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District Plan 'First Cut'

The following came out of Council this morning.

The interesting part relates to the controversial SNA's - it seems that those who wanted to have them completely removed have been unable to prevail, and that work continues on their adoption, albeit somewhat diminished from what was originally intended. It is not quite clear what legal status the maps will have if they sit outside the plan.

There may be some water to flow under this bridge before final adoption. It is certainly not clear just how organisations like Watchdog Coromandel will react to this suggestion. The certainly want SNA's with 'teeth' if they are to accept the final document, and otherwise we could see the whole caboodle back in court. 

Leigh Robcke will have achieved a miracle if he gets this thing through - more power to his right hand (if that's what he writes with!) This is a massive and thankless task.

'First cut' of the draft District Plan on track for community feedback in October

The Council team managing the District Plan Review project are on track for a 'first cut' of the plan to be made available for the public to 'have their say' from October this year. After feedback has been considered, a proposed District Plan will be notified for submissions later in 2013.

"We've reviewed more than 90% of the draft document and are currently considering the comments and feedback we have received from stakeholders" said District Plan Manager Leigh Robcke.

"We're confident we've struck a good balance for the majority of stakeholders. While new provisions are generally coming from central government and the regional council, the vast majority of the provisions remain unchanged from the current document, we've just been able to create a new 'zone-based' plan that will be easier to use and understand".

"As for Significant Natural Areas (SNAs), work on refining the information and maps on SNAs is on-going. We will be removing residential properties and 'slivers' of land that were added to these maps. It's important to note that the SNA maps will not form part of the District Plan for private land, but will sit outside the plan and be used as a useful resource for developers and land owners".

"A Plan User Group, which met for the first time last week, has been established to test the structure, usability and functionality of the draft Plan.

"We've also established a Working Group to consider the draft Plan to ensure it recognises Maori values and to initiate better engagement with iwi" said Mr Robcke.

Summary of the next steps

October 2012 - January 2013: "First cut" of the draft plan released for community feedback.

Mid-2013: Proposed District Plan released for formal. submissions.

Other news from the project team

- The Communication Plan for the District Plan Review process has been developed, which includes a detailed programme on how the Council will consult with stakeholders, landowners and the community

- The Council is on target for releasing the 'Draft' reviewed District Plan in October with consultation happening from October through Christmas to the end of January 2013. A summary of comments will be made publicly available and staff will present reviewed sections of the District Plan Review Committee between February and June 2013.

- The Council will then release a proposed District Plan in mid-2013 for formal submissions, followed by hearings and then Council decisions.



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