District Plan - Plan Change 2 - Pukehāngi Heights

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In recognition of the need for additional residentially zoned land, Rotorua Lakes Council has been working with land owners within the Pukehāngi Heights Area to develop a plan change that is intended to facilitate residential and rural residential development.

Hearing Information:

The Hearing for the plan change commenced on Monday 21 September and submissions were presented to the hearings panel until Wednesday 23 September 2020.

The hearing is currently adjourned awaiting the Council planners' response to submissions, the Council's legal submissions and further directions from the hearings panel.

Background:

The Minister for Environment approved the use of the Streamlined Plan Change Process for the processing of the plan change. The plan change was notified in January with 47 submissions received - copies of all submissions, along with a Summary of Submissions, are available here.

Eight further submissions were received. They are available here.

The Council made an application for an extension of timeframes to hold the hearing. This was to allow extra time to undertake stormwater and flood risk modelling. The Minister approved a 3-month extension, and a copy of the letter can be found here.



In recognition of the need for additional residentially zoned land, Rotorua Lakes Council has been working with land owners within the Pukehāngi Heights Area to develop a plan change that is intended to facilitate residential and rural residential development.

Hearing Information:

The Hearing for the plan change commenced on Monday 21 September and submissions were presented to the hearings panel until Wednesday 23 September 2020.

The hearing is currently adjourned awaiting the Council planners' response to submissions, the Council's legal submissions and further directions from the hearings panel.

Background:

The Minister for Environment approved the use of the Streamlined Plan Change Process for the processing of the plan change. The plan change was notified in January with 47 submissions received - copies of all submissions, along with a Summary of Submissions, are available here.

Eight further submissions were received. They are available here.

The Council made an application for an extension of timeframes to hold the hearing. This was to allow extra time to undertake stormwater and flood risk modelling. The Minister approved a 3-month extension, and a copy of the letter can be found here.



  • Further Submissions (Public Notice) - Proposed Plan Change 2: Pukehāngi Heights

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    05 March, 2020
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    Proposed Plan Change 2: Pukehāngi Heights

    to the Rotorua District Plan


    Rotorua Lakes Council advises that:

    • a Summary of the Decisions requested on the Pukehāngi Heights plan change (Summary of Submissions) along with copies of the original submissions are now available


    How do I view the initial submissions received?

    Copies of submissions along with a summary of submissions are available here or at:

    • Customer Service, Rotorua Lakes Council - 1061 Haupapa Street, Rotorua
    • Te Aka Mauri, Rotorua Library - 1127 Haupapa Street, Rotorua


    Who can make a Further Submission?

    The people who can make a further submissions are limited to:

    • any person representing a relevant aspect of the public interest;
    • any person that has an interest in the proposed plan change greater than the interest that the general public has; and
    • The local authority itself.

    Further submissions must be received by Council by 19 March 2020.


    What can a Further Submission address?

    A further submission must be limited to a matter in support of or in opposition to an initial submission.

    Within 5 working days of providing the further submission to Council, you must also serve a copy on the person who made the original submission.

    If you have any questions about the plan change, please contact our Customer Services Team on 07 348 4199.


    Closing date for further submissions 19 March 2020.

    All Further Submissions will be made available on the website from 26 March 2020.


    Geoff Williams

    Chief Executive

  • Key Topics: Stormwater

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    20 January, 2020


    The Pukehāngi Heights Development Area lies with the Utuhina Steam Catchment and will discharge stormwater to the catchment.

    The volume of stormwater runoff will increase with the urbanisation of the Pukehāngi Heights area due to the increase in impermeable surfaces.

    Conceptual Stormwater Management Plans have been developed for each of the three sites within the Development Area:
    • Sunny Downs[1]
    • Hunts Farm[2]
    • Twin Oaks[3]
    A further report assessing flood risks has been prepared[4]. These reports have all been independently peer reviewed[5].

    The general concept for each conceptual management plan is to manage stormwater quantity and quality following a “treatment train” approach, with a focus on source control (including ‘on-lot’) measures, distributing to a network of green open space that serves as stormwater attenuation areas including swales for attenuation and conveyance, and use of larger dry basins before discharging off the site.

    Sunny Downs and Hunt Farm can both make appropriate on-site provision for stormwater management that meet these criteria using detention basins and control structures to manage runoff rates. An additional option that also could limit the on-site provision for stormwater management is the development of detention basins, ponds or control structures in Wrights Park.

    Due to the site restrictions, detention basins or ponds are not a safe and practical option for Twin Oaks as any retained water body within the site will pose a risk to the existing downstream residential development. A combination of ground infiltration and on-lot detention tanks is a technically feasible option for reducing runoff rates to meet the criteria. Alternatively, Twin Oaks may be able to work with the adjoining Hunt Farm to provide access to retention areas with increased capacity to also take their runoff.

    The proposed Structure Plan for the Pukehāngi Height Development Area shows the indicative location of stormwater detention areas and the main overland flow paths based on the Conceptual Stormwater Management Plans. Indicative detention areas for the Twin Oaks development have been identified on the Hunts Farm.

    Finalising the design of the stormwater management system for the development is constrained by currently incomplete information on the Utuhina catchment. An effective Catchment Management Plan for the total catchment requires modelling that will enable consideration of issues such as future development, current flooding risk, and climate change. This work is underway, but not yet complete.

    Development planning has therefore proceeded using interim assumptions about the level of attenuation to protect the proposed development and downstream areas from flooding. The preliminary design criteria set for stormwater management is to reduce the 1% AEP runoff to 80% of the pre-development flows.

    This results in large areas needing to be set aside within the development area for stormwater detention basins. These areas will eventually vest in the council. The extent of on-site stormwater mitigation and the ultimate development yield cannot be fully confirmed until the catchment modelling and planning work is completed.

    Given these uncertainties, the proposed plan change provisions require a catchment based Stormwater Management Plan (SMP) to be prepared prior to subdivision and development occurring. The issues addressed in the SMP are set out on the Performance Standards. This includes the need to address the potential effects of stormwater management measures, for example, the detention areas, on land stability and liquefaction;

    Developers will also need stormwater discharge consents from the Bay of Plenty Regional Council to enable development to occur. This will require an assessment of water quality and quantity effects to be undertaken, and consideration of potentially affected persons.

    Council is in the process of renewing the comprehensive stormwater discharge consents that it holds for the wider Utuhina catchment. To date, the application process has been approached on conservative design assumptions due to the lack of modelled data. Opportunities are being considered to enhance the discharge consent application process with modelled data and to widen the scope of the application to include the Pukehāngi Heights Development Area. This will ensure that issues are addressed effectively and efficiently on a comprehensive basis across the catchment, thereby simplifying the future development consent process.
    ______________________________________________
    [1] Pukehāngi Road (Sunny Downs) development - Concept Stormwater Masterplan WSP Opus 2017
    [2] Pukehāngi Road (Hunts Farm) development - Stormwater Masterplan Advice WSP Opus 2017
    [3] Te Arawa Group Holdings Development, WSP Opus, Rotorua 2018
    [4] Pukehāngi Heights Flood Risk Assessment, WSP Opus 2019
    [5] Pukehāngi Plan Change Stormwater Technical, Review, Tonkin and Taylor, 2019


  • Key Topics: Landscape Values

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    17 January, 2020

    The Pukehāngi Heights Development Area is located on the lower slopes of the Rotorua Caldera Rim.

    The landscape values of the Caldera Rim have been assessed in the ‘Rotorua Caldera Rim – Caldera Rim Rural Character Design Guideline’ (October 2012) which also provides guidance on how to integrate growth and land use change into the landscape.

    The Caldera Rim landscape is recognised as being highly valued by the Rotorua community.

    The Design Guideline identifies the Pukehāngi Heights Development Area as being within the ‘less sensitive rural landscape’ situated below the RL385 contour. Above this contour, rural or natural character values should be maintained. Below this contour, the landscape still contains important character and amenity values but is less sensitive to land use change.

    The land form of the Pukehāngi Heights Development Area broadly comprises two terraces with an escarpment between. The Lower Terrace adjoins Pukehāngi Road and slowly rises to meet the steep mid-site Escarpment. The land then rises to a broad Upper Terrace extending northwest/southeast with intervening valleys. The Upper Terrace has a steep escarpment backdrop.

    The landscape assessment is that the lower and upper terraces can generally be developed for residential use with moderate-low landscape and visual effects. Development on the more prominent escarpment edges requires careful design to mitigate localised visual effects.

    The Mid-site Escarpment, being more prominent and visually sensitive, is better suited to much lower density development in clusters with a strong green corridor of native vegetation banding along and across much of this area. This will help to ensure that the development integrates well with the adjoining Parklands development. Those areas of the escarpment closer to Matipo Ave can be less vegetated with a more open space, rural character.

    The Structure Plan identifies the key areas that are sensitive to landscape change, specifically the Upper Escarpment, the Mid-Site Escarpment and the Escarpment Transition Areas 1 and 2.

    The plan change includes a general landscape principle: ‘Development that responds to the landscape values of the Caldera Rim and the topography of the area’, along with place specific principles which describe the landscape outcomes intended. For example, in the mid site escarpment the first principle is a ‘Partially re-vegetated native bush and specimen tree network to form a backdrop to the development on the Lower Terrace’.

    Objectives and Policies are also proposed to guide development (see A5.2A.2)

    Subdivision controls to manage landscape effects

    Subdivision within the more visually sensitive parts of the site require a landscape and visual assessment. In addition, within the mid site escarpment details of the revegetation will form part of the conditions of consent. Finally, the plan change proposes the revegetation of the Upper Escarpment. This will be triggered by the subdivision of the Upper Terrace.

    Land use controls to manage landscape effects

    The plan change also includes controls on buildings within the more sensitive landscape areas. For example, within the escarpment transition area 2 (which is at the top of the mid-site escarpment) there are additional controls on the height of buildings, yards, modulation of buildings, density, reflectivity and controls on retaining walls and fences.


    [1] See Landscape and Visual Effects Assessment – Boffa Miskell Ltd 22 February 2019

  • Key Topics: Traffic

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    17 January, 2020


    The Pukehāngi Heights Development Area is served primary from Pukehāngi Road which is Collector Road.

    The development of the land will increase traffic volumes on the local road network.

    An assessment of the traffic effects of development of Pukehāngi Heights on the road network has been undertaken[1]. This assessment concludes that traffic flows from the development will be relatively low with no significant delays to traffic turning in or out of the development, or on the performance of the wider network.

    The speed limit on Pukehāngi Road is likely to be reduced from its present 70km/h to 50 km/h.

    An indicative primary road network and walkways and cycleways are shown on the proposed Structure Plan. Additional local roads will need to be provided to accommodate the planned development.

    The proposed Structure Plan shows the appropriate locations for intersections with the existing road network to optimise traffic flows within the development, and to focus amenity effects of traffic flows on existing intersections.

    Active Transport Modes

    The operative District Plan recognises that developing a compact urban area that allows for effective and varied forms of transport and pedestrian connections is important to achieve a sustainable city[2].

    Development of the site presents an opportunity for enhanced walking and cycling access for the development site as well as giving the surrounding community access to recreational areas and outstanding views of the lake and Rotorua Caldera, complementing other recreational assets in the local areas.

    The proposed structure plan shows the extent of the walking and cycling network within the Development Area. The standards for construction (e.g. width, surfacing, lighting) will be guided by the Councils infrastructure specifications [3] and general subdivision criteria in the operative District Plan[4] for the safe and convenient movement of pedestrians and cyclists throughout a subdivision site or development.

    The Development Area will link to the Councils “Cyway” biking network via a planned 3m wide shared access along Pukehāngi Road.

    Public Transport

    There is the potential for public transport connections along Pukehāngi Road which will be easily walkable from all parts of the Development Area. The planned local centres create the opportunity to locate bus stops adjacent to areas of activity focus and amenity.

    Matipo Avenue

    Residents of Matipo Avenue have raised specific concerns about the impact of development and construction traffic on Matipo Avenue from the TAGH land. Matipo Avenue is narrow and has a steep gradient where it rises from Pukehāngi Road, which reduces its capacity for additional traffic to be handled safely.

    Residents in Matipo Avenue were submitters opposed to the proposed “Twin Oaks” Development Plan through the last District Plan Review. Their submissions resulted in standards being included in the District Plan to control construction access, development scale, and internal road connections. Residents want to maintain these standards as an outcome of the proposed plan change.

    A range of options have been developed and evaluated for access to the Twin Oaks land[5]. As an outcome of this planning process, the concerns raised by residents have been recognised and provided for by the following provisions being included in the Plan Change:

    · Limiting the likely number of vehicle movements on Matipo Avenue from Twin Oaks to no more than those enabled under the current District Plan provisions;

    · Restricting land development construction vehicles from using Matipo Avenue, with access instead being gained from Great Western Road, or Pukehāngi Road via the Hunt Farm land.

    The traffic assessment concludes that if the road network is developed as shown on the Structure Plan, the number of vehicle movements on Matipo Avenue from Twin Oaks will be less than those enabled under the current District Plan provisions.


    [1] Pukehāngi Heights Development Area Traffic Assessment, Stantec, 08 March 2019

    [2] 13.2.4 Sustainable Design and Development of Land

    [3] https://www.rotorualakescouncil.nz/our-council/council-publications/standardsandstrategies/Pages/Civil-Engineering-Industry-Standards.aspx

    [4] See Objective 13.3.9, 13.13.2 g Roading and Access, 13.18.1.2 General Assessment Criteria

    [5] Matipo Avenue Access Issues and Options Discussion Paper

  • Key Topics: Cultural and Archaeological Values

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    17 January, 2020


    Archaeology

    An archaeological assessment has been undertaken for the Development Area[1].

    The assessment identifies that that there were two broad natural terraces, which are likely to have been occupied and gardened in the past by Māori. High points on the ground above, and between the two terraces, could have been used for storage and defence. The sole recorded pa is located on the highest point at 422 m, overlooking this area.

    The soils are well-drained, which would have suited gardening and storage of kumara. It appears the springs within the subject properties were only active during the winter, or at times of very heavy rainfall. However, the named streams to the north, south and east were permanent waterways. To the east the tributaries of the Otamatea Stream formed several swampy channels, which might have had eels, flax and other resources.

    The earliest maps show the land was predominantly or totally clear of bush, which must have been cut by Māori in the past, to form areas for settlement and gardening. Further bush felling would have occurred after European arrival.

    Traditional Māori accounts refer to gardened areas, including Paparata marked just outside the properties, but may extend over a wider area.

    Site investigations have identified the location of several archaeological features and sites that may warrant protection. Most of these features and sites are in locations that enable retention and protection.

    Development of the Pukehāngi Heights Development Area has the potential to adversely affect identified archaeological features and sites. Further investigation will be needed at the development stage to determine appropriate management.

    Cultural Landscape

    While few archaeological features remain, the Cultural Impact Assessment prepared by Ngāti Kea Ngāti Tuara identifies the area’s cultural and historical significance, with settlement occurring over 500 years ago.

    The whole area is significant for Ngāti Kea Ngāti Tuara as a meeting point between their ancestors’ traditional homes of Horohoro, Tihi-o-Tonga, Tārewa and Patetere. Key cultural features include the old pā sites - Pukehāngi and Puketapu and the north-facing slopes from the kāinga at Paparata towards the north-west (along what is now Pukehāngi Rd) that were used extensively by tangata whenua as mahinga kai.

    Given the areas cultural context, there is a desire to see the expression of cultural identity within the Development Area, including through the incorporation of landmark features such as traditional or contemporary art works into the street network, and street naming.

    The effectiveness of the management of archaeological sites, and sites and areas of cultural significance is dependent on the quality of the information available. Early engagement with hapū and the identification of issues and responses early in the planning stage of the development process means that effective protection measures can be put in place where required.


    [1] Assessment for Exploratory Archaeological Authority: Pukehāngi Heights, Rotorua, Dr C Phillips, 2019

  • Key Topics: Construction Effects

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    20 January, 2020

    The change from rural to urban use will result in works being staged over several years to undertake bulk earthworks, build roads, establish parks, walkways and stormwater management areas, install underground services and construct new homes and other buildings.

    There are foreseeable effects from land development activities including movement of construction machinery to site, noise and vibration, visual changes, and air and water borne sediment. These effects will be temporary and can be reduced through careful site management.

    As outlined above, specific controls on construction traffic accessing Matipo Avenue are proposed.

    Large scale earthworks are controlled under a Regional Plan by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, who place strict conditions on the control of dust and sediment runoff.

    Construction noise is managed by the District Council under the District Plan. A widely accepted New Zealand Standard (NZS6803:1999) will be used for the assessment of construction noise. Noise management plans will be required to ensure that noise levels are met including by limiting working hours and through the selection of appropriate machinery.

    Feedback on draft Plan Provisions included concerns about vibration effects during land development. Vibration effects are not currently controlled by the District Plan. They may be indirectly controlled through the construction earthworks process, but there is no explicit recognition of this issue in the Development Code. Otherwise, vibration effects are managed through civil liability, primarily on a reactive basis. The proposed provisions include specific standards for managing vibration effects, alongside noise.


  • Approval from the Minister

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    22 January, 2020

    Direction to enter the Streamlined Planning Process to prepare a change to the Rotorua District Plan (Plan Change 2: Pukehāngi Heights) Click here for a copy of the letter from Hon David Parker, Minister for the Environment,

  • Privacy Act and Official Information Act

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    20 January, 2020


    Submissions are made under the Resource Management Act 1991. The submissions and the information contained in them will be held by the Rotorua Lakes Council and will also be available at Rotorua Lakes Council's Customer Centre, the Rotorua library and on the Rotorua Lakes Council website.

    By taking part in this public submission process submitters will, for the purposes of the Official Information Act 1982, be understood to have waived privacy interests in their submission.

    Submitters are also reminded that the information supplied in written submissions may be personal information within the meaning of the Privacy Act 1993. Submitters are advised that under the Privacy Act that they have the right to enquire as to the personal information held by the Council and request that it be accurate.