Planned changes 'so cruel'
Property developer left high and dry by industrial zoningJOEL MAXWELL
Plans to create an industrial hub in the heart of Paraparaumu have been branded "cruel" by a man who spent decades developing commercial property there.
The Ihakara St zone would allow everything from heavy industry, to warehousing, to shoe repair, and is proposed in the Kapiti Coast District Council draft District Plan.
New retail or commercial businesses would likely need resource consent from the council.
Landowner Roy Opie said the change would cut the value of his two affected commercial properties by a third.
"I've put my life in down at this street, everything I've earned I've put into this street. I just think it's so cruel what they've bloody done."
Mr Opie's properties are geared for non-industrial tenants and include a gym and accountants.
He said only about 10 per cent of the businesses on the affected parts of Ihakara St - between the highway and stream culvert - would likely comply with an industrial zone.
With most manufacturing headed overseas there is little demand for industrial land, he said.
"Why did they upgrade Ihakara St a few years ago . . .they talked about making it the main entrance into Paraparaumu, and then they turn this into industrial?"
Council sustainable development manager Jim Ebenhoh said existing businesses will not be forced to relocate even if the changes become operative.
"This means existing businesses and activities can continue operating as they do now, indefinitely, at the same scale and intensity.
"Property owners can also perform maintenance and repairs on their properties."
Mr Opie acknowledged existing- use rights would prevent an immediate impact on tenants - but the "s... will hit the fan" down the track if they leave, creating unlet properties.
He said difficulties leasing properties would see quick sales - pushing down valuations.
Mr Ebenhoh confirmed that if a tenant operating under existing use rights leaves, then another can take their place without necessarily needing to apply for resource consent.
Another tenant could move in "if it is the same type of activity that was undertaken at the same scale and intensity, commenced within 12 months of the previous tenant ceasing their activity", he said.
The proposed change would see the affected section of Ihakara St change from industrial/service to industrial.
Mr Ebenhoh pointed out the existing industrial area adjoins a residential area "and has been for some time", including in the operative District Plan.
He said an economic study commissioned by the council flagged the need to protect industrial land in the district.
Meanwhile Mr Opie said every day he rings "three or four people", encouraging them to make a submission on the proposed plan.
"We're ratepayers down here - and we're paying that council to do what they're doing to us?"
People concerned about the effect of any proposed change in the plan can raise their concerns in a submission, which close at 4pm on March 1. See kcdc.govt.nz.
WHAT IS A DISTRICT PLAN?
Under review by Kapiti Coast District Council, it covers everything from property development and subdivision, to noise controls, to the location and height of buildings. It says what activities are permitted, and what activities will need resource consent.
- Kapiti Observer
Should Kapiti have international airport?Related story: (See story)