God, nooooo

It can’t be true…are you sending us up??

### ODT Online Wed, 30/06/2010 – 9:49am.
Comment by Kiwi-Lass on Outrageous parking restrictions
The council have become greedy in their parking fines. My mum lives at the north end of George St, down by the gardens and she’s been ticketed for parking outside her own house, for stupid reasons. Now she is being told that the council are going to make all of George St no parking and that she will need to buy a residential parking permit, which at no stage will guarantee that she will be able to find parking. This is crazy. She owns the house in which she lives in and pays the yearly city council rates – should this not mean that she is entitled to park outside of her house?

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

11 Comments

Filed under Business, Construction, DCC, Democracy, Design, Economics, Media, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Town planning, University of Otago, Urban design, What stadium

11 responses to “God, nooooo

  1. janet

    I understood that if you had a residential parking permit that space was yours and no-one else could park there as in Cargill Street for instance. How could DCC give out a permit and yet make all of George St no parking? WTF!!!

  2. Phil

    Elizabeth knows all the bells and whistles about this, from memory. The permit gives you the right to park, but not in an allocated spot. It may even be that there are more permits than there are parks available if it’s an area of high density housing with poor on-street parking options.

    • Elizabeth

      You got it Phil. Clearly, the DCC-vector parking disease has spread wider than the central city. Most unfortunate, especially for the property owners and or their tenants, and given the property values we’re talking about in these ‘character areas’. More than that I consider it a public disgrace that a local authority (and I don’t care if the local authority owns the roads / road reserves) can make changes without due fairness in consulting likely affected people BEFORE options and changes are explored.

      There’s no balance here, no reasonableness. It’s HIGHHANDED. Would love to test a class action on DCC for damage and distress caused to local businesses – and possibly local homeowners and property investors. (Of course, I say that without having explored what the grounds would truly be; I know some have done more than look at the situation superficially.)

      I have to report that in writing to DCC initially regarding (forced) parking changes in Pitt St, my letter being a general canvass of the situation affecting tenants and resident property owners (having nothing to do with my current individual non-car status), DCC’s working party grew horns and made false assumptions about the nature of my query. Hmmm. Not very clever of them. Rather remiss, if not downright rude and dismissive. They consulted with landlords and I was served up (being a long-term leasing resident of the street) no consultation whatsoever, it appears on the grounds I’m not the holder of a resident permit so didn’t qualify for face-to-face discussion or anything other than a form letter in reply. None of my individual concerns were addressed. In fact, Richard gave me more useful feedback than any working party ‘face’ constituent. I’m thinking others were probably treated similarly so I’ve eaten humble pie and will conserve my energies for other more strident fights.

      ****

      So what’s really going on in DCC wrt to all the raised charges per departments? You can’t tell me it’s all about the pending GST increase. Is Council getting smarter about running its revenue collection? Who is deciding all this, what are the policy drivers… in some instances Council actions seem aggressive and anti-business, which doesn’t surprise me coming from this well-loved bureaucracy.

      On that note:

      ### ODT Online Thu, 1 Jul 2010
      Eateries face outdoor table fee hike
      By Chris Morris
      Octagon eateries are far from satisfied with the Dunedin City Council’s decision to serve up a 25% increase in outdoor table fees.
      Read more

      Page 2 of the above item contains a schedule of DCC FEES AND CHARGES per Activity (2009-10 / 2010-11).

      ****

      ### ODT Online Thu, 1 Jul 2010
      B&B rates bid planned
      By Nigel Benson
      Dunedin bed and breakfast operators disenchanted with new rating assessments which came into effect yesterday will hold a legal seminar next week in a bid to challenge the changes.
      Read more

      ****

      ### ODT Online: ETS will affect every part of economy: expert
      ### ODT Online: Read more on ETS

      • Elizabeth

        Did something change about leaving this mortal coil for a spot in the ground. Yes, by quite a lot.

        ### ODT Online Thu, 01/07/2010 – 9:52am.
        Comment by durga on DCC fees
        Your reporting of figures for fees at DCC cemeteries may mislead some people. Most people probably will not realise that the figure of $1488 for an adult burial buys only the burial rights (the plot). This fee does not include the fee to dig the grave (interment fee) nor a service fee and these must also be paid so the total new fee for an adult burial is actually $3192. The price used to be $2579.56, so this is an increase of $612.44.

        {Bolding, our emphasis. -Eds}

      • Elizabeth

        Further to this comment:

        ### ODT Online Tue, 1 Mar 2011
        B&B owners have year to adjust to non-residential rates
        By Chris Morris
        Bed and breakfast owners in Dunedin facing a switch to higher non-residential rates will be given one year to adjust their businesses, the Dunedin City Council has indicated.
        Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Fri, 3 Jun 2011
          Heritage B&B rates on agenda
          By Chris Morris
          The Dunedin City Council is to consider proposals to ease the rates burden faced by Dunedin bed and breakfast operators, which could help ensure the survival of some of the city’s most upmarket heritage properties. Councillors will next week consider establishing a new heritage B&B rates category and a separate rates relief fund – beginning with $20,000 allocated for the 2011-12 financial year – for heritage houses that did not qualify for the new rates category.
          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          Liberal interpetation of the DHF deed of constitution by DCC, another nail in the coffin. Let’s hope NZHPT’s Board and CEO are keeping a close watch on DCC’s ‘policy’ direction.

          The $20,000 rates relief fund for 2011-12 would be drawn from the council-funded Dunedin Heritage Fund, which was jointly administered by council and New Zealand Historic Places Trust representatives. The future of the fund beyond 2011-12 would be clarified by a draft policy to be presented to the next council meeting on June 27, when the council’s draft annual plan was finally approved. [What if?’s emphasis]

          ### ODT Online Wed, 8 Jun 2011
          New rate will help heritage B&B operators
          By Chris Morris
          Dunedin city councillors yesterday threw their support behind new initiatives designed to ease the financial burden on the city’s heritage bed and breakfast operators. They voted in favour of a new “heritage residential B&B” rates category. The new category would be available for heritage B&B operators who were switched to commercial rates following assessments by Quotable Value staff last year. In some cases, rates bills tripled as a result.
          Read more

          ****

          The Dunedin Heritage Fund (the Fund) is a separate legal entity to the Dunedin City Council. The Fund has its own deed of constitution and is jointly administered by a committee of representatives from New Zealand Historic Places Trust and Dunedin City Council.

          The policy document alluded to in the ODT item has not been sighted or considered, I’m given to understand, by the DHF chair or committee. In which department of Council is such policy written (rhetorical).

          Further, applicants to the Dunedin Heritage Fund must produce three quotations for any proposed heritage building work for which they are requesting monetary assistance. Failure of the applicant to supply more than one quotation is a failure by committee of due process – which without adequate checks and balances may result in work going to a Council-preferred service provider or building professional.

          These perceived conflicts of interest and procedural matters require rigorous scrutiny – before Dunedin City Council is called on them.

          Keep it clean, DCC. Floodlights.

          Disclaimer: Elizabeth Kerr is a former NZHPT Otago Branch (chair) representative on the Dunedin Heritage Fund Committee (2000-2008).

  3. James

    There is always the private good versus public good test. I haven’t kept up with the relevant legislation, but the LGA Amendment Act #4 required council to charge more for certain services that were deemed to be mostly private good. Hence, reading Jane Austen was free but Mills & Boon cost 50c. Parking and outside tables are probably too much private good, but I would have thought that interment has a substantial degree of public good, given some of the other alternatives…

    And there is some more recent edict that bus passengers are required to meet 50% of the cost, I think?

    • Elizabeth

      James, part of the initial thinking about tables in the Octagon was to increase ‘life and vitality’ in the city centre. Tick. It’s a public and private good. I hesitate though, to figure the ratio Public : Private.

      I’m not against this particular increase in table charges since the businesses can easily recoup it [aside, I’m a little sick of cafe/bar use of public space whereby they provide smokers’ tables when frankly I want to enjoy food and drink in the open air, unencumbered by other persons’ gross addiction to nicotine…well hey I’d move a bulldozer in and clear the frigging lot].

      And yes, ORC has the burden of working that percentage for buses. Mind you, there are creative ways to do that. But we’re talking ORC here. Sigh.

  4. Anonymous

    It’s fairly obvious that every budget spreadsheet in the DCC has had a multiplier applied to it.

    Cr Walls is surprisingly quiet when challenged about the parking funds. Are they ring-fenced or do they feed the consolidated fund?

    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/64774/parking-anger-boils-over
    “Parking revenue is ‘ring-fenced’ and spent on the provision of off-street parking (including the servicing of loans taken out for parking buildings etc) and enforcement. It is not used to fund anything else. I trust this information is helpful. Richard Walls Chair DCC Finance and Strategy”

    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/112671/dcc-defends-parking-profits
    “Once council parking meter operating costs of about $1 million were covered, a $2 million surplus remained, council development services manager Kevin Thompson confirmed.

    The excess funds were used to cover deficits in other council departments, or returned to the council’s consolidated fund to help reduce the rates burden.”

    What’s the truth?

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Thu, 01/07/2010 – 5:21pm.
      Comment byRichard Walls on More information please?
      Hi Kiwilass,
      Happened to pick up on your post yesterday when checking on another matter. I have checked with council staff and cannot find anyone who is aware of any plan to make all of George Street “a no parking area”. Nor can we identify the area you are referring to. George Street effectively ends at the Motorway Overbridge. I would be pleased to follow-up for you if you give me more details. I can be contacted on 467 2819.
      Read more

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