Bernard Orsman

Bernard Orsman is Super City reporter for the NZ Herald.

Councillors set to reject density rules

Meeting will consider 18 amendments to plan for suburban mixed housing zone.

Councillor Ann Hartley was happy with the unlimited density rule in the so-called mixed housing urban zone. Photo / NZPA
Councillor Ann Hartley was happy with the unlimited density rule in the so-called mixed housing urban zone. Photo / NZPA

A controversial proposal to allow developers to build unlimited density housing in much of suburban Auckland is set to be rejected by Auckland councillors this week.

Councillor Ann Hartley is unhappy with the latest rules drawn up by council planners for the mixed housing zone, which caused the greatest alarm in public feedback on the draft Unitary Plan.

The latest rules allow for unlimited density in the zone, which has been split into two subzones - a three-storey height limit close to town centres and a two-storey height limit in the suburbs.

Ms Hartley was happy with the unlimited density rule in the so-called mixed housing urban zone, but said allowing unlimited density in the mixed housing suburban zone was unacceptable and undermined what councillors wanted.

She has drawn up 18 amendments to the rules for the mixed housing suburban zone for a three-day meeting of the Auckland Plan committee from tomorrow to wrap up the Unitary Plan for notification.

"I believe I have support to carry the amendments," said Ms Hartley, a member of Mayor Len Brown's inner circle.

Auckland Council's regional planning manager, Penny Pirrit, said she had only just been made aware of Ms Hartley's proposed amendments and would wait until the Auckland Plan meeting to respond.

Richard Burton, spokesman for the Auckland 2040 movement set up to oppose haphazard development, supported the two subzones when they were proposed last month but said the devil would be in the detail.

Yesterday, Mr Burton said the planners were hijacking the process by trying to set the same unlimited density rules for both subzones.

He said the planners' argument for providing enough capacity for growth was wrong because there was a lot of potential in more intensified zones around town centres.

Development should be focused where it was most appropriate, he said, and the mixed housing suburban zone used as a reservoir for possible future development.

Zoning controversy

Mixed housing zone split in two.
*Three-storey zone near town centres, two-storey in suburban areas.
*Planners want unlimited density rules in both zones.
*Councillor Ann Hartley wants to drop unlimited density in suburban zone.

- NZ Herald

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