Dunedin: Housing upgrade and “rearrangement”

Continuing suburban sprawl at Mosgiel and Abbotsford, and new subdivisions in St Clair, Corstorphine and Highcliff, are keeping the builders busy-ish. Is it a boom? Hardly, population increases aren’t driving this, it’s more of a rearrangement and foil to the council’s broader district planning aims. As always, it’s the developers that set the rules while the council languishes. Worst of all, nailing the City Development Team to policy planning and a flimsy ‘doctorate’ (as the council takes pride in playing its isolationist academic cards) isn’t the answer —just another point of remove from the industry boys.
Is it surprising.

“Land in the more desirable suburbs usually has a house on it and usually the house is just a bit too good to knock down.” –Neil McLeod, DCC building services manager

### ODT Online Sun, 9 Nov 2014
Building boom in city
By Dan Hutchinson – The Star
Dunedin is experiencing the biggest new-house building boom since the beginning of the global financial crisis.
Building activity has boosted the number of people employed in the construction industry to an all-time high of 3590, based on figures provided by Statistics New Zealand.
Read more

“The Mosgiel East and Taieri East areas are peri-urban areas that until recently were considered rural. Changes to the zoning by the council has seen these areas changed to residential zones for the development of subdivisions.” Ref: University of Otago (Geography) – TLA Approaches: Managing Effects of Rural Subdivision and Development of Peri-urban Lands (2011)

Mosgiel Case study - Silversprings Subdivision, Wingatui Rd, Mosgiel [geog397.wiki.otago.ac.nz] 1Silver Springs Subdivision, Wingatui Rd, Mosgiel UoO Link (2011)

Mosgiel - Gladstone Oaks subdivision [realestate.co.nz]Gladstone Oaks – Prudence Place Subdivision, Mosgiel RE Listing (2013)

“The expansion of the Mosgiel area has resulted in conflict between those wishing for short term capital gains and those looking towards a longer term gain through the productive use of the land. It has at times been a heated debate with both sides using the ‘Sustainability’ argument to support their views …. One clear fact can be surmised, The loss of high class soil areas to development is highly unlikely to be reversed. The decisions that have made on the Taieri Plains, although made in an attempt to bolster the economic prosperity of the area, have uncertain environmental impacts for the future.” UoO Link

Soil Map of Mosgiel [Source: DCC]

From an earlier comment:

Mosgiel’s future? Tawdry cul-de-sacs, cheek-by-jowl McMansions, high-cost retirement villages and horsy-jodhpur lifestyle blocks. DCC hasn’t got a plan, and it’s too late anyway – the developers with all the control only offer the bad-taste ad hoc.

Related Posts and Comments:
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● 12.2.14 DCC: Growth v development contributions
25.10.13 Dunedin: “no-growth city”
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18.8.13 South Dunedin and other low lying areas
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8.12.11 interest.co heats NZ housing debate – listen up
25.11.11 South Dunedin and other flood zones
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

16 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, DCC, Democracy, Design, Economics, Geography, Heritage, Media, Name, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Town planning, University of Otago, Urban design

16 responses to “Dunedin: Housing upgrade and “rearrangement”

  1. Silver Springs Subdivision, Wingatui Rd, Mosgiel

    An innovative and environmentally sensitive development
    (marketing statement)

    Images via Silver Springs (2014):

    Mosgiel - Silversprings Subdivision [silversprings.co.nz]

    Mosgiel - Silver Springs 3 (1)
    Mosgiel - Silver Springs 8 (1)
    Mosgiel - Silver Springs 4 (1)

    • A very cycle- and pedestrian-unfriendly layout. What is it with “design” being about making cute patterns that look dinky from the air?

      • Elizabeth

        That, Hype, is the ever so tidy com-muter/puter world of draftsman/surveyor/pattern drawer (someone who has never read Alexander’s The Pattern Language, 1977).
        Think of these lovely clearly expressed subdivision patterns as personification of uptight masculinist order and control of the board/bored developer game —designed for middle-aged trophy wives collected by marriage No. 2 or 3, as gentlemen of not all that many means feel they duly deserve ‘chattels pour leurs nouvelles maisons’ !!
        Who needs a bike in these neighbourhoods, unless it’s a touring motorcycle used once a year until you can’t lift it.
        I might be getting this all wrong. I know very little about who lives in desktop suburbia, and hope I never have to go there.

  2. Anonymous

    Subdivisions in Mosgiel being sold to retiring baby boomers does not constitute growth. The lack of high-density space in CBD precludes young ownership. High-density in CBD is not on the “sustainable” agenda.

  3. Auckland CBD…

    SST Sun, 9 Nov 2014 (pages D18-19)
    Business: Commercial Property [click to enlarge]

    SST Business 8.11.14 Landbanking concern hits Auckland CBD pp D18-19 lowres (1)SST Business 8.11.14 Landbanking concern hits Auckland CBD pp D18-19 lowres (2)

  4. esritv Published on Apr 10, 2014

    Is Suburban Sprawl Dead? The Rise of Urban Living and UNiS — Urban Nodes in Suburbia
    Donald Monti, President and CEO, Renaissance Downtowns, one of the nation’s preeminent thought leaders of this new development model will discuss our nation’s transition from suburban sprawl to UNiS, with a focus on empirical data that demonstrates this trend along with methodologies to implement this next phase of [USA] our nation’s growth.

  5. On Tech capitalism…

    Ted Asregadoo Published on May 10, 2014

    Truthout Interviews with Adam Hudson on Gentrification & Poverty
    San Francisco is a top tourist destination for travellers around the world. The picturesque views, the wonderful restaurants, the progressive politics, and a kind of left-libertarian cultural openness make it a fairly unique place. Many have remarked that San Francisco reminds them of European cities because of its unique features. However, if San Francisco has European qualities, it’s not confined to positive characteristics. Indeed, with the second tech boom reaching a fever pitch, rents in The City are skyrocketing, evictions are up, and many residents are being pushed from their urban neighbourhoods to the suburbs. The process of gentrification of not just whole neighbourhoods, but the entire city is remaking the Bay Area in a way that resembles the core/periphery geography of many European cities. That is to say, the wealthy and upwardly mobile live and work in the core (with San Francisco being the epicentre) while the poor, working class and middle class get pushed to suburban cities in the periphery.

    Truthout contributor Adam Hudson lives in the Bay Area and writes about gentrification and suburban poverty from the front lines. What he highlights in his piece for Truthout is how gentrification in high rent places like San Francisco is connected to the increase in poverty in Bay Area suburbs like Antioch, Pittsburg, and Vallejo. Gentrification isn’t the only factor in the rise in poverty (the collapse in home prices in 2008-2009 was the first in a series of economic gut-punches during The Great Recession and its aftermath), but it is one that is accelerating its growth.

    Many tech workers in the City live in a bubble where they are coddled and increasingly shielded from the “outside” world. They get shuttled to work for free on private luxury buses. Some work in an Elysium-like world where freedom from want seems to be the norm. For example, at a company like Google, free food, haircuts, dry cleaning, and massages make up just a few perks employees enjoy. But the real benefit of being an architect of the digital world is the money. The money these companies make buys power; power to make the outside world resemble the bubble of the Googleplex. If the wealth these companies generate meant that more and more people in the Bay Area benefited from what they produce, the displacement and growth of poverty wouldn’t be as pronounced. However, tech companies employ a relatively small workforce skilled in highly specialized areas. Despite the global reach of companies like Google, Facebook, and the like, “Tech capitalism” is a very exclusive club. Those fortunate few who have the right skill set are “in”. The outsiders (and this can include tech workers who are over 40) struggle to find good paying jobs, have to travel farther to work in the core, and sometimes reside in suburban cities that are ill-equipped to deal with the spikes in poverty among their residents.

    ### truthout.org Sunday, 27 April 2014 00:00
    The Bleaching of San Francisco: Extreme Gentrification and Suburbanized Poverty in the Bay Area
    By Adam Hudson, Truthout | News Analysis
    On January 21, dozens of protesters, decrying displacement and inequality, gathered near City Hall in San Francisco on a chilly Tuesday morning. At around 9:15 a.m., they marched down Market Street and blockaded two tech shuttles, one that was parked at a MUNI (San Francisco Municipal Railway) bus stop, the other in the middle of the street. Tech shuttles – also infamously known as “Google buses” – are private corporate buses that take tech industry workers from their homes in San Francisco down the peninsula to work in Silicon Valley. Protesters surrounded the buses and placed signs near them that read: “Stop Displacement Now” and “Warning: Rents and evictions up near private shuttle stops”. A UC-Berkeley study and maps show that evictions and rent increases often follow the locations of tech bus stops. One sign bluntly read: “Fuck off Google”. Present at the protest was Martina Ayala, a teacher, artist and consultant for San Francisco nonprofits working with low-income families. She is currently facing a no-fault eviction from her residence in San Francisco’s Outer Richmond neighborhood that sits next to the Pacific Ocean beach. Ayala told Truthout, “The landlord would like us to self-evict” – but not by way of a buy-out, in which landlords evict tenants by paying them to leave. Instead, Ayala said, “They’re trying to get us out without having to pay the eviction costs. And so they’re doing that by harassing us and calling us every day, sending us three-day notice to pay rent or quit without following through with service.” Why would the landlord go to such lengths to push the family out? Ayala says, “Even though we are paying $1,750, that is still not enough for the landlord, because the average rent is now $3,000.”
    Read more

  6. Peter Dymock

    “Developers set the rules” – Nope Elizabeth, the market sets the rules. If the majority of Dunedin people want to move from their old, cold, damp wooden tent in the City to live in a “McMansion” in suburbia, that is their right and it is none of yours and a bunch of city council academic planners’ business to decry and try to prevent this. Why don’t you get out of your little elitist snobbish bubble and mix with some real people for a change ? Maybe you might get some insight into ordinary people’s aspirations. I suggest you take a look at the group building companies’ marketing sometime. No-one is more attuned to what the average kiwi (especially the female kiwi) wants in a house and where they want to live, than the group builders. I guarantee you won’t find too many inner city town houses in their marketing literature.

  7. Elizabeth

    Every rental property in New Zealand will have to be insulated within four years, Government has confirmed.

    ### NZ Herald Online Updated 1 hour ago 4:14 PM Thursday Jul 9, 2015
    Government strengthens residential tenancy laws
    By Isaac Davison – political reporter
    • All rental properties must be insulated by July 2019, though exemptions apply to properties where it is physically impractical to retrofit insulation.
    • Smoke alarms must be installed in all rentals from July 2016, but tenants will be responsible for replacing batteries and notifying landlords of defects.
    • New powers to prosecute landlords for breaking tenancy regulations, particularly where there is risk to tenants’ health and safety.
    • The changes also ensure tenants can take concerns to the Tenancy Tribunal without fear of retaliatory evictions.
    Housing Minister Nick Smith announced plans this morning to strengthen residential tenancy laws, including requirements for landlords to provide smoke alarms and insulation, and to declare the standard of insulation on tenancy agreements.
    Read more

    ****

    ### dunedintv.co.nz July 9, 2015 – 6:56pm
    Law changes set new minimum housing standards
    Dunedin landlords will be required to meet minimum housing standards under tenancy law changes.
    Video

  8. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Fri, 10 Jul 2015
    Questions over new rental rules
    By Eileen Goodwin
    […] Otago Property Investors Association president Wendy Bowman said 95% of the organisation’s members had insulated their rental properties. ”We support the Government in bringing in the minimum standards of insulation and smoke alarms.” […] Ms Bowman did not expect the changes to lead to rent increases, saying it was a competitive market.
    NZME
    Read more

  9. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Sat, 11 jul 2015
    Editorial: Heating our homes
    OPINION At this time of year many people retreat to the warm heart of their homes: the one or two rooms where heat from the wood burner or other heater raises the ambient temperature sufficiently for life to continue into the evening. Bedtime then involves the quickest possible passage through the rest of the house to bed, where an electric blanket perhaps at least takes the chill off the sheets. The air often remains unheated, and below the World Health Organisation recommended minimum of 16degC, providing eight hours of life in a chiller.
    Read more

  10. Anne Elliot

    Great editorial. Note the last bit:
    “…the cost of doing just enough to address the political risks associated with poor housing is likely to be carried by those least able to pay. Children in relatively poorly resourced households will continue to carry compromised health into their adult lives; the elderly continue to turn down their heaters and go to bed. Turning that around must be the standard against which Dr Smith’s plan is measured.”
    So true. But will it? No.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      The house is only part of “warm house”. In cold weather, unless warmth is added, no house no matter how well insulated, will be warm. When income is insufficient to cover the cost of housing (rented or bought), and food, and cleaning materials for body and home, and essential travel (work, education, health provider), heating is one of the things to cut back on. Heating and food, go to bed or huddle together wrapped in blankets to watch TV, buy less veges and fruit and milk and cheese, and only the cheapest meat.
      Landlords are not in the charity business, many cannot afford to upgrade when payback is going to take many years but rates rises exceed percentage of their income rises exponentially. Not everyone has bought with a view to selling the property as soon as it’s done up and its valuation goes up substantially.
      Politicians have developed expertise in duck-shoving social costs back to taxpayers without reducing tax to most of us. No significant benefit increases. Minimum wage can’t be increased to living wage because it’s “unaffordable”. So landlords are deemed responsible for
      **warm** housing, though only insulation is being made compulsory – so far.
      Poor diets, delayed visits to the doctor, not all prescription items being picked up from pharmacy, cold houses… poor people need more skills at budgeting, right?
      True – poor and middle-income and high income people are all represented as poor money-managers. It’s people with already good incomes who seem to steal the most money from the business they work in, and how often do they have enough to repay when caught, how often has it been frittered away?
      …And false – only a genuine magician could make a five-day income stretch 7 days, and put a little away each week for predictable extras like dental treatment, washing machine dies of old age.
      Insufficient income is a reality.
      Heat pumps are no use to people who cannot afford to turn them on.

  11. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Sun, 12 Jul 2015
    Rental rules ‘not enough’ for student flats
    By Carla Green
    New rental rules are ”a good step”, but they do not address all the problems plaguing student flats, students and advocates say. […] ”We have on some occasions asked the [Dunedin City] council to look at properties where we have concerns about the liveability, and sometimes we’ve been quite surprised at what is considered liveable.” […] The OUSA would be ”doing everything it can” to inform members about the changes.
    Read more

  12. Elizabeth

    Not sure how the resulting higher rents will be of help in any way.

    Wed, 1 Jun 2016
    ODT: Bill to ensure warm, safe rentals”
    Landlords will need to take action to insulate and install smoke alarms in certain rentals after a law change. Rentals with no insulation will need to upgrade to 2008 standards by July 2019, unless it is physically impossible to put in ceiling and floor insulation. Building and Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith said today the change would help thousands of tenants.

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