Last week the council released its preliminary position on zoning changes to for the Unitary Plan. The focus has predictably been on the changes to residential areas with those opposed to providing housing claiming high rises are about to sprout across the suburbs. Despite the noise the changes allowed are actually fairly minor with over 77% of Auckland still limited to two storeys and another 17% limited to three storeys.
Looking at the maps over the last week I’ve noticed a couple of other interesting changes.
The addition of Light Rail
Light rail was only announced by Auckland Transport at the beginning of the year and it seems the council have been quick to add it to the maps but interestingly not all of it. AT’s current light rail plans would over time see tracks laid down Sandringham Rd, Dominion Rd, Mt Eden Rd and Manukau Rd with the first two using Queen St and the latter two using Symonds St.
The new maps show light rail but most interestingly not all of it. Only the route down Dominion Rd then Denbigh Ave/Stoddard Rd (to a depot) is shown in full. In addition is a spur down New North Rd to Kingsland train Station but the rest of Sandringham Rd along with Mt Eden Rd and Manukau Rd are not shown. The Queen St and Dominion Rd to Stoddard Rd sections line up with the first two stages AT list on their website however the section to Kingsland is only included with the whole Sandringham Rd line.
My understanding is AT are looking at bringing forward the extension to Kingsland as a way of mitigating some the impact that will be caused by CRL construction works and full trains that may otherwise be leaving people behind.
I’m not overly worried about some lines being missing as due to them being in the road corridor I imagine it’s much easier to add light rail than it is other changes.
You may also notice the CRL doesn’t seem to show the connection from the east although again that may just be an error as we know it’s consented and AT’s train plans show it as essential.
A much bigger change from a land use perspective is a large extension of industrial land around Manukau. In the original plans the land to the west of SH20 and along SH20B is listed as Rural Production as shown below.
In the new maps this land has been changed to light industry as you can see.
I wonder if this will foreshadow the NZTA claiming they suddenly need to spend hundreds of millions upgrading SH20B
There’s also an extension of Light industry to the north of Ascot Rd and west of Kirkbride Rd. In the original plan only the area bordering Kirkbride Rd was listed as Light Industry. The black dotted line is a revised Rural/Urban boundary.
In the North there is a lot more Future Urban land around Dairy Flat that has been zoned for as the two maps below show (Future Urban land is Yellow while the brown is Countryside Living.
Any other big changes you’ve noticed?