And Don’t Pick a Misrepresented Image of my Home Either
When an email lands in your box at 6am in the morning alerting to you a Unitary Plan article by a particular “journalist,” you know you have to go and look. Go figure it was from our particular journalist and here we go with the debunking again…
Right lets see what we get out of Orsman’s latest…
The article concerned is:
By Bernard Orsman @BernardOrsman
5:30 AM Wednesday May 22, 2013
I will go through the article section by section and debunk the bits in blue text
Papakura‘s Selwyn Chapel what would be possible under the new rules. The council says the image fails to meet form and design quality rules. Photo / Supplied
So why was the 18 Storey tower even Photoshopped into the image of Papakura Town Centre. The buildings would automatically fail the urban design and resource consent controls set out in the Unitary Plan, Auckland Design Manual and even the Resource Management Act 1991. Yes at the moment Papakura is up for Metropolitan Centre placement which gives way to 18 storey towers being built in set areas of the current town centre. Yes I am seeking in Papakura a downgrade to what would be known as a Large Town Centre where 12 storeys would be the maximum. But, in the same regard those of us who have read up Sections Three and Four of the Unitary Plan know two truths:
- You need the economic demand to get those high-rise towers. With Manukau up for some heavy urban renewal and Takanini Town Centre rather close by, I can not see 18 storey towers in Papakura for at least 20 years.
- By the time the developer has jumped through all the hoops I can think of only two places to build a tower that would survive both those rules and basic economics; Papakura Rail Station and along East Street that flanks the west of town centre currently. The picture Orsman has here is of the Great South Road at the north end of town centre where 6-8 storeys would more likely be the norm…
Grr, makes me annoyed and quite a few people in Southern Auckland annoyed as well. Showing a picture representing what CAN NOT happen is one way to annoy the locals to no ends… So there is Orsman being debunked – part one.
Part Two in debunking Orsman
Height is at the top of many people’s minds with the Unitary Plan. Whether it’s walls of apartments on the ridges overlooking Browns Bay or 18-storey high rises in Newmarket, the council is facing a chorus of complaints.
Buildings in central Auckland will have no height restriction, and 10 metro centres such as Takapuna, Henderson, Botany and Newmarket will have an 18-storey limit. In another 37 town centres, the limit will be eight, six and four storeys, and in local centres, such as Mt Eden, it will be three or four storeys. To prevent a canyon effect, any buildings of four storeys or more will have to be set back from the street and require resource consent.
After nine weeks of saying the maximum height of “small scale apartment buildings” in the residential “mixed housing” zone was two storeys, it emerged last week that the height limit is three storeys.
I am going through the Resource Management Act 1991 and it seems restrictions on height outside of things like flight paths are pretty hard to regulate AGAINST. So apart from Manukau, all other height limits imposed on the Metropolitan and Town Centres could be on shaky ground if someone was to test it in the Environment Court – ouch.
At least Orsman got the middle bit of the quoted section right. If he paid attention to that actual section then he would of realised how his Papakura picture depicted something that could not happen…
With the heights in the centres any how, it is up for consultation and feedback. I am submitting on the centres and heights calling for some raising and lowering depending on location of that said centre. My Housing Mix Simulator also gave a crude narrative of what I would be proposing for the centres.
Now for the last bit in regards to three storey blocks. Time to dig up the links again after that got debunked three times here and now twice over at Auckland Transport Blog. Here are the links:
To put further measure into this I might go around the city today and get some shots of three storey houses and Walk-Up apartments that are already allowed under the legacy District Plans.
Moving out of the metro, town and local centres into residential areas, the council has created two zones for intensification – terrace housing and apartments; and mixed housing. There are two zones with no change – single house and large lots on the fringes.
The terraced housing and apartment zone will generally be within 250m of metro, town and local centres, and will fill 7 per cent of the city’s urban area. The mixed housing zone (49 per cent of the urban area) allows for one house per 300sq m with no density limits when developers landbank more than 1200sq m and have a minimum 20m street frontage.
The single housing zone (35 per cent) permits one house per 500sq m, and the single lot zone (9 per cent) covers large lots, mostly on the urban fringe.
Writing in the Herald, David Gibbs, director of the architectural firm Construkt that has worked on plans for Hobsonville Pt, Long Bay and Glen Innes, said sections of 300sq m were still too big for a good-size three- or four-bedroom home when more households were becoming single person or couples without children.
Section sizes of 170-180sq m were ample, he said, citing well-designed two-bedroom homes at Hobsonville Pt on 190sq m.
The days of “shoebox” apartments are back with plans to reduce the minimum apartment size from 35sq m to 30sq m, plus a minimum balcony space of 8sq m.
Right who ever from Construkt wrote to the Herald also wrote to Auckland Transport Blog in the bottom link from the bullet points above. Go figure?
As for the rest of the section I am wondering did Orsman write it or someone from Council write it. Language took a interesting change there. I do have a fact sheet from Council on the building stuff which can be seen here:
So no debunking Orsman in that piece when the fact sheet provided above backs up what was mentioned in that particular section of the article.
The next sections in Orsman’s piece are straight forward with no debunking needed there. It is not until I get to the Young vs Old bit that debunking is required. Still I am wondering if he did write those sections or someone else did. Who knows and not particularly fussed at the moment.
However, we get to here and a way go again
Young vs old
Michael Goudie, a 28-year-old councillor, was picked by Mayor Len Brown and Penny Hulse to fire up young people to counter the views of generally older “Nimbys” – Not in My Backyard.
But instead of a legitimate campaign to get teens and 20-somethings to jump on social media with their views, Brown and Hulse turned a blind eye when Goudie promoted an anonymous blog labelling the elderly as “selfish, arrogant and narrow-minded” who should “just hurry up and die”.
More constructive has been a campaign by Generation Zero, a group of young people supporting the compact city model of medium density “done well” with affordable housing and better public transport.
So he is still going on about this after being implied as an Ageist Old Fart… Talk about forgive and forget here. Orsman seeming you never showed up to a Youth Event run by Generation Zero or the Manurewa Local Board, might have it been a good idea that you WERE there so you know what the under 35′s concerns were? Ironically the youth have similar concerns to our elders of the city in the regards that if the UP is executed poorly – we are all buggered here and beyond.
But yes Generation Zero have down well and after being at their event last week to which I did comment on; least the city will be in good hands with our best and brightest coming up. Whether they have to fix a mess from our parents though is another question entirely…
Not so sure on the noise stuff. Like Significant Ecological Areas I will need to read up on the stuff before commenting.
As for this:
In focus: Mixed housing zone
The mixed housing zone, probably the most controversial in the Unitary Plan, covers 49 per cent of the residential land area in urban Auckland.
The zone allows for one house per 300sq m. But where a developer has more than 1200sq m of land and a 20m street frontage, the developer can build to 8m (two storeys) with no density rules.
A developer can apply apply to build to 10m (three storeys) as a “non-notified restricted discretionary activity”. Non-notified means the decision will be made by council officers with no public input. Restricted discretionary means the council can only consider specified matters and no others. For the mixed housing zone the matters to be considered are:
*Height in relation to boundary
*Sunlight and daylight access
*Building interface with the public realm
*Design of carparking, access and servicing
Matters excluded from consideration:
*Intensity and scale
Developers can apply and be granted concessions outside the zone’s controls if they show the effects on the environment are “less than minor”
GROAN why could that not be mentioned at the top of the article as well as on May 9 when the Mixed Housing Zone documents were released. Would of saved a lot of damned grief being caused at the moment and a pile of time debunking everything else.
So as I have mentioned in this post, who wrote parts of that article. The language does not seem Orsman language but, rather Council language in some aspects…
This concludes this debunking round. I am off to the dairy to go and get a paper copy of the Herald so I can see the graphics depicted in this article: Vision of fear for city’s heritage; By Bernard Orsman @BernardOrsman
Something tells me another round of debunking is on the way.
And before people get themselves upset that I have debunked Orsman for the now sixth time with number seven coming up shortly ask yourself this:
The Unitary Plan has been out since March 16. The planners and Local Board members have been taking questions and seeking answers in plain English since March 16 for you. This blog and Auckland Transport Blog have been running and still are running commentary on the Unitary Plan and the sections of high interest. Questions we get asked are either answered or sent to planners for answers. I have been in constant contact with Councillors and Planners on the UP seeking clarification on issues that are perplexing. I have also been to meetings to gauge people’s views that allowed the Special Character Zone work to be drawn up as it is.
Why am I seeing apparent alarm now and why are people still believing what Orsman is writing after he gets debunked day in day out by at least two different blogs. The Fourth Estate has long left behind true investigative journalism and will go for sensationalist material for readership. Heck even Whaleoil goes on constantly about that and he is no fan of the Herald nor the Unitary Plan…
If you want to know why I debunk Orsman day in day out ; it is because I will not allow the Main Stream Media to get away with misrepresentation’s and utter crap. That graphic purporting on Papakura was a classic example of deliberate misrepresentation on something that could never occur. What was more insulting of that misrepresentation was that is was of my home Papakura – where I live and shop. While I live in a Mixed Housing Zone and will look at a three storey house in the future in the area once the UP is operative, I am also 100 metres north of the Papakura Metropolitan Centre and know extremely well what I am in for through to 2040. And what Orsman used as a representation for Papakura that is false is insulting and scaremongering to the residents and businesses down here. I am also to believe that Orsman was handed the graphic by the Character Coalition which will irk me even further. Irk number one for Orsman not checking a graphic that is a misrepresentation which was subsequently placed in the paper, irk number two for the Character Coalition obtaining (again failing to check) or drawing up a wrong graphic knowing that kind of building can not be done in Papakura.
Commentary will continue on the Unitary Plan as well as full debunking until the end
Oh and the picture of yesterday’s storm was chosen to represent me being moody this morning after reading the Herald…
BEN ROSS : AUCKLAND
BR:AKL: Bring Well Managed Progress
The Unitary Plan: Bringing Change
Auckland: 2013 – OUR CITY, OUR CALL