Te Whakamāramatanga o te Panonihanga | About the changes

Why we’re making the changes

The plan change will enable greater housing supply and choice in Rotorua by amending the current rules. This is an important part of addressing our housing shortage because it enables more houses to be built in areas that have access to jobs, public transport, amenities and other community facilities. By allowing more medium and high density housing, we can utilise our space better to provide more houses for everyone. We aim to achieve these housing outcomes through revisions to our zoning framework shown below:

Community-focused reasons

The benefit of increasing density standards is that we allow more housing options for more people. And when more people live in an area, we can invest more efficiently in those things that enhance a community such as parks and open spaces, streets, schools and health services. This is critical to creating thriving communities.

Due to our aging population, we expect an increase in smaller households over time and a growing preference for smaller, attached houses, which we currently have a shortage of. These intensification measures will ensure greater housing choice to meet changing preferences.

Small housing types also provide opportunity for more affordable housing options over time and therefore greater access to housing for the community.

Our Intensification Design Guide for larger scale development along with the MfE’s National Medium Density Design Guide will encourage these new builds to look good, respect the privacy of the properties next door, and create great spaces and neighbourhoods for us all to live in.

Legislative Context

Rotorua Lakes Council was identified as a ‘specified territorial authority’ by the Minister for the Environment under the Resource Management (Enabling Housing Supply and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2021. The Amendment Act supported changes outlined in the National Policy Statement on Urban Development 2020 (NPSUD) and required Rotorua Lakes Council to notify a plan change implementing intensification policies by 20 August 2020. The Amendment Act defines a set of Medium Density Residential Standards (MDRS) that we must apply to our residential zones in the District Plan when the Plan is notified on 20 August 2020.

What it means for you

We’re contacting those directly affected by mailing out the details of the proposed changes. We’re also making sure we share these proposed changes with the whole community, so everyone is aware and can have their say.

Even if your property is not directly affected, you can still make a submission and explain why you support or oppose the plan change.

If you need to understand how this plan change may affect your property please lodge a query with our customer service team at policy.planning@rotorualc.nz

We are producing a plan change document (section 32 report) that includes an explanation of the proposed changes. This report considers the appropriateness of the plan change and assesses the costs and benefits of the environmental, economic, social and cultural effects anticipated from the plan change.

The Plan Change Process

  1. Plan Change is notified and submissions open
  2. Once all submissions are received, they are summarised and notified.
  3. Certain people can make further submissions in writing on the prescribed form.
  4. Further submissions cannot identify new issues but can support or oppose the contents of original submissions.
  5. Further submissions are called for over a period of at least 10 working days.
  6. Council will then hold a hearing which will be overseen by Independent Hearing Commissioners, if required, for submitters to verbally present their submissions. The hearing panel can be made of accredited councillors, independent commissioners, or a mix.
  7. After the hearing, Council decides to accept or reject each submission received in whole or in part.
  8. Council will then publicly notify its decision.

What’s being proposed

There are a few ways things will change. Some of the new rules that implement the Medium Density Residential Standards must be implemented, under law, from August 2022. We have also developed our own range of suggested changes, which are the ones open for submission. Finally, some areas do not specifically align with the changes and we are suggesting they stay the same.

You can jump directly to each area:

Categories: About the changes
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