Monday, April 22, 2024

Hastings seeks rule change for lifestyle properties

Public feedback is being sought by Hastings District Council regarding a proposal to change local subdivision rules for lifestyle properties.

Council says the move is intended to give displaced Category 3 property owners who had signed a voluntary buy-out agreement more relocation options within their existing communities.

Following Cyclone Gabrielle, properties across Eskdale, Tangoio, Rissington, Dartmoor, Aropaoanui and Pakowhai were identified as Category 3, meaning it was no longer safe to live on the land.

Alongside the voluntary buy-out process Council considered how to provide options for Category 3 landowners to, should they wish, allow them to stay within their community when seeking alternatives.

After surveying these landowners and considering options, the outcome is the proposed Plan Change, which introduces a specific rule for Category 3 landowners being encouraged to relocate from their cyclone-affected areas, Council said in a statement.

This bespoke subdivision rule in the Rural Residential and Rural Zones would enable the creation of a lifestyle subdivision, outside of hazardous areas, close to people’s original homes, said Hastings Deputy Mayor, Tania Kerr.

The Mayor said the plan change was aimed at providing more choice for people who had accepted buy-out offers.

“One of the challenging aspects of the buy-out process for some people is uncertainty around where they can move to if they accept an offer,” she said.

“We understand the importance for affected landowners of having the option of remaining near their community; living near the school, employment, marae.

“This rule change is a positive step in this direction, and would only apply to people who have signed a buy-out offer – it is about giving them more choice in an already difficult situation.”

The proposal had been notified under the Severe Weather Emergency Recovery (Resource
Management – Streamlined Planning Process) Order 2023, which enabled the process to be fast-tracked under the Resource Management Act.

While engagement had taken place with affected landowners, the wider public is also being invited to submit on the proposal.

Feedback can be lodged online through www.myvoicemychoice.co.nz or submission forms can be found at the Hastings District Council Customer Service area or at any of the Hastings District Libraries.

Submissions close at 5pm on Friday, 22 March.

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