Where Ben is for the next round of Unitary Plan Community Meetings
Commentary and community meetings continue as The Unitary Plan causes further debate from all sides. I am continuing my jet-setting around the city – although with a main focus closer to home in Southern Auckland and this is where I will be for the next few weeks.
- April 30 – Tuesday: Drury Hall on the RUB. My favourite Unitary Plan topic (apart from Manukau) is up for discussion. What are the RUB options, how do they affect you, and what of THAT Bridge which will be influenced by the Rural Urban Boundary decisions.
- May 1 – Wednesday: Alfriston Hall on zoning. Oh those residential and business zones are causing so much grief and debate across Auckland through the draft Unitary Plan it is not funny. Time to have a good thrashing analysis of these zones and get some sense and sanity back into them so that we can truly get a more liveable city
- May 2 – Thursday: Orakei giving a presentation on Special Character Zones – how the one size fits all brush in regards to centres will not work and the introduction of The Special Character Zone.
- May 6 – Monday: Hawkins Theatre. Papakura is zoned a Metropolitan Centre (18 storeys) and up for some interesting intensification (my home gets rezoned to Mixed Housing – and I am only 100 metres from the northern end of the Metropolitan Zone). Transport is also on the books so how will being a Metropolitan Zone affect Papakura’s transport with motorway interchanges failing us already, the Great South Road still a goat track, the Mill Road Corridor causing grief, and the third busiest rail station – Papakura going to be placed under HUGE pressure from all this growth. This is all hitting at home folks – for me any way. I live here in Papakura so this a big one for me. I will not be letting Penny Pirrit nor Kevin Wright (if he shows up) off so easy this round with the questions in making sure Papakura will not be adversely affected in the Unitary Plan. Home is where the heart is folks and while I support progression and growth, I won’t allow unchecked growth lowering the amenity values of Papakura!
- May 14 – Tuesday: Auckland Town Hall – Auckland Plan Committee (confirmed). I am asking for a speaking slot here while the Unitary Plan is still under the feedback process to provide clarification on the Manukau City Centre idea. After giving the idea at the Manukau Civic Forum and through my subsequent post: MANUKAU AS THE SECOND CBD OF AUCKLAND; the idea has been noted by Council (Councillors and planners) as well as growing some legs and going for a run. So to save the councillors getting befuddled around Manukau I thought I might go and clarify what I mean with Manukau as our Second CBD.
May 24 I will not be attending any Unitary Plan (nor Transport) meetings or forums as such. That is a dedicated day off for me for a special reason – so just letting you know.
Just a quick point on Manukau I want you to take a look at the City Centre Zone description:
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.
Manukau already fulfils most of the elements in bold already and will have the same positive and negative issues around sunlight plus amenity as the existing CBD. Manukau already allows for unlimited height and floor space development (economics allowing) but the Metropolitan Zone would restrict that off. Manukau if it does go full speed ahead in its development as an international centre for business and learning, innovation, entertainment, culture and urban living (which it is already any how) then it is already a CBD and a true regional hub – not a sub regional hub like the Metropolitan Zones would be. The skyline will be affected if Manukau takes off so it needs the same care as the CBD otherwise it might end up blocking view shafts as well. Manukau City Centre also impacts on our sky line already and again like the CBD needs to be managed as such. The Council says: “The city centre makes an important contribution to our sense of identity.” Well that is a social construction an individual might attach to the CBD, for others the CBD is nothing but a tourist trinket or even a place to avoid like the plague, or a bane on the rest of the city as it sucks up all our resources. Manukau City Centre in itself makes that important contribution to our sense of identity – the sense of identity to SOUTHERN AUCKLAND which houses close to (I researched this further) over 403,000 residents or any where between 26-34% of the region/city population. Metropolitan Zoning for Manukau insults Manukau and her people’s sense of identity that is held by them.
A Metropolitan Zone is:
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.
Note that the term: “makes an important contribution to our sense of identity” is missing for the Metropolitan Centre Zone description? Manukau could be very well threatened in losing that sense of identity so placed as the primary regional hub of a very large park of Auckland.
Again my MANUKAU AS THE SECOND CBD OF AUCKLAND illustrates what Manukau already has in place and how it is ready to go.
The May 14 meeting could prove to be a very lively and fiery exercise if I get to speak to the Committee on this.
More as things develop
BEN ROSS : AUCKLAND
BR:AKL: Bring Well Managed Progress
The Unitary Plan: Bringing Change
Auckland: 2013 – OUR CITY, OUR CALL