Kapiti Independent report by Alan Tristram
In the face of massive protests from Kāpiti Coast residents, the Kapiti Coast District Council has agreed to allow another month for submissions on coastal hazard provisions in the Proposed District Plan.
And the Council also agreed to get independent commissioners for the part of the District Plan dealing with coastal hazards (Chapter 4).
The decision to move the deadline from 1 March to 2 April for coastal submissions was made at a full meeting of the Council.
The move follows pressure from a large number of residents under the banner Coastal Ratepayers United who were incensed by the Council’s decision to impose ‘hazard lines’ affecting about 1800 property owners. The residents said restrictions on their properties had been put on LIM reports without adequate notice or consultation .
The council and Coastal Ratepayers United have been taking out full-page advertisements in local newspapers to press their cases and an earlier council meeting erupted in a shouting match on the issue.
The latest meeting was more peaceful. Mayor Jenny Rowan was absent, but earlier in the week she said Council had been considering the recommendations to remove any suggestion the process was not ‘fair and equitable.’
The issue raised a debate during which a recommendation was made to delay submissions on the entire District Plan. But the Council finally voted to extend the deadline only for submissions relating to Coastal Hazards.
And the Council also passed the recommendation to appoint independent Commissioners to preside over hearings on coastal hazard information.
It was noted during the debate that the Council had been working on the District Plan review since 2009, had produced public discussion documents and held 36 workshops open to the public.
Chief Executive Pat Dougherty told the meeting the entire District Plan Review process is about consultation. He said: “We [Council] advertise the District Plan, we call for submissions, we read those submissions, we advertise those submissions and then we call for cross submissions on those submissions. We then try to address concerns by getting experts together to resolve any disagreements before we go to hearings.”
Read the full report here