Zoning issues: Vogel Street activities

76 Vogel Street. Question to Dunedin City Council:
How did this activity happen without a publicly notified plan change?

The ‘warehouse precinct’ referred to in the restaurant’s marketing isn’t recognised by the current Dunedin City District Plan. The building is located within the LSR – Large Scale Retail Zone (see comparative district plan maps below), and the Vogel Street Heritage Precinct (TH13).

Vogel Street “remained zoned for large-scale retail uses, although it was proposed to become a mixed-use zone [the warehouse precinct] – allowing a wider variety of uses” – under the 2GP.

### ODT Online Sat, 23 Jan 2016
Objector to cafe’s licence slammed
By Chris Morris
A Dunedin businessman and his city councillor wife have been labelled “dinosaurs” amid claims they are deliberately standing in the way of the warehouse precinct’s regeneration. The criticism came after it was confirmed yesterday Alistair Broad, a commercial property owner and businessman, had filed an objection opposing the Vogel St Kitchen’s bid to renew its liquor licence.
Read more

Vogel St Kitchen webpage banner [screenshot]

In a former life, the popular Vogel St Kitchen (VSK) was the McIndoe printery. The old brick building has been strengthened and given a new lease of life as a two-level coffee house and licensed eatery. Restaurant proprietor Riah McLean and property owner Lawrie Forbes commissioned a mural by London-based street artist Phlegm for the south exterior wall, visible from the street.

“Dunedin’s coolest destination cafe situated in the heart of the Warehouse Precinct. If you like your coffee and dining to have character and spirit come and check us out.” (publicity)

█ Website: www.vogelstkitchen.co.nz
76 Vogel Street, Dunedin 9016

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Vogel St Kitchen exterior detail

District Plan Maps (2GP) – Compare existing and Second Generation District Plan maps:
District Plan Maps (2GP) - Compare existing and Second Generation District Plan maps

DCC Webmap - 76 Vogel Street, Dunedin [VSK]DCC Rates Information


Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, Coolness, DCC, Democracy, Design, District Plan, Dunedin, Economics, Heritage, Inspiration, Name, New Zealand, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Proposed 2GP, Resource management, Site, Structural engineering, Tourism, Town planning, Urban design

31 responses to “Zoning issues: Vogel Street activities

  1. Tom

    Typical Morris style. With its political overtones. Stay away from the truth and hit those making a submission. What wonderful encouragement for the citizens of Dunedin to take part in the resource consent process, when you get bullied with a headline and story like that. Whether a submitter is right or wrong they don’t deserve this sort of treatment from the local media. We have unfortunately seen it all before in the ODT. I well recall the shit that was thrown at the Stop the Stadium supporters during that hearing.

    • Peter

      Yes, Tom, you would never get to the bottom of this ODT report with slant provided.
      Saying that each side probably provides valid points.
      I don’t know if it is correct, but I have heard rentals for shops down George St are steep. If so, they need to drop their rental take to compete. That’s the market for you.
      I like what is happening in the Warehouse precinct. I am not interested in anyone protecting patches if this is indeed the case.

    • Diane Yeldon

      Tom: Yes, I immediately thought this is more of ODT’s poisonous journalistic style. The planning process is democratic in principle, giving everyone the legal (and moral) right to participate. To ARGUABLY wildly slant a supposed ‘news report’ to attack any planning participant (the term’ objector’ is unfortunate – the word ‘participant’ is preferable, as neutral in connotation), is so odd and unfair that it immediately suggests to me the possibility of an agenda on the part of the reporter. Which, in this case, may very well be a political attack on DCC Councillor, Hilary Calvert. It is, after all an election year and Chris Morris is the ODT’s main local political reporter.
      Chris Morris’ reporting style regarding Dunedin City Councillors, who he (or possibly his employers) don’t like, is to give them a history which amounts to a criminal record of all their supposed misdeeds and then to repeatedly refer to these supposed misdeeds over and over again in each subsequent story, presumably in the hope that a firm and BAD impression will be made in the public mind. Which could be interpreted as ‘blackening someone’s name’. For example, that Cr Vandervis for no reason whatsoever – except that he is a very mean and nasty person – called the council staff DOGS! Now an argument can be made that there is a subtext in this story where readers are being more or less warned that Cr Calvert cannot be trusted to manage her planning responsibilities as a councillor honestly. Or at least, there is room for doubt. Very strange that these two councillors should be targeted in this way, when from my own direct observations (often sitting right behind Mr Morris in the public gallery at DCC meetings), Crs Calvert and Vandervis seem to me to be two of the more astute DCC councillors, extremely well-informed on correct processes and can be relied to carry them out. I am sure that Cr Calvert knows a good deal more about the fine points of conflict of interest than Mr Morris does and keeps herself squeaky clean.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        Yes Diane – “a history which amounts to a criminal record of all their supposed misdeeds and then to repeatedly refer to these supposed misdeeds over and over again in each subsequent story” – it then morphs into Truth by the same process as goodness knows how much internet garbage, because the more it is repeated and searched, repeated and searched again, the higher it gets on the list of results for that search term. And since it’s in all results in the first page of search results and most people don’t look further than the first, maybe up to 3 if they’re on the cusp of obsessive behaviour :-) the story whether Vandervis/Calvert or alien abductees in Nebraska or cancer cured by rubbing legs with tamarillo juice – anything no matter how deluded, how ignorant, how agenda-driven, or maliciously inspired can gain traction as “Truth”.

  2. Anonymous

    I don’t think you should treat the District Plan as gospel. Look how well that worked with SH88 realignment.

  3. Elizabeth

    Rule of thumb will always be (in New Zealand) that developers (along with their select in-council cronies) are ahead of the district plan. It should be the other way round but it is not.

    PS. Don’t even think that the 2GP is progressive, as a draft it’s already retrospective and hasn’t allowed for the diminshing returns at (main industry, joke) the University of Otago.

    • Diane Yeldon

      Elizabeth: I have often wondered how the oh-so-common cosying up of habitual developers to council staff could be fairly managed. It’s understandable if you are making contact with and having discussions with the same people over and over again as part of your business that you will probably develop a relationship, perhaps even a friendship, with them. With reference to planning applications and consents, I wonder how anyone can tell when such ‘friendly relationships’, possibly long-term, cross the line and become ‘contacts’, ‘friends at court’ or even ‘cronies’. It seems to me that the onus to ensure that such relationships don’t become corrupt and bestow unfair advantage on one party only lies with the council (the consent authority). Socializing and accepting gifts or ‘treats’ definitely seems out to me. But I think it still happens big time in Dunedin, as when selectively inviting ‘stakeholders’ to a nice morning tea for private chats, for example. (No harm in this if it’s PUBLIC.) Perhaps a necessity to spell out in words of one syllable the difference between right and wrong here. Perhaps the DCC’s new move to having properly qualified in-house lawyers might help with the education of council planners in this respect. And DCC would be leading NZ in this area because I agree with you that terrible slackness about planners’ ethics is sadly still the NZ norm.

      • Elizabeth

        There are several layers to business ethics that any council if fully transparent and accountable should be attending to and it starts with (in respect to staff) the chief executive being on top of their game in terms of rigour and close supervision of all department heads and customer interfaces. Well, we know where that falls down at councils given inexperience, incompetencies, staff turnovers, favouritism and desensitisation on the (yes, lockstep) of New Zealand district and city council ladders.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        Diane, what you’re writing about is not unlike the sexual relationship / courtship / exploitation in the workplace issue. It’s difficult. We meet people as colleagues, clients, higher or lower ranked, at work, always have. How many marriages began with 2 people in one of those types of relationship getting to know each other, then falling in love? Now we are so super-wary of inappropriate conduct that it automatically assumed that boss and PA can only be a case of misused power! In out of work life an age gap of 5 years is nothing odd, however if it is senior pupil, newly hatched teacher….
        So there is precedent for nutting out rules for tricky situations regarding lines between council box-ticker and supplicant; good working relationships over long negotiations involving projects that don’t neatly fit a pre-cut box; invitations to the barbie put on for tradies & suppliers…… Difficult? Ain’t kidding! Necessary? Unfortunately, yes, just as the rules about sexual harrassment in the workplace are necessary, because not everyone knows or cares where to draw the line between warmth+ethical behavior and being an a-hole.

      • Simon

        Diane. It wasn’t that long ago that we had a developer as Chair of the planning committee.

  4. Gurglars

    Hype, one of the problems modern society faces is the difficulty of a “perceived normal” see Otago U professor’s recent analysis of human heterosexual relationships as “perceived normal” relationship occurring.

    Clearly her normal includes a relationship without hope of procreation.

    It seems to me that a man can approach a man at work, or a woman can approach a woman at work and there is little or no reactionary hiatus from the law about the approach.

    It now seems taboo for a man to flirt with a woman at work without causing some kind of Oh No response.

    Could it be that the approacher perhaps is too far down the pecking order?

    It is probably fairly obvious that I am a fan of personal responsibility. If some bast..d touches you up like [name deleted], then I’m very much in favour with an immediate prosecution, after all he’s a serial offender and a pest.

    However, if women are still wishing to do a Jerry Hall, then some leniency in the work place needs to be re-established!!!

    (Now I expect that some intelligent debate can be organised around these meanderings as there is not much intelligent debate going on about these issues at present.)

    {Moderated. Legally actionable. -Eds}

  5. Elizabeth

    Try as I might I fail to see any relevance between flirting or worse conduct in the workplace, and the planning situation at Vogel Street brought to public attention by ODT.

    This site will not be used to intentionally contravene suppression orders.

    Site owner

    • Hype O'Thermia

      It’s about formal rules about acceptable relationships sexual/romantic/abuse of power, which has been done largely concentrating on difference in age and status with the assumption that the older and senior is the probable “villain”. Diane raised the issue of rules regarding how close a relationship can be between DCC staff members and eg developers. Both types of situation are difficult to put strict lines around because in each case the individuals are, well, individual.

  6. Gurglars

    As Robin Hood said

    “It’s a Long Bow”

  7. Elizabeth

    Thanks Hype. I was sort of following the er logic but stress that there’s nothing gendered or sexually ‘attractive’ or imposing on what has happened with the zoning issue for 76 Vogel St – and I want to be crystal if not emphatic about that for less au fait visitors to this site.

    Because god knows where Al Broad is headed with all this and how far he will go to mess with people’s minds. Surely he needed to challenge the Dunedin spatial plan, the central city plan and the proposed 2GP rather than mess with liquor licensing as an advertisement for any commercial unrest he has with a project that has very considerable public support (the warehouse precinct).

    The challenge to Vogel St Kitchen seems extremely ill-timed for the political fortunes of Hilary Calvert.

    Or perhaps I’m missing the bigger picture here.

  8. Elizabeth

    Thanks Hype. I was sort of following the er logic but stress that there’s nothing gendered or sexually ‘attractive’ or imposing on what has happened with the zoning issue for 76 Vogel St – and I want to be crystal if not emphatic about that for less au fait visitors to this site.

    Because god knows where Al Broad is headed with all this and how far he will go to mess with people’s minds. Surely he needed to challenge the Dunedin spatial plan, the central city plan and the proposed 2GP rather than mess with liquor licensing as an advertisement for any commercial unrest he has with a project that has very considerable public support (the warehouse precinct).

    The challenge to Vogel St Kitchen seems extremely ill-timed for the political fortunes of Hilary Calvert.

    Or perhaps I’m missing the bigger picture here.

    • Diane Yeldon

      I don’t think you are missing anything, Elizabeth. Think Chris Morris has pounced on a rather clumsy, heavy-handed move of Mr Broad’s and linked that with indications of some degree of inexperience about planning conflicts of interest on the part of Cr Calvert. ( I don’t think she’s dishonest.) Now I wonder if Morris would do the same if this couple were not married but known to be ‘just in a relationship’ – the tediously difficult issue of ‘pillow talk’ and politics. Yes, there is a mystery about the zoning here but virtually the whole of the 2GP is suspect in my mind as far as unstated agendas go. Instead at the moment I’m thinking about the mayoralty and the fact that Calvert is a contender. So why does Morris want to nobble her? Because he’s a muckraking, sensationalist journalist and that’s just what he does whenever he gets the opportunity? Or is another candidate being groomed by the powers that be? If so, we may possibly read in the ODT soon about this candidate’s extreme cleverness. Cr Whiley? Who looks a bit..er um..wily? Cull’s chances of re-election must surely be considerably reduced and I find it hard to believe that there would not be a concerted effort from some influential and very likely moneyed Dunedin quarters to put up a candidate in the hope of preventing Lee Vandervis from winning the mayoralty.

  9. Callum

    I checked out the menu online for Vogel St Kitchen and the food sounds so delicious. I don’t live in Dunedin and I haven’t been down recently but I would love to check out that cafe one day. The last time I was down there was about 2014. It’s a shame that Broad doesn’t want Forbes to renew the liquor licence. I believe that this cafe is a way to rejuvenate not only the rundown Warehouse Precinct but also the city. When I lived in Dunedin the Warehouse Precinct wasn’t all that flash. I remember walking down this road near the rail lines and that road I was walking on was so hideous it just had no life at all. It had beautiful old buildings which looked like they could be used as apartment blocks, but it was so rundown and there was litter everywhere. The stone brick cave dungeon looking thing on the same road smelled like piss. I just hope with the Warehouse Precinct improving it doesn’t make people go to one side of town and not the other. I just hope it doesn’t decline what is going on in George St. I suppose it’s a city evolving.

  10. Gurglars

    Possibly, Elizabeth, the only way to challenge the spatial plan, or the godforsaken 2GP was to object to the council breaching its own covenant, the District Plan. Given the significant investment by building owners in the CBD, they surely have a right to object when a DCC driven philosophy breaches its own laws.

    My view is that the only game in town appears to be that run by the DCC.

    If a hotel developer, business developer or entrepeneur at any level attempts any project not sanctioned by the DCC, woebetide their prospects.

    However stealing cars, car conversions, investing in dodgy land developments and hotels on DCC owned sites are all kosher if they are sanctioned by DCC departments or staff.

  11. Peter

    I am not sure where we go on zoning for district plans. We have zones for particular activities…..residential etc with rules attached to prevent breaches.
    Yet we allow exceptions and of course the rules change as a consequence to suit new purposes.
    Technically Al Broad may be right about a non notified consent for a liquor licence in Vogel St, but do we really want the Warehouse developments to be stymied? The same goes for Russell Lund’s project in Thomas Burns St. A magnificent building crying for restoration. But its intended use conflicts with the rules at present.
    What gives? I don’t know. It does appear support or opposition comes down to personalities and who can push strongest to bend the rules.

  12. Tom

    Peter. The question should be. What is the point of spending years in developing a district plan. That has to go through all the processes, and millions of ratepayer dollars. For some nitwit to be able to sit on a resource consent hearing, or maybe have it non-notified and decided on by a council staff member, who can completely overturn the intention of the district plan.
    Would it not be better to ditch the district plan and give those hearing commissioners and staff a free hand. After all they are supposed to have the qualifications, and we could probably save the ratepayers millions.
    Like the justice system, the planning in this city is all done by the size of your cheque book.

    • Elizabeth

      planning qualifications don’t automatically mean independence
      money. ethics. where do the twain meet.
      everybody should be looking at hats.

      • Beware the man..who tries to fit you for A Hat..he may be fitting you..for more than that. Still. Your body has no flaw//for now//you live Outside The Law law law. By Sam Hunt.

    • Peter

      The trouble is, Tom, giving commissioners and council staff a free hand could lead to a ‘free for all’ with possibly disastrous consequences when, potentially, you don’t have ethical people involved.
      How much easier, for example, could it have been for that 29 storey hotel, proposed by Jing Song and her husband, to have eventuated? We were fortunate, this time, that the commissioners involved saw through her ‘gift’ to the city as bullshit…..a project that suited their interests and not the city. We were also fortunate that the proposal was so divisive it stirred up the wider populace. (Not that it helped with the stadium, unfortunately). I think the council wisely realised the city could not handle yet more division after the stadium furore.

  13. Tom

    Peter. Under the present system we shouldn’t have the stadium. But we have. So please explain. What is the point of having a district plan. I will repeat again. Planning in this city is done by the size of the cheque book. Just take a look out Mosgiel way.

  14. Peter

    Not disagreeing with you, Tom. Just saying if rules were stuck to we wouldn’t have a District Plan that can sometimes be played around with.
    The trick, I guess, is having a rule book that works fairly and doesn’t favour those with a bigger cheque book…. when this does occur. At least with the hotel developers they didn’t get their way, in the end, and we have the commissioners to thank for that.
    Unfortunately, some commissioners and judges can be manipulated or are possibly part of a shoddy network of influential and corrupt people.

  15. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Sat, 30 Jan 2016
    Councillor’s husband backs down on Vogel St
    By Vaughan Elder
    The husband of a Dunedin city councillor has withdrawn his objection to Vogel St Kitchen’s bid to renew its liquor licence. Cr Hilary Calvert said in a letter to the editor her husband had withdrawn his objection.
    Read more

    More to come…

  16. Elizabeth

    ODT 30.1.16 (page 30)

    ODT 30.1.16 Letter to editor Calvert p30

    The mystery line isn’t just the last sentence. Who is bringing the hair salon.

    • Callum

      It’s good that this has come to a good conclusion!

      That sounds interesting, a salon in the Warehouse Precinct!

      • Elizabeth

        Agree with you Callum, I think Cr Calvert and Lawrie Forbes have handled this well. And Alistair Broad by backing off this particular one. That’s not to say he won’t have a crack at wider zoning issues in Dunedin, and I hope he does through the proposed second generation district plan (2GP) and or by other means including legal challenge.

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