I live next door to a man not given to much excitement. He is a long time Parnell resident and a senior civil engineer with over 40 years of experience. He talks stormwater and drains and huffs and puffs when Council do not empty the stormwater catchpits that hug the curbs of our urban roads.
You all know the Unitary Plan was transformation and it responded to a real need – a lack of available land and housing supply. It did this not by the Hamilton method of development – that is sprawl as far as the eye can see but by strategically going up and deleting the density controls in the three main residential zones, thus creating more land or more houses/Ha.
While the team at MHG generally agrees that the Unitary Plan represents a significant improvement on the previous planning regimes in Auckland, there is one rule in particular that I can’t for the life of me understand why we kept. This being the gross floor area (GFA) controls in the City Centre.
A new report focusing on the cost of new residential developments, commissioned by Fetcher Building, has some surprising findings.
At least that’s the rhetoric I’m hearing now. It’s probably because sales are getting slower in the suburbs first home buyers cannot afford. The average house price in Mt Albert, Royal Oak and Long Bay have declined the most out of all suburbs in Auckland in the last six months. And yet in suburbs like Takapuna and Onehunga, the average price is increasing. This is probably to do with a general increase in dwellings on the market in these areas. But it does show that homes are still being sold. And given the plethora of grants available to First Home Buyers it’s no wonder some suburbs are still hot despite the Auckland housing marketing hitting an 11 year low. With initiatives like the Welcome Home Loan and Home Start Grants, houses are there for the taking.
Over the last two years I have given an Unitary Plan presentation in almost every nook of the Auckland region. The presentation sets out the changes to that have occurred to our planning system. Ultimately, I outline what may occur on sites and suburbs. There is often a collective gasp when I tell them that some neighbourhoods may have triple the number of dwellings. The crowds are often very uneasy that five level apartment buildings may go up around town centres without required parking. Read more
We’ve gone from the quarter acre dream to the quarter house dream. And I’m not complaining. I know and accept that the quarter acre dream is a thing of the past, at least in Auckland. I’m okay with this. If I had an 80m2 shoe box with a bedroom, kitchen, lounge, bathroom, a car pad and maybe even a little front yard to eat my smashed avo on toast, I would be the happiest person in Auckland. And maybe with the help of KiwiBuild, probably one of the luckiest.
I am, of course, talking about the definitive decision to implement an Auckland fuel tax or Regional fuel tax. This will be implemented as early as July 1. With legislation currently moving through government to allow this to happen as well as an almost unanimous yes vote from Auckland councillors to pass the tax, the train is full steam ahead.
This Auckland Council rant article was originally published in THE HOBSON, Issue 45, January/ February 2018. THE HOBSON is a community magazine servicing Remuera, Parnell and Orakei.
I have decided once and for all, the bureaucracy that is Auckland Council is essentially incompetent and we should secede from the Super City and become the Borough of Mt Hobson. Not because the Auckland ‘regionwide’ concept is not a good one, not because we are concerned about rates, but because the Council is generally incompetent and it becomes more and more apparent as time goes by. In short, we are not getting value for money, and less so as we each pay more than twice the average rates of an Auckland region dwelling. Read more
We’re posting something a little different this month. Rather than listening to any rants of mine (stand-by because one is coming) here is a millennials perspective on a sulking newspaper article and how the world looks to be changing.
Bella has been with us for around 18 months, she’s probably the first person you will see if you ever visit us. Have a read and please send in any feedback! We love it.
Change is coming!
A Christchurch woman has been told she needs to move her house to accommodate five new two-storey townhouses. A loose sound bite which has made for a fantastic headline. She is in absolute despair because her classic kiwi home considerably set back from the road, probably also with a beautiful private back yard, is being dwarfed and cramped by new higher density homes. It’s so cramped the contractors were regularly on her property doing work for next door, until she banned them.