Zoning fun times

Following on from posts on land value rates and rental rates today I cover another fun topic: zoning. Again the approach is one of inquiry, rather than set in stone policy. I may also be totally sounding off, interested to hear what others think.

Basically every council in the country has their own zoning rules. These are the rules around what you can and cannot build where. What are the benefits of this? Why does it happen? Is this to do with the RMA?

One of the implications, is that I think it is harder for one developer to build in different parts of the country. A plan that worked well in Auckland would have to be tweaked to work in Wellington. Again I think this may have more impact on medium density developments than on stand alone houses. At the margin, this may impact the cost of homes

Would it not be better if there were standard zones that could be utilised throughout the country? Councils would still decide where different zones were applied, but not tinker so much with what a zone was. For instance a medium density zone round a light rail station could be the same in Auckland and Wellington, rather than them being slightly different in both. It may make it easier for a home builder like Ockham to deliver in Wellington.

I stress again this blog post is in the spirit of inquiry, not policy. Interested in anyone’s thoughts.

Conor Hill