The Clunker and Business Zones

Their Business Zoning and My Commercial and Industrial Zoning

 

A Comparison

 

March 28 I wrote a comparison post on The Clunker’s intended residential zones and my residential zones (from my Auckland Plan submission). As I mentioned in that particular post (THE CLUNKER AND RESIDENTIAL ZONING), work is still being done as I flesh out my alternative proposed residential zones but, you can see the basic framework and comparisons thus far.

While I am still fleshing out my residential zones, I will present my first glimpse into my commercial and industrial zones  in comparison to The Clunkers.

 

Commercial and Industrial Zoning – A Business Zone Comparison

The Unitary Plan (that is The Clunker) has a section that deals urban development around what would be employment centres that is called Business Zones. Unfortunately The Clunker does not distinguish via its Business Zones the difference between commercial and industrial zones, where as my Auckland Plan submission zones do (dedicated separate commercial and industrial zones). This would make things in my opinion somewhat more complex than needed when dealing with employment centre zoning if the current Clunker Business Zones stuck. These are the current Unitary Plan Business Zones (I will embed the document at the bottom of this post):

 

The Unitary Plan Business Zones:

  • City Centre
  • Metropolitan Centre
  • Town Centre
  • Local Centre
  • Neighbourhood Centre
  • Mixed Use
  • General Business
  • Business Park
  • Light Industry
  • Heavy Industry.

 

The BR:AKL Commercial and Industrial Zones

Note: There is a rural zone in the industrial set. Please ignore this for now as I will deal with this when I come to the Unitary Plan Rural Zones.

 

Commercial:

  • Low Density Zone: Your small businesses like gas stations, the local dairy, newsagents etc. (The small type of stores you would see in a local town centre.)
  • Medium Density Zone: This would allow medium size commercial buildings (e.g. up to 6-7 stories high and/or a floor area of 3000sqm) (this is where you would see a medium-sized supermarket (like the Countdown at Papakura or New World at Papatoetoe. Box or Bulk Retail like the Manukau Supa Centre or Takanini South-Gate apply here as well. Or the medium-sized commercial office buildings seen next to the Ellersile Rail Station. Or a small shopping plaza like Hunters Plaza – Hunters Corner, Papatoetoe)
  • High Density Zone: Skyscrapers, mega-malls, large supermarkets (like the Countdown at Manukau City)

 

Industrial:

  • Agricultural Zone: Speaks for itself – farms, cows, sheep, horticulture, viticulture
  • Light Industry Zone: Small scale warehouses (like the National Mini-Shed storage complexes) and industrial type services (usually a small or a medium enterprises seen in places like Onehunga, East Tamaki and Penrose)
  • Medium Industry Zone: Medium sized warehouses, factories and high-tech industries. These types of industries would be associated with places like Fletchers Tasman Insulation plant in Penrose, the Sleepyhead Factory in Otahuhu, Bluebird Food Processing in Wiri, logistic centres like Mainfreight and Daily Freight in Westfield and Penrose and the Lion Nathan Brewery Factory in East Tamaki
  • Heavy Industry Zone: not a very common sight in New Zealand compared to Australia, we do not have car manufacturing plants for example. However Auckland does have arguably a few heavy industry sites such as Glenbrook Steel Mill, Blue Pacific Metal Mill in Otahuhu, the Fletcher Plant in Penrose and extremely large logistic centres like the Port of Tauranga Metro Port at Southdown. Per-se Auckland would not zone for heavy industry – however medium industrial zones should be open to allowing heavy industry to be developed on a case by case basis

 

As for mixed commercial/residential zoning, I shall address that in a later post.

 

The Clunker descriptions on the individual business zones

 

City Centre zone – Zone description
The city centre is the top of the centres hierarchy and plays a pivotal role in Auckland’s present and future success. The zone seeks to ensure the city centre is an international centre for business and learning, innovation, entertainment, culture and urban living. To improve the vibe of the city centre environment, the zone permits a wide range of activities to establish in most parts of the city centre. The zone also manages activities that have the potential to adversely affect the amenity of the city centre. The Unitary Plan enables the greatest level of development in terms of height and floor area to occur in the city centre. Within the city centre itself, development potential is concentrated in the core central business district. Development potential reduces towards the ridgeline and transitions to lower heights on the waterfront and landward periphery.

The zone manages the scale of development in order to protect important historic heritage places, sunlight admission to parks and public spaces, and significant views to the volcanic cones and other landmarks. The significant height and scale of buildings in the city centre increases their visibility from many places, affecting the quality of both public and private views at local and citywide scales. In addition to managing the scale of development, the zone manages the quality of building design to ensure new buildings successfully integrate with the city centre’s existing built form and public realm to create an attractive and recognisable skyline. The city centre makes an important contribution to our sense of identity. Within the city centre are precincts and overlays, which have their own distinct features and character. Precincts and overlays may have additional management provisions.

 

Metropolitan Centre zone – Zone description
This zone applies to centres located in different subregional catchments of Auckland. The centres are second only to the city centre in overall scale and intensity and act as hubs for high frequency transport within their catchments. The zone provides for a wide range of activities including commercial, leisure, high density residential, tourist, cultural, community and civic services. Zone provisions, in conjunction with rules in the other business zones, reinforce metropolitan centres as locations for all scales of commercial activity. Precincts and overlays, which modify the underlying zone or have additional provisions, apply to some of the metropolitan centres.

Generally, however, to support an intense level of development, the zone allows for high-rise buildings. Some street frontages within the zone are subject to a Key Retail Frontage or General Commercial Frontage overlay. Key retail streets are the focal point of pedestrian activity within the centre. General commercial streets play a supporting role. Development fronting these streets is expected to reinforce this function. Rules for the overlay are incorporated in the zone rules. New development within the zone requires resource consent in order to ensure that it is designed to a high standard which enhances the quality of the centre’s public realm.

 

Town Centre zone – Zone description
This zone applies to suburban centres throughout Auckland, the satellite centres of Warkworth and Pukekohe, and the rural town of Helensville. The centres are typically located on main arterial roads, which provide good public transport access. The zone provides for a wide range of activities including commercial, leisure, residential, tourist, cultural, community and civic services. Provisions enable buildings between four to eight storeys high, depending on the characteristics of the centre. Increased height within the centres will facilitate increased office and residential living opportunities at upper floors. Some street frontages within the zone are subject to a Key Retail or General Commercial overlay. Key retail streets are the focal point of pedestrian activity within the centre. General commercial streets play a supporting role. Development fronting these streets is expected to reinforce this function. Rules for the overlay are incorporated in the zone rules. New development within the zone requires resource consent in order to ensure that it is designed to a high standard which enhances the quality of the centre’s streets and public open spaces.

 

Local Centre zone – Zone description
This zone applies to a large number of small centres throughout Auckland. The centres are located in areas of good public transport. The zone provides for the local convenience needs of surrounding residential areas, including local retail, commercial services, offices, food and beverage, and small-scale supermarkets. Large-scale commercial activity is discouraged. Provisions allow for buildings up to four storeys high, enabling residential use at upper floors. New development within the zone requires resource consent so that it is designed to a high standard which enhances the quality of the centre’s streets and public open spaces.

 

Neighbourhood Centre zone – Zone description
This zone applies to single corner stores or small shopping strips located in residential neighbourhoods. They provide residents and passers-by with daily retail and commercial service needs. Buildings of up to three storeys high and residential use at upper floors is permitted. Development is expected to be in keeping with the surrounding residential environment.

 

Mixed Use zone – Zone description
This zone is typically located around centres and along frequent public transport corridors and major road corridors. It acts as a transition area, in terms of scale and activity, between residential areas and the City Centre, Metropolitan and Town Centre zones. It also applies to areas where there is a need for a compatible mix of residential and employment activities. The zone provides for residential and smaller scale commercial activity that does not cumulatively affect the viability of centres. Where the zone is adjacent to the city centre, metropolitan centres and larger town centres, buildings up to six storeys in height are permitted. In other areas where the zone applies, buildings up to four storeys are permitted.

Provisions do not specifically require a mix of uses on individual sites or within areas, but buildings should be adaptable so that the uses within them can change over time. Some street frontages within the zone are subject to a Key Retail or General Commercial overlay. Key retail streets are the focal point of pedestrian activity within the centre. General commercial streets play a supporting role. Development fronting these streets is expected to reinforce this function. Rules for the overlay are incorporated in the zone rules. New development within the zone requires resource consent in order to ensure that it is designed to a high standard which enhances the quality of streets within the area and public open spaces.

 

General Business zone – Zone description
This zone provides for business activities that may not be appropriate for, or are unable to locate in, centres. This includes activities ranging from light industrial to limited office and large format retail activities. Large format retail is preferred in centres but it is recognised that this is not always possible. Large format retail activities are appropriate in the General Business zone only when this does not adversely affect the vitality and viability of the City Centre, Metropolitan and Town Centre zones. Although the application of the zone within Auckland is limited, it is an important part of the Unitary Plan’s strategy to provide for growth in commercial activity and manage the effects of large format retail. Small retail activities are not appropriate in the zone as the presence of these activities, in combination with large format retail, will effectively create an unplanned centre. Residential activity is also not envisaged due to the presence of light industrial activities and the need to preserve land for out of centre commercial opportunities. The zone is located in areas close to the City Centre, Metropolitan and Town Centre zones or along identified growth corridors, where there is good transport access and exposure to customers. The design of development within this zone is expected to contribute to an active street edge.

 

Business Park zone – Zone description
A business park is a location where office type business activities can group together in a park or campus like environment. This zone enables moderate to intensive office activity and some ancillary services such as gymnasiums, child care and food and beverage outlets. These high amenity and comprehensively planned business areas are located adjacent to high frequency public transport networks. The zone is designed to recognise the existing business parks of Smales Farm and Central Park. It has a limited future application, as new office activities are expected to locate within and reinforce the roles of the city centre, metropolitan centres and town centres. Where new business parks are proposed, limits are expected to be put in place on the amount of office that can establish within these parks.

 

Light Industry zone – Zone description
This zone provides for light industrial activities that do not generate significant unpleasant or noxious odour, dust or noise emissions. This includes light manufacturing, production, logistics, storage, transport and distribution activities. Due to the industrial nature of the activities, sensitive activities such as residential, office or retail activities that are not related to the predominant use onsite are not appropriate. An exception is made for trade suppliers, motor vehicle sales and garden centres, which may locate in the zone subject to location and traffic considerations.

 

Heavy Industry zone – Zone description
This zone provides for industrial activities that may produce unpleasant or noxious odour, dust and noise emissions. Air quality emissions standards that are different to the rest of Auckland will often apply. A key attribute of the zone is that it contains sites large enough to accommodate large-scale low intensity industrial activities. Sensitive activities are not appropriate in the zone and buildings are expected to have a mainly functional standard of amenity. The zone is typically located close to key freight routes.

 

 

Like my comparisons for the residential zones I do have them in table form for commercial zones an existing industrial but, the Unitary Plan is more vague with those particular industrial zones. However what makes this more difficult in the comparison is that I have two distinct separate planning aspects for commercial centres in Auckland. They are called the Central Master Community Plan (CMCP) which is a highly prescriptive form of planning, and the Semi-Liberal Plan District (SLPD) which is my signature liberalised planning approach. Rural and Coastal settlements, and Satellite Towns also were separated and categorised as well. Also you will see residential zones in there as well as I being fleshing out mixed zoning. These are the respective comparisons which mostly draw on the same names as The Clunkers individual business zones:

 

The Business Zone/Commercial Zone Comparison

 

Category CMCP/SLPD Suggested Zoning Maximum Notes
International City Centre CMCP N/A Covered by the Draft City Centre Master Plan
Metropolitan Centres CMCP N/A Includes Tamaki. Excludes Sylvia Park
Any Urban or Town Centre in the Draft Auckland Plan marked with a (*) CMCP N/A Due to surrounding social or physical environment sensitivity
Town Centres SLPD Medium Residential and Commercial Includes Sylvia Park
Local Centres SLPD Light Residential and Commercial Possibility for up zoning for medium commercial and residential – but on a case by case basis
Urban Growth Corridors SLPD Medium Residential and Commercial Has potential for High Density Residential and Commercial, but that needs to be explored in-depth first
Existing Industry SLPD Review each area for LADU and redevelopment possibilities

 

Now if you are wondering where some zones mentioned in The Clunker would go in comparison to my alternatives this is what I have devised so far:

  • Neighbourhood Centres are the same as the above table Local Centres, but no up zoning and not as much commercial zoning as the Local Centre
  • Business Parks are would (although deemed obsolete in The Clunker for future development) either en-mass low or medium commercial per my alternative zones depending on the amount of office space per site and worker density
  • City Centre and Metropolitan Centres (although reviewing some areas marked Metropolitan in The Clunker) are the only areas in Auckland where High Density Residential and Commercial (per my alternative descriptions) would go
  • Urban Growth Corridors I will cover in separate posts per The Clunker’s definition of “Future Urban Zone” and “Strategic Transport Corridor” pieces
  • The Clunker’s General Business Zone is covered by my Medium Commercial Density as mentioned above
  • Mixed zones I am getting to later on

 

As for rural, satellite and coast towns:

Classification Suggested Zoning Maximum Notes
Satellites Medium Residential and Commercial, Light Industry Area surrounded by Industrial Agricultural Zoning
Rural and Coastal Settlements Light Residential and Commercial Area surrounded by Industrial Agricultural Zoning. Areas marked with (*) have potential for medium residential or commercial in the future
Rural and Coastal Villages Restricted Light Residential and Commercial Area surrounded by Industrial Agricultural Zoning or other protected/sensitive areas. Areas marked with (*) have potential for further light residential or commercial in the future

 

CMCP’s and SLPD’s

These are posts in their own right and I will cover them shortly. They have been mentioned today in-depth with my class of zoning and urban control lay outs. So bear with me if you have no idea what a Central Master Community Plan or a Semi-Liberal Plan District is just yet. However if one wants to get the jump on this you can read all about them in my Auckland Plan submission which is forming the backbone of my Unitary Plan submission. The document will be embedded below

 

For now I shall leave with this and come back to commercial and industrial zones later.

 

The Clunker on Zonings

 

My Alternative to Zonings