The upcoming Christchurch Replacement District Plan will soon take effect and the building restrictions around some residential areas look set to change. Now is a great chance to sample some of the more relevant and perhaps notable changes, many of which are pending final approval. These new changes could be an effortless way for a property owner to add value to their property.

Residential Suburban

Generally speaking, the Living 1 zone is set to be re-zoned as Residential Suburban (RS). The RS zone will cover most of those outer suburban areas and is listed as providing for traditional "New Zealand style" housing, such as single and double storeyed houses, while also allowing for construction of two residential units on one property.

Perhaps the biggest change within this area is the proposed shift of minor residential units to the "permitted" category. In other words, home owners will no longer be required to obtain a resource consent to construct a detached unit on their property, provided the floor area is between 35m2 and 80 m2 .

Residential Suburban Density Transition Zone

Other Living 1 and 2 areas are set to be re-zoned as Residential Suburban Density Transition (RSDT). The RSDT incorporates some inner suburban residential areas as well as areas adjoining some commercial centres. The Council lists the RSDT as providing principally for low to medium density residential accommodation, and there is usually potential for redevelopment at higher densities than those for the RS. There is already a range of residential accommodation types permitted in the RSDT and this is expected to continue.

Developers in particular may be interested to know certain dimensions for "Multi-Unit Complexes" that are likely to become "permitted" within the RSDT. This also means any structure containing four or less residential units (as well as some minimum floor space requirements) should not require a resource consent.

The new options for multi-unit complexes will replace the old more stringent rules within the operative Christchurch district plan that allowed for similar complexes to be created but only as a limited discretionary activity. This means additional conditions could still be imposed upon the developer.

Residential Hills

Finally, the Living H (Hills) Zone will also be rezoned as Residential Hills (RH). The RH includes those residential locations on the slopes of the Port Hills and should provide for low density residential accommodation.

With increasing residential expansion in the Port Hills area it is worth noting that the RH zone may increase the permitted maximum building height for residential properties from 7 metres to 8 metres.

There are many more exciting changes happening as the Replacement Christchurch District Plan approaches its final stages. To learn more about what these new zones might mean for your clients please have a chat to anyone from our friendly property or resource management teams.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.