#citizenplanners Would Have Avoided an Auckland Transport Bermagedon Cock Up #AKLPols

Auckland Transport does it again

 

In being absolutely tone deaf in listening to communities to the topical issue of planting berms.

 

From Stuff:

Berm gardens to be banned under tough new rules video

Roadside gardens are to be outlawed in Auckland, with residents forced to apply for a $150 licence if they want to deviate from strict new rules being proposed by the city’s transport authority.

Local boards have expressed written concern to Auckland Transport (AT) over its tough new stance on berm gardens.

AT’s draft rules effectively put the kibosh on planting of berms, a use some Aucklanders make of the spare bit of land in front of their properties.

Berms hit the headlines two years ago when the council announced it would no longer mow the grass verges in the central suburbs.

Under AT’s new regulations all that will be allowed on berms are plants no higher than 30cm around trees and mailboxes, and over a total area of no more than two square metres.

Vegetable plants will not be permitted, and fruit trees are to be banned because it’s claimed they attract vermin.

“Back berms” – an area on the other side of the footpath closest to a house – may be planted, but only to a height of 60cm.

If the homeowner wants to do anything outside these prescriptive regulations they must pay $150 to apply for a licence, which they may or may not get.

Mt Eden berm gardener and co-ordinator of the On The Verge Facebook page, Denise Bijoux, says the $150 licence is “just ridiculous”.

“If Auckland Council is wanting to be a ‘yes’ council and it’s got this whole empowered enabling communities approach, then they need to get AT doing that too because what they’ve proposed is anything but.

“It’s a totally unnecessary thing to turn into a thing.”

The central city Waitemata Local Board has told AT the planned rules are “excessively restrictive” and fail to recognise the significant benefits of berm planting, such as creating bee-friendly corridors.

“In handing over responsibility for the berms in terms of mowing we need to be give people some more options than just planting grass,” deputy chair Pippa Coom said.

The board was trying to encourage AT to start from a more supportive standpoint, she said.

“You can do that by giving people criteria that actually make sense, rather than punishing them for not getting a licence.

……..

Full article: http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/73074873/berm-gardens-to-be-banned-under-tough-new-rules

 

I know the Deputy Mayor is most not impressed with Auckland Transport over this new hardline. Deputy Mayor Hulse has said she would rather see a basic framework so road users are not put at risk (a tree on the corner of an intersection blocking view sights being an example) but would allow residents and communities to plant and maintain their berms as they see fit.

 

I agree and would do something a bit like this for urban Auckland:

  • Basic framework to give a clear outline on what you can or can not do
  • Under 50cm high plants you are free to do
  • Over 50cm you pay a $10 admin fee for a permit to allow higher plants. This would allow Auckland Transport to keep a file and allow a periodic inspection to make sure the plant isnt contravening the framework. Remember larger plants can run a risk impairing at the minimum a line of sight along the road corridor either for pedestrians/cyclists and motor traffic

For rural Auckland I am more inclined for no restrictions apart from intersection line of sights and any fire restrictions that might be in place.

 

As Auckland intensifies using dud land such as a grass berm for food or even flowers (bee food) just seems more logical. It is making not only better use of our space but also supports nature including handling storm water run off better than a grass berm ever would. I see this as win for Auckland so what on Earth Auckland Transport is harping on about especially with vermin (err lets ban parks then).

 

Get a grip Auckland Transport although this proves a case of needing the Citizen Planner.

 

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