Possible extension on coastal hazards plan

KAY BLUNDELL
Last updated 17:16 29/01/2013

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Kapiti Coast District Council is looking at extending the date for submissions on its controversial shoreline hazard zones and using independent commissioners during the hearings process.

The proposal follows pressure from about 500 residents lobbying under the banner Coastal Ratepayers United battling against the council's proposed hazard lines affecting about 1800 property owners along the Coast.

The council and CRU have been taking out full-page advertisements in local newspapers to press their cases and a council meeting last week erupted in a shouting match related to the issue.

CRU have been repeatedly calling for mediation.

In a council press statement released today mayor Jenny Rowan said, ''the community has spoken and we are listening. This is one of the most challenging and unsettling issues facing this district for some time. We want to make sure the process is fair and equitable.'' 

The hazard lines, included in the proposed district plan, were publicly notified in November and submissions were to close on March 1, but if a proposal before council gets the green light, the deadline will be extended by a month.

''These issues are complex, we need more time,'' she said.

She believed independent commissioners were needed, given the complexities of coastal hazard science.

CRU spokesman Chris Ruthe said he was delighted the mayor was finally responding after five months of intensive representation asking for more time and independent commissioners.

''It is unfortunate that early on the council refused point blank to consider these proposals. It is reassuring council has finally listened to these points. Without our lobbying, none of this would have been conceded,'' Mr Ruthe said. 

The council will decide on an extension and independent commissioners on Thursday.

Contact Kay Blundell
Kapiti reporter
Email: kay.blundell@dompost.co.nz

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