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Expansion of CBD questioned in submissions on rezoning plan

Submissions made regarding zone changes in Raglan question the need to expand the CBD when Wi Neera St remains “largely unused”.

Seven submissions have been made about Plan Change 14 Raglan Rezone, of the Waikato District Plan: four in support, two against and one neutral.

Plan Change 14 proposes to rezone a number of properties in Wallis St from Living Zone to Business with Town Centre overlay; two properties in Wainui Rd, across from the Poihakena Marae, from Coastal Zone to Pa Zone; establish a new Business overlay for a number of properties in Bankart St and Wainui Rd; Rezone 75 Rose St from Living Zone to Business Zone; and rezone the consented industrial areas of the Nau Mai Business Park from Rural Zone to Light Industrial Zone.

Bankart St resident Peter Lind opposed the rezoning of his street.

“Why is the CBD to be expanded into Bankart St when Wi Neera St, in the existing CBD, remains largely unused? This suggests there is no need to rezone the southern side of Bankart St,” Mr Lind wrote in his submission.

He said traffic in Bankart St was ever increasing, and allowing more businesses there would make it worse.

“There is not enough parking in Bankart St to accommodate current residents … or business, and not enough is being done to help ease this issue, which is not helped with the placement of the Four Square right on the corner…”

Raglan resident John Lawson, of Whaingaroa Environmental Defence, also opposed expanding the CBD when Wi Neera St “remained largely unused”.

He said concerns raised in consultation had not been addressed.

Mr Lawson said pubs, nightclubs and “obnoxious businesses” should be kept away from residential areas, and parking would be a major problem.

Plan Change 14 showed a desire to put property-owning interests ahead of community interests, he wrote in his submission.

The Raglan Chamber of Commerce supported the proposed rezoning but said it overlooked “the use of existing spaces in the CBD, particularly Wi Neera St and the former Bow Street Garage building and land”.

“We hope to see a clear plan for use and/or development of these vacant spaces in the near future.”

It said: “Expanding into residential areas will reduce housing options close to the CBD.”

Dave McCracken, of Tasman Lands Ltd, asked council to include a planned second stage of development at Nau Mai Business Park as a Light Industrial Zone.

The proposed plan change seeks to only rezone land at the industrial park that is currently covered by resource consents.

McCracken said since 2007, 27 resource consents had been required to create the industrial zone, and the “zoning must aim to simplify that historical process”.

Extending the area to be covered by Light Industrial Zone status would save unnecessary costs and time put into consent preparation and processing, and future proof land that was necessary for development, he said.

Rodger Gallagher supported the adoption of Plan Change 14. He said Raglan was growing and needed a bigger business area and industrial area.

Further submissions regarding Plan Change 14 must be made to Waikato District Council by 4pm, April 22. Submissions can be made online at www.waikatodistrict.govt, or by filling in forms available at any of council’s offices or libraries.

Inger Vos

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