Environment and Planning Committee (10 April)

 

The environment and planning committee meeting was held on 10 April 2014. Apologies were received from Crs King, Norriss, Sangster, Mirfin, and myself.

Key points of interest

The agenda and staff reports drew attention to a number of developments. The main points of interest are listed below.

  • Building consents are up 107% on the previous year. Building consent statistics are contained in the Agenda (p 17).
  • The TDC has received e-accreditation as a Building Consent Authority. On 7 April electronic processing came on line and is expected to improve the building and consent teams performance. Work continues with the NCC building department to develop a relationship which will allow us to work more closely. A 1⁄2 FTE in the administration area of the building and consents team was requested due to changes to the Building Act (eg collection and collation of information relating to Licensed Building Practitioners (LBPs) and management of associated Records of Work). As noted in an earlier post, I was of the opinion that council should not have approved this appointment and instead directed staff management to redeploy resources to provide any necessary support. My opinion has not changed. Interestingly, at the time staff requested approval for the ½ FTE, a great deal of weight was placed on the position improving revenue opportunities for the building consents team, rather than fulfilling legislative requirements.
  • The transition from the Sale of Liquor Act to the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act (SSAA) has been completed. TDC was one of the first councils (together with Waimakariri DC) to have a Provisional Local Alcohol Policy in place. The District Licensing Committee (DLC) has been established and its members trained. TDC’s alcohol webpage has been overhauled and now fully set up as a one-stop shop for all alcohol licensing information and applications. A new facility for public notification of alcohol license applications (and objections) is now available on TDC’s webpage. This is expected to save applicants about $400-$500 per application.
  • Dog and stock control areas of the department are functioning well. Three prosecutions have been brought over the period with successful outcomes. For the 2013-14 year, a total of 10,300 dogs were identified in the region, including 24 dogs requiring registration (ie unregistered). A total of 376 infringement notices were issued with 102 proceeding to court.
  • A minor fuel oil spill (believed to be less than 200l) occurred at Port Motueka on 20 January 2014. The Regional on Scene Commander (ROSC) after receiving reports from the site and consulting with Maritime NZ deemed that no further action was necessary.
  • Ongoing issues with Rockville and Onekaka motocross noise continues to be monitored. Enforcement action has been taken recently against a noisy neighbour in Mapua which resulted in a $750 fine being issued.
  • There were 347 inspections of food premises have been undertaken over the period.
  • Outstanding parking infringements (processed by court) total $77,413. Detailed analysis of parking infringement statistics can be found in the agenda. Parking compliance is currently 80%. Risk areas Talbot Street (74%) and Petrie park (45%) are being monitored.
  • The TDC Harbourmaster has resigned and recruitment has begun.

Staff also provided an updated environmental policy programme and projects, updated to current 2014 targets, and including projects not yet started or paused. A full list of these projects can be found in the agenda (pp 29 to 39).

Councillor accreditation

From 12 September 2014, councillors are required by law (under s 39B of the RMA) to be accredited (under s 39B of the RMA) by way of holding a relevant “commissioner” qualification (provided through the Ministry for the Environment’s “making good decisions” programme) if they are to sit on any planning hearings, consent applications, or notices of requirement. The cost of obtaining this accreditation (and attending relevant training courses) is paid for by the council (and ratepayers).

I recently attended this two day course during April and successfully completed the two written assessments – obtaining a “merit” distinction overall.

Agenda and minutes

The agenda and minutes for this meeting are located at http://www.tasman.govt.nz/council/council-meetings/standing-committees-meetings/environment-and-planning-committee-meetings/?path=/EDMS/Public/Meetings/EnvironmentPlanningCommittee/2014/2014-04-10.

 

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