Tag Archives: Conditions of consent

123 Vogel St, an action about council process?

123 Vogel St before external building changes [Google Street View]

At Facebook:

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Where to start. Here we have an award winning redevelopment of a substantial old warehouse for new commercial use. Reading the Otago Daily Times today we learn a local businessman questions council process on consenting grounds – apparently, there was an ‘administrative error’ with a set(s) of drawings, and a condition of the resource consent issued for 123 Vogel St was neither correctly tracked or enforced.

Rightly, the businessman doesn’t wish to litigate the matter through the newspaper.

The building owner to his credit has made a large and worthy investment in the building structure and its upgrade for commercial occupancy, revitalising a large segment of the block running between Vogel and Cumberland streets.

Why then would an ungenerous attack by one party not closely involved in the proposed warehouse precinct, be lobbed at this one building owner in such negative and disastrous fashion.

What is at stake. More importantly, what does bringing the action do to enhance the historic built environment, commercial property development, and council processes – if ad hocism (planning rules enforced here, and not there?) is argued as ‘state of play’. Is there any good in an Environment Court challenge – is it ‘vexatious’.

Impartiality, transparency, technical proficiency and fairmindedness is the hoped-for collective quality to be seen in any council operation, particularly in regards to planning matters. How far can ‘the managers’ of the District Plan, a community owned living document, seek room to breathe —or indeed, treat every resource consent application on its individual merits ….for positive precinct and in-zone outcomes, for the avoidance of new (adverse) precedents or laxity of interpretation where the rules go swimming. Where does the line bite.

In practical terms we read that what was built (window-wise at second floor level) does not accord with what was granted by resource consent.

We see minorly dropped sills (pretty? hmm) and a small extra pane of glass added for greater daylighting and liveability, done in such a way that the original scale and depth of the windows remains readable. The intervention isn’t screaming. It is very quiet, and reasonable? Why then did someone fudge the option to be consented. Who did not enforce the agreed design solution? Were affected parties given all proper information as the application processed to decision? Does the error set a precedent for destruction of protected facades and heritage townscape? This most certainly can be argued and tested generally and legally – but probably not with 123 Vogel St hauled to centre stage, pointing up administrative error or wilful and confused intention at DCC if that could be shown…. The second generation district plan public consultation process is perhaps the best place to locate the discussion. Not here, unless there is something else forming the agenda for the current challenge.

Recently, there has been another example of ‘sill dropping’ in the precinct (TH13) at the corner of Rattray and Cumberland Sts. Most people – heritage advocates included – would view the degree of change to sill height as rather subtle in the context of the overall historic heritage ‘Save’. But these details niggle aesthetes and the conscientious.

Is the effect (of design subtleties – a broad tradition….) to cumulatively – with more than minor effect – destroy ‘old’ townscape in the Vogel Street Heritage Precinct, other heritage and townscape precincts, and more widely across the central city —the ‘sense of place’ (held by ‘original’ built fabric) that District Plan policy and rules are designed to constrain, curbing overt changes to external building appearance?

How on earth did this happen at the council? Perhaps the challenge and subsequent ruling (win or lose) will ensure that all comers receive the same level of service in the adminstration of consents and conditions, and the intent of District Plan rules is more strictly adhered to by council planners.

Everyone is entitled to their day in court. The other hope is that DCC is meeting all of Mr Barnes’ legal costs.

If that was the fight advertised on page 1 today.

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OPTION ONE STAYED IN THE CONSENT DECISION …. Option one would have had a new sash and two panes of glass, instead of what was built.

### ODT Online Tue, 20 Jun 2017
Building owner baffled over court action
By David Loughrey
The owner of an award-winning Dunedin warehouse precinct building has been called to face the Environment Court in a case he described yesterday as “vexatious”. The court action calls on 123 Vogel St owner Chris Barnes to remove windows on the second floor and replace them with a design applicant Dunedin businessman John Evans says should have been built under the building’s resource consent. Court documents from Mr Barnes’ counsel describe the action as “utterly baffling”. Mr Barnes has questioned the intentions of Mr Evans, and the court documents ask who Mr Evans is representing, and whether he is “receiving funds from a third party”. Some people involved would not speak on the record but one claimed property interests in “the big end of town” were behind what they saw as an attack on the precinct. […] Mr Evans’ application referred to a condition in the resource consent.
Read more

Related Posts and Comments:
19.6.17 Vogel Street parking on a quiet Sunday afternoon #petroltheft
1.6.17 Oh noes! One adverse slip of the pen and it’s Over Rover #warehouseprecinct
3.2.17 MORE DCC bull dust and poor investment #Sammy’s
18.12.16 DCC set to take away CBD car parks without Economic Impact research
9.10.16 Vogel Street Party 2016 #randoms
3.10.16 Vogel Street Party 2016 #Dunedin
10.4.16 spilt milk, tears, Unnecessary
23.1.16 Zoning issues: Vogel Street activities
16.12.15 DCC: Restriction of Vehicles from Parts of Jetty Street DECLARED
18.11.15 SAVE Sammy’s (former His Majesty’s Theatre & Agricultural Hall)
24.10.15 DCC and the AWFUL 2GP ‘threat of THREATS’
7.10.15 Vogel Street Party —Sat, 10 October
17.3.15 Dunedin Heritage Re-use Awards
13.3.15 Making heritage work | Dunedin New Zealand
28.10.14 Dunedin’s “period architecture”, not so quaintly….
19.10.14 Dunedin: Randoms from inside warehouse precinct 18.10.14
15.10.14 Vogel St. Street Party | Saturday 18 Oct 3pm – 11pm [2014]
5.8.14 DCC staff-led CBD projects that impact ratepayers | consolidated council debt
22.6.14 Vogel Street Heritage Precinct (TH13)
13.7.13 Cities: Organic renewal3.3.11 Dunedin can provide vacant buildings, warehouses and offices #eqnz
8.3.13 Stupid bid for two-way highway ditched for now #DCC
31.10.12 Cull’s council takes business away from retailers
21.2.11 Dunedin Heritage: Central government should be contributing
19.2.11 Dunedin, are you ‘of a mind’ to protect Historic Heritage?
19.2.11 Reed Building, 75 Crawford Street for demolition?
7.4.10 DScene alerts commercial building owners to responsibilities
24.3.10 DScene features heritage/issues!

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

13 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, DCC, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, Economics, Education, Finance, Heritage, Heritage NZ, Media, Name, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Proposed 2GP, Public interest, Resource management, Site, Structural engineering, Town planning, Urban design

Esco —‘just the global hardball player we always were’, sorry staff….

Esco Dunedin was among a group of neighbouring businesses objecting to Russell Lund’s plans to redevelop the 142 year old Loan and Mercantile building, citing reverse sensitivity concerns, including over noise. The outcome of Environment Court mediation talks was yet to be revealed, but Mr Kershaw said the issue played no part in the company’s decision. (ODT)

### ODT Online Wed, 2 Sep 2015
Foundry closure ‘a blow’
By Chris Morris
Australia’s mining downturn is set to deliver a “real blow” to Dunedin’s economy with the closure of the Esco foundry and the loss of dozens of jobs. Staff at Esco Dunedin were told yesterday the foundry would close by the end of the year, with the loss of 34 jobs. Esco products division president Jeff Kershaw, of Portland, in the United States, said in a statement the decision reflected a downturn in Australia’s mining industry that showed no sign of letting up.
Read more

TWO THINGS

█ Remember when Esco pushed this button (highlighted) at the NZ Loan and Mercantile Building resource consent hearing:

ODT Online 20.8.14 'Demolition threatened; job loss possibility raised' [screenshot] 1
ODT Online [screenshot]

█ From file records, see Russell Lund’s percipient closing to hearing:

[para] 102. The biggest hurdle would seem to be the decline of the Australian coal mining industry. I refer to a Guardian article May 5, 2014 Australian Coalmining entering structural decline.

116. Esco have a large foundry operation in China. They employ 675 people in China.

117. I am very sure the production costs of Esco’s Chinese foundries are markedly less than in Dunedin, Portland or anywhere else. That is the ticking clock for the Dunedin foundry, and other Esco foundries.

118. The bottom line is that Esco will operate this small Dunedin foundry only as long as it serves their shareholders’ interests. If the market conditions dictate that consolidation is required and it is surplus to requirements, then they will act swiftly, as they did in Brisbane.

LUC-2014-259 RV Lund Applicant Right of Reply 22.9.14
(PDF, 6 MB)

Related Posts and Comments:
6.8.15 NZ Loan and Mercantile Building —meeting tomorrow
13.3.15 Making heritage work | Dunedin New Zealand
7.1.15 Industrial Heritage Save: Cowes Hammerhead crane
28.11.14 NZ Loan and Mercantile Building —Resource Consent granted
26.11.14 Retraction (see comment on ‘Heritage Counts’)
● 26.9.14 NZ Loan and Mercantile Building —what ESCO said!
30.8.14 NZ Loan and Mercantile Building: Looking round at potential
18.8.14 NZ Loan and Mercantile Building #randomsmartphonepix (interiors)
17.8.14 Public Notices: NZ Loan and Mercantile Building… (site tour, hearing)
13.8.14 Chamber’s Own Goals —Heritage (letters)
11.8.14 NZ Loan and Mercantile Building (audio)
8.8.14 NZ Loan and Mercantile Agency Co Ltd Building…
18.3.14 Dunedin Harbourside: English Heritage on portside development
21.10.13 Harbourside: Access to a revamped Steamer Basin has public backing
16.3.10 Public meeting: planning the future of Dunedin heritage buildings
24.10.09 Rodney Wilson: Dunedin as national heritage city

█ For more, enter the terms *loan and mercantile*, *heritage*, *bradken* or *harbourside* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

8 Comments

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