Latest in the Unitary Plan Hearings on the Rezoning Topic
From Radio NZ:
Auckland’s density housing saga rumbles on
The political revolt against some of Auckland Council’s higher density housing proposals may have scored only a partial victory.
The Independent Hearings Panel (IHP) considering the city’s Unitary Plan says the council’s previously-lodged arguments for higher density will remain before it, and can be argued by other submitters.
The rules of how the Unitary Plan hearing will work have begun to emerge a week after a majority of councillors voted to withdraw parts of the higher density argument for the eastern suburbs.
The councillors had responded to a community meeting of 700 in Kohimarama and lobbying that argued up-zonings that allowed three-storey townhouses or apartments were out of order.
While the vote went 13-8 in favour of withdrawing part of the case, it is the IHP which sets the rules, and it has wide powers on what it can consider.
In an exchange of formal documents yesterday, IHP chair judge David Kirkpatrick made it clear that the council’s evidence, including portions to be withdrawn, would remain in play.
“The evidence that you [the council] refer to in your memo will be staying on the AUPIHP website and any party is free to refer to, or adopt, the material of another party as part of the presentation of their case,” he directed.
RNZ News understands at least one submitter is considering adopting the contentious part of the council’s case.
……Judge Kirkpatrick could not give that assurance.
“It is essential that a person giving expert evidence does so on an independent basis, and not affected by the position of the submitter calling that witness,” he wrote in a second memo.
A spokesman for the council would say only that it was reviewing its position for the affected hearings, which begin on Monday.
It must decide whether to allow staff to appear, with the risk they may be questioned on areas overturned by the councillor vote, or to prevent staff from arguing any aspect of residential re-zoning.
It was also not clear whether the panel can, or would, choose to order council witnesses to appear.
At issue are re-zonings deemed to be “out of scope”, that is, changes made that were not called for previously in submissions.
But even that is uncertain. It is the IHP that will rule during the next two months what is in or out of scope.
Full article and source: http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/regional/297876/auckland’s-density-housing-saga-rumbles-on
So the Panel has effectively decided and in effect go over the top of the Governing Body of Auckland Council by allowing the Out-of-Scope material to remain in play and submitters like myself to draw on it if we wish to do so.
Looking at it while Council witnesses might have issues for me it means no need for a rewrite of evidence on the rezoning. But the challenge on the Metropolitan Centres continues in getting them to take up a higher brunt of the intensification load.
So a partial victory to the NIMBY’s given the above and the Prime Minister not ruling out intervention? I say a full-blown loss has happened.