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Residential developments in Te Papa (townhouses and apartments)

We want to make it easier for people to build more compact types of homes in some parts of Te Papa, like rows of townhouses and apartment buildings.

We’re working with the community to develop a 30-year plan for growth and change along the Te Papa peninsula, which runs from Greerton through the city centre to the harbour bridge.

We’re looking at parts of Te Papa to provide for increased density and housing choice, such as apartment living and terraced houses, and at the investment required in public amenities, infrastructure and community initiatives to support a larger population there. Plan change 26 will implement the housing choice component of the Te Papa Plan.

Read about the Te Papa Plan

We’re proposing to change the city plan to make building terraced houses/townhouses and apartments in some parts of Te Papa a ‘restricted discretionary activity’ (instead of a ‘discretionary activity’). This means that people will still need to apply for a resource consent to ensure that minimum standards and urban design outcomes are met, but it is a less complex consenting process than the one currently required.

The area that adjoins the city centre (northern end of Te Papa) already provides for townhouses and apartments through the city living zone. We’re now proposing to enable this type of residential development in more parts of Te Papa – in the areas within walking distance to centres, public transport, schools, open space and amenities.

View map of Te Papa

We’re also proposing some amendments to the existing city living zone rules, to make them more enabling of increased density while ensuring good quality development outcomes there. The rest of Te Papa will remain zoned as suburban residential and will be subject to the changes proposed to enable duplexes and terraced houses/townhouses in that zone.

What kind of dwellings could we see in parts of Te Papa?

In the parts of Te Papa identified for increased density we are proposing to enable terraced houses/townhouses (a row of three or more independent dwelling units separated by walls on one or both sides, and typically two to three storeys) and apartment buildings up to four or six storeys depending on the location of the site. Here are some examples of what they could look like.

Developing the rules for residential developments in Te Papa

To ensure new builds both look good and that they create great spaces and neighbourhoods for us all to live in, we need to put some rules in the city plan around what townhouses and apartment building developments should look like in Te Papa, and what elements they should include to qualify as a restricted discretionary activity (simpler resource consent process required).

To do this, we used the existing city plan rules for the city living zone as a starting point. From there we developed new rules, and amended existing rules, to better enable higher density in the defined areas, and achieve good quality outcomes for residents within townhouses and apartments and their neighbours. We’re also proposing to amend the height limit of parts of the commercial zone in Te Papa, to align it with the surrounding medium density area and avoid low height pockets of commercial land surrounded by taller residential buildings.

We presented our proposed rules to the community for feedback in April-May 2020, and are now analysing the comments we received. We will come back with revised proposed rules through a formal consultation process later in 2020. In the meantime you can read up on what we originally proposed by clicking on the topics below. 

 

Current city living zone rules that we'd keep the same:

Current city living zone rule: Maximum fence/wall height:

  • 1.2m adjoining an open space zone/public place, or
  • within 1.5m of the road frontage boundary

Proposed rule for Te Papa: Same rule

Reasoning: Providing a maximum fence height in the front yard will ensure terraces/townhouses and apartments overlook the street, enhancing safety of the street and house.

Current city living zone rule: 

  • 1.5m from front and side boundary
  • 3m from rear boundary

Proposed rule for Te Papa: Same rule

Reasoning: The existing setback provisions are considered appropriate for this zone.

City living zone rules that we'd amend: 

Current city living zone rule:

  • 1 bedroom: 1 space min per unit
  • 2 bedroom: 1.2 min spaces per unit
  • 3+ bedroom: 1.5 spaces min per unit
  • Visitor: 0.2 spaces per unit

Proposed rule for Te Papa: A technical review of the car parking requirements does not propose any change to the current rules. However, the National Policy Statement on Urban Development (expected July 2020) may dictate different car parking requirements so we will wait for the government’s decision on this before having a discussion with the community on this topic.

More about central government direction

Current city living zone rule: 

  • Minimum site area: 200m2 per independent dwelling unit
  • No density limit if site is at least 1050m2 and can contain a 25m diameter circle

Proposed rule for Te Papa: 

  • No minimum site area
  • No minimum or maximum density requirements

Reasoning: It is reasonable to expect greater density in the identified areas as they are close to transport linkages, services and amenities. Please note that the rules for density are dependent on the outcomes of the National Policy Statement on Urban Development (expected July 2020)

More about central government direction

Current city living zone rule: 

  • 9m max in the area delimited by Edgecumbe Road, Cameron Road, Fourth and Eighth Avenues
  • 19m max opposite Tauranga and Wharepai Domain
  • 13m max in the remainder of the city living zone

Proposed rule for Te Papa: Depending on location:

  • 4 storeys maximum or
  • 6 storeys maximum

Exceptions: permitted intrusions and viewshafts

Reasoning: We developed these height limits by considering both architectural and financial feasibility testing. Four and six storeys would allow a greater intensity of buildings around key areas.

Current city living zone rule: 

  • No on-site parking between building and street
  • Road boundary setback must be landscaped/permeable
  • Direct pedestrian access from street
  • On-site carparking screened/landscaped from street
  • On-site parking located to side/rear of building

Proposed rule for Te Papa: 

  • Garages/carports designed with direct vehicle access to a road shall be set back at 5m
  • Access to the site should be off a service lane or local road where possible

Reasoning: The proposed amendments seek to maintain the safety and efficiency of the adjoining transport corridor. Landscaping requirements and pedestrian access will be looked at through the resource consent assessment criteria instead.

Current city living zone rule: Up 2.7m then at an angle of 45 degrees or 55 degrees. Does not apply to first 12m.

Proposed rule for Te Papa: 

  • Where a site adjoins the suburban residential zone or an open space zone less than 3000m2, the suburban residential zone overshadowing rules will apply
  • In other locations, 8m and angle of 60 degrees for first 20m of site and for the rest of the site 8m up (measured 2m in from boundary and at an angle of 60 degrees)
  • Does not apply to a boundary adjoining commercial zones, industrial zones and sites with the open space zone exceeding 3000m2
  • Access to the site should be off a service lane or local road where possible

Reasoning: The proposed rule seeks to mitigate effects of overshadowing on adjoining properties while ensuring development can occur on a site. This aligns with other district plans across New Zealand.

Current city living zone rule

  • Max 50% can be covered by buildings
  • Max 75% can be covered by a combination of buildings, access, manoeuvring and parking areas
  • Min 25% of the site shall be designed, constructed and occupied by an outdoor developed landscape

Proposed rule for Te Papa: The requirements for impervious surfaces will be addressed through Plan Change 27: Flooding from intense rainfall events. Plan Change 27 will be publicly notified later in 2020.

Reasoning: The impervious surface rule proposed through Plan Change 27 will assist with managing stormwater linked with greater intensity of development in the identified areas in Te Papa. Building site coverage (rule removed) will be managed by achieving the other controls relevant to the zone.

Find out more about Plan Change 27: Flooding from intense rainfall events

Current city living zone rule: 

  • Units at ground level: 30m2 and 3m diameter circle
  • Units above ground: 6m2 and min 2m wide
  • Directly accessible from main living area
  • Unobstructed by driveways, parking etc

Proposed rule for Te Papa: 

  • Units at ground level: 20m2 and 3m diameter circle
  • Units above ground:
    • studio and 1 bedroom: min 6m2 and min 1.5m wide
    • 2+ bedrooms: min 10m2 and min 1.5m wide
  • Located N, NE or NW
  • Directly accessible from main living area
  • Unobstructed by driveways, parking etc
  • Located and/or screened so that at least 50% of the outdoor living area has complete visual privacy from the living rooms and outdoor living spaces of other dwellings on the site, and screened from adjoining sites.

Reasoning: This rule seeks to provide for a more useable space that is easily accessible to living areas and sunlight, and ensure on-site amenity for residents.

Current city living zone rule: 

  • Min 4m2 and min 1m wide
  • Located at ground floor level
  • Screened from street

Proposed rule for Te Papa:

  • Minimum 5m2 per unit
  • Must be easily accessible
  • Located at ground floor level or basement
  • Screened from street/public space

Reasoning: As sections become smaller, we need to be smarter on how we use spaces. This rule is to ensure that future residents have sufficient storage space.

Current city living zone rule: Minimum gross floor area:

  • Studio/1 bedroom: 40m2
  • 2 bedroom: 55m2
  • 3+ bedroom: 70m2

Proposed rule for Te Papa: Minimum gross floor area (excluding garages): 

  • Studio: 35m2
  • 1 bedroom: 45m2
  • 2+ bedroom: 60m2

Reasoning: To provide functional houses that meet the needs of residents and can be adapted to changing needs.

Current city living zone rule: The main living area shall be provided with at least one north-facing window or doorway/accessway of at least 4m2 in an area that can admit north-facing sunlight directly onto the main living area floor, for at least 2 hours continuous on 21 June.

Proposed rule for Te Papa: No requirement (remove existing rule)

Reasoning: The existing rule is complicated and hard to achieve. There are existing requirements in the Building Act for access to sunlight. The intent of this rule will be achieved through the visual outlook rule and the assessment criteria that relate to design outcomes.

Current city living zone rule: Provide outlook space free of buildings adjoining a main living area, studio or bedroom. Minimum dimension 6x3m from main living area. Each main living area, studio area and bedroom must have an opening window.

Proposed rule for Te Papa: Provide outlook space free of buildings:

  • Min 4m x 4m from main living area or studio
  • Min 3m x 3m from principal bedroom
  • Min 1m x 1m from other habitable rooms

Reasoning: This means there's no other window or wall 4 metres to the left, right or front of (e.g.) the main living area window. This will create separation between dwellings, to ensure privacy and more on-site amenity for residents.

Rules we're proposing to add:

Current city living zone rule: No rule for this currently

Proposed rule for Te Papa: 

  • Resident: 1 per 2 bedrooms
  • Visitor: 1 per 20 units

Reasoning: Cycle parking is a lockable enclosure, garage, shelter or compound anywhere on the property. Adding this rule will support sustainable transport modes.

Current city living zone rule: No rule for this currently

Proposed rule for Te Papa:

  • Minimum waste storage area of 5m2 per unit with minimum dimension of 1m
  • Can be provided as a communal area
  • Must be easily accessible
  • Screened from street/public space

Reasoning: As sections become smaller, we need to be smarter on how we use spaces. This rule is to ensure that we provide sufficient space for waste bins.

Urban design assessment criteria

We’re also proposing to introduce assessment criteria for residential developments (townhouses and apartments) in Te Papa, supported by an urban design guide. Council will assess a development against both the city plan rules (above) and the assessment criteria through a resource consent process for a restricted discretionary activity. If rules cannot be met, the applicant will need to undertake a more complex resource consent process.

Find out more on the proposed urban design assessment criteria

Good to know

Remember, visible change in the city through this plan change would not happen all at once. It would happen over time as development occurs across the city, as people decide to redevelop their sections in existing residential areas. Read up on the other topics we are taking into consideration as we develop this plan change:

Natural hazards, including stormwater management Infrastructure capacity Direction from central government More on the plan change FAQs

 

 
 

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