More Port Hills properties now red zone

By Brendan Manning

The earthquake damaged Christchurch City Central 'Red Zone'. Photo / NZH
The earthquake damaged Christchurch City Central 'Red Zone'. Photo / NZH

A zoning review in Christchurch's Port Hills has resulted in 237 properties being reclassified from green zone to red zone, and 33 going from red to green.

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee made the announcement today, saying it would give property owners certainty and provide options for people to move on from areas posing a serious risk to life.

Zoning in the Port Hills is based on life risk from rock roll or cliff collapse. Owners of eligible properties in the Residential Red Zone may decide to accept a Crown offer to purchase the affected properties.

Mr Brownlee conceded he was conscious it had been a long and frustrating wait for Port Hills property owners.

"We had to wait for clarification from the courts about our zoning process, and we needed to make absolutely sure the final zoning decisions are correct, not just for those who live in the area now, but to protect people in the future.

"Some of the property owners had indicated they wanted their land zoning to change from its initial status. But many did not actively seek a review, and it is these people who may be surprised by the outcomes of today's announcement.

"Since last evening, CERA has been endeavouring to call all property owners who asked for a change to their property's zoning, or whose land zoning has changed, to advise them of the outcome, and to provide them with the best possible support and opportunities to attend face to face meetings for more information on their personal situations.''
Of the properties that had changed in the review, nine were originally zoned red and the former owners had settled with the Crown.

The former owners had the option of buying purchasing back their properties from the Crown, Mr Brownlee said.

A further nine properties that would be rezoned green were previously eligible for a Crown offer as red zone properties.

The owners of those properties were able to continue with that offer process if they choose to, despite their properties changing to be zoned green.

The zoning review was undertaken by a panel led by Dr Keith Turner, who also led the panel that undertook the zoning review for the flat land in Christchurch.

Mr Brownlee said CERA had produced specific information for the 44 different areas in Port Hills that had zoning implications to make it easier for property owners to understand their own situation.

Each of the 44 areas and their zoning implications can be found here

The Crown was unable to make offers to the owners of uninsured properties and vacant land, or to property on the flat land and in the Port Hills until a review process was settled, Mr Brownlee said.

- APNZ

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