Draft submission to the Draft Unitary Plan – this is for individuals to use should they wish and modify in any way they like

May 15th, 2013

Hi all,

Submissions for the Unitary plan have to be in by 31st May. We want you to have your input but realise that MEVP members may well have diverse views. A few of us have put together a draft submission, please see below. We will not be putting in a MEVP viewpoint (as this is not established) but will be submitting as individuals. We encourage you to rework this draft so it reflects your position, submissions can be done online.

This is our chance to have a say –please take it.

Judith Holtebrinck

MEVP coordinator

Auckland 14.05.2013

Draft submission to the Draft Unitary Plan – this is for individuals to use should they wish and modify in any way they like

We would like to congratulate Auckland Council on the Draft Unitary Plan and hope that our feedback will support the vision of the most liveable city with thriving communities, a good public transport system and enough green space for people to share. As part of the worldwide Transition Town movement it is our wish that this plan supports a city that is prepared to deal with climate change issues, has less dependency on fossil fuels, is designed to reduce green-house gases and enforces sustainable solutions for new buildings and developments.

Why the rush?

As we understand, this is a document that will shape the future of our city for the next 30 years and there are only 3 month for the reviewing process.

Recommendation: Allow more time for the reviewing process to make sure all submissions will be considered and included.

Growth:

We are concerned about the assumed fast growth in our city, more people means more cars, more traffic, more pollution and less space.

Recommendation: To develop programs to encourage people to live in other cities and move away from Auckland. Work with the government to support new businesses outside of Auckland.

Natural environment:

Volcanic views shafts: One of the unique natural highlights our city has to offer is  our volcanoes. We would strongly recommend that the view shafts to these volcanoes are protected. Buildings into the view shafts will destroy the appeal of our city for us and for visitors. The volcanoes must continue to be the feature of our landscape as they make our city so special and different from all other cities around the world.

Recommendation: To protect these views shafts and continue to have the current rules of height restrictions as outlined in the Operative Auckland City District Plan 1999. The 9m blanket height limit restrictions around the base of the cones (inside or outside the viewshafts) must be changed from a non-complying activity to a prohibited activity.

Trees in our community: In a time where we need trees to reduce greenhouse gases we would like to see a better protection for existing trees and the planting of more trees. Recommendation: Have a clear rule around the protection of our trees, plant more trees and secure space for parks and trees.

Heritage and historic character – Mt Eden:

We are pleased that under the Draft Unitary plan buildings pre 1944 will be protected. We are concerned about the rezoning around our community which will allow developers to build terrace housing up to 13.5m height in some of our heritage character streets close to the village centre and Maungawhau. Mt Eden is one of the few communities with an intact heritage town centre, which is a travel destination for many Aucklanders and people from overseas, helping our small businesses to thrive.

Recommendation:

The following areas should be considered for rezoning from the proposed Terrace Housing and Apartments zone to a Single House zone: the east of Mt Eden Rd at Mt Eden Village.

The following areas should be considered for rezoning from the proposed Mixed Housing to a Single House zone: west of Mt Eden Rd at Mt Eden Village should be zoned Single House zone, not the proposed Mixed Housing zone.

Mt Eden Village: the suggested 4 storey building in Mt Eden Village would destroy the heritage nature of our community.

Recommendation: Zone Mt Eden Village as a Neighbourhood Centre not the proposed Local Centre and continue to have a height restriction of 9m for any new buildings in Mt Eden Village.

Recommendation: To keep a restricted height around Mt Eden Village to ensure the heritage character of our community will be there for many years to come and have a height restriction in the village.

Please also include the following buildings in our village as historic heritage places:

  • Barfoot and Thomson real-estate building (427 Mt Eden Rd)
  • De Post (466 Mt Eden Rd)
  • Methodist church (449 Mt Eden Rd)
  • Mantells (466 Mt Eden Rd)
  • Mazaiki Café building (421 Mt Eden Rd)
  • the Mt Eden Bowling club (17 Stokes Road),
  • Frasers Café (434 Mt Eden Rd)
  • Circus Circus (447 Mt Eden Rd) which is already listed.

Heritage and historic character

We support the plan to protect houses pre 1944, however, we are concerned that these can be removed without public notification.

Recommendation: Need rules for clear protection..

Transport

We would like to see a better public transport system and more people using it.

Recommendation: Convert car parks in the city into apartments, do not build more car parks, build more cycle lanes to make cycling safer and invest in trains and buses.

Business:

If we want to improve our city’s lifestyle we have to move away form the big business idea of shopping malls and big supermarket chains and have instead, many small decentralised  business as found in European cities.

Recommendation: Stop building any further shopping malls that, can only be reached by car.  They are buildings that do not contribute to the general aesthetic of a most liveable city. Support development of small independent shops that create neighbourhood community and which people can walk or cycle to rather than using cars.  More small decentralised shops where people can walk or cycle to and do not need to use their car.

Parks and community:

In the proposed apartment blocks people will not have space to grow some of their own food and to connect with nature.

Recommendation: Ensure that new developments have green space around them and create more local parks. In a time where we are running out of resources on this planet it is important that local food production is part of our city. We need more parks that can be used to produce local food, have food gardens, fruit trees and green space in which children can play and people  exercise.

We also understand that under the current draft Unitary Plan it would be possible to do the following activities as Permitted (P) or Restricted Discretionary (RD) for Mt Eden Reserve volcanic cone and Nicholson Park:

construction of buildings, additions or                       ●   workers’ accommodation
alterations                                                              ●   roads
●   community facilities (eg. places of                        ●   recreation centres
worship, halls, libraries, etc.)                                 ●   retail
●   public amenities (eg. toilets, park furniture,          ●   marae complex
changing rooms, showers, etc.)                              ●   informal recreation and leisure
●   information facilities (eg. visitor centre)                ●   parks field structures
●   any activity identified in an incorporated                         ●   art works
concept plan or adopted reserve
management plan, placed in a different location.

Further activities allowed for Mt Eden Reserve:
●   camping grounds                                                    ●   conservation forestry

Further activities allowed for Nicholson Park:
●   organized sports and recreation                             ●   markets
●   floodlights and support towers                             ●   restaurants
●   car parking and associated vehicle access              ●   grandstands

With increased population density, our existing green spaces are of increased importance and must be protected.

Recommendation: Any of these activities planned for Mt Eden Reserve or Nicholson Park or other Public Open Space zones. (eg. Windmill Road Park, Melville Park, Pollard Park, Potters Park, Three Kings Reserve etc.) must be approved through a notified application process to ensure that these green spaces remain intact for the community.

Affordable neighbourhoods

With extremely high food and house prices in Auckland it is important that we have affordable housing. However, we don’t see that we will get these affordable homes built by developers. Our concern is that new proposed terrace housing again will only be available for the more fortunate people in our community or wealthy immigrants.

Recommendation: To come up with a development for social housing. This way the council could guarantee that these houses are built to design and environmental building standards to last longer and that their  rent is affordable.

Auckland CBD as been scarred by developers for a long time and the outcome is now a city centre that in some parts looks like east Germany in its worst era, featuring concrete buildings with no appeal. We are concerned that thee suggested design standards don’t have to be followed by developers and therefore we will get more badly designed and built homes. Recommendation: New developments have to follow clear and enforceable rules rather than guidelines for buildings (either mixed housing or single housing) in heritage areas such as Mt Eden. Guidelines with good intentions are useless without enforcement.

Noise:

Denser living will mean more consideration for others around noise will be needed. Our current laws are ineffective. Noise controls will also be needed with a lot of  development occurring.

Recommendation: We need  decibel limits and recognition of the particular problem with bass sounds which can travel at low decibels.

WE also need strict decibel limits and times that are allowed for building construction. No building on Saturdays or Sundays at all

Tags: , ,
Posted in News | Comments Off

Establishing and Growing a Transition Town Group with Auckland Council

April 16th, 2013

Would you like to set up a Transition Town in your area or are you in a group that wants to meet and discuss next steps with other Transition Town groups?

Please come along to our Workshop on Sunday May 12th 10 – 1.00

This workshop is the second of two Transition Towns events being supported by Auckland Council in conjunction with Mt Eden, Grey Lynn 2030 and Pt Chevalier Transition Towns groups.

This event is being held during the Grey Lynn Farmers Market - an example of an initiative led by the Grey Lynn 2030 Transition community.

You may already be part of a grassroots sustainability action group or have attended the “Growing Sustainable Communities – Introduction to Transition Towns” presentation on 14th April and be wondering how to go about starting a Transition group in your local community.

This workshop is a networking opportunity for all Auckland Transition Town groups, whether they are well established, struggling to survive, or just starting out. Some active established groups will share their learnings and all involved will have an opportunity to explore solutions to common challenges and build closer ties with Auckland Council.

Tags: ,
Posted in News | Comments Off

Fruit trees for Auckland

April 3rd, 2013

We would like to thank the New Zealand Lottery Board for their kind donation of $10,000.00 towards our project to plant 1000 trees with local schools and community groups Auckland wide. We are now hoping that we will receive additional support from other funding applications we submitted. Please register on our website if you would like trees:

Free fruit trees for your schools or early childhood centre:

http://www.fruittrees.org.nz/signup-school/

Free fruit trees for community groups to plant in their local park:

http://www.fruittrees.org.nz/signup-council/

Tags: , , ,
Posted in News | Comments Off

21.4.2013, 8am-12 midday : Neighbourhood garage sale

April 3rd, 2013

6 neighbours have decluttered their homes and are moving their stuff. This is day for bargain hunters. Where: 453E Mt Eden Rd, driveway between Simla Restaurant and Air NZ shop. NO PARKING, please park in Grange Road or Poronui Street.

Posted in News | Comments Off

Liquid gold in Mt Eden – More beehives for Mt Eden

April 3rd, 2013

We now have our fist Mt Eden honey from our beehives and we would like to thank our beekeepers Sigi, Ben, Dave, Mark and Mimi for looking after the bees. Thanks also to our local board for the funding of the hives in 2012. The honey will be used to raise funds for more beehives in Mt Eden. We are now looking for people that would like a hive to learn how to look after bees. If you are interested and if you live in Mt Eden please contact Les.

Tags: , , ,
Posted in News | Comments Off

14.04.2013 Sustainable Communities, an introduction to Transition Towns

March 29th, 2013

On the 14th of April you are invited to learn about Growing Sustainable Communities, an introduction to Transition Towns. This presentation is the first of two Transition Town events being supported by Auckland Council in conjunction with the Mt Eden Village People (Transition Town Mt Eden), Grey Lynn 2030 and Pt Chevalier Transition Town group.

Transition Towns is a vibrant, international grassroots movement with a framework that communities can use to create positive solutions to the converging environmental, economic and social challenges of our time.

It follows on from a walking tour to showcase the Mt Eden Village People (Transition Town Mt Eden) initiatives that will take place in the morning.

This is an opportunity for all Aucklanders with an interest in sustainability to find out about the Transition Towns movement, hear from active Auckland groups and connect with like-minded others.

Registration is essential for catering purposes
Email debbie.netley@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz or call Debbie on 09 367 4342

Sunday 14 April, 1pm- at the Mt Eden Village Centre, 449 Mt Eden Road  (Methodists Church building opposite Circus Circus)

Tags: , , ,
Posted in News | Comments Off

Mt Eden Village Centre : March Programme 2013

March 7th, 2013

Mt Eden Village Centre : 449 Mt Eden Rd : cnr Mt Eden Road & Ngauruhoe St : Mt Eden :
http://www.facebook.com/MtEdenVillageCentre?ref=hl

Ongoing classes:

AA Meeting: Mon, Wed, Fri, 10am – 11.30am

Church choir: Thu 7pm – 8.30 pm

Church service: every Sun 10am – 12 midday

Jitterbugs dance classes: Mon 6.30pm – 10pm

Latin fever in Mt Eden: Latin Moves, Wed 6.15pm – 7.15pm

Latin fever in Mt Eden: Zumba, Wed 7.30pm – 8.30pm

Meditation classes – Transcend: Thu 7.15pm – 8.15pm, 19.01.2013 – 29.03.2013

Meditation & Hypnotherapy classes: Fri  6.45pm-7.45pm

Move to improve – Feldenkrais classes: Tue 7.30pm – 8.30pm

NA meeting: Fri 12am – 1.30pm

Singing Rainbows – Pre-school music classes:
Thu: 9am-12 midday, 07.02.2013-18.04.2013

Yoga classes: Thu: 6pm – 7pm

Events:

Craft Market:
09.03.2013, 10am – 4pm

Artist in Eden day: Art Exhibition :
16.03.2013, 10am – 4pm

Compact Prints – International Exhibition:
01.03 – 25.03, 10am – 3 pm

Mt Eden Village Fair:
23.03.2013, 10am – 3pm

Village Centre Society Lecture:
The Unitary Plan  by  John Duguid, Manager Unitary Plan Auckland Council 26.03.2013, 7.30pm

Tags: , , , ,
Posted in News | Comments Off

Superhood – Street level community engagement

February 18th, 2013

In a resource constrained future it will be important to have networks that will be mutually beneficial to meeting needs. The most apparent, accessible and relevant network available to most people is the street they live on.

Superhood is a concept that allows you to bring all our great Mt Eden Village People initiatives to your street. Reduce waste, plant fruit trees, create gardens, have street parties, simply get to know your neighbours. The Superhood project is a fun way to connect and engage the residents of a street with a view to making it a more friendly, happy, resilient and inherently more sustainable place to live.

If you live in Mt Eden and would like your street to be safer, full of fruit trees, vegetable gardens, hungry bins and activities that bring your neighbourhood together, contact us. We now have a subgroup to help bring this work to your Mt Eden street.

Tags: , ,
Posted in News | Comments Off

February Programme at the Mount Eden Village Centre

February 13th, 2013

Ongoing classes:

AA Meeting: Mon, Wed, Fri, 10am – 11.30am

Church choir: Thu 7pm – 8.30 pm

Church service: every Sun 10am – 12 midday

Jitterbugs dance classes: Mon 6.30pm – 10pm

Latin fever in Mt Eden: Latin Moves, Wed 6.15pm – 7.15pm

Latin fever in Mt Eden: Zumba, Wed 7.30pm – 8.30pm

Meditation classes – Transcend: Thu 7.15pm – 8.15pm, 19.01.2013 – 29.03.2013

Move to improve – Feldenkrais classes: Tue 7.30pm – 8.30pm

NA meeting: Fri 12am – 1.30pm

Singing Rainbows – Pre-school music classes:
Thu: 9am-12 midday, 07.02.2013-18.04.2013

Yoga classes: Thu: 6pm – 7pm

Events:

Craft Market:                                       Mt Eden Village Fair:

09.02.2013, 10am – 4pm                        16.02.2013, 10am – 3pm

Village Music:                                                             Art Exhibition :

15.02.2013, 7.30-10.45                                                   Compact Prints – International
Graham Wardrop & Valdy (from Canada)                 Exhibition, 2.3 – 25.03, 10am – 3pm
Opening night: 1.3.2013 @ 6.30pm

Posted in News | Comments Off

Zero waste in Mt Eden Village – project updates

February 13th, 2013

We will focus on waste minimisation and continue to report back about positive changes with businesses and cafes that embrace a more sustainable practice, recycle and offer NZ made and fair trade products. We are starting this year with talking to our shops about what they are already doing and how we can help them to reduce more waste going to landfill. Let us know if you would like to help with this.

Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in News | Comments Off

Be the change you want to see in the world. Mahatma Gandhi