Residents and a neighbouring business are unhappy about the potential impact of a planned $45million hotel in Queenstown.
A subsidiary of Auckland's Safari Group Ltd has applied for resource consent for the 133-room Ramada hotel and apartment complex on the corner of Frankton Rd and Stanley St.
It would be one of the landmarks on the way into the Queenstown CBD.
But the five-storey building's 17.5m height breaches both the operative (8m) and proposed district plan (15m).
Wakatipu View Body Corporate and Skyline Enterprises, which owns Blue Peaks motel next door, and nearby residents raised concerns about the scale of the building, shading, traffic, loss of views, and noise.
A resource consent hearing was held in Queenstown yesterday.
Safari Group — trading as Frankton Trading Trustee Co Ltd — called nine expert witnesses, and submitters and council experts also gave evidence.
Solicitor Jayne Macdonald, representing the applicant, in her outline of its legal submission said a gigantic wellingtonia tree on the site mitigated the building's extra height.
"It is submitted that the expert evidence demonstrates that non-compliance with the height limit produces a better urban design result without creating adverse effects ...
"... the proposal is appropriate in its scale, bulk, height and massing for its location in close proximity to the town centre."
The development would also adhere to the aims of the proposed district plan, if not to the plan's technical constraints. She referred to an observation made in a Queenstown Lakes District Council decision on another hotel development about 50m to the west.
It said the rules relating to residential and visitor accommodation "do not sit comfortably with the outcomes anticipated by the zoning", rather, they encourage "low density sprawling building forms". Noise concerns would be mitigated by an acoustic fence, restrictions on bus access and closure of the outdoor areas at 10pm, she said the evidence showed.
The impact of shading and on views would be no more than minor, with impressive panoramic views remaining.
However, some issues remained unsettled between the experts, including some traffic considerations and landscape design details, particularly planting.
The hearing commissioners have 15 working days from the end of the hearing to issue a decision.