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Saturday, 16 June 2012

Land zoning review process

Gerry Brownlee yesterday announced the process for those on the flat who wish to appeal their land zoning. The main part of the announcement is reproduced at the bottom of this post. The full statement is here.

Be aware that you have only until the end of the month to lodge your appeal. It appears appeals must be lodged via the on-line form here. If you have a friend or neighbour without access to a computer please help them.

The review process

Basically the review process allows a property owner to appeal against the decision to designate their land as Red or Green. It does not allow a property owner to appeal their "shade of green" (green/blue, green/yellow, or green/grey).

The fundamentals of the process are:
  1. were the red/green criteria set out by Cabinet properly applied?
  2. were the boundary lines sensibly drawn? 
Cabinet's decision on these two points is contained in Cabinet Minute (11) 24/15 (copy here), and was slightly modified by CAB Min (11) 30/18 (copy here). If your argument is with cost effectiveness then you need to read both Cabinet Minutes, otherwise the first one will be sufficient.

Red/Green criteria

Application of the red/green criteria relates especially to the thickness of the surface crust, lateral spread, and the timeliness, uncertainty, disruption arising from repairs to infrastructure and property, health and welfare. You can find this on pages 3 and 4 of CAB Min (11) 24/15 (see above). A definition of the time period considered as creating social disruption is covered at the top of page 6 of Gerry Brownlee's August Cabinet Paper here.

Although a matter of great anxiety, the extent to which land experienced liquefaction is not a criteria.

Boundary lines

Sensible boundary lines are significant in some areas where the land changes from red to green at a fence line. I can't find a Cabinet Minute that specifies what this entails, and there is only a passing reference to it in Para 2.17 on page 3 of Cabinet Minute CAB Min (11) 24/15 (referred to above).

An undated Cabinet Paper produced as part of the June land decisions mentions "sensible land decisions" at para 36 on page 7 with a footnote that reads:
This may, for example, be to align Red Zone boundaries with roads in some areas, as the land under roads has already been compacted.
The undated cabinet paper is here.

The Minister's media release - an extract:

What the review will cover
The zoning review will not revisit the original criteria. It will check that the red/green criteria have been consistently applied and that boundary lines have been drawn sensibly. It will enable officials to respond to those property owners who have requested a review.
Green zones have been declared in areas where damage can be addressed on an individual basis as part of the normal insurance process.
Red zones have been declared in areas where there is area-wide damage (implying an area-wide solution) and an engineering solution to remediate the land damage would be uncertain, disruptive, not timely, nor cost effective.
For more information on the criteria agreed by Cabinet to determine green and red zones please refer to the Cabinet Minute of Decision - Land Damage from the Canterbury Earthquakes [PDF 473 KB].
It is important to note that the zoning review process does not apply to the Technical Categories (TC1, TC2 and TC3) that have been defined by the Department of Building and & Housing. The Technical Categories describe how land is expected to perform in future earthquakes and the required foundation systems for new or repaired residential foundations in Canterbury.

Any property owners who have previously contacted CERA to request a review will be contacted by mail. They do not need to reapply.

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