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Dunedin city councillor Colin Weatherall says the harbourside issue may be closer to resolution following developments last week.
He said a proposal by Chalmers Properties would be considered by the council and other parties involved, and the issue could still be resolved without an Environment Court hearing.
The harbourside plan change has been grinding through the court process for over a year.
The issue began in 2005, when the council initiated a district plan change allowing the harbourside to be redeveloped with apartments, tree-lined boulevards, bars and cafes.
The proposal, described as a 50-year vision, was developed by the council and Port Otago's property investment subsidiary, Chalmers Properties Ltd, which owns much of the land.
The change of zoning was to have provided a platform for developers to move in and invest in the area, but following heavy criticism, the council has withdrawn several aspects of the plan.
Cr Weatherall told a full council meeting this week the council had 28 days from last Friday to respond to Chalmers Properties.
"I remain relatively confident we can resolve the key matters."
He said those matters had to remain private because of the court process.
If the matter had to go to the Environment Court, October was the earliest that could happen.