Housing plan changes delayed

Photo: ODT files
Photo: ODT files
Changes to Dunedin’s new district plan, to address the city’s shortfall in housing capacity, have been delayed by six months.

A plan change for the Dunedin City Council’s second generation plan (2GP) looked at a possible rezoning of undeveloped land and ways to encourage higher density development in existing residential areas.

It was intended be notified last month, but the changes were delayed in part due to the Covid-19 lockdown and the rate of progress on 2GP appeals that needed to be resolved before notification.

A report to be discussed by the council’s planning and environment committee on Tuesday said about 30 appeals had been lodged with the Environment Court which related to wanting to rezone land under the plan.

Policy planner Emma Christmas said in the report it was important all informal discussion or mediation on the appeals was finished before the changes were notified or else it could cause significant delays to increasing housing supply.

‘‘It is important that informal discussion and/or mediation on these appeals is concluded and that any agreements that can be reached are lodged with, and approved by the court via consent order, prior to the notification of Variation 2 [plan changes].’’

The revised notification date is February 3 in 2021.

The plan change will include new areas of greenfield zoning, new areas of medium density zoning, and policy and rule changes that will allow some additional development in existing residential areas.

Options being assessed include removing restrictions around tenancy of family flats, reducing the minimum site size in some residential areas and increasing the flexibility of development by allowing an averaging of minimum site sizes.

The council initiated variation 2 on February 12 last year.

The purpose of the change was to identify targeted actions to address the shortfall in housing capacity over the next 10 years, in order to meet the council’s obligations under the National Policy Statement for Urban Development.

The report said significant work had been done and staff were at the final stage of evaluating options for zoning.

Council staff would nowtalk to owners of the possible greenfield sites as well as finalising drafts.



Of course it is. We wouldn't expect anything less from this Council.

In this case, it's not the Council. The provisions as written will help to relieve the pressure on housing that is already here and will get worse over the next decade; the reason it's been delayed is because people affected by zoning changes are able to lodge an appeal against it, and those appeals are still outstanding due to a number of factors including COVID (and the glacial speed of any RMA/Environmental Court decision). As soon as the appeals are finished, the plan (with any Variations arising from the appeals) will be operative and the new housing rules will be in place.

This should be a major priority. Never mind the rising cost to the struggling home buyers... because the lazy decision makers, who are supposed to care, don't really care right? Six months from now, existing homes will have gone up yet another 10%. And even after approval, it will be two years before the first house is even built..

The "lazy decision makers" are waiting on decisions from the Environment Court, mediation involving the people who have appealed the plan (see my reply to another comment on this article), and general bureaucratic red tape from Central Government and the Legislation. They *want* these provisions in place, it's not Council delaying them.



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