Changes to district plan rules

The Central Otago district plan is about to get a shake-up.

A comprehensive suite of changes to the way Central Otago’s residential areas are zoned and managed is to be released to the public for feedback.

In a report, council principal policy planner Ann Rodgers said the residential chapter of the Central Otago district plan had not been subject to a full review since it was originally drafted in 1998.

Only minor alterations had been made as a result of private plan change requests.

Plan change 19 would change that and bring the policy in line with national planning standards, she said.

"We’ve basically gone for low, medium and large-lot residential."

The change had been driven by and was intended to implement the direction set out in the Vincent and Cromwell spatial plans, in relation to the district’s residential areas.

"We’re heading towards this spatial planning driving what we do."

Central Otago district councillors approved the public notification of the proposed plan change 19 at a meeting of the Central Otago District Council last week.

They also approved releasing medium-density residential guidelines for public consultation.

The plans have been prepared by the council in response to demand for residential land and housing affordability concerns, and to plan for anticipated growth over the next 30 years.

Taking the spatial plans into account, the plan change involved rezoning new land for residential use, identifying some areas for future growth and aligning existing residential zoning with proposed new zones, and included new provisions for managing land use and subdivision within the residential zones, Ms Rodgers said.

Plan change 19 would replace the current section 7 residential resource area of the district plan with a new residential zone section.

It would also amend the planning maps to rezone land in line with what had been identified in the Vincent and Cromwell spatial plans and reflect the new zone names.

Cr Martin McPherson said the guidelines were well overdue and would lead to changes in the style of new housing, particularly in response to the affordability of housing in Central Otago.