Update on the 'missing clause' and the s71 process that is being used to fix it. (Along with some personal observations)
The release of Judge Hansens letter confirmed that the district plan was not as the IHP (Independent Hearing Panel) intended. CCRU and community board members had long argued this but the CCC response was that the panel would have put it in if they wanted it in so it is as intended. A quite clearly farcical stance (IMO) but what can you do.
We were in the process of going around the CCC to get the Government and Regenerate to fix this when the letter broke.
The letter meant that CCC could no longer claim things were as intended. I think the uproar focused the minds of elected members including the mayor who to her credit has taken time to understand this.
If the council had alerted the panel to the omission before the panel was disbanded the problem could have been fixed with the stroke of a pen, but now it is a much harder proposition. The process selected is 'Section 71' s71 gives the government powers to change the district plan. (The council is not able to change its own plan at the moment)
s71 is a bit of a process in itself and has a number of 'stake holders' so potentially could be drawn out. However if all the stars align, it could also be done by Christmas.
To achieve this by Christmas real urgency is required and everyone involved will have to work together. If this is pulled off by Christmas it will be a real achievement for CCC - elected members and staff, Regenerate, the government, community and the other stake holders.
It is quite a tricky thing. As well as compacting s71 down to the min possible time frame there is going to be an attempt to 'verify' the original wording with some of the original panel members. This is delicate and has the potential to open a can of worms. The argument is that the original clause was not tested properly and that the minister and stake holders will want reassurance that what is being put in front of them is what the panel intended.
This may be valid but there is deep community suspicion and mistrust in council on this subject. 'Will they use this to nudge things a bit further in their direction' is a thought that runs through everyones minds.
The proof will be in the tasting but I have to say, so far so good. We are getting invited to the important meetings and it feels like we are being treated as a stake holder. We just have to wait to see if our input carries any weight. Community will not want to see anything that is less enabling than the current clause.
As I said going back to the panel to verify the wording is a delicate stage and potentially a real test for council - community collaboration. A good process here and a consensus outcome would be a real win, confidence building and potentially lay foundations for future.
The nuts and bolts of the process itself are as follows.
We are told that at the end of the process the Minister can only accept or reject the proposal. I have heard slightly contrary advice to this which should possibly be explored but for now I think it is best to assume it is a yes/no from the minister and so the proposal needs to be solid and well supported.
A key date is Oct 23. This is the next council meeting where councillors vote on the wording that will go to strategic partners.
Between now and Oct 23 that wording needs to be finalised which means going back to panel members (busy people) and asking them if the current wording/policy is as they would like it.
The current wording:
In High Flood Hazard Management areas:
(a) provide for development for a residential unit on residentially zoned land where appropriate mitigation can be provided that protects people's safety, well-being and property; and
(b) in all other cases, avoid subdivision, use or development where it will increase the potential risk to people's safety, well- being and property
The process so far, as I understand it is that a letter from council has gone to panel members asking for their views. (It would be good see what was sent/asked.)
The next step is a workshop on Thursday Oct 11 to workshop the feedback that has come from panel members. CCRU have been invited to this which is encouraging. If council and community can come out of this step with a consensus on the wording I think the biggest hurdle will have been jumped.
It is critical to the pre Christmas goal that the results of this workshop are back in time to make that Oct 23 council meeting.
Assuming that elected members accept the proposal on the 23rd it will go to the strategic partners for comment and support. (Selwyn District Council, Waimakariri District Council and Te Rūnanga o Ngai Tahu, along with the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) and Regenerate Christchurch.)
They are normally given 30 working days to respond, council is asking them to do it in 7 or by 1 November 2018
It will then return to council with any necessary amendments (another potentially risky point) made and given council approval will then be sent to the Minister. The Minister will invite public comment before making her decision.
My final comment is that this does need to be fixed, there is a clear miscarriage, but once fixed we still need to wait and see. In theory the change should force a total policy rethink but council policy people have been unrelenting in their efforts to stop building. They may simply look for new ways to enforce that policy.
I think this is accurate but if this needs tweaks or improvements let me know in the comments.
Here is the Sarah Dawson letter that explains her amendments. It is an interesting read if you like to put your planners hat on.
To make this complete I think we need to see the letter the ccc sent to her asking for comment. (This has been requested)
Note that when she talks about the Councils proposed wording of the new clause in the letter it will be the wording we have now. The wording that was put to the panel in evidence. This is the starting point.
Here is the letter sent to Judge Hasson and Sarah Dawson by CCC requesting comment. To me they have played this with a pretty straight bat. - Warwick Shaffer Deputy Chair CCRU
Dear Judge Hasson and Sarah,
As advised by Mayor Lianne Dalziel, we wish to engage your services, as two former members of the Independent Hearings Panel that participated in decision 53, to provide advice on an amendment to the Christchurch City Council District Plan. Your advice will provide vital information and support to our communities, our strategic partners and to the Minister to assist in streamlining the Section 71 process. I have reattached the paper on the proposed process that went to Council on Thursday 27 September for your information. We are attempting to fast track this process to enable a change to be made prior to Christmas 2018.
This is not a re-litigation of your decision, however it would assist the process enormously if we received your advice on:
Whether the provisions of the District Plan give full effect to the Restricted Discretionary Activity status within the Residential Unit Overlay of the High Flood Management Area and whether additional policy is required to enable the decision to be appropriately supported;
If further policy is required, whether the original draft from the Council experts is an appropriate amendment to the policy and if not, whether any alternate provisions would better support the intent of your decision (noting the 153 Main Road, Redcliffs decision enclosed).
If you think it would be useful to hear from both council staff and representatives of the community through CCRU on options we can arrange appropriate meetings.
We are preparing a pack of relevant information to assist you including legal opinions, council papers and other information as background and will send that to you as soon as possible.
Thank you again for your willingness to assist in this process.
Councillors today approved the draft proposal to amend the District Plan in relation to the Residential Unit Overlay.
Today’s decision is another step in the process towards clarifying the policy required to support the Residential Unit Overlay in the District Plan.
The Council is working towards asking the Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Dr Megan Woods, to change the District Plan, using her powers under section 71 of the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Act.
The proposal approved today:
* Clarifies the policy needed to support the Residential Unit Overlay area where the risk of flooding is predominantly from future sea level rise.
* Permits people with vacant sites (where houses have been demolished since the earthquakes) to rebuild houses of a similar size and location to what was there, without the need for a resource consent.
The draft proposal will go immediately to Environment Canterbury, Selwyn District Council, Waimakariri District Council and Te Rūnanga o Ngai Tahu, along with the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and Regenerate Christchurch, for their feedback.
They have been asked to give their feedback within seven working days so the process can continue to progress as quickly as possible.
Assuming that their advice is provided in time, staff will bring a report to Council on 1 November seeking approval of the final proposal to be sent to the Minister and Regenerate Christchurch.
CCRU, SSRA,SBRA, Christchurch City Councilors, Community Board Members and Council staff attend workshop on RUO policy.
Last night the above-mentioned groups attended a constructive and well organised meeting to discuss the wording of the omitted policy in regard to the RUO and the section 71 process. There was general support for the wording and you can read CCRU feedback to CCC below. Similar support was also given to the CCC by the community boards and the SSRA.
CCRU raised several issues, these issues have been noted by CCC and have advised CCRU that staff have already started to work through them and will include responses and any necessary amendments in their final report to Council. This final report which is expected to be 8 Nov 2018 (i.e. after feedback from strategic partners, and then council staff finalise the s71 proposal).
Thank you for giving CCRU the opportunity to attend and participate in the policy drafting workshop 11th October 2018. From our observations the workshop was well run, well presented, and was an excellent example of collaboration between the CCC and community stakeholders.
We acknowledge the work that has gone into preparing and considering the wording for the draft policy and we are heartened by the additional efforts made to sensibly accommodate the replacement and repair of residential units under the proposed 18.104.22.168 Permitted activity- P2.
After consideration CCRU comments and feedback are as follows.
• CCRU support the Draft wording of policy 22.214.171.124.1 as presented below and at the meeting dated 11 October.
126.96.36.199.1 Policy – Flooding
[Changes to Decision 6 & 53 wording shown in bold (for draft policy provided during IHP hearings) and blue (for further changes proposed by Sarah Dawson)]
188.8.131.52.1 Policy – Flooding
b. In the High Flood Hazard Management Areas:
i. provide for development for a residential unit on residentially zoned land where the flooding risk is predominantly influenced by sea-level rise and where appropriate mitigation can be provided that protects people’s safety, well-being and property from unacceptable risk; and
ii. in all other cases, a) Avoid subdivision, use or development in the High Flood Hazard Management Area where it will increase the potential risk to people’s safety, wellbeing and property.
• We request that “unacceptable risk” be further defined for clarity either in the definitions of the District plan or in another manner deemed suitable
• We request that ‘appropriate mitigation’ is also clarified or given direction in some manner
• We strongly support the below addition of the 184.108.40.206 permitted activity P2 as presented and request that you consider additional wording that will allow for access structures to be considered as being outside of calculations of the previously existing footprint, in order that replacement dwelling dimensions are not compromised by the need to safely access required raised floor levels.
• We ask that thought and consideration be given to allowing replacement of other buildings including commercial with a permitted activity clause similar to P2 within 220.127.116.11, to allow other buildings needed for the community to recover and thrive to be replaced as they were pre-earthquake. A similar Restricted Discretionary provision for new commercial activity may also be appropriate or alternatively investigate how this issue may be better interpreted and managed under the existing district plan rules.
Estuary edge earthquake legacy issues, Southshore and South Brighton
June 2, 2019
Mayor personally commits to GETTING IT FIXED
September 12, 2018
Estuary Edge Condition Inventory, by Jacobs NZ LTD