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Our Environment: St Albans Update 1999

Our Environment: Christchurch City Council's Environmental Newsletter

City Plan Rezoning - Living 2 to Living 3

When the Christchurch City Plan was released in 1995 people were able to make submissions supporting or opposing the contents of the plan.

A submission was made by Canterbury Property Investments requesting that part of St Albans be rezoned to allow a higher density of housing than that shown in the plan. When the Council considered this request at a City Plan hearing it decided that a change in zoning would be appropriate. The area bounded by Caledonian Road, Canon Street, Edgeware Road, and Geraldine Street was accordingly rezoned from Living 2 to Living 3.

When this decision was made public in May 1999 people living in the rezoned area were surprised to learn of the change, since it was the first they knew of it. Residents had by then missed the opportunity to oppose the change, which must be done well before the hearing is held.

Although the correct statutory process was followed in publicising the City Plan, the Council has found that people missed aspects that were important to them. Unfortunately, it is not possible to rectify this now, but the problem will be addressed in any future changes or reviews of the City Plan.

Living Zones L2 & L3

What does L3 Zoning mean?

A Living 3 zone permits housing up to 11 metres in height. This allows 3 storey development with a pitched roof. If the roof is flat, then the maximum height is 9 metres. This is the main difference between an L3 zone and an L2 zone, which only permits development up to 8 metres.

A plot ratio rule controls the size of buildings in relation to the size of the site. The amount of floorspace within buildings can be up to 80 per cent of the size of the site. For example, on a 1000m 2 section five houses could be built with a total floor area of no more than 800m 2 . If the houses were 3 storey then the buildings would occupy 26.6 per cent of the site.

Other rules control such aspects as the distance buildings are set back from the street and side boundaries, the area of private outdoor space and car parking provision. Concerns have been raised, on a City- wide basis, about the detrimental effect of the current Living 3 rules on the character of neighbourhoods. It appears that some changes need to be made to the rules in the City Plan. It will take some time before these changes can be made because the Council’s first priority is to resolve all the appeals lodged to the City Plan, so that it can be finalised. Once the Plan is operative, there is opportunity for a plan change.

In the meantime the Living 3 rules are being reviewed and monitored in readiness for recommending changes at the earliest opportunity. Also, a design guide has been produced to encourage quality higher density housing developments.

For further information please contact:

Rachel Gurnsey
Phone 941 8814

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