Mixed views on parking proposal for waterfront

GISBORNE District councillors met a proposal to remove parking requirements for private businesses on the inner harbour waterfront with mixed reactions yesterday.

The environmental planning and regulations committee heard a council proposal to establish a 100 percent parking exemption zone for private development along the waterfront and a 50 percent parking exemption zone for remaining private development in the inner harbour to support the inner harbour revitalisation project.

Parking requirements were holding back development on the waterfront as there was not enough space for new businesses to put in carparks, council director community lifelines David Wilson said.

It was a congested space, with some areas owned by the port, some by the council and some by other private users.

If somebody wanted to lease a space to set up a new business they needed to provide a certain amount of carparks, but those could already be allocated to other businesses.

The proposal was to change the Tairawhiti Plan to decouple the parking requirement from private businesses there while increasing parking overall through the inner harbour redevelopment in public spaces.

“The point of the change is to allow us to be more agile for future business changes in the space,” Mr Wilson said.

Lowering on-site parking requirements would also support the amenity potential, including increasing pedestrian access, cycling, green spaces and outdoor furniture.

Provision for overflow

During high-pressure times, including from Gisborne Tatapouri Sports Fishing Club’s competition days, provision for more overflow parking would be made.

The proposal was also to move the boat trailer parking away from Shed 3 to a larger parking area to be developed in front of the Works building. This would increase boat trailer parks from eight to 23.

Councillor Andy Cranston said there was a misconception the plan change would decrease carparks in the inner harbour.

“The inner harbour project adds carparks and people don’t seem to be able to get their heads around that.

“The whole point is to make it more efficient and provide more ability for boats to park down there.”

However, committee chairwoman Pat Seymour was concerned about the future implications and not enough focus on boat users.

“Yes we are revitalising the whole area but the initial users are our boating fraternity. It is no good focusing on walking and cycling if it is to the exclusion of those who have used the boat ramp for years and years.

“It might work for now but what if the carparks for boat trailers and cars are taken up by businesses because we tell them they do not need to provide parking anymore?”

Plan change called 'premature'

Councillor Shannon Dowsing said the plan change was “a little bit premature” without knowing what businesses may go there in the future.

“Someone may decide they want high-density retail in there and increase demand for parking, but all of a sudden we have reduced rules for allocation.”

Granting exceptions as required was a better approach, rather than doing a blanket exception, he said.

“If the businesses change and they all need daytime parking, or all-night parking, there will not be enough parks.

“If there is a blanket rule then we no longer have the ability to require them to provide carparks as needed.”

Councillor Josh Wharehinga said at high-use times, including fishing competition days, there was no space.

“We are future-proofing, which is affecting our current needs.”

The committee endorsed the proposal, with only Mr Wharehinga voting against it.

It will be taken to a full meeting of the council on October 26 for decision before it is publicly notified to receive submissions, with a possible hearing next year.

GISBORNE District councillors met a proposal to remove parking requirements for private businesses on the inner harbour waterfront with mixed reactions yesterday.

The environmental planning and regulations committee heard a council proposal to establish a 100 percent parking exemption zone for private development along the waterfront and a 50 percent parking exemption zone for remaining private development in the inner harbour to support the inner harbour revitalisation project.

Parking requirements were holding back development on the waterfront as there was not enough space for new businesses to put in carparks, council director community lifelines David Wilson said.

It was a congested space, with some areas owned by the port, some by the council and some by other private users.

If somebody wanted to lease a space to set up a new business they needed to provide a certain amount of carparks, but those could already be allocated to other businesses.

The proposal was to change the Tairawhiti Plan to decouple the parking requirement from private businesses there while increasing parking overall through the inner harbour redevelopment in public spaces.

“The point of the change is to allow us to be more agile for future business changes in the space,” Mr Wilson said.

Lowering on-site parking requirements would also support the amenity potential, including increasing pedestrian access, cycling, green spaces and outdoor furniture.

Provision for overflow

During high-pressure times, including from Gisborne Tatapouri Sports Fishing Club’s competition days, provision for more overflow parking would be made.

The proposal was also to move the boat trailer parking away from Shed 3 to a larger parking area to be developed in front of the Works building. This would increase boat trailer parks from eight to 23.

Councillor Andy Cranston said there was a misconception the plan change would decrease carparks in the inner harbour.

“The inner harbour project adds carparks and people don’t seem to be able to get their heads around that.

“The whole point is to make it more efficient and provide more ability for boats to park down there.”

However, committee chairwoman Pat Seymour was concerned about the future implications and not enough focus on boat users.

“Yes we are revitalising the whole area but the initial users are our boating fraternity. It is no good focusing on walking and cycling if it is to the exclusion of those who have used the boat ramp for years and years.

“It might work for now but what if the carparks for boat trailers and cars are taken up by businesses because we tell them they do not need to provide parking anymore?”

Plan change called 'premature'

Councillor Shannon Dowsing said the plan change was “a little bit premature” without knowing what businesses may go there in the future.

“Someone may decide they want high-density retail in there and increase demand for parking, but all of a sudden we have reduced rules for allocation.”

Granting exceptions as required was a better approach, rather than doing a blanket exception, he said.

“If the businesses change and they all need daytime parking, or all-night parking, there will not be enough parks.

“If there is a blanket rule then we no longer have the ability to require them to provide carparks as needed.”

Councillor Josh Wharehinga said at high-use times, including fishing competition days, there was no space.

“We are future-proofing, which is affecting our current needs.”

The committee endorsed the proposal, with only Mr Wharehinga voting against it.

It will be taken to a full meeting of the council on October 26 for decision before it is publicly notified to receive submissions, with a possible hearing next year.

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