Tag Archives: Speculative development

Shitload of planners @ Dunedin #conferencejunket

Over the rainbow - NZPI Conference 2016 - Dunedin (12-15 April)Official Image: NZPI Conference 2016 (12-15 April), Dunedin

“Power attracts pathological people. It’s not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the pathological.” –Frank Herbert

One for us, and them:

From the archives at Bonner & Partners (USA):
It’s about something that affects us all in ever greater measure – the arrogance of central planners.

From BB’s Diary:
Bill Bonner, Chairman – April 13, 2016

WHY ALL CENTRAL PLANNING IS DOOMED TO FAIL

We’re still thinking about how so many smart people came to believe things that aren’t true.

They believe they can manipulate the future and make it better. Not just for themselves… but also for everyone else.

Where did such a silly idea come from?

After the Renaissance, Aristotelian logic came to dominate Western thought. It was essentially a forerunner of positivism – which is supposedly based on objective conditions and scientific reasoning.

“Give me the facts,” says the positivist, confidently.

“Let me apply my rational brain to them. I will come up with a solution!”

BEYOND THE HERALD’S CRY

This is fine, if you are building the Eiffel Tower or organising the next church supper.

But positivism falls apart when it is applied to schemes that go beyond the reach of the “herald’s cry”.

That’s what Aristotle said: Only a small community would work. Because only in a small community would all the people share more or less the same information and interests.

In a large community, you can’t know things in the same direct, personal way. You have no idea who made your sausage or what they put in it. You have to rely on “facts” that are no longer verifiable by direct observation or personal acquaintance.

So it’s hard for people to work together in the same way.

In a large community, central planners’ “facts” are nothing more than statistical mush, wishful thinking, and theoretical claptrap – like WMD, GDP, the unemployment rate, and the Übermensch.

Large-scale planning fails because the facts upon which it is built are always unreliable and often completely bogus.

It fails also because people don’t really want it.

HIDDEN AGENDA

In a small community, the planners and the people they are planning for are close enough to share the same goals.

But in a large community, the planners are a small minority.

And in a large community, the planners usually have their own agenda… often a hidden one.

They call for stricter law enforcement… while getting campaign contributions from the prison industry. They seek a cure for cancer… and depend on the pharmaceutical industry for job offers. They promote a united Europe… and hope to be its head man.

Large-scale planning provides almost countless opportunities for corruption. But it’s not the dirty dealing that dooms it. It is that the planners don’t know (or care) what people really want… and don’t have the means or the information necessary to achieve it anyway.
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Same again, Dunedin City District Plan about to be ignored

Just like the application for Prista Apartments in Princes St… pretend the District Plan never happened. Case in point too, the expansion of large retail into land formerly zoned industrial.

Stan Rodger is far from alone in his thinking.
Hello, all Commissioners of the DCC Hearings Committee.

“The DCC’s committee says it is of a mind to allow the consent to proceed, and what that means is that the district plan is meaningless, destroyed,” the former Dunedin North MP said yesterday.

### ODT Online Mon, 13 Sep 2010
Claim consent will destroy district plan
By Stu Oldham
The Dunedin City Council is passing the buck and in danger of consigning its own district plan to oblivion as it moves a step closer to approving a Mosgiel subdivision, retired MP Stan Rodger says.
Read more

Spot the delaying tactic too, the council’s interim “of a mind” thinking. This contrivance while the council gets its ducks in a line, along with all interim decisions, should be tested via the Environment Court. More and more, we see local authorities utilising interim decisions – what is the legality of these? A sop to “economic development” and to hell with everything else a community-consulted district plan stands for? Hmmm, maybe. But let’s test that.

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### ODT Online Mon, 13 Sep 2010
118-lot subdivision set for approval
By Stu Oldham
A plan for a residential development at Mosgiel with up to 118 lots seems set to be approved even though 35 of the proposed sections will be smaller than is allowed in the Dunedin district plan. The city council’s hearings committee appears likely to approve the three-stage development Otago Business Park Ltd proposes off Gladstone Rd North, but it wants more information before making a final decision.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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WILD about Wanaka

### ODT Online Sat, 14 Aug 2010
Developments dismay landscape architect
By Matthew Haggart
As residential subdivisions in Wanaka continue to expand the town’s boundaries, the approach of some developers has saddened the Queenstown Lakes District Council’s top landscape consultant. Dr Marion Read, the chief landscape architect at QLDC’s regulatory authority Lake Environmental, says major earthworks associated with some Wanaka developments are destroying parts of the landscape’s most distinctive features.
Read more

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### ODT Online Sat, 14/08/2010 – 10:14pm.
Comment by qksmith on Landscape Issues
While I am the first to be critical of landscape issues in the district, I think we have to accept that where land is zoned for LDR that we are dealing with a highly modified environment.
Read more

LDR = Low Density Residential

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Don’t mind my aportioning blame, rightly or wrongly it’s a considered opinion…more like a bad reaction. Of course, Dunedin isn’t free of sprawl at the hands of some people active in Wanaka.

### ODT Online Sun, 15/08/2010 – 6:52pm.
Comment by ej kerr on Wanaka is sprawl

Being an experienced planner or not is hardly relevant when the adverse cumulative effects of house building are totalled for the Wanaka district landscape.

I fully support the comments, as reported, of Dr Marion Read.

My most recent visit to Wanaka two days ago has again reinforced how inadequate the local district plan is to counter unwarranted housing sprawl.

Half the battle might be with the drive of property owners to create (uncritically) an acontextual, uncompromising slice of suburbia in the extraordinarily picturesque, wild and weathered countryside.

Developers of the subdivisions (a small group of influential citizens whom we know by name), like the property owners, are equally uncritical of the environmental impacts of the sprawl they foster, and derive their not inconsiderable profits from.

This hedonistic activity – speculative building – which does not spring from best practice in landscape architecture, architecture (by registered architects), or sustainable environmental design – is supported (‘controlled’) by an ineffectually dull, unresponsive fabric of arbitrary local authority ‘planning’ decisions (zone rules) constraining the use of colour, gables, materials, height plane angles, non reflective surfaces, bulk and location, density et al.

The result is an impoverished sameness, an unspeakably heavy dreariness in the now over-built environment. An eyesore almost without end that submerges/denies the incredible three-dimensional topographical variances of the natural landscape. It might be expensive, it might be what the market demands, it might be what the bulldozer invites, but this is dumbed down contemporary building development at its illogical worst.

The full battle most probably rests with ‘regional planning’ education and professional practice development in New Zealand that is rather too dependent on quasi-legal/legal experiment with the RMA clause and bland generalities of rural zoning – without mandatory professionally accredited multi-disciplinary training in contextual design processes and environmental sustainability.

The collective forces suburbanising Wanaka should be halted. This is not sustainable.

A moratorium, a re-think. District intelligence must be raised for the stewardship and protection of landscape values, inviting informed sympathetic design responses for the making of comfortable ‘dwelling place’…there should be no need for hackles and loss of hair with each visit to Wanaka.

This is a district for smart design, not stuffy inert planning that expects less of the development community than it has to give.

Elizabeth Kerr, Dunedin

Post by Elizabeth Kerr

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