Consultation feedback – December 2015

There were 145 submissions from individuals and organisations:

  • 140 submissions from residents in the Karori community using the feedback forms, completed online, emailed or posted, to us.
  • 5 submissions from community groups and/or organisations (Karori Association; New Zealand Social Enterprise Ltd; Victoria University; Architectural Centre; and Johnsonville Community Association).

What you told us – summary

The main messages from the public consultation are:

  • Many submitters raised concerns about the operating capacity of the existing infrastructure (mainly the transport corridor, but also Three Waters and potential compromised town centre functionality).
  • Many submitters noted that while a medium-density residential area might be acceptable in Karori, we need an integrated approach to ensure existing infrastructure constraints are resolved before advancing with the medium-density housing (MDH) proposal.
  • Several constructive suggestions relating to refinements of the draft boundary – often based around topography and proximity to the town centre.
  • Still some concerns around the overall build quality of the developments.
  • Many respondents were happy that 3 storeys is not the baseline for much of the proposed area. However several also suggest 3 storeys could be appropriate in immediate proximity to the town centre.
  • Suggestions about building recession planes.
  • Medium-density housing developments should provide off-street car parking.

Responses to the questions

Some more detailed responses to the questions.

Q. Draft medium-density residential area boundary – is the area too big or too small? Are there areas we should include or exclude?

Many good and constructive suggestions were provided. The majority of submissions either did not support the draft boundary or sought reduction to the overall size and/or boundary placement.

Draft boundary Percentage of submitters Number of submitters
Disagree with the draft boundary* 21% 29
Boundary generally acceptable, with suggested reductions 33% 48
Agree with draft boundary 24% 35
Boundary generally acceptable, with suggested expansion 14% 21
No comment on boundary 8% 12

* In most cases, where 8% submitters didn’t respond to this question, it can be inferred they also oppose the boundary in principle, as many later discussed problems with the existing roading infrastructure and limitations with the town centre.

Suggested reductions to the draft boundary were mostly based on concerns regarding character and roading constraints. Similarly, suggestions to increase the boundary, generally related to proximity to the town centre and public transport and/or available viable land that hadn’t been included in the proposed boundary.

Overall, many submissions added to the discussion and constructively suggested potential changes to the draft boundary.

Q. Draft MDRA standards – do the proposed standards achieve balance between enabling density and helping to manage the effects of development on others?

Most submissions believe the standards achieve the right balance, and in particular, generally support the proposed building height and parking standards.

The proposed building standards with the most support included:
 

  • Restrict building height generally to 8m, with allowance to 10.4m on some wide roads or close to town centre
  • Requirement to have onsite car parking
  • Setting a maximum site coverage allowance and a requiring a minimum open space area for each unit
  • Building recession planes
  • 3m front yard setback.

However some submitters were concerned about the impact some changes to building design standards would have on local character and loss of sunlight on adjoining properties.

The proposed building standards with the least support were:
 

  • Building recession planes on the southern boundary – many would like this kept at a 45° angle (as it is now)
  • Absence of controls regarding stormwater runoff and impervious surfaces
  • Some wanted slightly less site coverage
  • Some consider the draft standards to be too conservative and would like more relaxed building standards to enable greater levels of development (e.g. additional height and/or site coverage).

Q. Do the provisions give enough certainty for landowners and potential developers?

Most submitters chose not to respond this question – seemingly due to concerns with the existing roading infrastructure constraints. Where submitters did respond, it was mainly to note that the draft provisions gave more certainty to developers, rather than residents.

Q. What other provisions would you apply, and why?

 In general there was limited feedback to this question. However some responses added to the discussion, including:

  • Create design guidance specific to Karori, which takes the existing local character into account
  • Introduce a permeable surface requirement to help manage stormwater
  • Allow for more intensive housing next to the Karori town centre
  • Concern about housing development on VUW campus
  • Narrow the boundary, with more focus on the bus transit corridor.

Next steps

We will continue to engage with key stakeholders in the Karori community as we work through the consultation results.