Renovation Project Bobs Cove - Post #3

Reviewing Title and Existing Resource Consent

It’s been a few weeks since the previous post as we have been working through the finer details of planning to understand the implications of our residential zoning and the potential of a favourable outcome. We have made some positive progress so here is the latest.

Summary Review

We have engaged Lucy Milton of LM Consulting. Lucy is a very experienced planner who previously worked for the Council. She will produce the Resource Consent application, lodge it with the QLDC and liaise with the Council on our behalf going forward, increasing our chances of a positive outcome.

Stephan of Koncept Design is our draftsman who ensures our designs are compliant with the latest regulations and presented in the manner required by the Council for a successful outcome.

We will take a closer look at their roles, advice and proposed costs in the next couple of posts.

Today we are looking at the advice received by GTODD Law and what it means to us.

Solicitor Advice

After discussing concerns with my planner and draftsman we decided to employ the assistance of GTODD LAW who have many years experience in all facets of Property and Resource Management Law in the Queenstown Lakes District. They are familiar with the different subdivisions and the restrictions relating to each. Graeme Todd has practiced law in Queenstown for 35 years and acted for the Council for many years as its lawyer to provide some expert advice and experience.

This is probably where the first mistake can occur, that being not employing experts in relevant fields. To understand my ‘risk versus reward’ ratio in likelihood of a positive outcome versus ‘throwing money at a lost cause’, an investment of $600 made sense to me. As stated previously I was guesstimating $5-6k to lodge application and receive an answer on consent so 10% to understand odds is more than acceptable.

Reviewing Title

The first step when looking at pursuing a project like this is to review your title for covenants or consent notices on the title that potentially prevent the project proceeding from the start. Fortunately no issues there.

Existing Resource Consent

Although we have Resource Consent, we are looking for a change of use and as such it is important for us to understand exactly what is stated within our existing consent.

We have consent for a commercial gym out of the existing building. This was issued under a discretionary activity with conditions. These conditions limit the number of cars at any given time, opening hours and number of people per day usage.

Proposed Resource Consent

For a project like this not to require consent, it must comply not only with ODP (Operative District Plan) but the PDP (Proposed District Plan) until PDP is implemented. The Council has notified its PDP and has started hearing submissions. Therefore we must apply for consent. See below key points of both plans we must consider and meet.

Operative District Plan

Based on the current district plan, below is what we must consider:

  • A residential flat is a Controlled Activity in the rural residential Bobs Cove zone within which our property is located. This means the Council cannot decline consent but only impose conditions over matters it has retained control

  • The controls are basically those for any buildings (design, colour, materials, landscaping)

  • The definition of residential flat is it must be contained or attached to a detached accessory building (could be by way of a wall/walkway etc)to the main residential unit and doesn’t cover more than 50% of the building containing the flat and detached accessory building and does not cover more than 35% of the total buildings.

In terms of the PDP

Provided it complies with boundary setbacks a residential flat is a Permitted Activity meaning no consent is required provided the colours of materials are browns, greens or grey and the main residential unit and house is under 500m

The definition of a residential flat means the total floor area cannot exceed 70m2 and is located on same site as residential unit

Our Next Step

In summary of the above you can see what we are trying to do is actually within the PDP. Ie residential flat located on same site but not connected. Our property is 52m2.

However, until the PDP is operative both are required to be adhered to. As you can see by the pictures our property and gym are joined by a walkway already and we'll suggest as part of application fencing or a pergola to meet this particular requirement. We have already imported topsoil for landscaping which helps.

Crucially when assessing our new application to use the structure as a residential flat the Council must take into consideration the fact we have consent and any assessment of effects will start from a position of the effects that arise from the activity of the gym (hours, traffic, numbers of people coming and going, noise, facilities (toilets/showers etc) in the gym.

In my humble opinion reducing to 1 car per day from 8 cars for instance is a positive impact on everything the Council need to consider.

I must also stress that we have no desire to potentially split the title and when you look at our site layout it’s not even viable so any concerns there can be quickly dispersed.

Next Week….

We will take a closer look at what is required within our Resource Consent application and proposed costs.