In June and July a series of guest posts ran on Greater Auckland about Co-housing, and the proposed Co-housing development in Grey Lynn. In summary these posts:

Resource Consent for the scheme was submitted in March, with the application notified to households nearby in June 2018.

Architectural rendering of the proposed Surrey Crescent building as viewed from the south.

Last week the Auckland Council planning report was posted on their website (PDF – 63MB), and unfortunately the planners recommended the scheme not be granted consent. Note importantly, given the scheme was notified, final decisions will not be made by Auckland Council planners, but by an independent hearings panel. Therefore the scheme may yet be granted consent, though the expert planning reports are given a high degree of weight.

However, the planners report does give a good insight into how planning practice operates in Auckland, and how the internal council processes appear to be lagging behind the vision of the Auckland Plan and Unitary Plan.

The development was always going to be contentious, given the proposal is for an apartment style development in the Single House zone, on a site that has a ‘Isthmus A Special Character Overlay’. Therefore the proposal was non-complying with the Unitary Plan rules in a number of ways, including

  • Building height
  • Height in relation to boundary
  • Yard setbacks
  • Maximum building coverage
  • Numbers of parking spaces provided.

As the subject site was over 2400 square metres, it is reasonable that a case could be made for a more intensive development, especially given the site is located on Surrey Crescent, which has a range of apartment and commercial developments.

Google streetview images of development on Surrey Crescent and adjacent streets.

What is interesting, and also rather depressing in the planner recommended the Co-house development be denied consent because of the lack of parking provided. This is from the introduction to their report:

I have concluded that the actual and potential effects of the proposal are on balance unacceptable, with particular regard to parking demand in which I do not consider adverse effects have been minimised, managed or adequately mitigated. Having considered the proposal against the relevant statutory documents and subject to new or contrary evidence being presented at the hearing, it is recommended that the application be refused.

The planning report includes all the detail of the proposal ,including parking and transport matters. The report notes the development intends to provide parking spaces for 10 cars, as well as 25 bicycles. The minimum parking requirements in the Single House zone require one carpark to be provided for each dwelling, and as there are 20 dwellings, 20 carparks need to be provided to comply with the rules. Therefore the development is deemed to have a ‘parking shortfall’ of 10 spaces. The report also notes that according to a survey, Cohaus residents expect to own 14 cars between them, plus 2 carshare spaces are provided for. Therefore up to 6 cars are expected to be parked on the surrounding streets.

Site plan and ground floor layouts of the cohousing proposal within two buildings.

A detailed traffic assessment was conducted by both the applicants consultant traffic engineer (Flow), and reviewed by a consultant traffic engineer (SCON) working for Auckland Council. The consultant traffic engineers report largely informed the conclusions of the planner, and there key findings were as follows:

Flow fails to take into consideration the potential overspill of parking from the Grey Lynn Parking Zone and as AT explained (to SCON): “the additional demand from the Cohaus development might not have a noticeable effect but that doesn’t mean its right to knowingly add to the problem”. SCON totally agrees with AT.

At present there are moderate to high on-street parking shortfalls at all times as observed by SCON and as described in the public submissions. There will be follow on effects from introducing the P120 restrictions in the immediate area and initiating the Grey Lynn Parking Zone further afield. Ultimately, the on-street parking environment will be fully saturated, i.e. demands well exceed the supply and even one additional vehicle seeking parking would result in spreading the effects elsewhere where there is some spare capacity at present. Based on the above discussion SCON’s conclusion is that the additional demand of six vehicles (not likely to reduce to one vehicle as described by Flow) would create adverse effects and the proposal is therefore not acceptable on traffic engineering grounds.

These conclusions seem astonishing when you remember the engineer is talking about a total of 6 extra cars that might be parking in public, on-street parking! What is especially concerning is Auckland Transport’s role in all of this. They are clearly arguing that these 6 theoretical extra cars parking on-street is going to create a big issue. This seems totally at odds with their high level policies and parking strategies, they surely have no mandate to oppose housing based on minor potential parking ‘shortfalls’. If parking is difficult to find, then some residents will likely give up their cars, and instead use public transport, active modes or one of the share-cars that are available. This is a reasonable response in a city, and not something that needs to be dictated by engineers. Unfortunately this is the continuation of a common theme of Auckland Transport failing to ensure all of their many constituent parts are following the high level strategy of Auckland Council, and even their own strategys. They clearly are in need of some internal reform to ensure this occurs.

Location of proposed Cohausing development.

The planners report then uses the traffic engineers conclusions, plus evidence from local residents submissions to come to the following conclusions:

Where intensification is identified in terms of plan provisions, with no minimum or maximum parking requirements, there is an expectation that parking demand will in-part be met by on-street parking. The same can’t be said for the subject site given both parking standards and the density (as permitted) anticipated. This will therefore introduce further (unexpected demand) onto an arguably already stretched, scarce and valued resource.

Given in terms of context, the surrounding infrastructure supports intensification (which I accept), that despite the inherent nature of the development, I consider parking demand and therefore off-site effects are relatively high, despite other modes of transport.

Noting all of above, whilst I don’t necessary consider that this creates an ‘unsafe’ traffic environment, it does affect the efficient functioning of the roading network (in terms of seeking to internalise the effect) and perhaps more importantly the amenity on-street parking, including its convenience for local residents.

The proposed parking across to the site is not considered sufficient to serve the proposed activity and will accommodate expected peak demands for the activity, and will result in overspill that would adversely affect the functioning of surrounding roads, and the amenities of nearby persons. Effects are therefore considered unacceptable.

Again, what is amazing from these conclusions is just how much importance has been given to 6 cars parking on public streets. Saying this impacts on ‘amenity’ is farcical. While I’m not a planner, from my reading of the relevant Unitary Plan sections there is nothing that supports this conclusion. If you want to look yourself, the relevant parking rules are contained in this 50 (!!!!) page section of the Unitary Plan.

Overall this shows just how much far the definition of ‘environment’ and ‘amenity’ has been stretched. It is frankly totally outrageous that minor concerns from local residents about use of a public resource can mean that housing for 20 families can be denied consent. This certainly suggests that more reform of parking policy is required to ensure that goals of improving transport and increasing housing supply are not undermined by arcane discussions in regards to parking.

One key issue this again highlights is that just because high level policy is changed, it doesn’t mean that people charged with implementing the policy change the way they do things. Managers and decision makers at authorities overseeing our transport and planning policy clearly need to work much harder to ensure their goals are reflected in decisions made by their organisation.

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95 comments

  1. OMG neighbours might have a stranger’s car parked in “their” spot. Reading this from my “echoppe” apartment in Bordeaux where hundreds of thousands of homes have no car parking WTF Auckland wake up

  2. This is beyond ridiculous and yet I am no surprised at all. The entire system is broken.

    If this were Germany, then Auckland would still be comprised of several smaller councils and each would get funding based on how many people live in their area. There would be massive incentive for each council to accommodate as many people as possible and at the same time attract people to their area from neighboring regions.

    As it stands, there is zero financial incentive for council to facilitate building more housing, so why would they be interested in making it happen? The incentives are totally perverse so they just keep things as they are. It doesn’t matter to them if you have four $250k apartments or one $1m house and 3 homeless families. They still get the same income. They still get their cut of insane house prices and if short of funds, they can just increase rates.

    Change the financial incentives and ensure a competitive environment and councils will rapidly reform.

  3. So if I’m reading this right, they applied for consent based on having car parks for residents who planned to own 14 cars. I mean…what did they expect? Either we’re OK with people storing their cars on the street as an implied right and it’s fine, or we aren’t and this seems like trying to externalize what is essentially a development cost in an area with limited on-street parking.

    1. I imagine they might have done a bit more self-analysis and possibly looked further down the waiting list for car-free members had they not been led down the garden path by the Council planner initially saying that 0.5 parks per residence was fine.

      My advice would be to have not just a City hop car space but to have a couple of the spaces not allocated to a residence and instead bookable, so you can rent a car, bring it on site overnight to pack before heading for a holiday, etc. Or have a friend visit.

      But that’s by the by. It’s the process that has let them down.

      1. I suppose that is a fairly big problem; especially if we are looking to intensify along LRT corridors which would naturally have fewer spaces. Why be a developer if you can’t count on consistency all the way through the process?

    2. But there shouldn’t be an implied right. 14 people want cars, but there are only 10 parks. That means 4 people will have to park on the street if they can find a park. And if they can’t, isn’t that their own problem?

        1. Only if the existing residents don’t provide their own parking. This is the ridiculousness of it all, applicant A much provide more parking in case they do what everyone else in the neighbourhood already does.

          Also ridiculous is the implicit assumption that it is the councils responsibility to provide and protect on street parking for one group of residents but to avoid and prevent the same for another group. The only difference between the groups is that one lives in houses built before the application date, and the other wants to live in houses built after the application date.

          Why does Joe VIlla have an entitlement to street parking by living in an house designed and built without a driveway, but Jane Cohaus wanting to do exactly the same has no entitelment.

          Logically should we not therefore make it a condition of any planning or resource consent to renovate a villa, that they provide enough off street parking to avoid any impact on the street supply?

    3. As a city, we are fine with people storing their cars on the street, that is why we provide on street parking. The requirement for the single house zone is a single off street carpark where most households actually own more than one car. We expect to have far fewer cars per household than average with nearly all cars we have parked on site.

    4. No. You’re completely missing the point. It is none of AT’s business how many cars the owners think they might use in the future.

      It’s about as relevant as asking the prospective owners how many kids they intend to have and then if they say a couple declining the application because the planner doesn’t think there will be enough bedrooms in the future.

      It’s just non-sensical.

      1. It’s bizzare isnt it, we have a minimum requirement for car parking, but not for far more essential facilities such as bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens or bathrooms. You don’t even need to build a pathway to the footpath, but you do need a driveway.

      2. Declining consent because the street parking is at a capacity, is like declining consent bbecause you intein to have children and the local school is at capacity. David Seymour would love it

  4. Council should think what horrendous 2-storey townhouses they would allow on this site, each with their own double garage, and how many vehicle crossings that would entail. Even the kerbside parking that a standard development here would probably remove is more than 6 spaces, because of all those vehicle crossings.

    Walking or cycling and having to look out for all those multiple vehicle crossings is really dangerous. Where, in Council’s analysis, did they take into account how few vehicle crossings this design will have – one for the villa, and one for the other – what – 19 residences? That they won’t allow something so superior for active mode users but do allow all the MacMansions that have multiple vehicle crossings to multiple off street carparks with no increase in housing stock (thus inducing huge traffic in the city), shows complete ignorance of the larger issues. It’s almost like they don’t understand that parking induces traffic. It’s almost like they don’t understand how dangerous multiple vehicle crossings are.

    Planning decisions like these are part of our safety crisis. How many deaths can we attribute to you, Reporting Planner? You’ve buckled under NIMBY pressure, and safety for children has just been traded for parking. And let’s not forget that the designers proceeded on the basis that the Council planner was initially fine with 0.5 carparks per residence. Nice little game you’re playing, too. Your credibility is shattered.

    1. That’s a great point – is the impact of vehicle crossings on street parking space (and active mode safety) required to be accounted for in the consenting process?

      1. I was hoping someone with planning experience might reply. I can’t see how these effects shouldn’t be considered. And what I see all the time is that they are not.

        The one street in Pt Chev that I think legitimately requires available on-street parking for the general public is Harbour View Rd, where the beach is. People throughout Auckland need access to the beach, and while plenty can and should come by public transport, there will be plenty of families with elderly members or children who really value a park close to the beach.

        Here, kerb space is really important – for both keeping the parking and for the many pedestrians going to and from the beach. The parking should also be dynamically (seasonally) priced to ensure those who value it get it, instead of just first in first served.

        Yet this is an area where Council are allowing development that removes all kerb parking space for developing a small house into a Macmansion with three vehicle crossings, and no new residence! No questions asked. WTF!!

        1. “The parking should also be dynamically (seasonally) priced to ensure those who value it get it”

          As always with pricing proposals, let’s not confuse valuing something with being able to afford to pay for it.

          1. I know. I struggle with that. But I do think that the family with the child with a leg in a cast, or with an elder using a frame – is going to have a bigger chance of getting a close park if the parking is priced.

  5. “There will be follow-on effects from introducing the P120 restrictions in the immediate area and initiating the Grey Lynn Parking Zone further afield.”

    Well, strike me down and run me over. That’s incredible. And yet, yet, when the Pt Chev Placemaking Project asked AT to monitor the parking situation in Pt Chev before and after the Grey Lynn Residential Parking Zone is implemented, we got an initial verbal “No, AT won’t put in a residential parking scheme in Pt Chev” to which we replied “We don’t want one. We want the effect of the Grey Lynn scheme to be monitored so that the effect of the residential parking scheme is understood”. And the ultimate reply was… silence…

    I know – let’s stop development in the inner west to minimise the parking problem, let the residents living there have all the on street parks, and everyone else can live in the nether regions where they have to be car dependent. Yes, it causes marriage breakups. Yes, it causes teen suicide. But, hey, as long as those Grey Lynn lawyers don’t have to compete for an onstreet park, it’s OK.

    1. Without getting too personal about this, if the Cohaus residents wanted to own more parks than there was going to be spaces for then maybe they’re part of the problem? Wanting the feel-good factor of living in such a development but expecting others to make the sacrifices does not seem like a great attitude for a co-housing development.

      1. See my comment above. I guess lots of people are on a journey to a more sustainable lifestyle, and these people are no different. Their ratio of cars per residence is still much lower than in the area, of course. If proper development was allowed in the area, everyone would be shifting in their expectations around driving and parking.

      2. I suppose the other point, Buttwizard, is that if this was a commercial developer, they wouldn’t be able to poll the residents, because they wouldn’t have sold the apartments yet. I imagine you’d want the commercial developer to be able to put in apartments with low numbers of carparks. In both types of development, people who are used to having a car would at some stage rationalise that decision and get rid of it, as long as there’s parking pressure and the other modes work for them. This is a healthy process towards less car dependency and lower vkt.

        What this Council decision is about is trying to isolate the existing residents from having to be part of that rationalising process too, by protecting their use of the public space. That’s what’s not ok.

      3. The survey says there will be 16 cars required. If the survey is accurate.

        The development should provide those 16 car parks.

        It seems irresponsible to use the kerbside parking as permanent parking.

        1. Unless the residence somehow get smarter about how they travel and only realistically requires 10 cars.

          However one issue is how can this be enforced? If one residence someday decided to buy another car and park it on the kerbside?

          That why I think the Japanese system works – forcing new car purchases to be bound to address which provides the parking.

        2. The maximum expected number of cars was 16. We expect to have between 10 and 16. The requirement for single houses here is 1 carpark however many cars you happen to own. If you have a site smaller than 500m2 in this zone, there is no minimum requirement. The previous tenant at the site, a residential care facility housing 25 people and many more staff, reguarly parked as many as 6 cars on the street. Our neighbours here park their cars on the street. Street car parks are there to be used. So no, it is not irresponsible to have a small overflow of cars from a property.

        3. That’s rubbish Kelvin.
          Even if there is a survey or technical report that concludes you need 16 car park spaces AT/AC should let you build none if you want to. Let’s say you built it with no car parks, what would happen?
          1. People who do not own a car and do need parking will move in – Great, less car trips less congestion, emissions, wasted space, etc…
          2. People will move in who own cars and they will find somewhere to store those cars (on-street if there is parking available or off-street e.g. leasing a space) – No issue
          3. People will move in who own cars and take a chance hoping they will be able to find somewhere to store the car. Turns out they can’t. Now they can either get rid of the car and rely on other modes (see 1. great) or they can sell up and move to a property that meets their parking needs (that’s their problem, they knew the risk when they took the property and it didn’t work out for them)
          No reason for AC/AT to get involved in any of this.

          The only reason AT should get involved is if providing parking has negative impacts on the road network that will mean increased costs to society e.g. providing lots of parking, incentivising car travel and worsening congestion, air quality, noise, etc… So they should only be looking at the maximum amount of parking a development should be allowed to provide not the minimum.

      4. ButtWizard69420 if a government entity is going to limit the property right to build -which is what car parking minimums do. Then there should be consideration if the particular externality rule is the best way to manage said externality.

        I would argue that there are far better ways to manage public car parking spaces than arbitrary ‘car parking’ rules. Such as residential car parking permits, time limits and metering.

        Basically car parking minimums is a lazy law from local government, that imposes all the costs onto those who are priced out of housing in the locations where there is the most economic activity (jobs), amenities, public facilities (hospitals, schools…).

        It is rubbish and central government. Phil Twyford, Julie Anne Genter and David Parker should get together to stop it. It would be easy to write National Environmental Standard for the RMA to fix this as Stephen Davis .writes here.
        https://www.greaterauckland.org.nz/2018/09/10/the-low-cost-of-ending-the-high-cost-of-free-parking/

      5. What if they accommodate the other 6 cars by leasing offstreet spaces nearby? Workable, and already happens in Auckland – I did this very satisfactorily when I lived in a city fringe apartment. Any link between an early pre-build prospective residents survey and reality of outcomes is highly spurious, and certainly not a valid reason to refuse consent.

        The real problem is reinforcing car dependency and housing affordability through *any* minimum standards.

        1. We could do that but it would cost a lot and there are plenty of spaces on the street. Why not just use those for now as we transition to an even lower car usage.

    2. I’m glad you said you didn’t want a residential parking zone. To me claiming property rights over public spaces like roads is the worst kind of entitlement. It isn’t Council’s responsibiilty to provide storage for privately-owned vehicles.

      1. Yes. And I’d be interested to see over the next 15 or so years if it is the areas that have the residential parking schemes that are the ones where it’s hardest to put in wider footpaths and cycling and bus lanes, simply because the schemes have entrenched perceptions of ownership.

        I know they can reduce parking problems, but I think the direction is entirely wrong. The correct way forward would be dynamic pricing of the parking. Then public ownership is established, meaning it can be converted to other public uses at any stage.

        1. See my comments further below – there’s no problem having an overnight residents parking zone as long as the residents have to get permits and have to pay for them. The price can simply be set to manage the demand.

          1. We did a survey of parking in area. The demand is for commuters parking here during the day. No parking shortfall in the evenings. AT just did a large survey of the area and recommended no further controls in the immediate area.
            Generally I don’t support residents parking and where it has been implemented so far around Auckland, you see the on-street parking very underused.

          2. That’s a great idea. But currently legislation only allows the Council to cover costs of the scheme. So no pricing to reflect demand is possible.

            And yes I agree, that is f—ing stupid.

          3. goosoid, what’s the history of that legislation? With that restriction in place, there’s no ability for AT to use schemes to pursue the multiple goals of the parking strategy (let alone other aspects of Council and AT plans). Nor is there any incentive to adopt technology to keep their costs down. Has anyone challenged it or tried to change it in recent history, do you know?

  6. I think the appropriate response in case of ‘parking shortfall’ under the Unitary Plan is to require the applicant via condition of consent to pay the cost of AT undertaking a Parking Management Plan under AT’s own Parking Strategy, which will recommend measures such as time limits or pricing to manage the scarce public parking resource. This is a much better approach than turning down housing due to, among other things, a ‘parking shortfall’.

    1. Surely street parking is a first come, first served resource. If you want a guaranteed park, it needs to be on private land! Isn’t this obvious? Or am I missing something?

      1. Yes, no-one has a right to the parking. But even first in – first served free-for-all doesn’t meet the goals of the AT parking strategy:
        1. Prioritise the safe and efficient movement of people, services and goods on the road network.
        2. Facilitate a transformational shift to public transport.
        5. Support place-making, amenity and good urban design outcomes.
        6. Ensure a fiscally responsible approach to providing, managing and pricing parking facilities and that benefits cover costs.

        Priced parking or in some places, removal of the parking, are needed to meet these goals.

        1. Agree for sure. For example, currently the council are spending hundreds of millions on cycle infrastructure that probably wouldn’t be necessary if they just removed parking, painted cycle lanes, and reduced speed limits.
          The parking and road subsidy needs to stop.

          1. I am saying this to offer Council an alternative means to grant RC despite a parking shortfall. I am in favour of getting rid of MPRs altogether but if the regulatory regime dictates that a parking shortfall must be considered, then deferring to AT’s Parking Management Plans under the Parking Strategy is a good means to both grant consent AND implement parking management measures like pricing or time limits.

          2. Yes, good point. When I was riding my bike in Amsterdam a few years ago, what really struck me was how many streets didn’t have any cycle infrastructure but still felt safe. Mostly low speeds and having really narrow streets where driving fast was impossible. Ironically sometimes the on street parking helped narrow the street and slow cars – not that I think that is ideal.

  7. As I and others have said a number of times, this is why we have kids living in cars – the council is artificially restricting supply. I noticed His Worship the Mayor was getting plenty of kudos for going out and counting the homeless yet it is his council that’s in large part causing the housing crises.

    The system of consents and building is completely broken and it needs to be fixed and it needs an actual market. No one told the bakers to bake more bread as our population grew and, to date, I have not seen any shortages of bread at the supermarket. Why? – there is a free market in baking. No one stops the bakers from baking more bread and supplying the increasing demand.

    Compare that to the supply of housing. When the price of something goes up it is a signal to the market to put more resources into that area i.e. build more houses. Yet we have a council that actively prevents that from happening so the supply never matches demand and the price goes up and up. Remove the artificial restrictions on supply and we will get the housing we need at more reasonable prices.

    1. Trouble is, I don’t know if the market will deliver anyway. Take two consented developments on Great North Rd in Pt Chevalier. One – for 48 apartments plus daycare plus new clubrooms – is ‘in limbo’ because the market’s not quite right. The other – for 95+ apartments – has been on the market (mainly pitched at overseas investors) but now its website has suddenly disappeared, and there’s no answer to its email address.

      The only developments in Pt Chev actually going ahead are the Housing New Zealand ones – 114 homes in 5 developments. Thanks HNZ. If it wasn’t for you, the only development we’d be seeing would be the small house to mansion renovations.

      1. I think Heidi, the question is why is housing different to any other thing that the market delivers – such as bread, cars, or computers? If there is a market (and some below have highlighted some important issues blocking that) then why will it not deliver what people actually want. The HNZ development you point is going ahead because central government can over-ride local government – a luxury no one developer has.

      2. ‘Trouble is, I don’t know if the market will deliver anyway.’
        Bingo! Right now we can see the market delivering high end apartments, but the feasibility of mid priced apartments is so so marginal or non- existent much of the time.
        It’s why Kiwibuild is so desperately needed.

    2. A free market isn’t some magic entity that will solve the housing problem. It’ can’t.
      However, it does create an environment for people to come up with the best ideas and solutions, to take risks and deliver on it in the most efficient way.

      However, a free market needs to be free in the first place in order to properly operate. This was National’s problem. They left it to a broken system to fix the housing problem and nothing changed. Big surprise. We don’t really have a free market.

      We have such a complex system of overlapping distortions that prevent much progress in the housing front.

      – A council that has no financial incentive to increase the number of homes in a region and generally obstructs intensification and any development other than car dependent development.
      – At the same time, a council that restricts freeing up rural land.
      – A rates system that incentivises car parks and golf courses over more intensive development.
      – A banking and tax system that favours holding property for capital gain and encourages foreign speculation.
      – Transport standards that encourage car dependence.
      – A transport system that heavily subsidizes trucks.
      – An education system that leads to demographic flight to certain schools, exacerbating house prices.
      – A country that doesn’t have the private capital to invest in more effective production systems because all our wealth is tied up in housing.
      – A small country that doesn’t have enough workers, nor the scale to sustain a developed construction industry.
      – A duopoly on construction supplies keeping prices high.
      – A construction standards systems heavily influenced by said duopoly.
      – A construction industry stuck in the past, still building basically the same product in the same way as 100 years ago.
      – Population growth in Auckland that is driving rents upwards.

      All these factors (and others) are constraints on the market that discourage building and limit anyone from doing a better job, building more houses or cheaper houses.

      Quite frankly it’s all rather depressing.

      1. Sadly I I think there are a lot more – for example you didn’t mention the building code which causes us to build really bad houses at a significantly higher cost.
        The worst part is that none of this has been addressed by this government or the last one, even though we have a housing shortage. It must be quite obvious to anyone with any knowledge of economics that the housing shortage has been completely caused by over the top government and council regulations!

      2. Completely agree with all your points Ari.

        I would add willful ignorance by many in society too.

        I saw this on Twitter reference to US pro-YIMBY article last night which kind of illustrates a problem in NZ too. The tweet/article could be summarised as;

        “The stubborn rejection of empirical reality, by anti-housing activists has characteristics of ideologically motivated refusals to accept evidence in other contexts, such as climate change or the safety of vaccines.”

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2018/09/18/why-do-so-many-affordable-housing-advocates-reject-law-supply-demand/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.66eb1d6c8b78

        1. Maybe we should have a suburb by suburb vote whether to have a free market or regulation? But lets not just stop at housing – the council will also tell you what you can eat, wear, drive, etc.
          If people want the to be protected from the big bad open market by the council, why stop at housing?

          1. What if Local government reversed the arbitrary restrictions on newly constructed assets? From new houses to new vehicles?

            So a new vehicle purchaser (and also subsequently when the vehicle’s registration was renewed) had to show they had also purchased/leased a private car parking space for said vehicle?

            I believe that is the case in parts of Japan.

  8. I live in Grey Lynn, I enjoy the character of the place and all the cute wee villas…but what a load of nonsense in the first place, giving pretty much 85% of the whole Western Suburbs over to Single House and Special Character overlay.

    Please someone show me another large City where a single storey limit is imposed on multiple inner city suburbs, on relatively good transport routes and only a few Kms from the CBD?

    May as well turn this whole area into a gated community, maybe even a City State, or the Museum of 1950’s Auckland’.

    I’m very much a Heritage protectionist, but lets actually protect specific buildings or rows of buildings, not protect undefined special characters that have some self imposed height limit.

  9. Where even one car park is mandated per dwelling the vehicle crossing usually requires the loss of one streetside car park. Providing vehicle storage is a horrific waste of space, and therefore economic efficiency in intensely occupied areas. Car parking provision should be deprioritised. For those reliant on streetside car parking they must be continually made aware, that this provision is a contestable use of public land, not a right. As such, whenever alternative uses of that portion of a public road are identified, then public good, shall determine that allocation of space.

  10. When the people making the final decisions about these developments are the same demographic as the average nimby, don’t be surprised when you get these outcomes.

  11. The council pretend they want more people to use PT and they want more houses built . But really they are just a crooked, lying, waste of space.
    And not only was this declined, but on top of this it seems there were a whole lot of ‘expert’ reports ‘required’, no doubt costing a fortune.
    Just let people build stuff without trying to find reasons to stop them you bunch of numpties.

  12. What is most frustrating is that the residential parking standards for the Single House zone are based on the assumption that all SHZ properties are in the low density peripheral urban areas which aren’t well served by public transport.

    However, the Single House zone has also been used in all of the inner city urban areas with Special Character overlays (Grey Lynn, Herne Bay, Parnell etc etc). These SHZ zoned properties have great PT services and rub shoulders with high intensity zones like the Terraced Housing & Apartment zone, Mixed Use Zone and various Business Centre zones, all of which promote zero parking for residential activities.

    More and more, Council’s planners seem to be adopting a paint by numbers approach rather than focussing on good outcomes. It’s as though they can’t comprehend that the Unitary Plan (like any plan) as it’s flaws, and that sometimes you have to break a few rules to get a good outcome that gives effect to the higher order direction of the UP.

  13. Reading the submissions is depressing. Amongst the ‘nays’ were a couple in the 4-storey apartment building across the road on Surrey Cres (said building pictured in the photo montage above of neighbours, at top left, above), where the “majority of apartments have one secure carpark within the complex on ground level.” This couple had given a testimonial about their own place: The couple “chose to completely change their lifestyle when, they moved from an architecturally designed home at Muriwai beach into an inner city apartment. The couple listed the commute and the large amount of maintenance necessary on their beachfront property as their main reasons to move, before choosing The Isaac Building in Grey Lynn.”

    So they are not opposed to intensification. They understand why it’s a good thing to provide housing closer to town. They presumably just think that people can’t live without cars and parking.

    Submitters: if Auckland follows the pattern of The Isaac Building, with one car per residence, there will be too many cars on our roads, too much danger for vulnerable road users, carbon emissions and road runoff problems, and the cost of the apartments will be that much higher (generally $65,000 or more in this area) thus further excluding younger people. Have you thought through what sort of natural and transport environment and housing stock you are leaving for your grandchildren?

  14. I am extremely disappointed that this innovative housing project has been rejected on the basis of outdated and discredited planning bias. The Government, Council, Economists, and Planners are all telling us we have a housing crisis. That to solve this we need massive change in how we deliver housing. This will require innovative solutions. Their words. However when faced with an innovative solution the planner makes a decision based firmly in the past. This decision imposes a serious credibility problem for the Council. This decision clearly signals that Council talk of innovation and intensification is just b.s. without a corresponding change in council descision outcomes.

  15. To me while the ground is definitely tilted against the development.
    The proposed residents can fully control their own destiny.

    They can easily decide which ones of them will agree to not require a dedicated car park,
    until the maximum of 10 car parks [or even less] is reached. Formally document that agreement and submit the changes to the council, likely at the independent hearing.

    Then the parking issue is “dealt with” as far as the consents go. No further action required. Its not off the table.

    Of course, what happens with parking once the units are built and residents move in and their priorities change is not something the council typically cares a jot about with most consents. So if for instance some decide they need a car and park it on the street? No different than the thousands of other dwelling consents constructed in Auckland each year.

  16. The new apartment development in Orakei has 2.5 carparks per apartment. And it’s literally right next to a train station that is one stop to Britomart.

    So you could argue that one park per apartment would still be a considerable improvement on the status quo.

    1. They look absolutely stunning. About time. The Herald article says they’re on a 7395 ha site, which I assume is 7395 m2. Interesting that an upmarket development in Pt Chevalier “On Point” is being marketed at the moment. Same number of apartments (1 more actually, at 33) – but on only about 1320 m2, less than a fifth of the area, and there aren’t many carparks, which you have to pay for separately… I wonder why they couldn’t do more in Orakei – hardly going to cut anyone’s sun. And they could treble the number of apartments while keeping the carpark numbers the same, therefore not adding any more traffic (given its location). I guess it’s local politics.

      1. They may ‘look stunning’ but they are also going to be incredibly expensive. Very disappointing outcome – could have got much much more density on that site.

    1. Can’t fault it on equity grounds, which turned out to be so important in discussing the fuel tax. Therefore it should be feasible politically. Ha ha.

      1. Personally I think congested public road spaces in whatever form (roads,parking) should be allocated by pricing -that is the fairest and most effective way to allocate scarce resources.

        For instance, why should taxis, Uber, Lyft etc get to freely use congested roads (they would not need to park). This will get worse if autonomous cars ever come into the city environment.

        But I did think it was interesting about rules for charging for private parking i.e. only in daily charges (not longer periods), discounts for arriving before and leaving after peak travel periods.

        1. Road space comprises of so much more then that allocated to powered vehicles. All road space should be periodically scrutinised to holistically determine an allocation of “greatest public good”. Foot paths, linear open lingering space, cycleways, motorised vehicle space. Only then space allocated to motorised vehicle transit, storage and if applicable any trading activity should be subjected to market forces pricing.

  17. Absurd.

    No one has the right to expect to park on public roads for free, including existing residents in the area.

    The mitigation is simply for the Council/AT to price the on-street parking space to manage the demand.

    The on-road parking spaces should be making a return on their asset value anyway.

    AT/Council can either:
    a) put in 24/7 parking meters in place to manage demand.
    b) keep daytime parking free and charge residents for a permit for on-street dedicated “residents” overnight parking spots from about 9pm to 7am.

    The RMA is being so poorly implemented.

    1. Yes that’s what strikes me as well: when did planners decided that the effects of development on onstreet parking were best managed by declining consent for housing? Rather than, say, pricing parking?

      AT has a parking strategy that commits to implementing demand-side measures when parking demand is high. If demand increases, prices will increase. It seems to me that effects on onstreet parking is not a valid reason for denying consent in the urban area where AT proactively manage parking.

      Why have AC and ATs advisors not considered ATs own parking strategy?

      1. “Why have AC and ATs advisors not considered ATs own parking strategy?”
        Why indeed Stu? Why when AC were contemplating spending $30m on a new car parking building in Takapuna did they not do the same? In this case they ignored about six of the prescribed criteria.
        Why when I brought the matter to the attention of the Mayor and ceo’s of AC and AT did they not even bother to reply?
        Currently I don’t believe that AT has much of a desire to deliver much of what they have said they will unless it involves cars and roads.

      2. Personally, I don’t even know why traffic generation effects or parking effects are a consideration in the RMA. The intention of the RMA was to protect the natural environment not protect frivolous crap like on-street parking spaces…The thing about traffic effects (and parking too) is that you are only exposed to the ‘effect’ by being part of the problem. No one is entitled to on-street parking – I’d venture to say to hell with it, let the parking get completely over capacity and then people might shift to other modes. At least in Grey Lynn they’ve got some options. An ultimately, isn’t this the developers and purchasers risk… if you want to buy an apartment with no parking, fill your boots.

        1. The RMA seems to be able to be used in a ‘pick and mix’ style to suit the status quo car dependent sprawl mindset anyway. It should be being used to support intense inner development on the basis that the per household traffic and parking consequences are lower than in lower density development on the outskirts. It should be being used to support developments with no parking and therefore no vehicle crossings, on the basis that this provides contiguous footpaths and is better for active mode users.

          1. Yeah, this is the thing, nobody would disagree that on balance, the ‘wider transport network’ effects of intensification are positive (activities within walking and cycling distance, ability to leverage off existing PT, if you do use a car, it is a shorter journey etc) however planners, commissioners and even EC judges get hung up on the ‘local traffic effects’. Look at the big picture people, otherwise we’ll end up with more greenfields residential subdivisions on the outskirts of Auckland.

    1. Absolutely right. The only truly honest system would be to widen the footpaths or provide bike paths, so that there is NO room for ANY cars at all to park on the street, and if you want to park a car, then you have to do this on or within your own property. Makes total sense (is this what they do in most of Tokyo?). It means that you have to pay for your own parking through your own rates etc – or you can build on all your property and have a bigger house instead. Or if you are really clever, you build a parking space on your property and rent it out to others, so it is now a source of income. Works for me!

  18. The problem here does not lie with the consents planner. They are administrating the Unitary Plan, probably correctly. After all, although this is an excellent proposal it represents an intensity of development akin to the Mixed Housing Urban zone rather than the Single house zone. This is therefore a ‘high risk’ application.
    The problem lies with the Unitary Plan. This area and corridor had to provide higher density zoning all night long. But it didn’t.. ,

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