Development challenges created by Tauranga's tighter streetscapes and shrinking section sizes are being investigated in a special rules review by the city council.

The review of the infrastructure development code aimed to avoid unusual sights like the so-called wonky footpath at The Lakes.

"The problem is getting everything to fit in smaller spaces," Tauranga Property Developers Forum chairman Jeff Fletcher said.

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He said the forum was being consulted on the challenges of smaller streetscapes and more intensive development and wanted to come up with workable solutions for everyone.

The review had moved to dealing with future issues linked to a tighter urban environment and he envisaged the work would be finished within 12 months.

City Transformation Committee chairman councillor Larry Baldock said smaller road berms and narrower sections meant the review of the development code would include the rule of one street tree fronting each lot.

He said it was creating difficulties for infrastructure and difficulties with the species of tree being chosen to plant in berms.

"There is almost a bow wave of costs going forward."

A bus trip by councillors earlier this year looked at some inappropriate planting of trees in growth areas like Papamoa, Pyes Pa and Bethlehem

In one area of Papamoa, he saw pohutukawa trees planted on very skinny berms, sometimes in groups of two or three.

"You only have to think forward 10 years," Mr Baldock said.

"We don't want concrete laid over the top of services but as we get into a more compact city and smaller sections, we need to look at what we are inheriting from developers."

Mr Baldock said some of the code was pretty boring. It was the more touchy-feely stuff above the ground, like moving away from one tree per section frontage, that would be of community interest.

Boffa Miskell planning consultants partner Craig Batchelar said as intensification led to less outdoors space on sections, the streetscape became more important for the quality of the living environment.

Narrower streets meant they were no longer thoroughfares but designed for a mixture of cars and people.

"We are trying to make it tighter but not lose that environmental quality - that is how I see it."

Councillor Catherine Stewart said the bus tour highlighted the planting of inappropriate species, unhealthy specimens and too many trees.

Some well-established trees were already lifting footpaths in Bethlehem, and at The Lakes she saw how trees were creating visibility problems for drivers.

"There is a tsunami of problems heading our way - it's all over the place."

The callery pear trees accommodated by the wonky footpath at The Lakes would grow up to be quite big and she foresaw problems for traffic and pedestrians.

"They are a very pretty tree in the right place."