New riverside red zone

CHARLEY MANN NICOLE MATHEWSON
Last updated 16:14 23/03/2012
Cera map March 23
Cera

MAPPED: The newly red-zoned homes line the Avon River.

Gerry Brownlee Mar 23
Dean Kozanic
RED-ZONED: Earthquake Minister Gerry Brownlee explains which homes will be re-zoned red.

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Those living in Southshore's 401 orange-zoned homes hope to hear their fate in April.

This morning Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee announced that more than 250 orange-zoned properties alongside the Avon River had been rezoned red.

The newly red-zoned properties included 29 in Linwood, 144 in south Richmond and 78 south of the central city.

One orange-zoned house at 2 Bangor St, in the central city, has been rezoned green. Engineers Tonkin & Taylor said the ground under this home, the land damage and level of engineering required for repair was more similar to the adjacent green-zone properties in the west and south.

Southshore frustration

However, Brownlee said 401 properties in Southshore west would have to keep waiting for a decision on the viability of rebuilding on their land.
 
"I know patience is running out in Southshore west, but we will soon have all the information needed to be confident of a final decision," he said.

In a letter to residents, Shoreshore was described as "the most difficult and challenging" in terms of earthquake related issues of the orange-zoned properties.

Rocking Horse Rd resident Arthur Butcher said the letter, which arrived in today's mail, stated residents should know their fate in April.

Residents had been hoping to find out today. "I think it's terrible. The people that are here are in limbo."

Butcher was not confident the April announcement would be anything more than another delayed decision.

The uncertainty meant no-one could move on, either by rebuilding or buying another property, he said.

Butcher, who is one of three people in his household, said Southshore residents were all feeling dubious about their future.

Southshore west suffered extensive lateral spreading in the February 2011 earthquake, in some places up to a metre. Rebuilding would need to address this lateral spreading and engineers were still considering how this could be done.

The Department of Building and Housing will soon advise the Government on foundation solutions that may apply to Southshore west.

Properties in Southshore east were zoned green last year.

Shock for some in River Rd

River Rd residents are shocked  the land they were convinced would go green has been zoned red.

Some are considering taking action against the Government's decision, while others were so upset they were unable to speak to The Press through tears.

One resident who did not want to be named but whose property lies at the Fitzgerald Ave end of River Rd, said the announcement was ''just crazy''.

''I think it's an absolutely ridiculous decision, particulalrly in the light that it was supposed to go green,'' she said.

''They had started reparing River Rd. We were certain it was going to go green.

"We just can't believe it. I think this is the wrong decision.''

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She said her home had sustained little damage.

''What now? Where do I go now? How will I find a property this nice for a similar price that this area affords?'' she said.

''We are in the worst situation possible.''

Daryl Thompson said he was ''stunned'' by the announcement.

He said his Stanmore Rd house had held up well against the qaukes and was ''perfectly livable'', although it had shifted on its piles slightly.

''There is not a lot you can do if they say it is red,'' he said. ''We will have to get on with it.''

Must await Government offers

All insured residential properties in the areas will be subject to the Government's purchase offer.

"Despite exhaustive research into the viability of remediating damaged land and rebuilding on these areas, the case for continued occupation does not stack up,'' Brownlee said.

"An engineering solution to remediate the land and replace seriously damaged infrastructure would be uncertain, disruptive, take a very long time and is simply not cost-effective.''

The rezoned homes had experienced widespread liquefaction and lateral spreading towards the Avon, Brownlee said.

Engineers Tonkin & Taylor said perimeter treatment to make it possible to rebuild on the land would require many houses along the river to be demolished.

The work would cause '' substantial vibration, causing further damage to already weakened properties in the vicinity'', Brownlee said.

"On that basis, we've decided the only feasible option is to provide residents with some certainty by offering to buy their land and homes,'' he said.
 
Zoned red today are:

- 78 properties in central city south.

- 29 properties in Linwood.

- 144 properties in Richmond south.

Residents can confirm their rezoning by visiting the landcheck website or phoning 0800 RING CERA (0800 7464 2372).

Parklands east review
 
The classification of 530 green-zoned properties in Parklands east have been reviewed after the December 23 quakes, which triggered major liquefaction in some parts of the suburb.
 
Brownlee said officials had been in discussion with the Parklands Action Group, geotechnical engineers, the Earthquake Commission and the Christchurch City Council to consider whether the area still met green-zone criteria. 
 
"A decision on Parklands is expected in the very near future," Brownlee said.

- The Press

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