heights except where a centre has an unlimited height control

2. Principles for Building Heights around Centres in the Terrace Housing and Apartment Building Zone

Apply the THAB zone generally within 250 metres of rail stations and Metropolitan, Town and Local Centre zones
Heights should range from four to six storeys depending on the scale of the adjacent centre
Where five and six storey heights are permitted, this should step down to four storeys at the edge of the THAB zone
Heights should enable flexibility to achieve good design outcomes.
Only apply a six storey height limit in the THAB zone in appropriate locations that are immediately next to the ten Metropolitan Centres
In all other cases apply a four or five storey height limit using the principles that informed the Draft Unitary Plan
Consider topography and geography of a place
3. Principles for Notification for Height Infringements in Centres and the Terrace Housing and Apartment Building Zone

At a minimum, the Unitary Plan should stay silent on notification to ensure a case by case notification assessment is undertaken

4. Principles for Volcanic Viewshafts and Blanket Height Sensitive Areas

The volcanic viewshaft heights should clearly override zone heights
The Terrace House and Apartment Building zone should not be applied within BHSAs.
Work on a more fine grained analysis of height within BHSA areas was requested for the following centres: Panmure, Devonport, Mangere Bridge, Stonefields/Mt Wellington, Mt Eden, Market Road

5. Approach to Design Quality

Continue with the current approach of including specific objectives, policies, development controls and assessment criteria in the Unitary Plan
Continue with the current approach of requiring a design statement for all developments that require a resource consent
Provide clear hyperlinks between the relevant parts of the Unitary Plan, ePlan and relevant parts of the Auckland Design Manual

6. Provisions in the Mixed Housing Zone

Investigate splitting the mixed housing zone into two sub-zones and investigate options as follow

(i) A mixed housing sub-zone, generally located next to the Terrace House and Apartment Building zone and centres:

up to 3 storeys (10m) in height, restricted discretionary consent with design assessment, non–notified; Undertake further work on a possible 11m height considering practical and architectural merits
over 10m in height fully discretionary consent, silent on notification
(ii) A mixed housing sub-zone, generally between the above zone and the single house zone:

2 storeys (8m) permitted height limit
over 8m height fully discretionary consent with design assessment, silent on notification
(iii) Officers to develop a full package of controls for both mixed housing sub-zones including:

height to boundary
set backs
site coverage (different between both sub zones)
neighbourhood character
infrastructure availability (including community facilities)
(iv) Investigate opportunities to zone areas of the current Single House zone into the two storey Mixed Housing sub-zone where there are no heritage or environmental constraints. This requires discussion with local boards at the mapping workshop

7. Provisions in the Terrace House and Apartment Building Zone

Review the spatial extent of the zone to ensure logical ‘edges’ prior to mapping workshops.
Alterations and additions to an existing dwelling be a permitted activity.
Investigate overseas models such as Sydney and Melbourne in terms of the approach to replacing existing single dwellings in this type of zone.
Improve the outlook and privacy controls.
Amend the minimum floor to floor height at ground floor (4 metres) in the Terrace House and Apartment Building zone so it only applies to arterial routes and review whether this control should apply to all or some arterial routes. Investigate implications of a reduced ground floor stud height on overall height limits e g. possible 13.5m height on non-arterial routes.
Investigate changes to the provisions to better enable terrace housing in the zone.
As a principle, apply the more restrictive height in relation to boundary control at the residential zone interface. Investigate what this principle would mean at the boundary of an open space zone.

8. Minimum Dwelling Size Controls

Agree to have a minimum dwelling size
Increase the minimum dwelling size in the Mixed Housing zone from 30m2 (plus balcony) to 40m2 (plus balcony)
Investigate the minimum dwelling sizes applying in the Terrace House and Apartment Building zone and other parts of the city e.g. centres and mixed use zones.
Investigate incentives for 2-3 bedroom units with good design, including a percentage of 2-3 bedroom units in a development
Investigate the need for minimum dwelling size controls for two and three bedroom developments

9. Notification of Development Control Infringements

Restricted discretionary activity consent to infringe
(i) Any height infringement in all residential zones;
(ii) Yards, setbacks and height in relation to boundary
(iii) Building coverage
The Unitary Plan to be silent on notification, requiring a case by case assessment, for the above restricted discretionary activities
Restricted discretionary activity consent, non-notified, to infringe remaining development controls
Officers are required to come back to a future workshop with further advice around non-notification of complying 5+ dwelling developments in the Terrace House and Apartment Building zone and Mixed House zone


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