A common pitch used to sell houses around the CBD is that you won't need to worry about the car and can walk to the shops.

However, thanks to archaic district planning rules enforced by Council, developers building around the CBD do not have the same luxury.

The 2016-26 District Plan did make some progress in dragging Rotorua away from its car-centric lifestyle when it removed the requirement for "City Centre" residential units to have at least one car park, but in my view the "City Centre" area this applies to is far too narrow.

For example, if you are looking to build or convert a residential unit on the CBD side of Ranolf St, you don't need a car park, but walk across the road, and now you're forced to ensure that an off-street car park is provided per unit.

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What's worse than having to spend big dollars building a car park and driveway, it's that space could instead be additional bedrooms in the unit.

Multiply this by the 70-plus units within the Ranolf St/Amohau St area alone, and that means there could easily be another 50-plus bedrooms spread across multiple units - which equates to at least another 100-plus people that could be living closer to the CBD.

In practice these archaic rules mean CBD businesses miss out on having hundreds of extra customers within easy walking or cycling distance from their shop fronts while developers get lumped with additional costs when building. The rules need to go.

Ryan Gray
Rotorua

Council weed spraying

Thank you Joy Maskell for your letter (Letters, April 15) regarding Rachel Stewart's (Opinion April 3) "The planet's future".

We should all be asking why the council continues to use toxic weed spray causing, as Joy said, so much damage to the ecosystem. (Probably a quick fix.)

Never mind the environment. A big thanks to Rachel Stewart - I love your writing.

Yvonne Kilmore
Rotorua

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Car warrants serious issue

Re: Rotorua mechanic says Warrant of Fitness laws have made roads unsafe.

John Currie (News April 17), is 100 per cent right.

I bet if the Rotorua Daily Post did a street survey on whether people checked their cars' roadworthiness there would be lots of "nos".

In this world where responsibility is taken away from most, you would expect people to take responsibility for their WOFs. As if.

As for Bay of Plenty road policing manager Inspector Brent Crowe saying fines would be issued - add it to my tab.

Also mobile phones - everywhere I go people are texting or talking on them driving.

The other day I saw a lady cross the centre line on Clayton Rd texting.

As I'm in the motor Industry we spend thousands on WOF work to bring cars up to legal roadworthiness.

Income I know some people don't have if it's a large amount.

I agree the age for yearly warrants should be lifted.
(Abridged)

Barry Grouby
Rotorua

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