Boundary rd intensification, bureaucrats Vs real world

In 2010, as part of the Hamilton District plan review, the council investigated options and methods to implement the intensification of residential living so that ‘there will be more intensive redevelopment of existing urban areas of up to 50 households per hectare in Hamilton City’.

‘Boundary Road – This area was identified in the spatial plan as being a possible area for intensification based on the existing housing stock, proximity to an arterial road, being adjacent to Claudelands Park, reasonable distance to the CBD, proximity to schooling and shopping facilities.’

The development proposal was to have seven 121m2 townhouses facing the road, and five 76m2 units inside the 2,209m2 site, with an assumed design timeframe of 6 months, a marketing timeframe 6 months, and a construction timeframe of 6 months. In 2010 dollars, the total estimated cost was $4,740,000. The 121m2 townhouses were valued as $320,000 each and the five smaller units at $270,000 each. This equated to a $1,150,000 shortfall. 

The shortfall makes it clear this project was not based on real-world outcomes. In the real world, you would have repeated the exercise till the cost and value were close to being equal; i.e., investable. The report did identify ‘the cost of land’ as a barrier to intensification in Hamilton. So you would think the outcome of the district plan review would be to increase the area of land available for intensification. Well, it didn’t. Instead, it reduced the Residential Intensification zone area from 244 ha to 208 ha (2% of Hamilton’s gross area). Compare this to the 1960s district scheme in which 278 ha (10% of Hamilton’s then gross area) of Hamilton city was zoned Residential High Density.

There are two ways of increasing land supply. One is to increase land supply by reducing minimum section size, and the other is to reduce minimum parking requirements (along with increased on-street parking enforcement) or allow car parking to be a separate investment.

The project was a very worthy exercise, and it should be repeated. The focus of the project should be to identify economic constraints to entry-level development (real as well as perceived), and determine what can be built that complies with District Plan rules and provides healthy entry-level housing.

The report is titled Hamilton City Intensification Report, Aug 2010, by Harrison Grierson consultants.

Category: News

3 comments on “Boundary rd intensification, bureaucrats Vs real world

  1. « [Homeowners] vote for politicians that enforce restrictive planning. That leads to unresponsive supply. So if the economy is booming and supply cannot respond, it raises prices a lot. »

  2. These are clearly being built. These are clearly being bought. These are clearly being lived in. People in Hamilton want higher density housing. Let us have it. Approximately 50% of the city should be rezoned as the current High Density Residential and it should be called residential. A few large chucks should be zoned as mixed use and 6 stories allowed as of right. I’d think Ham East, Claudelands, Dinsdale, town centres, all of the bit of Frankton between the railways and Mill St, and a few key corridors including Ulster Street and Te Rapa Road too. Then the rest of the city can be what is currently Residential which should be renamed low density residentiol.

  3. Great comment ‘current High Density Residential and it should be called residential’
    Hamilton district plan is over-complicated and designed to protect existing values, the outcome is a reducing number of land owners in control of land supply and yes ‘it raises prices a lot’
    From earlier post
    ‘The council’s focus on numbers of sections missed the question of how many land owners are in the land supply market. This means you could have a buffer of 2,000 sections, but if the number of speculators doesn’t increase and the influence of controlling major land owners/speculators doesn’t reduce, the price-cost ratio is not owned by the city council’

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