The following aspects are covered under this theme in the Waikato District Blueprints.
Growth projections and zoning needs
Population predictions are currently being reviewed, alongside the Proposed District Plan (PDP) process, which is ongoing. For these reasons the following initiatives related to growth and District Plan zoning are proposed:
- Firstly, the exercise to consistently determine population projections for all settlements should be finalised
- Then, the PDP’s capacity to accommodate residential growth should be reviewed
- This would enable the determination of possible additional residential land needs
- Lastly, an exercise to determine future residential zoning opportunities beyond the PDP should be done.
Housing and other property affordability
There is a great need to improve housing and other property affordability throughout the district. To this end it is proposed that a district-wide affordable housing strategy be prepared. The following should be considered:
- An existing initiative is ongoing in Raglan which should be supported by Council in whichever way possible. It should also be analysed in order to learn lessons that may be applicable at a district-wide level
- Tenure alternatives, such as rental, part-ownership, co-housing, social housing etc, should be considered
- Barriers in the District Plan, such as lot size requirements, parking requirements, secondary dwellings etc should be identified and if possible, addressed as part of the ongoing District Plan review
- Alternative design approaches, such as medium density, shared services, secondary dwellings etc should be considered
- Consideration should be given to ways in which infrastructure can support affordability e.g. schools, water tanks etc
- Government funding options should be explored.
Residential and employment growth also bring challenges around the quality of development. This could possibly degrade the character of an area and/or create security issues. To counteract this, it is proposed that design guidance be introduced. Consideration should be given to the following:
- The introduction of better pre-application procedures for design input into consent application processes. This could include input by urban design specialists in informal settings such as design meetings or workshops, and/or the introduction of an urban design panel to review and provide advice on major development proposals
- The production of design guidelines. These could apply to specific towns or areas, or to specific types of developments, such as residential, streetscape, commercial or industrial.