Low Density Residential Zones – What does the Queenstown District Plan Review mean for you?

14 Oct 2015 |

The District Plan Review has been notified. Submissions from the public close on 23 October 2015.

Areas such as Kelvin Heights, most of Fernhill/Sunshine Bay, Frankton, uphill of Frankton Road, Arthurs Point, most of Arrowtown and much of Wanaka will remain zoned “Low Density Residential”. However, the provisions for the Low Density Residential zone will enable more dense residential development than currently, with minimal ability for neighbours to have any say about denser development.

To find out what you are zoned as, check out the proposed maps here.

For Residents:

Current Plan – what is allowed without neighbour consultation?

  • Subdivision and residential density of 1 residential unit per 600m2 site for most areas (Arthurs Point 800 m2, Wanaka 700 m2)
  • Residential density (not subdivided) of one dwelling per 600m2
  • If buildings built first (before subdivision), subdivision density can increase to 1 residential unit per 450m2 site

Proposed Plan – what will be allowed without neighbour consultation?

  • Subdivision and residential density of 1 residential unit per 450m2 site
  • Residential density (not subdivided) of one dwelling per 300m2
  • If resource consent is obtained first (no requirement to build first) density can increase to 1 residential unit per 300m2 site

Here’s an example of development of a 1200m2 vacant lot (no consultation with neighbours required):

  • Under the current plan the 1200m2 can be subdivided into 2 lots and/or 2 240m2 houses built.
  • Under the proposed plan the 1200m2 can be subdivided into 4 300m2 lots and/or 4 120m2 houses built.

For Developers:

Current Plan – What you know you can subdivide

  • Refer above under the heading “Current Plan” – that density of subdivision is allowed as a controlled activity – Council cannot refuse consent – developers have certainty.

Proposed Plan – What you know you can subdivide

  • Refer above under the heading “Proposed Plan” – that is theoretically what you might be able to subdivide, but the subdivision activity status is now fully discretionary. This means there is no certainty.
  • Referring to the 1200m2 example above, a developer will not know for certain whether 2, 3 or 4 residential lots can be subdivided from a 1200m2 site without first applying to Council and obtaining a fully discretionary subdivision consent. The decision as to whether 2, 3 or 4 lots can be created from a 1200m2 site will depend upon the opinion of Council planners.

Some questions you might want to consider:

  • Do you generally agree with the increased density for all Queenstown’s low density residential areas?
  • Should your suburb be treated exactly the same as other residential areas or does it have a character that deserves different treatment?
  • Should a neighbour be able to obtain consent for 4 units, and then subdivide and sell 4 vacant lots without building the units first (with the result that the 4 units may be built separately at separate times).
  • Should a developer or landowner have certainty about what can be achieved through a residential subdivision without having to go through a fully discretionary subdivision consent process?

If you want to have input into these District Plan Review issues, contact our team of local experts for help: Maree Baker-Galloway, Vanessa Robb and Rosie Hodson.

PDF version: Low Density Residential Zones – What does the Queenstown District Plan Review mean for you