Review of land zoning decisions completed

Release Date: 24 August 2012

More than 100 flat land properties damaged by Canterbury's earthquake series will have their zoning changed, following an assessment by the Zoning Review Advisory Group.

The review was led by Dr Keith Turner and followed the last zoning decisions which were completed in May this year.

CERA chief executive Roger Sutton says initially more than 1300 people applied to have the decision relating to their property reviewed, although some subsequently withdrew that application.

In the process of assessing the zone boundaries, 35 properties whose owners had not applied for a review have been identified as needing to be changed.

While property owners had the opportunity to apply to have their zoning reviewed, the final parameters of the review meant the process was not limited to these properties alone.

The review checked all properties to confirm that the criteria agreed by Cabinet had been consistently applied, and that boundary lines were drawn sensibly when taking ongoing infrastructure serviceability into consideration.

In total, three properties will change from Red to Green Zone, and 101 properties will change from Green to Red.

The remainder, which is the majority of the properties considered, will not change.

Of those changing to Red, the Advisory Group found that 62 met the criteria outlined by Cabinet to be designated as Red Zone. These properties are in various areas of Burwood, Dallington, Linwood and Avondale.

Mr Sutton says the other 39 properties did not strictly meet Cabinet’s criteria, but on balance their land met its intent. This related to issues including isolation and unviability of infrastructure. These properties include all of Stour Drive in Burwood, and the remaining six properties in Porritt Place, Dallington.

"Some of my staff spent last night and this morning contacting the owners of the 104 properties that have changed zone, to personally inform them of the zoning change," he said.

"Everyone who applied to be considered in the review will be sent a letter advising them formally of the outcome. These letters will arrive over the course of today and tomorrow and will give the property owners an outline of what they need to do next."

For the people whose land is now classified as Red Zone, the next step will be to return a consent form. That will enable the Crown to put together a purchase offer based on the 2007 valuation figures for the property.

They will have until 31 March 2013 to accept an offer and return their signed Sale and Purchase agreement. Final settlement date is 30 April 2013.

The three properties that are no longer zoned Red will have their Crown offer withdrawn, and they will be able to progress their relevant EQC and insurance claims to complete repairs as required.

The remaining properties that did not change are mostly in Technical Category 3 (TC3) areas. The owners of these properties will be invited to attend meetings that are specifically catered to discussing options for TC3 land owners, and which will be attended by insurance and EQC specialists.

These meetings begin next week and will be held over the coming six weeks in different locations across Christchurch.

Mr Sutton says he is very happy with the review process, and thanked Dr Keith Turner for his guidance.

"I appreciate this still didn’t give everyone the answer they were hoping for, but the process has been able to correct the boundary anomalies where needed. This is the end of the flat land zoning process now. It has been an incredibly long and detailed process but I am happy that there is finality for the many people who have been so badly affected by the devastating earthquakes."

Related information

Zoning review - includes more details about the findings of the review.