Property Council submission to Hamilton City Council on Plan Change 12

On 28 September 2022, Property Council submitted to Hamilton City Council regarding Plan Change 12.

Plan Change 12 is intended to give effect to the urban intensification requirements of the National Policy Statement on Urban Development (“NPS-UD”) and the Resource Management (Enabling Housing Supply) Amendment Act (“RMA Amendment Act”).

Why this matters to our members

Property Council advocates for the creation and retention of a well-designed, functional and sustainable built environment. Hamilton City Council’s proposed approach to urban intensification is of immense significance to our members. These policies will shape the future built environment of Hamilton for generations, influencing outcomes across the entire property sector eco-system. We firmly believe that it is important that the voice of the property sector is heard at the decision-making table.

Our view

Property Council was deeply concerned that Plan Change 12 will unduly restrict urban intensification across Hamilton, in in contradiction to the clear intent of the NPS-UD and the RMA Amendment Act. We were worried that the net effect of Plan Change 12 on Hamilton’s built environment would be to frustrate housing supply and affordability ambitions, result in higher levels of greenhouse gas emissions, along with a range of other unintended consequences. We prepared a list of recommendations to influence better, fairer outcomes for all.

At a high level, we recommended that HCC:

  • Align with other Tier One Cities and introduce at least a 1200m walkable catchment around the central city;
  • Aligns the General Residential Zone with the standards set out in the Medium Density Residential Standards (“MDRS”);
  • Revise their approach to residential policies and, to better reflect the positive impacts of development;
  • Amend the proposed High Density Residential Zone to better support developments of six or more storeys;
  • Seeks to align pedestrian walkways with the same width standard (1.2m) as used for internal corridors and address urban design concerns through development incentives in the district plan;
  • Pursues an approach to encouraging greater construction of accessible units through development incentives;
  • Provides greater information and engage further with the development community on the proposal to introduce an infrastructure capacity overlay;
  • Does not adopt the use of financial contributions for funding three waters and transport infrastructure. Instead, we urge the use of transparent, beneficiary pays, alternative funding models;
  • Review the proposed notification provisions, with a view to introducing greater flexibility;
  • Urgently re-evaluate the proposed approach to heritage, character and archaeological sites;
  • Not adopt the proposed cycle parking requirements and instead retain the ability for the market to allocate cycle parking as required;
  • Not adopt the proposed EV charging requirements and instead retain the ability for the market to allocate EV charging capacity as required; and
  • Places a greater emphasis on the existing Urban Design Panel in order to address urban design concerns.
Read the full submission

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