No one wants a three-story, 12m-high new housing development springing up next door to a single-story bungalow on a quiet inner city Christchurch street without resource consent.
But that is the reality when the Council votes today on whether to change its District Plan and implement the Government's policy requiring development around the central city, suburban commercial centres, and public transport networks as indicated by Mayor Dalziel.
On Tuesday Lianne Dalziel took the unusual step of posting online that the Council's "hands are tied" and there was "little room to manoeuvre" over housing density in the garden city.
Dalziel said that Council would be forced to comply with the Government policy.
The reality is in most Christchurch residential areas this would enable up to three homes, on a single property, up to 12m high, could be built without resource consent, as long as the development complies with the relevant standards.
Resident Associations against housing density
Sixteen resident associations lobbied the Council against initiating the government legislation or, at the very least, stalling the process.
Their main concerns - it could destroy their amenity, and reduce access to light, sunlight and gardens.
While the Mayor said she understood their concerns, she said the Council is legally obliged to notify the change to the District Plan at Thursday's Council Meeting, incorporating the Government policy.
If they didn't, legally, the Government could appoint someone to do it for them.
The Government's framework will go ahead, that is without question.
What the council has tried to do is limit development in some parts of Christchurch, including heritage buildings, and natural hazards, and protect significant public open spaces surrounding Cathedral Square, New Regent St, and the Arts Centre.
Council changes to proposal
Council says it has taken into account feedback received and made a number of changes to the proposals including in the central city instead of buildings being limitless are limited to 90m. And that 10-storey residential areas be concentrated in areas adjacent to the city core.
Three new character areas have been identified, being Roker and Penrith; Ryan St and Bewdley and Evesham and increasing the Lyttelton Character Area.
Buffers have been introduced to protect the edges of heritage areas, and new heritage features have been added.
The plan change proposes around 70 buildings are added to the Schedule of Significant Historic Heritages exempt from intensification and including Riccarton Bush, waterbody setbacks and limits on building heights near the Styx River.
Other areas that qualify for exemption include areas of national importance - natural and cultural features, and areas of significant ecological value.
Sites of Wāhi Tapu, Wāhi Taonga, Silent Files, Ngā Tūranga Tūpuna; Ngā Wai; areas at risk of rockfall, cliff collapse, and high flood hazard areas.
It is proposed that in the City Centre will allow buildings of up to 90m in the middle of the central city and 45m in the Victoria St commercial area and sites and around Cathedral Square.
In areas within walking distance of the City Centre building heights of at least six storeys.
Within and adjacent to suburban centres like Riccarton, Shirley/ The Palms and Town Centre Zone, a height limit of 22m has been proposed for Riccarton, Hornby, and Papanui.
A height limit of 20m has been proposed for Belfast, Shirley, Linwood, and North Halswell.
In neighbourhood Centres like Merivale, Barrington, and New Brighton, heights would differ depending range and scale of commercial activity and community services.
Addington and Avonhead the height is 12m, Barrington and New Brighton 14m and Church Corner, Bush In and Merivale 20m.
The council, in my mind, while accepting a fait accompli, has done its best to limit the effects of intensification thrust upon it by the Government.
It has taken some steps to protect and limit residential density at some of our most significant locations around the city - all the while accepting that it will happen, given that Christchurch is a city of the future.