Council votes for plan change enabling more housing in Kāpiti
14 Aug 2023, 10:01 AM
Today, Kāpiti Coast District Council voted to approve changes to its District Plan to enable more housing in the district.
Mayor Janet Holborow said the plan change was the result of central government requiring councils to enable more housing to be built to address the housing shortage, as well as encouraging more housing within walkable distances of town centres and transport hubs.
“While government had imposed this plan change requirement on Council, it would have long-term benefits for housing supply and reducing emissions,” Mayor Holborow said. “Change is inevitable as our district grows, but it can be change for good.”
“The decision means that over time we could see more medium-density housing, housing variety, and denser development in and around our local and town centres and some of the railway stations. But this could also make our district more appealing to young commuters and families looking for a better lifestyle.
“We have other mechanisms available to us to ensure that our future growth is appropriate and well-managed, such as district-wide rules for earthworks, infrastructure, transport, noise, financial contributions, and qualifying matters.
“While ‘special character’ can’t be used to limit intensification, we have many other existing qualifying matters that can, such as flood risk, historic heritage, notable trees, and important indigenous vegetation,” Mayor Holborow said.
“Change can also be managed through the consent process, other District Plan policies, statutory design guides, and Council strategies.”
Mayor Holborow said there would be exciting opportunities for this through the upcoming Long-term Plan statutory process, the councillor-led work to develop a new vision for Kāpiti through to 2060, and future reviews of the growth and infrastructure strategies.
“Council is confident that officers ran an extremely thorough process with numerous opportunities for our community to be heard. We took the extra step of putting out an exposure draft of PC2 early last year. This step, then the formal submissions and further submissions led to good changes that will support the vibrancy and attractiveness of our various town centres.
“Councillors will have this at front of mind as we start engaging further with the community on our ten strategic priorities for people, place and partnership as part of our Vision Kāpiti work,” said Mayor Holborow.
As a result of today's meeting, further changes will be in the pipeline related to urban development, sites of significance to Māori, coastal environment and flood risk. Council will also be taking steps to facilitate the development of papākainga (mana whenua housing areas), reviewing the growth strategy and building Council's urban design capacity including exploring the use of design review panels.
Rather than accepting the recommendation to allow rezoning of the Otaihanga land, councillors agreed that there should be more work done on a coordinated structure plan. This rejected recommendation will now be referred to the Minister for the Environment for a final decision.
Read more about PC2 at www.kapiticoast.govt.nz/PC2.