DCC hazard rules could hit property prices

David Benson-Pope
David Benson-Pope
Proposed new rules designed to protect Dunedin from natural hazards could also lower property prices in some parts of the city, the Dunedin City Council says.

Details of the new approach - which was set to be released for public consultation - were unveiled at a council media conference this morning.

The council has proposed using new "hazard overlay zones'' to help shape its second generation district plan, which controls development across in the city.

The new hazard zones, based on information prepared by the Otago Regional Council, identified areas of the city susceptible to flooding, landslides, tsunamis and other natural hazards, including climate change.

The DCC, which was responsible for managing land use and natural hazards, planned to use the information to introduce new restrictions on development in some hazard-prone areas of the city.

That could see new homes in coastal areas required to be relocatable, to respond to future rising sea levels, while new minimum floor heights were introduced for areas susceptible to flooding, among other changes.

There would also be restrictions on more intensive development in South Dunedin, which faced problems associated with rising groundwater, briefing documents released by the DCC showed.

The proposed changes had "significant implications'' for the city, with about 8600 of the city's 46,600 homes to be affected "in one way or another'', the documents said.

That included "the potential to affect property values and insurance'', although much of the information was already in the public domain, it said.

However, DCC city development policy planner Sally Dicey stressed the main impact would be felt by new developments, rather than existing ones.

The proposed new rules would be subject to public consultation beginning on June 24, and DCC planning and regulatory committee chairman Cr David Benson-Pope said the council wanted to hear from its community.

Local knowledge would be "very important'' to refine the process, and the council wanted to know if it had struck the right balance in trying to protect people and property, he said.

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