Impacts of the Nelson City Council Plan changes

An independent report on the recently notified suite of plan changes proposed by Nelson City Council has revealed a number of potentially significant impacts across the whole of Nelson. 

Former Council manager responsible for administering the Nelson Resource Management Plan and director of ViaStrada, Tony Quickfall, says that the plan changes introduce some significant and wide-ranging amendments.

ViaStrada has prepared a summary report, which gives a general overview and analysis, but anyone requiring a more detailed analysis or advice on the effects of the plan changes can contact Tony Quickfall at the Nelson office.

The Council notified 10 separate plan changes on 25 September 2010, covering  residential subdivision, land development, comprehensive housing, rezoning, parking, daylight and solar panels, heritage trees, freshwater, a range of technical fixes, fire fighting and air quality.

In addition to a new city-wide rule for fence heights, the ViaStrada report has identified the following impacts:

  • General reduction of parking standards for the inner city leading to an overall reduction in inner city parking.
  • New location, design and colour compatibility standards for garages.
  • Increased parking standards for restaurants, cafes and taverns.
  • New resource consent requirements for currently permitted new buildings or significant building alterations within parts of the Inner City Fringe.
  • Tightening up on residential and some rural subdivision and an expectation of higher subdivision and design standards.
  • New front yard setback and landscaping requirements for all residential zones – at least half of the front yard to be landscaped where any part of a building is located within 4m of road boundary.
  • Very extensive information requirements for certain types of subdivision proposals.
  • Extensive information requirements for comprehensive housing developments.
  • New sustainable transport policies which could affect the implementation of the current Arterial Study.
  • An exemption for certain types of Council signs from all sign rules.

The underlying basis for the plan changes is Towards Better Urban Design, with the overall intention of improving urban amenity and urban design.  However, the plan changes will impose a number of new consenting requirements for activities which are currently permitted, as well as increasing the information which needs to be provided with certain types of resource consent applications. Ultimately some of the changes will mean more expensive resource consents and a general tightening of controls around land use and development.   

Although the new changes don’t have any effect until made operative, the sweeping plan changes have the potential to impact on every Nelson residence.  The biggest impacts will be on property owners in Nelson city centre, Enner Glynn, and Upper Brook, as well as anyone contemplating building or any form of subdivision. 

Council’s “rolling review” of the Resource Management Plan has also identified future plan changes affecting Suburban Commercial, City Centre and Industrial zones as well as intensification and affordable housing.

Submissions close on 3 December 2010.