Claudelands land use

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Hamilton’s town planners have known that over-zoning is a barrier to good urban outcomes for a long time. A 1973 planning study stated, ‘The over-zoning of land for commercial purposes has thus led to a proliferation of relatively uneconomic land uses and is also illustrated by vacant plots and buildings’ (p12*). The latest 2017 District Plan tries to reduce the negative outcome of zoning, ‘2.2.1c Land use zoning and subdivision controls will be used as methods to achieve the sustainable use of the City’s land resources including providing for separation, proximity and agglomeration [collection or mixed bag] of land uses’.
*1973 June – Hamilton Central Area – A Planning Design Study – James Anderson – REF-S-711.5522099334-AND

Above is a view of the 7 zones (excluding parks and roads) in the Claudelands area.
Question: Why do all the business (blue) zones not allow ground floor apartments? (DP 6.3 page 19) If we look at the image below we see businesses mixed in with residential homes, as you would find in North Melbourne, Delft, Middelharnis, Ouddorp, Hann Munden … What justifies restricting ground floor living?

The next image shows the nominal area that could be called the town centre of Claudelands. In this small area there are close to half a dozen zones. Is this sensible? Especially considering that ‘most of Paris is simply General Urban’ (Zoned in the USA, S. Hirt, pp. 71-73).

In the centre of Claudelands town (corner of Grey St/ Claudelands Rd) is a building that was built as a home but for a time, which happened to be during a district plan review, it was being used as cafe, so was rezoned to a Business type 6 zone ‘Neighbourhood Centre’, which says that a ‘ground floor apartment’ is a ‘Non-complying Activity (NC)’**

2017 Operational District Plan

In a time of increasing housing costs, the rationale for zoning ground floor living as a non-complying activity (NC) within a ‘neighbourhood centre’ does not seem sensible if the outcome is to have a home sit empty for years. Is the NC idea based on a bourgeois utopia?

Reference on Casalinga Café Zoning Change. see page 197 of Section 42A Hearing Report 13,14 and 15 Nov 2013. Chapter 5 Special Character Vol 1 and Appendix 4 Vol 2

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One comment on “Claudelands land use

  1. This problem isn’t specific to Claudelands either. Single use zoning is the problem. Ground floor apartments should be RD in mixed use areas and retail or commercial offices should be RD in residential areas.

    I generally want a complete overhaul and massive liberalisation ofzoning across New Zealand, but the change above could be implemented even if we had to follow the current system’s silly games.

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