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Through recent changes to the Resource Management Act and the National Policy Statement for Urban Development, the Government has directed councils to change their district and regional plans to enable increased housing supply and housing intensification in major urban areas.
This means the Proposed District Plan must change to enable medium-density housing in all residential areas in Porirua. This includes adopting new Medium Density Residential Standards which allow up to three houses of three storeys each (12 metres high) to be built on all residential properties as a permitted activity.
In addition, we are required to identify urban areas where even taller buildings can be built such as within the city centre, local centres and commercial areas, and within walking distance of the city centre, public transport stops and local centres.
To make this happen, Council is required to notify a variation to the Proposed District Plan enabling these changes by August 2022.
You can view the proposed changes to zoning on this web viewer, and changes to chapters in the drop-down menu below:
This new Act requires us to enable medium-density housing in all residential areas across the city of up to three houses up to three storeys (or 12 metres high) as a permitted activity.
Developments must comply with the Medium Density Residential Standards, and if they don't they will require resource consent. Other parts of the Proposed District Plan such as district-wide matters will still apply, for example, rules relating to earthworks or removal of vegetation from Significant Natural Areas.
The variation will include:
The Ministry for the Environment has illustrated potential development options for typical sites under these standards.
The National Policy Statement on Urban Development 2020 requires us to identify urban areas where even taller buildings can be built such as within the city centre, local centres and commercial areas, and within walking distance of the city centre, public transport stops and local centres.
The variation will include:
Example of a six storey building (Source: stuff.co.nz 28 Feb 2022)
The new Amendment Act requires us to use a new intensification streamlined planning process which removes the right of submitters to appeal, except on points of law. See the Ministry for the Environment's guidance on this process.
Further, the Medium Density Residential Standards will have legal effect from August 2022, when changes to the Proposed District Plan are notified.
The Government has made these changes to quickly enable greater housing supply in response to the national housing shortage.
Council is seeking feedback on the proposed changes before notifying the variation in August 2022. A hearing convened by an independent hearing panel will be held in early 2023 to hear submissions on the variation.
The Minister for the Environment issued a direction in the NZ Gazette on 27 April 2022 to a number of councils including Porirua requiring decisions on these submissions to be notified by 20 August 2023.
Councils have the ability to modify Medium Density Residential Standards in relation to "qualifying matters". The definition of qualifying matters can be found in the National Policy Statement on Urban Development.
Council is considering whether some minor changes to the Medium Density Residential Standards in a few select areas of the city are appropriate. These are under consideration but could include:
The directive nature of the new Amendment Act and the National Policy Statement for Urban Development limits the ability of councils and communities to make changes to the amount of intensification enabled in different areas, and the Medium Density Residential Standards.
However, we are keen to hear your thoughts to help inform the variation to the Proposed District Plan, including:
Please take a minute to fill in this short survey with your thoughts, or alternatively get in touch with the District Planning team directly: email@example.com or 04 237 5089. The feedback period will run until Friday 6 May 2022.