Knowing your geo-hazards could mean your property isn’t fated to restricted development consents due to unfavorable zoning says Adam Broadbent, Senior Engineering Geologist for Coffey Christchurch.
Many home owners missed their opportunity to submit an appeal against the Christchurch City Council (CCC) District Plan and challenge their property’s zoning.
It’s so important to understand your property’s geo-hazards resulting from the Canterbury earthquake sequence, and how they are classified in the CCC District Plan “Instability Management Area”. CERA risk profiles have been used to apply ‘potential hazard’ zoning over all properties in the Port Hills area. But had a ‘site specific’ investigation been undertaken, many properties might not have been zoned this way.
Many of the hazards in your local area can be addressed in a realistic and cost effective way. Engaging with an experienced geotechnical team will help you identify the geo-hazards of your property, provide you with a quantifiable level of risk, and most importantly help you meet legislative requirements for consent approval.
Now is the time to think about your property’s future
Under the Resource Management Act, the CCC has revised their District Plan – which upon approval will be in place for the next 10 years. The revision identifies rockfall management and cliff collapse hazard zones in an effort to reduce residential exposure to natural hazards. As a result, many living in the Port Hill suburbs now find their properties located in instability management areas.
Placing owners at a clear disadvantage, the likely impact imposed is consent restrictions, reduced property value and saleability due to unfavourable hazard zoning.
Where to from here?
Justifiably, following the Canterbury earthquake sequence there’s a heightened awareness of potential hazards including boulder roll, cliff collapse and mass land movement – so it’s important to understand your own level of risk.
If your property is on a cliff, rockfall or mass movement hazard zone 1 or 2, then certain development activities will be prohibited, or rely on a Chartered Geotechnical Engineers site assessment to progress.
However, sound geotechnical advice will help you to demonstrate that the hazards have been correctly identified and mitigated.
A geo-hazard assessment will classify your property as high or low risk. Read more…