Archive | Isthmus west

Kingsland already intensively developed, says Rea – and then comes the Eden Park question

Published 30 October 2005

Eden/Albert Community Board chairman Lindsey Rea has succeeded in getting an Auckland City Council committee – one step up the chain – to examine some unusual circumstances relating to intensification of Kingsland.

Ms Rea spoke to the council’s planning & regulatory committee on 13 October (a meeting I didn’t attend) after compiling a report for the community board called Kingsland intensification & stadium development consultation.

Her recommendations were to:

either reclassify Kingsland as a growth area or
introduce a special consultation process similar to those in growth areas, to enable local residents & businesspeople to help plan to best accommodate the area’s growth & change.

The council committee will get a staff report done on the issues Ms Rea has raised.

Suburb already at 2050 density target

The key point about Kingsland is that overall housing density across the western strategic growth management area was to be halved from 1:700m² – but Kingsland started out at that ratio.

Another aspect of Kingsland is its proximity to Eden Park – and the crucial question of what will happen to the test rugby & cricket ground. For the park to develop as an internationally competitive venue it will need to bite into the surrounding residential 1 land.

Ms Rea said in her report Kingsland was originally scheduled for intensification as one of the strategic development areas under the council’s Liveable communities strategy, but the previous council changed its classification to make it an area of stability (as distinguished from areas of change), with growth being accommodated within existing zoning.

“The result is that Kingsland, which is already quite dense because of the small sections in most of the residential 1 zoning, is facing a considerable increase in intensification without the community involvement needed to mitigate the adverse effects of this growth.

“In addition, the redevelopment & expansion of Eden Park and the council’s stated support for the stadium being able to compete for international sporting events, requires consideration of infrastructure needed to support such bids.”

Historic growth spurts were related to public transport

Ms Rea said Kingsland had had 2 early transport-related growth spurts, the first when stations were established there and at Mt Eden & Morningside after opening of the Auckland-Helensville train line in 1880, when subdivisions were built on the north-facing slopes from the New North Rd ridge. The other was when the electric tram reached Kingsland, in 1903, with a terminus at Pages Stores in the Kingsland shopping centre.

Those original subdivisions, for working-class housing, had sections of about 350m² laid out in a regular structure, with access to the transport routes along the ridgelines.

But by the 1970s “the government was practically paying people to live there. Kingsland was a ‘central home improvement area’ to encourage first-home owners to do up the old housing stock with Housing Corp mortgages.”

“Little Ponsonby”

After the North-western Motorway was opened in 1980 there was a new boom in housing values and Kingsland became a “little Ponsonby”, the shopping centre was revitalised and there was an influx of good, well priced ethnic restaurants. The end of the area’s “dry” zoning in 1998 brought another change.

In the late 1990s apartments started to be built in the business 4-zoned areas which extended for a block on either side of New North Rd, beginning at Eden Terrace & Newton.

Ms Rea said the average lot size across most o the Kingsland area was 330-400m², giving a net density over 25 units/ha. Across the western strategic management area the density was 1:700m² across both residential & business zones, with a 2050 target of 1:350m², or 29 units/ha.

“Areas of change are subject to consultation processes laid out in the growth management strategy of December 2003. This enables the residents & business people of an area to contribute their expertise to identify the places within the area which would be best suited to rezoning to accommodate a higher density of living. The aim is to develop a shared vision of the resources & community infrastructure necessary to support growth.

“Areas of stability are expected to grow within the limits of current district plan provisions.”

Kingsland growth won’t stop, so change to allow consultation needed

Ms Rea said Kingsland would continue to experience growth for a number of reasons, apart from the general growth throughout the city, among them:

rezoning of much of the business 4 zone to mixed use in the 2002 strategic plan review
double-tracking of the western rail line and redevelopment of the station & adjoining plaza area
probably diversion of much of the heavy rail from the western line when the Avondale-Southdown line is built along with State Highway 20
development of the bus priority schemes along Dominion Rd and the possible development of light rail
development of non-permanent accommodation at Bond St & New North Rd
development of educational establishments such as Digitrain, Peter Minturn Jewellery Training and an English language school on New North Rd, and
continuous redevelopment of Eden Park and the pressure to expand the stadium.

Plan change 71, which divided business 4 land between business and the new mixed-use zone which would allow residential development, identified a strip of land in Kingsland which became mixed-use, one block each side of New North Rd. Apartments were already being built in Kingsland, mainly on Aitken Terrace, an 83-unit development with ground-floor shops was completed this year and a 40-unit development was due to start.

“Just up the road in Newton & Eden Terrace there is a concentration of such developments. It is very likely that this will spread down New North Rd and link up with the Kingsland developments.”

Eden Park as international stadium far more than a footy ground

Eden Park is another challenge in itself: “Eden Park, like other sporting stadia worldwide, is developing into a multi-use entertainment centre. The ASB Stand has Auckland’s largest functions centre and there are plans for the extensive redevelopment of the western part of the stadium on Sandringham Rd, as well as the possibility of additional development if New Zealand should host the World Cup. There is also pressure to provide better access from the rail station to the park.”

Ms Rea said the time was approaching when decisions would have to be made about infrastructure needed to support the stadium: “If Eden Park is going to be developed to seat the 55,000 required to host international events such as the World Cup, it cannot provide the amenities needed to support these numbers within its own boundaries.

“Internationally competitive stadia have hotels & other complementary venues associated with them, as well as extensive public transport connections. This is not possible with the residential 1 zoning surrounding the park. Decisions will have to be made about the appropriateness of some of the surrounding zoning if Eden Park is going to continue to develop on this site.”

Earlier stories:

11 October 2005: Kingsland plaza opened

25 September 2005: 3-storey commercial block approved for Kingsland

22 July 2005: Hucker talks of community as the real consent customer as notion of “sensitive sites” register raised

12 July 2005: Character overlay consultation goes to further submissions

22 May 2005: Revamped Kingsland station opens

22 May 2005: ARC pushes for “optimum redevelopment” at Avondale

2 December 2004: Councillors put boot into gaffe-laden Eden Park bridge idea

5 September 2004: Council heads to election notifying 6 urban design plan changes

25 March 2004: Kingsland shops & commercial building sell

3 August 2002: Update: New Kingsland café


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Kingsland plaza opened

Published: 11 October 2005

Kingsland’s new pedestrian plaza, between the town centre on New North Rd & the recently upgraded railway station, was officially opened today with a fashion show on the platform.

Auckland City councillor Glenda Fryer, who’s deputy chairman of the transport & urban linkages committee, said the plaza was part of the council’s commitment to encourage greater use of passenger transport, including rail.

“This pedestrian plaza is one example of our investment towards achieving this vision while at the same time creating an inviting environment for Aucklanders.

“Kingsland is undergoing a revival and we are proud to support it as a place where there is great food, great coffee & great shopping.”

Along with the improved rail access, the council has introduced new parking time restrictions in the town centre & stricter enforcement, which Cllr Fryer said would both encourage a higher turnover of cars.

“In the longer term we will be exploring various options to help increase the parking available in the shopping strip,” she said.

Other changes in Kingsland include:

relocation of the New North Rd bus stop to the plaza
a pedestrian crossing with traffic lights installed to link the plaza with the north side of New North Rd
relocation of the taxi rank
removal of 12 parking spaces, and
shifting of the mobility parking to Central Rd.

Earlier story:

22 May 2005: Revamped Kingsland station opens


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Councillors look for land-swap solutions to Pikes Pt conflict

Published: 11 October 2005

What if the rail link to Pikes Pt is too expensive? What if people stop buying used Japanese cars?

Auckland City councillors spotted a cause on Monday and tried to offer microlight users of the Pikes Pt strip on the Onehunga side of the Manukau Harbour some hope that they wouldn’t be ejected.

Ports of Auckland Ltd gave them notice 15 month ago, to be out by 9 December (though a one-month extension has been granted).

After establishing that Ports had every right to terminate the aircraft users’ activities on the harbourside site, to replace them with a parking lot for car imports transferred off the wharves across the isthmus on the Waitemata Harbour, councillors at the urban strategy & governance committee started looking at how secure the Ports project was.

In return, Ports property manager Geoff Higgins traded some international economics himself. The port company had owned the Manukau site for many years (it was ought by the Auckland Harbour Board) and recently decided to turn it over to use as a bonded area for imported cars. Double-decker trains would cross the isthmus, shifting something like 200,000 cars/year off the city waterfront.

Mr Higgins said if Pikes Pt couldn’t be used, the long lead time to hunt out an alternative site would probably cost the company customers – not just individual buyers of vehicles but the importers, who would take their trade to Tauranga or Whangarei.

$200 more/vehicle

“If that trade was lost it would probably add $200/vehicle, $40 million/year for the people of Auckland to buy vehicles,” Mr Higgins said.

But the rail line into Pikes Pt hasn’t been built – and because some of it is reclaimed land, getting trains on to it isn’t straightforward. In the early stages, imported vehicles would be trucked across the isthmus.

Mr Higgins said the train agreement with Toll Holdings Ltd hadn’t been signed yet – a chance for councillors to leap in. Cllr Christine Caughey: “What if the rail is too expensive?” “We still have to truck them away from the wharf,” Mr Higgins replied.

Cllr Scott Milne suggested the fall in the $NZ, rise in oil prices and a Labour Government possibly imposing a tax on imported vehicles could have serious effects on the imported car trade. While Mr Higgins felt the imports trade should continue, at least for the next 5 years, Cllr Milne said economic changes could make the rail link riskier.

All except the Citizens & Ratepayers members of the council would normally congratulate Ports for finding a solution to a major source of road congestion, but on this occasion they’d had a series of submissions talking up the economic & social benefits of Pikes Pt as a microlight airpark.

Other economic values in equation

Andrew Guyan, from the Auckland Recreational Airparks Trust, questioned whether the Ports proposal was the best use of the land, or in the best interests of the city as a whole: “As an alternative to a paved yard full of used vehicles, I wish to out to you the case for establishing Pikes Pt as a city-owned park suitable for use by recreational groups that, for reasons of noise or specific requirements, are not welcomed elsewhere.”

Mr Guyan said microlights couldn’t use Ardmore – and, in any case, Ardmore’s future was limited to perhaps 20 more years as lifestyle block buyers put more pressure on it.

Pikes Pt faced roughly into the prevailing wind, was on the dividing line between the Auckland International Airport & RNZAF Whenuapai aircraft control zones, had approach paths clear of built-up areas, catered for models & slow-flying microlights precluded from commercial airfields: “The point we wish to make absolutely clear is that if Auckland City is to have a recreational airfield, then it must be at Pikes Pt or not at all.”

Mr Guyan said Pikes Pt offered pilot training, an educational pastime for members of the Sport Aircraft Association, was home to New Zealand’s biggest model aircraft club, Roskill Modellers, and was used by visiting aviators & rescue groups for training.

The microlight users identified 2 alternative sites for Ports, both with rail access, but Mr Higgins said they weren’t appropriate.

This council has tended to see value in alternatives, where the previous council majority wouldn’t go past traditional economic benefits. So, now, heritage buildings are seen as boosting the value of suburbs, and lifestyle & social values have a place alongside commercial benefits.

2 conflicting points

The argument came down to 2 points.

Mr Higgins: “If the business is hindered in this situation, it will be hindered again & again and won’t be able to operate as a successful port.”

Mr Guyan: “You carefully weigh the balance of immediate commercial returns against the continuing degradation of lifestyle & the environment.”

Council chief executive David Rankin summed up, perhaps to the relief of both sides: “Ultimately there is probably a whole series of acquisitions & swaps that have to take place. It’s hard to see short-term solutions.”

The committee agreed to pursue a solution, accepting Cllr Penny Sefuiva’s proposal that staff should initiate dialogue with the Auckland Regional Council for strategic planning (in a coastal area) & land swaps.

Earlier story:

25 August 2005: Change coming for port’s imported used car lot


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Western Springs speedway agreement reached

Published 9 October 2005

Agreement has been reached to allow racing at Western Springs this season after 2 days of mediation.

Terms of the agreed calendar for this season include:

10 events (excluding practices)
60% of races at 90 dba L10
40% of races at 88 dba
Anniversary Weekend & Waitangi Day race-free, plus a guaranteed free weekend each month.

Auckland mayor Dick Hubbard said the agreement was reached after mediation between local residents, Springs Promotions Ltd (Stewart Buckley), speedway drivers & the council. “This is a huge step forward. Aucklanders get to hold on to an iconic event while ensuring local residents are happy,” Mr Hubbard said.

The parties have agreed to work through a number of environmental issues and have agreed a noise-monitoring regime & a monitoring process. To achieve a long-term solution, they will participate in a consultation & inquiry process on best practicable options, which will take place before any further resource consent or plan changes are lodged.

Mr Hubbard said the purpose was to investigate the environmental effects of speedway at Western Springs with a view of establishing the best options for ensuring that noise & other speedway-related effects are reasonable in the long term.

Lawyer Martin Williams, acting for local residents, said: “Hopefully this demonstrates to the public that the residents are not anti-speedway. Residents have agreed to accept higher noise levels than are permitted in the district plan in exchange for a number of commitments by Speedway, demonstrating a willingness to be good neighbours.”

Earlier stories:

21 June 2005: Springs Promotions takes speedway appeal to High Court, with council backing

13 January 2005: Council changes Springs agreement enough to allow court argument, not enough to be immediately useful


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Dominion Rd open days start next week

Published 4 October 2005

Auckland City Council will hold Dominion Rd open days on 13-15 October to showcase urban design ideas for the key transport route. The consultation period ends on Friday 28 October. The final urban design & streetscape plan will be presented to the council’s transport & urban linkages committee in November.

The committee agreed a fortnight ago to progress the streetscape design for Dominion Rd. The design proposals are part of the Dominion Rd 2016 project, a key transport initiative which committee chairman Richard Simpson said would strengthen Auckland’s passenger transport network.

“With Transit NZ’s State Highway 20 Mt Roskill extension underway, it is necessary to further develop Dominion Rd’s performance as a passenger transport corridor,” he said.

The project is intended to protect the route for passenger transport and includes widening in some areas, indented bus bays, upgraded bus stops & other improvements so bus travel will remain a good travel choice along this corridor.

“Implementing the changes for buses also provides an opportunity to improve the way Dominion Rd looks & feels. While the project’s basis is transport, it needs to incorporate & enhance the street’s character through considerate design, making this a great street now & in the future.

“Particular characteristics to be reflected in the final design include Dominion Rd’s straightness, the nearby volcanic cones, its villages & heritage. We also hope to see a reflection of the cultural diversity that has emerged along the road.

“The urban design plan will not only show what some transport improvements such as bus stops & cycle lanes will look like, but importantly, it will set out some design principles to help energise Dominion Rd’s communities,” Cllr Simpson said.

Display material will include drawings, information & ideas about trees, use of open space, paving, parking and pedestrian & vehicle connections. Members of the council project team will also be present at the open days to take feedback and answer queries.

The council will display the draft urban design & streetscape plan in open days at Dominion Rd‘s 3 shopping centres:

Mt Roskill, Thursday, 13 October, 11am-3pm
Balmoral, Friday 14 October, 9am-noon & Saturday 15 October, 1-4pm
Valley Rd, Friday 14 October, 1-4pm & Saturday 15 October, 9am-noon.

The display will then move to the Mt Eden War Memorial Hall from Monday-Thursday 17-27 October.

Website: Dominion Rd project


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Switch to residential for Onehunga site approved

Updated: 28 September 2005

Auckland City Council approved a zone change on 22 September for a 6153m² site 150m from the Queenstown Rd intersection of State Highway 20. The property has been zoned special purpose 2 but will become residential 5, a higher density than the standard suburban residential 6A zone.

Residents oppose standard residential 6A zone for Onehunga motorway-edge site

Switch to residential for site off Hugh Watt drive

Published: 17 November 2004

Jurisdiction: Auckland City

Neighbourhood: Onehunga

Applicant: Transit NZ

Application detail: Beachcroft Ave, proposed private plan change 161 to rezone 6153m² on the northern side of the street, about 150m from the Queenstown Rd intersection, to residential 6A. Auckland City Council resolved on 2 November to accept & notify the proposed plan change, sought by Transit NZ. The site is currently zoned special purpose 2.

Notification date: 14 November

Submission closure date: Friday 10 December

Update: 1 February 2005

Further submissions closure date: Friday 25 February

Detail: All the submissions lodged in the first round were against the rezoning proposal, with one suggesting the more intensive residential 8 zone might be applied to the site. The Beachcroft Ave Residents Committee said the proposal should be abandoned.

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Heritage scheduling for Marino Gardens approved

Updated 28 September 2005

Auckland City Council approved plan change 158, granting heritage scheduling to the Marino Gardens building at 145 Mt Eden Rd, Mt Eden, at its meeting on 22 September.


Published 1 November 2004

Heritage scheduling proposed for Marino Gardens in Mt Eden

Heritage scheduling proposed for Marino Gardens in Mt Eden

Jurisdiction: Auckland City

Neighbourhood: Mt Eden, 145-147 Mt Eden Rd

Applicant: Auckland City Council

Application detail: Proposed plan change 158, listing the Marino Gardens apartments as scheduled heritage property

Notification date: 19 September

Submission closure date: 18 October; further submissions close Friday 26 November

Marino Gardens is a large 2-storey brick-plastered apartment building at the corner of Mt Eden & Esplanade Rds, which has art deco features. It has a main block, a secondary block & garages all within a garden setting. The site is in a special character residential 1 zone.

The report to the council’s city development committee (in a closed session in September) said 6 of the apartment complex’s 18 owners wrote to the council in April asking for evaluation & consideration of Marino Gardens for listing as a scheduled heritage item.

“The complex was built in 1935-6 and won a gold medal from the Institute of Architects in 1936. The building is a leading early example of a change in character in suburban dwellings, the ‘flats versus houses’ concept. The concept of apartments in a garden setting is a unique feature of such a 1930s development. No significant alterations have been undertaken to the original site, other than the insertion of a swimming pool in place of the tennis court. The garden plantings have been altered but the garden concept is retained. The buildings themselves are in very good condition.”

Resource consent is already required in the residential 1 zone for external additions & alterations to buildings, as well as for the construction of any new building.

At Marino Gardens, the whole of the site surrounds is recommended for scheduling to protect the “Flats in a garden” concept. The interior protection is only for the public spaces, the entrance corridors & stairwells. The council report said interiors of individual apartments would be scheduled only with the consent of the owner.

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Mt Roskill temple goes to hearing

Published 25 September 2005

Jurisdiction: Auckland City

Neighbourhood: Mt Roskill

Applicant: JH Chen

Application: 3 Gifford Avenue, to establish & operate the Yuan Tao Temple in an existing building currently used as temporary accommodation for up to 12 people

Decision: Commissioners were appointed to hear the application

Application detail: The application was lodged on 6 June 2004

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3-storey commercial block approved for Kingsland

Published 25 September 2005

Jurisdiction: Auckland City

Neighbourhood: Kingsland

Applicant: Kingsland 500 Ltd (John Eaglen)

Application: 492-500 New North Rd, 1585m² site over 3 titles, ground-floor café/restaurant & retail outlets, 1691m² of office space on 2 upper floors, 110 parking spaces on 5 half-basement levels (shortfall of 5 spaces), of which a minimum 60 spaces will be for staff of the building’s occupants

Decision: Non-notified consent granted on 13 September by the council’s planning fixtures committee

Application detail: The new building will replace a liquor shop, an automotive workshop & a vacant site previously occupied by a panelbeater. At the rear, the site falls away steeply to the western rail line.

The council’s urban design panel made several recommendations, which were accepted. Among them, to align the building’s New North Rd façade with adjacent buildings: “While noting the applicant’s intention to use the proposed setback for outdoor seating associated with restaurant & café uses, the panel were of the view that such uses were unlikely along the full length of the street frontage, and that other kinds of retail uses would be unable to establish a satisfactory relationship with the street edge.”

Applicant’s other interests: Mr Eaglen is also a director of Eaglen Maingay & Associates Ltd.

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2 Rosebank Rd sales

Published 17 September 2005

Bayleys Real Estate sold 16 commercial & industrial properties for more than $20 million in the upper North Island parts of its Total Property auctions this week. Results are listed under Organisations/Agencies/Bayleys on the Propbd website, and also in the Neighbourhoods section.

Avondale, 48 Rosebank Rd, 1570m² 2-level building on 1877m² site, sold for $1.341 million at a 9.2% yield or $854/m² of building; Waitemata District Health Board is the anchor tenant on a lease until 2008, currently returning net $123,000/year. Sales, Colin Stewart, Auckland Central.

Avondale, 74-82 Rosebank Rd, block of 4 shops with accommodation above on 624m² site, sold for $1.055 million at a 7.9 % yield; currently returning net $82,930/year. Sales, Dominic Ong & Nicolas Ching, Auckland Central.

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