Changes made to the Resource Management Act earlier this year have been designed to help increase the supply and affordability of housing, grow the economy with more jobs and higher incomes, support infrastructure investment and improve environmental management, according to the then Environment Minister Nick Smith.
These changes will have a particular impact on resource consent processing for councils like Waitaki, giving us the ability to waive consents for minor issues and introducing a new, fast-track 10 day resource consent process for some activities.
Planning Manager Hamish Barrell says these new reforms come into effect from 18 October 2017.
“Currently we have rules in our District Plan that require a minimum setback for a building or activity from a boundary,” says Mr Barrell. “Common examples include yard setbacks, height restrictions or fence rules. A key change to the legislation is making these activities, known as ‘boundary activities’, exempt from having to obtain a resource consent, as long as the applicant can secure the written approval of the affected neighbour/s.”
Changes have also been made to the process for considering when resource consent applications are to be publicly notified.
“In some instances we won’t be able to publicly notify resource consent applications for some residential activities, boundary activities and subdivision of land. This will change the way certain rules in the current Waitaki District Plan are applied”.
With the changes made to the Resource Management Act at a national level and the review underway for Waitaki’s District Plan, now is an ideal time for people to consider how the current rules in the District Plan might be amended.
“I would encourage everyone to get involved in the District Plan review. The rules that govern the way land is used in our district can have significant impacts on people’s lives, for example where buildings can be erected in relation to another property owner’s boundary.”
“We want people to think about how the existing rules might be applied to where they live, both as property owners / occupiers and as neighbours. Then we want suggestions for amendments that would better meet the changing needs of our district.”