Archive | District Plan

Construction Industry and Consents Rising

If you follow you may have seen the news that construction industry revenue is on the rise, and consents are growing too.

At Cheap Titles I have noticed an increase in resource consent enquiries, so perhaps everyone is coming out of winter hibernation early and getting started on their building projects!

If you’d like to discuss your requirements for a resource consent, or need some help with council red tape, please get in touch for a chat.

Tree Protection in Auckland: Interactive Map

This interactive map, from is quite a useful tool to visually identify trees that are in the process of being scheduled as notable trees within the Auckland District Plan.

The interactive map generally works best if you have a specific address or road name to input into the map, or you can get a general overview of where these trees are located by zooming in and out of this map.

Interactive Map - Tree Protection in Auckland

Interactive Map - Tree Protection in Auckland

The Cost of Parking – Article from

Between the Lines by Dave Gardetta, published on

You will need to sit down with a cuppa to read this article, as it is rather long, but I would recommend doing so. It raises some interesting points about both the economic and social costs of basement/car parking buildings and describes briefly the history and demand (in L.A) for these structures. Some of the salient points in the article, that are very relevant to the review and formation of District Plan rules here, point to the requirement of a minimum numbers of car parking spaces for any new development in over-providing for spaces and creating poor quality developments; that funds collected from meters could go to the immediate surrounding businesses and residents and that meter prices should reflect demand (electronic metering).

“It turned out that Pasadena, which didn’t mandate parking when its single-family bungalows were built in the 1920s, now required eight parking spots for a building where four people might live,” says Cole, a Shoupista who is now the city manager of Ventura. “Subterranean parking was too expensive, so a thing called ‘tuck-under’—or semisubterranean—parking was invented.” With tuck-under buildings, residents park half a story below street level and enter their entombed front doors from the garage. Everything is hidden from the street, including the residents who call it home. “Parking requirements,” says Cole, “had created whole communities of new blank walls that faced other blank walls. I hated it.”

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Compliance and/or Enforcement Issues under the Resource Management Act

Enforcement action –

Enforcement action is when (generally) councils take some form of action to ensure that people are complying with: the Resource Management Act, regulations, a resource consent, a requirement, with district/regional plans including proposed plans or if someone is not complying with their duty to avoid, remedy or mitigate environmental effects or to avoid making unreasonable noise.  Enforcement action is usually initiated by compliant(s) received by councils about a particular activity or structure.

Some of the most common types of enforcement action are: action taken for non-compliance’s with either a District or Regional Plan, for breaching the Resource Management Act or for breaching the conditions of an approved resource consent.

Breaching a District or Regional Plan:

A breach of a District or Regional Plan can be unintentional, when property owners or business owners are not aware of all relevant rules within plans. An example of a potential breach is if the Plan requires discretionary activity resource consent for the establishment of a childcare centre and no consent is obtained.

Breaching the Resource Management Act:

Common breaches of the Resource Management Act include contravening the duties within sections 16 and 17 of the Act. An example of a breach of the section 16 duty is undertaking or allowing an activity to be undertaken that exceeds a reasonable noise level. An example of a breach of the section 17 duty is undertaking or allowing an activity to be undertaken that creates adverse effects such as allowing rubbish, tyres and/or abandoned vehicles to create adverse amenity effects to the surrounding environment.

Breaching a Condition of an Approved Resource Consent:

A breach of an approved resource consent can be unintentional when new property owners or lease holders or business owners are not aware that there are resource consent conditions to be complied with. An example of this is where an activity such as a childcare centre has obtained resource consent to operate and the resource consent is subject to conditions regarding operating hours and maximum number of children (and/or staff).

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Proposed Plan Change 160 – Introduction of the Helensville Residential Heritage Policy and Other Changes

Proposed Plan Change 160: Introduction of Helensville Residential Heritage Policy and Other Changes seeks to change the provisions of the Auckland Council District Plan (Rodney Section) to better protect heritage values and resources in the older residential areas of Helensville.

The Plan Change implements a policy area (the Helensville Residential Heritage Policy Area) that overlies existing zones of the District Plan (the Residential M zone) so that there are additional rules that apply to these areas (in addition to the zone rules). The are affected by the Proposed Helensville Residential Heritage Policy Area is attached and is shown on the picture below:

The extent of the Helensville Residential Heritage Policy Area

The extent of the Helensville Residential Heritage Policy Area

Legend for the Extent of the Helensville Residenital Heritage Policy Area

Legend for the Extent of the Helensville Residential Heritage Policy Area

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Can I Subdivide My Site? – Former North Shore City Council District Plan Example

To work out if a site can be subdivided – or if a second residential dwelling or unit can be built on a property you first need to establish the zoning of the site and what the rules for the specific zone provide for.

There are also other restrictions to subdividing or constructing additional buildings on a site – including any limitations noted within the ‘Interests” of the relevant Certificate of Title or if there are capacity issues in servicing the site – i.e. water supply, storm water and waste connections). To discuss any of these additional restrictions and limitations contact us.

In this post, I have used an example from the former North Shore Council District Plan. Figure 1 below is a snapshot of land within the former North Shore City Council area that has a mix of different zones.

Figure 1: Zoning maps

Extract of a Zoning Map from the former North Shore City Area

Extract of a Zoning Map from the former North Shore City Area

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What are Existing Use Rights and Certificates of Compliance?

‘Exiting use rights’ is the resource management term given for activities or for physical building works (such as part of a house) that were (legally i.e. they were permitted activities and did not require resource consent) established under previous planning rules.

Existing use rights are different from having an activity that resource consent or planning permission was sought.

Existing use rights can be lost if the character, intensity and scale of these rights are modified or if the activity was discontinued for more than 12 months. For example, a childcare centre accommodating 25 children may have been legally established many years ago, but if this childcare centre were to increase in size so say 100 children, this would not have the same character, intensity or scale as when it was originally established.

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Planning (Zoning) Maps – one of the most useful tools of a District or Regional Plan

Planning maps are one of the most commonly referred to parts of District and Regional plans. They are usually the first part of a District/Regional plan you need to look at to identify the limitations that apply to your site and accordingly, the relevant rules that will apply. Planning maps contain useful information including:

  • zoning
  • designations
  • policy area boundaries
  • hazard areas
  • significant sites
  • scheduled features such as buildings, trees, structures etc.
  • sometimes plan changes are referenced
  • special height limitations (i.e. for volcanic cone protection, or height restrictions around Airports)

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Can I Erect a Sign or Billboard On My Residentially Zoned Property? (Examples from the former Auckland City Council and Queenstown Lakes District Council)

This article explains the types of signs or billboards that are generally allowed on residential properties using examples from the former Auckland City Council and Queenstown Lakes District Council. As always, all District Plans or rules for a district/city are different, so it depends on the area (and zone) of your property as to what sort of signs and/or billboards that you can erect.

It is also important to note that not all District Plans provide rules on signage. For example, in the former Auckland City Council, rules regarding signs and billboards are provided within the Council Bylaw rather than the District Plan.

Signage is controlled in the former Auckland City Council by the Signs Bylaw rather than the District Plan

Signage is controlled in the former Auckland City Council by the Signs Bylaw rather than the District Plan

Firstly, before I discuss a few examples – it is important to note that there are significant differences between a sign and a billboard.

The former Auckland City Council Bylaws describe signs as:

Sign means a message or notice conveyed using any visual media, which can be seen from a public place and which advertises a product, business, or service or informs or warns the public. A sign includes the frame, supporting device and any associated ancillary equipment whose principal function is to support the message or notice. It includes but is not limited to a billboard, mural, banner, flag, balloon, poster, sandwich board, wind sock, blimp or projection of light.

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The new Auckland Council is live today!

Hurray, it’s the first day of summer today and today also marks the first day of the new Auckland Council. The change in local government structure in Auckland promises lots of change although, with respect to building and resource consents, it is pretty much business as usual with the exception of a few noticeable changes detailed below:

Extract from the Auckland Council Website

Extract from the Auckland Council Website

  • New application forms for building and resource consents – if you are lodging either of these you will need to go here for resource consent application forms and here for building consent application forms;
  • New application fees for building and resource consents. To find out the likely deposit fees and hourly rates for council staff processing your consent go here;
  • New contact information, including a new main reception/contact number of 09 301 0101;
  • New ward boundaries and councillors and a new mayor this also means that there may be changes in internal council processes i.e. who has delegated authority to approve and/or decline consent applications;

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