Happy New Year 2017 from the United Republic of Gay Lynn

Happy New Year 2017 United Republic of Gay Lynn

We wish all Grey Lynn residents a Happy New Year and all the best for 2017.

Grosvenor Street – No Stopping At All Times Proposal

Grosvenor Street No Stopping
Auckland Transport is seeking feedback on a proposal to install No Stopping At All Times restrictions on Grosvenor Street, Grey Lynn.

The proposal is in response to concerns about [Read more…]

Chair’s report for AGM December 2016

It has been another very busy year for the committee of the Grey Lynn Residents Association, which has had several key issues to address during the year…

Auckland Unitary Plan (PAUP)

The hearings process took up a great deal of the committee’s time in late 2015 and early 2016. We prioritised our engagement based on the key issues for our neighbourhood: intensification, zoning and heritage protection.

The Grey Lynn Residents Association was extremely lucky that the two chief architects of our original impressive and expert submissions, Tania Mace and Liz Hancock, agreed to continue to represent the interests of the Grey Lynn community. In this this they were ably supported by local architect and heritage expert Graeme Burgess.

When, at the eleventh hour in early 2016, the Independent Hearings Panel (IHP) made a sudden lurch and redrew major swathes of the planning map, upzoning many streets in our neighbourhood (and almost all of Westmere) from single housing to higher density (mostly allowing for three-storey townhouses), we called a public meeting to let the residents of the affected streets know and to hear their views about these ‘out of scope’ changes. These streets were: Gilbert, Sefton, Rona, Tuarangi, the very end of Schofield, Maxwell, the northern side of Francis, Fisherton, the northern side of Allen, Wallingford and Old Mill Road. In most cases, the change of zoning made almost no sense.

We went back to the IHP with the residents’ views. We were not the only neighbourhood group to cry foul but alas when its decision was finally released in July, the upzoning had not been removed and the pre-1944 heritage overlay, which had given a modicum of protection against widespread removal of original residences, had been removed. The Council subsequently then accepted the panel’s recommendation in so far as Grey Lynn is concerned. Despite the disappointment and dismay and uncertainty that those residents quite justifiably must now feel, by presenting quality submissions to the panel (and by supporting intensification, but not at the expense of heritage streetscapes) we did ensure that a full heritage assessment of every Grey Lynn street was carried out, that the inconsistencies of zoning that put some very fine streetscapes at risk were removed, and that almost the entire core of the suburb (the streets above excepted) has been zoned single housing.

Little Grocer site, corner Peel and Richmond

We supported the local residents in their battle to have this application rejected and were very sad that the battle was lost at the Environment Court, despite their having a very a strong case. We acknowledge the stress, time, anxiety and money this has cost a small group of local people and find it very hard to understand how and why they were put in this situation. If a precedent has now been established about what can happen in a Res One zoning, then all Aucklanders should be concerned.

Great North Road

Council’s designation of this ridge as a Special Housing Area (SHA) under the PAUPs is having an immediate and discernible effect, with a raft of tall apartments either built or under construction as the land-bankers cash up. It is disturbing to see that the recommendation for heights of no more than four storeys is regularly exceeded by developers, with Council sign-off. Because it is an SHA, locals have no right to oppose. Given this, a detailed plan for Great North Road is now critical so that it does not deteriorate into a shady wind tunnel and through-expressway with no life at street level.

With the encouragement and assistance of Local Board member Vernon Tava, we successful applied for $10,000 in funding from Council to undertake a community-endorsed plan for Great North Road. The parameters for this, which we were obliged to agree to, are, in our view, onerous for a local group but we have nonetheless accepted them because the matter is so pressing and because a poor outcome would be so regrettable.

Work will begin on this shortly, ably led by committee members David Batten and Brandon Wilcox. Our vision includes installing wider footpaths so that street-level café and bars and retail could operate, that there are verandahs at ground floor level, and plenty of street trees, and that the shading envelopes onto the southern side of the road and across Arch Hill (especially in winter when a four storey-plus building will throw a long shadow) be taken into effect when planners consider applications from developers.

Annual plan

Earlier this year the Grey Lynn Residents Association hosted a public meeting at the RSC, where WLB members spoke to the Auckland Plan (in short, the major regional and local projects budgeted for the coming year). About 20 people attended.

Grey Lynn Park

We have had a meeting with Local Board member Rob Thomas and local resident Paul Wacker about the imminent pump track. We are reassured that the new scope of the track will not unduly restrict ad hoc usage of that very important flat area of the park.

We were also in close contact with Auckland Council re the proposed greenway / cycleway through the park. Given that it overlays the main park along its entire course there were concerns about cyclists riding at speed and colliding with children/prams/ dogs on leashes etc and that the layout and approach was too aggressively commuter-focussed. The path seems to be little used by cyclists at this stage and so no concerns that we are aware of have arisen.

Surrey Crescent Shops

We made a submission to Auckland Transport on the proposed relocation of bus stops and various other traffic-calming and pedestrian safety initiatives at this shopping centre. It is very important to Grey Lynn that these local businesses thrive, and we had concerns that AT sees it as a major bus throughway, not a place that is important to locals and business owners. Brandon Wilcox and David Batten represented the GLRA at various meetings on the matter. It is a fine balance between ensuring that barriers to use of public transport are not thrown up yet local shops have access to the short-term car-parking that reflects the quick pick-up-and-go nature of much retail there.

Cycleway

We made a submission to Auckland Transport on the various proposed cycleway routes through Grey Lynn and Westmere, and in particular their impact on Dryden Street, where AT is proposing some very odd traffic calming methods.

Planning advice to locals

We have been called on to advise several local residents this year over concerns such as the removal of houses and construction adjacent to them.

Website

A bright new website was designed, thanks to Brandon Wilcox.

Local government election

In September we held a very well-attended public meeting at the RSC. Almost all the local board and council candidates attended and the evening, which followed a novel format, was revealing and lively.

Thanks

Thanks are due to the Grey Lynn Residents Association committee members, who have worked hard this year for the neighbourhood, despite their own busy working and family lives.

Nicola Legat
Chair

Great North Road Community-led Vision: Request for Proposal

Great North Road Ridge
Grey Lynn Residents Association is developing a community-led vision for the Great North Road ridge between Ponsonby Road and Surrey Crescent shops.

Auckland Council has provided funding via Waitemata Local Board to facilitate GLRA’s creation of the community-led vision for Great North Road ridge.

This community-led vision comprises two parts…   [Read more…]

Patrik Schumacher wants to scrap social housing and public space

Patrik Schumacher wants to scrap social housing and public space
Could this work in Auckland? Patrik Schumacher, director of Zaha Hadid Architects, has an 8-point plan to solve London’s housing affordability crisis…

His controversial plan includes getting rid of regulations, privatising all public space and scrapping social housing.
[Read more…]

AGM 2016 Reminder

N.B. New start time & agenda. You are invited to attend the annual Grey Lynn Residents Association AGM as follows…

[Read more…]

AGM 2016

You are invited to attend the annual Grey Lynn Residents Association AGM as follows…

[Read more…]

Meet the Candidates Agenda – with Satire!

Our Meet the Candidates event is tomorrow night. With script input from an anonymous satirist, there’ll be great entertainment to soften the hard questions!

Auckland Council (AC) and Waitemata Local Board (WLB) candidates will answer your questions, explain what they stand for and why you should vote for them in Auckland’s local elections. [Read more…]

Meet the candidates on 21 September – UPDATE

Our Meet the Candidates evening is rolling around next week. I hope you can be there. We promise it won’t be boring – there’ll be some cheeky fun for sure!

The attendees are…  [Read more…]

Meet the candidates on 21 September

Bill Ralston, Mike Lee, Pippa Coom, Rob Thomas!

They and other Auckland Council and Waitemata Local Board candidates will be at the RSC on Wednesday 21 September to tell you why you should vote for them in the council elections.

Come along to listen and come with your questions.

Cash bar downstairs.

All welcome.
[Read more…]

St Columba Clay Works Potter’s Market and Community Day

Following the great success of St Columba’s inaugural event last year, this year’s Clay Works Potter’s Market and Community Day is even bigger and better!

Free event – fundraiser for St Columba Church.

St Columba clayworks fundraiser [Read more…]

Meet the candidates – Save the date

Grey Lynn residents are welcome at a meeting where you can hear the candidates for Auckland Council and the Waitemata Local Board explain why they deserve your vote and how they will approach key issues for your neighbourhood and city.

Where: Upstairs, Grey Lynn RSC, 1 Francis Street, Grey Lynn

When: 7:00-9:00 pm, Wednesday 21 September 2016

Organised by the Grey Lynn Residents Association

Auckland Unitary Plan interview with GLRA on Morning Report today

Auckland Unitary Plan interview on RNZ Morning Report todayThis morning Guyon Espiner talked to Brandon Wilcox of Grey Lynn Residents Association and Leroy Beckett of Generation Zero about the Auckland Unitary Plan.

Read the article and embedded interviews here or click here to listen to the Morning Report interview with Brandon Wilcox and Leroy Beckett.  [Read more…]

Great North Road, Grey Lynn precinct vision

Great North Road Grey Lynn precinct vision

In February 2016 Grey Lynn Residents Association submitted a proposal to Waitemata Local Board for a community-led precinct vision for Great North Road.

The proposal is on the agenda to be considered at the next Board meeting. The recommendations to be considered are that the Waitemata Local Board…  [Read more…]

SeaPath Update

SeaPath

A number of Grey Lynn residents provided feedback on SeaPath, a proposed 3km long walking and cycling path between Takapuna and Northcote Point.

Although SeaPath is not a Grey Lynn project, it is of interest to Grey Lynn residents, especially if it connects directly with the proposed SkyPath harbour bridge crossing. This will open up the North Shore to easy bicycle and pedestrian access from our side of the bridge.  [Read more…]

Chronicles of our Unitary Plan fight for Grey Lynn

Chronicles of our unitary plan fight

In May the Auckland Unitary Plan Independent Hearings Panel will finish hearing submissions on the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan. By July Auckland Council will be presented with the Panel’s proposed changes and the Unitary Plan will be one step closer to becoming fully operative.

It seems an appropriate time to review where we are with the plan, and how we have got here.

Final Unitary Plan appearance

Late on the afternoon of Thursday 14 April 2016 Grey Lynn Residents Association representatives Liz Hancock, Nicola Legat and Tania Mace made their final appearance in front of the Auckland Unitary Plan Independent Hearings Panel (IHP).

It all began in 2013

This was the very end of a lengthy process that began in 2013 when [Read more…]

Have Your Say on How 2016-2017 Council Budget is Spent

Auckland Council budget feedback meeting
Waitemata Local Board wants you to have your say on the Local Board’s priorities & activities, and how the 2016-2017 Auckland Council budget is spent.

We are hosting a public meeting as follows for you to find out more about Waitemata Local Board priorities & activities from members of the board, and to give you an opportunity to provide feedback on local and regional Auckland Council Budget consultation topics, including the Interim Transport Levy, rates and local priorities.

When: 7:00 pm Wednesday 24 February
Where: Grey Lynn Returned Services Club, 1 Francis St, Grey Lynn
Refreshments: A cash bar will be open to quench your thirst.

This financial year the Waitemata Local Board plans to improve local facilities by increasing investment in parks and open spaces. They will continue to support community-led projects as well as deliver actions from the recently adopted Waitemata Low Carbon Action Plan.

This meeting is your chance to hear what they have to say about these initiatives, and the 2016/17 Auckland Council Budget, and provide feedback in person.

We hope to see you there!

 

Unitary Plan Petition

Grey Lynn unitary plan petition

Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance has launched a “Unitary Plan Petition” to tell Auckland Council to withdraw their undemocratic “out of scope” zoning changes.

In December last year, just before Christmas (forgive us for being cynical about their timing), Auckland Council announced zoning changes to many Auckland suburbs with no consultation and no ability for ratepayers to give any feedback whatsoever.

[Read more…]

Grey Lynn Up-zone Update

Grey Lynn up-zone alert!

About 60 people attended our information evening on 25 January to hear about Auckland Council’s up-zoning of selected Grey Lynn streets.

We gave attendees [Read more…]

Grey Lynn Up-zone Could Increase Density In Your Street

Grey Lynn up-zone alert!

Latest Auckland Council zone changes mean your street can be filled with apartments. Voice your support or opposition at our information evening… [Read more…]

Report for AGM 2015

Chair’s report for Annual Meeting: November 30 2015

It has been a very busy year for the committee of the Grey Lynn Residents’ Association, which has had several key issues to address during the year.

Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan (PAUP)

The GLRA’s extensive submissions on the Draft AUP resulted in a flurry of invitations to hearings with the Independent Hearings Panel (IHP) throughout the year. Like most residents’ groups across the isthmus, there were so many of these and the timetabling was so onerous that we simply did not have the time to attend them all and so we prioritised them based on the key issues for our neighbourhood: intensification, zoning and heritage protection.

[Read more…]

Save Grey Lynn Shops Protest Friday 4 & 11 Dec 2015

The Surrey Cres Working Group is organising a protest this Friday and next Friday to encourage Auckland Transport not to remove parking spaces outside the shops to create a major bus transit centre.

Instead of locating the new, double-length bus stops smack bang in the middle of [Read more…]

AGM Reminder & Change of Venue!

You are invited to the AGM of the Grey Lynn Residents Association. All Grey Lynners are very welcome, so please invite your neighbours too!

Come along to find out what your committee has been doing to…  [Read more…]

AGM 2015

You are invited to attend the annual Grey Lynn Residents Association AGM as follows…

AGM

When: 7:30 pm Monday 30 November 2015
Where: Grey Lynn Community Centre, 510 Richmond Rd, Grey Lynn (edit: now at Grey Lynn RSA, Francis St, Grey Lynn) [Read more…]

Spotlight on Grey Lynn

With sections spacious for the inner-city, Grey Lynn values its inheritance while adding style.
Grey Lynn has maintained its character while gradually gentrifying. Photo / NZME.
Grey Lynn has maintained its character while gradually gentrifying. Photo / NZME.

Honouring its heritage

The discovery of [Read more…]