draft CAW submission on car parking, District Plan Change 72

District Plan Change 72; Submission from Cycle Aware Wellington


Car parking should not be enforced off-street for new, or additions to, dwellings in residential areas;

Decisions on transport & planning are usually not based on proper surveys.  They are too often based on surveys designed to produce the desired result, and the gut reactions of politicians.  Off-street car parking rules are one result of this attitude.  It was thought to be a good idea but we now have evidence it's not;     

  • Safety.  Off-street parking was initially introduced because children can run out onto the road between parked cars.  We now know at least as much child trauma is created by off-street parking, ie from cars down drives or across footpaths
  • The first 2 bullet points of the Regional Transport Strategy is the promotion of the three active modes of transport.  The strategy is of little use unless implemented in District Plans
  • Car parking reduction reduces car-use.  Off street car parking promotes the filling of the space with a car, and possession promotes use, which does not promote NZ's national or international policies.  The use of cars has had terrible effects on the lives of children.  The street can no longer be used for play and is dangerous to those who walk or bike to school
  • Council has been coming to the view off-street parking should be a matter of choice & not enforced, for example it's no longer required in the CBD & Suburban Centres.  Have these areas suffered from parking by choice?  Council should speed up this process and base all rules on the most attractive cities, not on original & untested ideas, especially those that have now been proven to have many bad effects
  • By the census 30% of some Inner Residential households don't have a car
  • A double vehicle crossing to a double private car-park is usually used only part-time and removes almost as many public kerb-side car parks as it provides, but removes it 24/7
  • Garage doors, car decks & parking seriously damage urban design & reduce flora, therefore the Design Guides show very few examples of houses with garages or decks
  • Heritage areas should be capable of being used as precedence for new housing albeit in modern ways.  None of them had car parking
  • People enjoy residential areas without the blight of off-street car parking and/or garage doors
  • A survey showed about 80% of residents of a short street in Newtown preferred car parking be by choice, see last 2 Qs of the attached scan
  • Most garages in the above street are used as bedrooms, workshops, storage & etc showing they are often not a high priority
  • Even in the car-oriented USA car parking standards are under review.  The American Planning Assoc advises;  "...requiring off-street parking with every dwelling unit drives up the cost of housing, and some advocates have called for unbundling the cost of parking from housing and reducing parking requirements to promote housing affordability. See the congress for New Urbanism's webpage on "Parking Requirements and Housing Affordability".  (http://www.cnu.org/node/2241) for links to a number of resources on the costs of residential parking requirements"

Relief sought;       Car parking should be by choice everywhere, or in descending priority;

a) in Inner Residential areas, streets surrounding schools & suburban centres,  streets used for passenger transport, and streets two-removed from passenger transport routes

b) streets surrounding schools & suburban centres, and up to one-removed from passenger transport routes


Very good.

It should not be mandatory but perhaps as a corollary the plan should at least permit carparking and garages as of right, including garaging that is rented to neighbours. In our street the going rate seems to be $65 pw, and garages are used for a surprising range of purposes, including keeping bikes for houses up long flights of steps.

We took nearly 5 years to get consent to replace our garage and add a room over, without neighbour objection. The council officer who first responded simply told us we lived close enough to town so did not need a garage.

Stephen Franks