1.4.4 Rototuna Town Centre Design Guide Purpose

This design guide was developed to assist groups, professionals and Council to prepare and assess resource consent applications for Comprehensive Development Plans (CDPs) and resource consent applications for development occurring after the implementation of the CDP (refer to Volume 1, Rule 13.5c).

A Concept Plan (Appendix 7, Figure 7-1) has been prepared for the Rototuna Town Centre. The Rototuna Town Centre Concept Plan provides a design-led framework for the development of the Centre. The Rototuna Town Centre Concept Plan comprises several activity precincts. The Concept Plan identifies the location and extent of land use types and other essential features including:

i. The main street and other streets,

ii. The public square, and

iii. Community and open space elements.

All development in the Rototuna Town Centre Zone:

i. Will have a strong emphasis on urban design considerations.

ii. Must demonstrate that urban design principles have been applied.

iii. Must be in general accordance with the Rototuna Town Centre Concept Plan.

iv. Must be designed in accordance with this Guide. To achieve this, before commencing development within the Rototuna Town Centre Zone, a Comprehensive Development Plan (land use consent) must be prepared and approved for each of the Comprehensive Development Areas identified in Appendix 7, Figure 7-2. How to Use the Design Guide

The Design Guide contains four parts.

i. Part 1: The Overall Concept (refer to .

ii. Part 2: Guidelines relating to the Rototuna Town Centre (refer to

iii. Part 3: General Principles for Comprehensive Development Plans (refer to

iv. Part 4: Principles and Assessment Criteria for Precincts (refer to

There are three steps to using this Guide when preparing a Comprehensive Development Plan. Firstly, there are a number of guidelines which clearly outline Council’s expectations for achieving high quality design, set out in Sections Secondly, the application should be assessed against the general principles which are outlined in Section, and thirdly, the application should be considered in terms of the relevant assessment criteria for the precinct/area in Section

There is a degree of flexibility, and the standards may not be appropriate in every instance. In such cases it must be demonstrated that design flexibility is warranted through the creation of an equivalent or better outcome. Part 1: The Overall Concept


A Town Centre for Rototuna that functions as a focal point for the wider Rototuna community by enabling a diverse range of activities that operate within a pedestrian-focused, street-based layout, and incorporate principles of good urban design.

Key Features

The key features of the Rototuna Town Centre are:

a) The Main Street

The Main Street provides the central core of the retail area with a traditional street-based layout which is intended to be a pedestrian focused, vibrant shopping destination for the local community. Primary and secondary frontage areas are identified in Appendix 7, Figure 7-3, to facilitate active frontages with buildings closely relating to the street. Pedestrian orientated activities will be encouraged along these frontages, particularly along the Main Street and Public Square which are to be the principal shopping areas.

The carriageway should accommodate cyclists, buses and motor vehicles. There should be wide pedestrian walkways on either side of the carriageway to provide space for street-side dining, parking bays and large specimen trees. The street will be a slow speed environment. The street should have a clear and distinguishing landscaping treatment (streetscape design) applied, to highlight its importance and add to its character, identity and legibility.

The CDP for the Comprehensive Development Plan Areas will include an Integrated Transport Assessment to determine the nature of the intersections at (as relevant):

i. Borman Road/North City Road.

ii. North City Road/Park Lane/Suburban Collector Roads.

iii. Suburban Collector Roads/Local Streets.

iv. Suburban Collector Roads/Residential Collector Roads.

v. Midblock access for Public Square, Pool & Library.

The intersection treatments should also consider the pedestrian and cyclist provision to ensure a safe environment and high level of connectivity occurs.

b) The Public Square

The Public Square is designed to be an important public space where markets, fairs and special events can be held. The library and retail areas will open onto the Square. It can be accessed from the Main Street and from walkways and cycleways through the adjoining watercourse and drainage reserve.

The Square should contain key amenity features such as lighting, seating, trees, landscape features and public art. The design should incorporate on the eastern edge the entrance space for the library and other small businesses such as cafés – including space for outdoor dining. A consistent design theme and materials should be used throughout the Square.

c) The Gateways

Key gateway features such as public art at the entrances to the Town Centre from the arterial roads would identify the Centre and contribute to its sense of place. A gateway feature could take a variety of forms or elements (e.g. public art, gantry, landscaping). The carriageway/building design at these key entrance points should be flexible enough to allow a gateway feature to be incorporated into the design.

d) The Watercourse

A central unifying feature of the Town Centre is the drainage reserve/central watercourse which has a principal stormwater function but also provides a key green corridor and walkway/cycleway link. It is important that the waterway and associated corridor is designed as a high amenity, multifunctional feature. To the north, the watercourse will connect with the Active Recreation Reserve and provide a green edge to the playing fields and the secondary school. This green edge will also accommodate shared pedestrian and cycle routes that will connect with parks and footpaths in nearby neighbourhoods.

The precise form and function of the watercourse and corridor will be determined by hydrological requirements and controls. This watercourse will be the principal secondary flow path for the concept plan area, and be sized to accommodate 1% annual exceedance probability storm flood conditions.

e) Park Lane

Park Lane runs along the eastern edge of the Active Recreation Reserve and will provide access to the Reserve and adjacent Residential High Density Precinct. The combination of the housing and lane will provide increased surveillance over the Reserve.

Park Lane should be designed as a slow moving lane, with a number of traffic calming measures incorporated into the design. Provision should be made for angled parking adjacent to the park, and berms for landscaping. Its character should be that of a tree-lined lane within a residential environment.

f) Passenger Transport

Passenger transport within the Town Centre should be catered for via integrated bus stops within the transport corridor carriageway.

A transport interchange opposite the Public Square on the Main Street should be provided. The interchange is central to the Concept Plan. It will bring people directly to the heart of the Town Centre and will improve the general surveillance and safety around the Public Square.

g) Connectivity

In order to achieve a legible and efficient transport network it is essential that all nodes are well connected both internally and to other nodes. The local nodes and Town Centre in particular shall be well connected to the surrounding residential neighbourhood they serve.

h) Walkways/Cycleways

The emphasis in and around the Town Centre is on achieving good walking and cycling connectivity. Effective connections to the Centre must be provided from the adjoining residential areas. The central drainage reserve/water course must incorporate walking and cycling paths, offering good connectivity with the Active Recreation Reserve, community facilities and schools, and to the southwest along existing walkways/cycleways.

i) Primary/Secondary Frontages

Primary and secondary frontages have been identified where the interface between buildings and the street or public space is considered particularly important. Along these edges at ground floor level, retail activity should predominate and buildings must relate closely to the street – providing activity, interest and vitality.


As shown on the Concept Plan, the Rototuna Town Centre is made up of several activity precincts that contribute to the overall function of the Centre. These include:

a) Retail Precinct

The Concept Plan provides for two distinct retail areas – Retail Precincts 1 and 2.

The Retail 1 Precinct has frontage to the Main Street and Public Square and adjoins the proposed library and aquatic centre. Within this Precinct, the scale and form of the buildings and shopfronts should respond to and reflect the pedestrian nature of the streetscape. Retail should be of a fine grain and typically include small shops of a maximum floor area of 400m2, restaurants and cafés. Offices and apartments should be located above ground floor level. Activities provided for in this precinct include entertainment, restaurants, cafes, takeaways and small store retailing.

In the Retail 2 Precinct, which is located immediately to the west of the Main Street, the Concept Plan provides for larger scale retail activities to serve the local community. Development should, however, still provide an active frontage to the street – either through a main entrance or by sleeving the development with smaller retail outlets.

b) Employment Precinct

It is intended that this centre have a strong employment base, and areas for business and light industry are identified on the Concept Plan. Employment based activities should not interrupt or conflict with shopping activities or more sensitive uses in adjacent precincts. Appropriate locations are therefore shown to the north of the Retail 2 Precinct and close to the major arterial road.

The Employment Precinct will provide for light industry and service type activities to predominantly meet the needs of local residents. Light industry activities include vehicle servicing and repair activities, small scale home improvement activities, electronic and computer repairs and service, small scale manufacturing, cleaning services, food preparation, catering, printing and storage.

c) Residential Mixed Use Precinct

The Residential Mixed Use Precinct will act as a transition area between retail and residential development. The Precinct predominantly provides for residential activities, however a limited amount of office development, service industry, small retailing and activities that will not compromise residential living amenity levels are also provided for.

d) Residential High/Medium Density Precinct

Residential High Density and Residential Medium Density Precincts form part of the Town Centre. These precincts are intended to provide a population base to support the Centre’s retail, employment, entertainment, community and recreational activities and enhance its vitality and vibrancy. Conversely, the Centre will provide goods and services for the local residential catchment. It is therefore important that residential land is developed to a sufficient density to enable these mutual benefits, and to ensure efficient use of the land resource.

e) Community Precinct

In addition to the planned community facilities described below, land has been set aside for other community facilities such as community centres, education and training facilities and health care services.

Library – The proposed new library will occupy a key central site within the Town Centre having frontages onto both the Public Square and the watercourse. Ideally this will be designed as a high quality, innovative building.

Aquatic Centre – The aquatic centre is strategically located between the Retail 1 Precinct and Active Recreation Reserve. This will enable shared use of facilities such as changing rooms and carparking space. As with the library, this building should be of high quality and innovative design.

Schools – A new primary school and a new secondary school will contribute to the overall Town Centre ‘node’. Both schools are within a 10 minute walk of the heart of the Centre. The schools are to be zoned Community Facilities and do not form part of the Concept Plan.

Apostolic Church – There is an existing church on North City Road. This existing use will be acknowledged by identifying the land as a Community Facilities Precinct.

Parks and Green Space

A large recreation reserve is centrally located in the Town Centre and in close proximity to the aquatic centre and schools. The reserve will provide for playing fields, one of which may be served by a stand, together with other facilities such as courts, cricket ovals and potentially floodlighting. Transport corridors and high density residential developments are planned around the perimeter, offering good views into the reserve. In turn this will increase passive surveillance and overall safety, and provide open space and amenity for residents. Part 2: Guidelines for the Rototuna Town Centre

a) Building Height

Building height standards for each Precinct are as follows.

Maxim​​um Building Height
Minimum Building Height
Minimum Storeys
Retail 1 and Retail 2
8m Primary frontage
2 in Primary Frontage
8m Primary frontage
2 in Primary Frontage
Active Recreation
i. 8m, except public toilets adjoining a transport corridor boundary where the maximum height shall be 3m
ii. Maximum height of any floodlighting shall be 15m
Public Square
Residential Mixed Use
Residential High Density
Residential Medium Density

b) Separation Distances and Privacy

i. Where two or more buildings, excluding accessory buildings, are located on the one site, no eaves of a building shall be located closer than 3m from the eaves of another building.

ii. A balcony or window of a habitable room at upper-floor level shall be set back 5m from any boundary of a Comprehensive Development Area, zone boundary, precinct boundary, or public open space, excluding the road boundary or adjoining an accessway, any entrance strip with a width of 6m or less, or any right of way, private way or access lot.

iii. Where buildings are attached, no setback is required between those buildings.

iv. Separation distances may be reduced where:

  • Windows are at an angle of 60 degrees or greater to the boundary, or
  • Window sill height from the finished upper-floor level is 1.7m, or
  • Opaque or obscure glazing is provided.

c) Building Setbacks

Building setback standards for each Precinct are as follows:

Maximum Building Setback from Transport Corridor
Minimum Building Setback from Transport Corridor
Minimum Building Setback from side, and rear boundary
R​etail 1 and Retail 2
  • 0m Primary frontage
  • 0m Secondary frontage
  • No maximum elsewhere
  • 0m Primary frontage
  • 0m Secondary frontage
  • No maximum elsewhere
0m Primary frontage
5m front
Refer Volume 1, Rule 16.4.4
Where site adjoins the Residential or Special Character Zone or a Residential Precinct – 3m
Active Recreation
5m except public toilets which may be sited up to the transport corridor boundary
5m from the boundary of any Residential Precinct
Public Square
Residential Mixed Use
  • 0m Primary frontage
  • 0m Secondary frontage
  • No maximum elsewhere
Residential High Density
1.5m where adjoining another precinct, CDP Area or zone boundary
Residential Medium Density
No maximum
i.3m from the boundary of a local/collector transport corridor
ii. 5m from the boundary of an arterial transport corridor
1.5m where adjoining another precinct, CDP Area or zone boundary

d) Development Intensity

Development Intensity for each precinct shall be as follows.

Maximum Floor Area Ratio
Maximum Site Coverage
Retail 1
Retail 2
Public Square
Residential Mixed Use
Residential High Density
Residential Medium Density

e) Primary Frontages

For buildings within the Primary Frontages as defined in Appendix 7, Figure 7-3:

i. Buildings shall include a minimum of 2 stories of useable floor space.

ii. A minimum of 75% of ground floor wall facing the street or public space, for the length of the ground floor wall, shall be of clear glass and capable of being used for displaying goods and services to passing pedestrians.

iii. Ground floor tenancies shall have the main customer entrance facing the street.

iv. A continuous veranda not less than 2.5m deep shall be provided which extends along the full street frontage except that no veranda over a footpath may encroach to within 600mm from the kerb. Verandas should be designed to provide continuous pedestrian cover so they abut one another.

v. There shall be no vehicle access, parking or service areas within the Primary Frontage Area.

f) Secondary Frontages

For buildings within the Secondary Frontages as defined in Appendix 7, Figure 7-3:

i. A minimum of 50% of the ground floor wall facing the street or public space, for the length of the ground floor wall, shall be of clear glass and capable of being used for displaying goods and services to passing pedestrians.

ii. Ground floor tenancies shall have the main customer entrance facing the street.

iii. There shall be no parking or service areas within the Secondary Frontage Area.

g) Outdoor Living Area

Each Residential Unit or any residential accommodation associated with non-residential activities shall be provided with an outdoor living area which:

i. Shall be for the exclusive use of the Residential Unit.

ii. Shall be readily accessible from a living area of a Residential Unit.

iii. Shall be free of driveways, manoeuvring area, parking spaces, accessory buildings, and service areas.

iv. Shall have a minimum area per Residential Unit of 12m2, and a minimum dimension of 2.5m width.

1. Any communal outdoor living is optional, and shall be provided in addition to the above provisions.

h) Service Area

Each Residential Unit or any residential accommodation associated with non-residential activities shall be provided with service areas as follows.

i. A minimum service area of 10m2 with a minimum dimension of 2.5m located at ground floor level, and readily accessible to that residential accommodation.

ii. The service area shall be maintained with an all-weather, dust free surface.

iii. The vehicular access associated with a service area may not be located within a primary or secondary frontage.

iv. A service area shall not be able to be viewed from a public space.

v. The service area required under this rule shall be additional to the service area required under Volume 1, Chapter 13: Rototuna Town Centre, Rule 13.8.5.

i) Communal Outdoor Space

Any Residential Accommodation that does not constitute a Residential Unit (e.g. hostels, and motels), and all Visitor Accommodation shall provide a Communal Outdoor Living Area for each building which:

i. Has a minimum area which shall be equal to 12m2 multiplied by the number of Residential Units or 12% of the gross leasable area of that part of any building occupied by residential accommodation, whichever is the greater.

ii. Has a minimum dimension of not less than 4m.

iii. Is capable of containing a circle not less than 8m in diameter.

iv. Is readily accessible to those parts of any buildings occupied by Residential Activities. Part 3: General Principles for Comprehensive Development Plans


Development of the Rototuna Town Centre shall be undertaken in accordance with a CDP to be approved by Council for the individual Areas shown in Appendix 7, Figure 7-2.


An application for a CDP needs to address the following.

a) The overall design of the Rototuna Town Centre achieves aesthetic and architectural coherence, and is of a design, scale, form and character appropriate to its unique location.

b) The arrangement of buildings, car parking, service areas, and open spaces including provision for vehicular, cycle and pedestrian circulation will:

i. Enable the establishment of activities that are appropriate for the comfort, and convenience of visitors to the Rototuna Suburban Centre, and the local community.

ii. Be safe, and convenient, and achieve high standards of amenity.

iii. Be functionally linked with, and physically connected by, walkways/cycleways to the suburban centre.

iv. Reinforce high quality urban design, particularly the orientation of buildings to outdoor public spaces, transport corridors, and utilising a variety of architectural elements.

v. Provide for appropriate public access (pedestrian and cyclists) to, and around the area.

vi. Provide direct access paths on the most well-used routes with appropriate lighting, landscaping, and seating.

vii. Buildings shall be constructed from solid and durable materials to ensure a high standard of aesthetic coherence, and amenity consistent with the aim of providing an attractive suburban centre.

c) Design and layout of transport corridors

i. To ensure appropriate connections to existing, and future transport corridors.

ii. Respond to the site’s existing landform, vegetation, views, water courses (for the purposes of stormwater runoff), and areas of public open space.

iii. Accommodate safe traffic speeds, and sightlines for all transport corridors users (pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists).

iv. Provide sufficient width to safely accommodate all transport corridor users, parking, footpaths, cycle ways and amenity landscaping.

v. Promote a consistent design theme to achieve high amenity values.

vi. Have regard to the future design relationship between the transport corridors, adjoining land and adjacent precincts.

vii. Design guidance for transport corridors can be found in Appendix 15-6: Criteria for the Form of Transport Corridors, and the Hamilton City Infrastructure Technical Specifications.

d) Type, form, and density of housing

Whether future development sites have been identified in a manner that:

i. Responds to the context within which the development site is to be located, including roads, open space, pedestrian linkages, views and natural features.

ii. Is appropriate to the type, and form of housing (medium density or high density).

iii. Is in accordance with policies and rules in Volume 1, Chapter 13: Rototuna Town Centre Zone, setting out the required yield for the various precincts.

iv. Has regard to the relationship with existing developed areas.

v. Gives consideration to the size, shape and aspect of the land, and its suitability for future development, with particular regard to the relationship of the site to the transport corridor, and adjoining sites.

vi. Integrates the development of sites with the relevant precinct as a whole. Part 4: Principles and Assessment Criteria for Precincts

a) Retail Precinct 1


The Retail 1 precinct faces onto the Main Street and Public Square, and adjoins the proposed library and aquatic centre. This is the main shopping area within the centre and activities have been specifically selected to create a vibrant and vital centre. It is therefore important that there is a continuity of buildings facing onto the street and that they have ‘active’ frontages. This coupled with the range of activities and public realm elements (footpaths, lighting, landscaping, street furniture, open space, etc) play an important role in creating an attractive and thriving Town Centre.

Figure 1.4.4a: Main shopping street



The intent is to create a community focal point providing employment, shopping, recreation and passenger transport opportunities for a locally-based population. A key consideration is the creation of a local identity for Rototuna’s main retail area. The centre’s design needs to be of a high quality so that people want to shop, linger, live, work and play within its environs. Therefore the setting needs to be safe, attractive, comfortable, accessible and durable. This is achieved by ensuring that buildings have ‘active’ street frontages. The scale and form of buildings should be of a fine grain and designed to reflect the street’s pedestrian focus.

It is envisaged that buildings within this part of Rototuna will be a minimum of two levels. Residential activities must be able to protect themselves from adjacent activities namely restaurants, bars (licensed premises) and bakeries, as these activities operate at a time when they may disturb residents. One key consideration is the protection of business land in, and around, this centre. Locations that work for businesses are fewer than for residential.

Assessment Criteria

1. Active Street Frontages

Active street frontages add interest, life and vitality to the public realm. This means:

i. Buildings must contain street level activity, along with frequent doors, windows and few blank walls, which allows a visual connection between people within the building, and those on the street.

ii. Shop frontages should be narrow to provide frequent changes in use and add visual interest.

iii. Building entries need to be clearly identifiable, face onto the street and be at the same level as the street.

Figure 1.4.4b: Active street frontages


2. Building Design – Form and Appearance

Building design defines the public realm while setting the scene for character and form including window, door proportion and placement. This means:

High quality design

i. Buildings should be designed to be of a high quality and help create a unique identity and character.

ii. Durable materials should be used.

Building continuity

iii. Buildings need to be designed so that they line both sides of the street. Minor modulation to the building’s frontage is acceptable (including pedestrian entrances, windows, bay windows, etc) provided street front continuity is not compromised.

Corner buildings

iv. Where buildings are located on street corners (intersection of two streets) architectural details should be used to emphasise and address the street corner.

Passive surveillance

v. Buildings should be designed so that their occupants can overlook the street and public open space.

Figure 1.4.4c: Passive surveillance


Public access

vi. Buildings facing onto open space are required to create openings so people can access such buildings from open space areas.

vii. Access into buildings should be at grade for both pedestrians and vehicles, to reduce the need for pedestrians to negotiate changes in footpath grade.

Building façades

viii. Building façades should incorporate the following features.

  • Articulation, celebration of main building entrances, use of projections such as bays and balconies.
Figure 1.4.4d: Building façades


  • Narrow building frontages – this gives the street scene a vertical as opposed to a horizontal emphasis.
  • Variation in materials, colour, window shape and size to accentuate and highlight features.
  • Use eaves, and window sills to create interest for street users.
  • Car parking and service entries need to be designed so they have a minimal effect on building continuity, where possible using rear lanes and access ways.
  • Use architectural details to differentiate building levels, e.g. the building’s ground, middle and upper levels.
  • Blank façades which are visible from public spaces are inappropriate.


ix. Integrate lift plant, and mechanical services into the building’s roof so they are not visible from public spaces.

x. Orientate satellite dishes, telecommunication antennae, and air conditioning units so they are not visible from public spaces.

xi. Use a variety of roof forms to provide visual interest. Sections of long horizontal ‘flat’ roofs are inappropriate.

Acoustic amenity

xii. Apartment buildings need to be designed so that residents are not disturbed by street noise or from neighbouring residents.

b) Retail Precinct 2:


This Precinct is separated from the Retail 1 Precinct by a proposed drainage reserve containing a watercourse. The Retail 1 Precinct contains similar land uses to the Retail 1 Precinct. The main difference is that provision is made for larger format retailing in Retail 2.


It is still preferable that buildings provide an active frontage to the street, either through a main entrance or by sleeving the development with smaller retail outlets.

Assessment Criteria

The same assessment criteria for Retail 1 also applies to the Retail 2 area. For larger scale buildings, use should be made of the Employment Precinct assessment criteria outlined below.

c) Employment Precinct:


The Employment Precinct provides opportunity for business, and light industry. In certain instances it may be necessary to buffer this precinct from adjacent residential areas.


Employment Precinct land will not provide the level of amenity found within the Retail 1, and 2 zones. However these zones will be used by Town Centre workers, and visitors, and pedestrians walking from areas beyond it.

Front Façades, and Entrances

Business buildings are often of a larger scale, and can therefore potentially create adverse effects due to the traffic they attract, e.g. conflicts between visitors, staff, and service based vehicles. Due to their size these buildings can often have large blank façades making it difficult to create an attractive street scene.

Assessment Criteria

i. Site entrances need to be obvious, and located next to vehicular and pedestrian entrances from the street.

ii. Pedestrian walkways should be provided directly from the public footpath to the building’s front door.

iii. Buildings should make a positive connection with the street. This can be achieved by designing buildings so they present a narrow face to the street and locating building mass away from the frontage.

Figure 1.4.4e: Example light industry


iv. Signage should be minimal, and clear – the focus should be on business identification rather than promotion of goods and services.

v. Office components should be located towards the building’s front, since this minimises vehicle/pedestrian conflicts.

vi. Corner buildings – refer Retail Area 1 buildings.

Loading and servicing

vii. Storage areas should be located at the rear or side of buildings, and ensure that they are screened from the street, so that the collection of rubbish, waste products, and goods cannot be viewed from the street.

viii. Car parking should be located at the side or near the front of buildings, as these areas need to be visible from the street so that visitors do not enter unsafe or hazardous areas.


ix. Use landscaping to help soften the appearance of large buildings, provide amenity, and screen loading, and service areas.

x. Where possible use landscaping to mitigate stormwater run-off as this helps to reduce the need for piped infrastructure.

xi. Use landscaping to provide visual relief to areas of car parking.


In certain circumstances, it may be necessary to buffer employment activity to protect the adjacent residential areas. Buffers generally consist of a physical element that acts as a barrier, screening device or shield between quiet areas, and noise producing areas of a single development. Buffers are essential in that they help maintain good levels of noise and visual privacy, thereby providing an acceptable degree of amenity for all occupants.

Examples of buffers include:

  • Physical distance – a space or courtyard separating employment and residential uses to sufficiently protect residents from the noise source.
  • Structural element – a well insulated exterior wall may minimise noise transmission between buildings. Similarly horizontal separation between activities such as commercial, offices, and upper residential floors.

Landscape feature

Trees/vegetation can be used as a buffer. Other landscape buffers include: ground level changes along with planting to create ‘screens’ or ‘shields’.

d) Residential Mixed-use Precinct


An area of residential mixed-use has been incorporated into the concept plan to further encourage choice and diversity. When designing mixed-use development it is important to ensure that buildings can accommodate a range of different uses, as these can change over time.


Mixed-use development needs to provide a degree of flexibility so that the buildings can respond to changes in demand whether this is office, residential or retail. Such development can encourage people to use the centre outside the working day. Business activity helps to create vibrancy and life including 24- hour occupancy of buildings.

Assessment Criteria

i. Residential entries need to be clearly demarcated and separated from business entries.

ii. Separate business loading docks and waste storage areas from residential access.

iii. Ensure that the design of residential units recognises the needs for servicing, privacy and outlook, and that this is not compromised by business activities.

iv. Consider acoustic privacy. The design needs to specifically address this issue demonstrating that an acceptable residential living environment can be created and maintained.

Figure 1.4.4f: Example mixed-use development


e) Residential Medium Density – in the Rototuna Town Centre Medium Density Precinct


Medium density housing typically consists of a mix of detached and terraced type housing.


Housing lots at medium densities typically deliver around 25 units per hectare, and typically comprise a mix of single dwellings located on single sites and terraced dwellings. There are important amenity considerations associated with this development form. For example how buildings address the street and how they create visual interest.

Figure 1.4.4g: Example medium density housing


Assessment Criteria

i. Buildings need to be designed to form a positive relationship with the street so that:

  • They provide for streetscape amenity, through the careful placement of entry doors, windows, porches, balconies, entry courtyards as these attributes help to create an active frontage to the street.
  • They demonstrate the transition between the street (public realm), the building’s front yard (semi-public realm) and the building’s private rear yard.
  • Visitors know how to access the building.

ii. Design balconies so that they face onto public space/roads, including a clear outlook of at least 6m which is not of adjacent properties. It is preferable that balconies which face roads be designed as recessed elements so they do not protrude from the face of buildings.

iii. Site buildings to maximise sunlight into indoor and outdoor areas:

  • Maximise north facing windows.
  • Maximise exposure to private open space e.g. rear yards facing north.

iv. Make provision within each residential unit for:

  • Collection of recyclable materials and an area for rubbish bins, ensuring they are located and designed not to be visible from the street or other public places.
  • Storage area for outdoor equipment e.g. bicycles, prams, sports equipment etc.

v. Use landscaping to provide visual interest, create privacy and shelter people from prevailing winds.

vi. Maximise privacy between dwellings by taking extra care over the interface at the sides of adjacent buildings. This is dependent on each development and local circumstances.

vii. Design buildings so they provide visual interest, diversity and variation. This helps to avoid monotonous repetition of building form including: roof pitches, materials, decks, courtyards, balconies and other detailing.

viii. Design buildings to address local conditions including topography, views and climate. Use eaves to control summer sun, provide shelter from rain and shelter courtyards from wind.

ix. Avoid locating satellite dishes and clothes lines at the front of buildings. Locate these items so they are not clearly visible from the street.

x. Garages and car ports need to be designed and located so that:

  • There is sufficient space to park a car between the site’s front boundary and the front of the garage/carport.
  • Garages and carports are set back from the dwelling’s main façade.
  • They relate to the building’s design in terms of height, roof form, materials, detailing and colours.

f) Residential High Density Precinct


Within this precinct, the form of development is likely to be comprised of two level apartments or terraced housing. It is preferable that such development faces onto, and overlooks the active recreation reserve.


Locating higher density housing within a five minute walk of the Rototuna Town Centre helps increase the probability of people using passenger transport. It also increases the likelihood of people walking to the main street as opposed to taking the car.

Higher density residential housing requires a higher design standard including improved pedestrian and cycle connections to the Town Centre. In Rototuna’s case the high density area is located on either side of the Active Recreation Reserve.

With this housing it is important that appropriate scale is maintained to avoid the creation of large monolithic structures similar in appearance to commercial and industrial buildings.

Height needs to be sensitively managed, pitched roofs can assist in this regard. Flat roofs are discouraged as these often give the development a strong horizontal feel and can be monotonous.

The key is to create a degree of variety, and this means using balconies, recesses, and voids, along with careful roof design.

Figure 1.4.4h: Example of high density housing

Assessment Criteria

i. The above criteria for Residential Medium Density housing, namely i, ii, iii, iv, v, vi, viii, and ix.

ii. For iv above consideration needs to be given to the provision of these items either within an individual building or within an apartment complex.

iii. Where possible, residential development should front onto and overlook the Active Recreation Reserve.

iv. Where vehicular access is from the street (at the front of the development) parking bays and garages should be set to the side/rear of buildings.

v. Rear lane access may also be appropriate to reduce the need for garages located at the development’s street front.

vi. Consider locating car parking areas half a level below ground and placing buildings half a level above. This helps reduce the amount of space taken up by garaging and parking on a given site.

vii. Use elements such as balconies, recesses, voids, materials, colours and roof design to create variety, such features should be used to reduce building mass.

viii. Design buildings so they provide a range of accommodation choice in terms of type, style, and size.

ix. Consider acoustic privacy. The design needs to specifically address this key consideration and demonstrate that an acceptable residential living environment can be created and maintained. This can be achieved by:

  • Placing living rooms of one apartment adjacent to the living rooms of adjacent apartments along with bedrooms next to bedrooms.
  • Locate noise sources such as kitchens, bathrooms and laundries next to noise sources in adjacent apartments.
  • Locate vehicle, pedestrian entranceways away from bedroom areas.

xiii. Avoid locating buildings so that they are perpendicular to the street as this presents an extremely poor street interface and adversely affects the privacy of neighbouring units.

Figure 1.4.4i: Example of high density housing


g) Community Facilities


A feature of the concept plan is the provision of new community facilities, namely a library, aquatic centre and the secondary school (outside the concept plan boundary). This also includes some land which will be privately developed, along with an existing church.


The proper integration of these facilities with the movement and activity network is key to ensuring the success of the Rototuna Town Centre. It is envisaged that other community facilities will locate within the centre. Where this occurs it is important that these activities face onto transport corridors, for example Borman Road.

Although these features have not been designed in detail the following general guidelines apply.

Assessment Criteria

i. Library

  • The library needs to be designed and located so that people will choose to visit because it is easy to use, exciting, modern and comfortable. The following therefore applies.
  • The library is envisaged as a landmark building that will occupy a key central site within the centre, adjoining and defining one edge of the public square.
  • The library should have active edges towards the public square, the main street to the northeast and the drainage reserve to the northwest. Avoid presenting blank façades to public areas.
  • The library’s main entrance shall be directly off the public square and the building shall be located to help define the square’s southwestern edge.
  • The design of the building should focus on facilitating pedestrian movement in, and around, the site.

ii. Aquatic Centre

The aquatic centre calls for the design of the facility to reflect its setting within the Rototuna Town Centre.

Currently, the scope of this project includes the design, construction and commissioning of a new aquatic centre facility, landscape works and parking facilities. A concept design is to be developed for a Community Centre/Recreation facility in conjunction with the concept design for the aquatic centre.

The aquatic centre will be located on North City Road, directly opposite the public square. The following therefore applies.

  • The building is envisaged to be a landmark building and will be a significant feature for the centre.
  • The building’s main entrance shall be located so people can gain direct access from the main street.
  • The building’s northern and western façades including the changing facility for the active reserve, should be carefully designed to actively engage with the adjacent open spaces.

h) Active Recreation


Central to the Town Centre is a large active recreation reserve which is intended to be a focal point for the local community. The development of this area is critical to the functioning of the wider area. The detailed design and operation of the reserve will be subject to a Reserve Management Plan, which has yet to be finalised.


Good visual and physical connectivity between the reserve and adjoining uses is important. The drainage reserve/watercourse corridor provides a key linking element of this connectivity within the area.

The following therefore applies.

i. The reserve will be primarily used as an active sports area containing fields and court areas.

ii. The reserve should be bounded by roads or lanes to ensure effective connectivity and integration.

iii. The western edge of the park needs to be activated with a shared pedestrian/cycle route.

iv. The reserve should be designed to be accessible from surrounding dwellings.

v. The design of the park should enable effective access for pedestrians, cyclists and the disabled.

i) Public Square


A key feature of the concept is the provision of a key piece of public open space – a public square. Conceptually, this space marks the intersection of the main street and the drainage reserve/watercourse, and links the public library to the aquatic centre (refer concept plan). The square is located north-east of the library, opening out onto the main street.


It is envisaged that the square will be a primary gathering and social space for the wider area. The creation of a high quality, functional public space is essential to the vitality of the Town Centre.

Assessment Criteria

i. The Public Square needs to be designed to accommodate a range of uses and activities, including outdoor dining.

ii. The Public Square is to be flanked by retail development, the library, drainage reserve and main street. It is important that active edges are provided around the perimeter of this space. A key component is entrances to these activities opening out onto this square.

iii. The space should contain key amenity features including, lighting, seating, trees/landscaping, public art.

iv. CPTED principles should be incorporated into the Public Square’s design.

Figure 1.4.4j: Example of a public square

j) Drainage Reserve/Watercourse


Another unifying feature of the concept plan is the central drainage reserve/watercourse corridor. Its principal function is stormwater management however it also forms part of the open space network catering for pedestrians, and cyclists.


It is important that this corridor is designed as a movement corridor, providing a link from the Te Awa O Katapaki esplanade in the southwest to the northern areas of Rototuna. This link will help provide strong connections with the surrounding residential areas for both pedestrians and cyclists.

Furthermore, the concept plan includes a larger green space at its southwestern corner. This space will be particularly visible from the Town Centre and it is therefore important that this vista is maintained and reinforced. From the north the watercourse will link with the active recreation reserve creating a green edge to the playing fields and secondary school.

The precise form and function of this corridor will be determined by hydrological requirements and controls but is likely to become more urban in character as it gets closer to the main street. The following therefore applies.

i. All buildings that face onto the drainage reserve/watercourse corridor need to be designed so that the ground floor faces onto the drainage reserve/watercourse corridor.

ii. Fences that line the drainage reserve/watercourse corridor need to be no higher than 1.4m if of a solid construction; if permeable (pool fence or similar) they should be up to but no greater than 1.8m in height.

iii. The drainage reserve/watercourse corridor needs to be designed and developed to be an attractive landscaped space.

iv. Entrance and exit points onto the corridor should be aligned to enable connections to be made with the wider pedestrian and cycleway network, and may require bridging of the watercourse.

k) Transport Network

1. Street Design


The creation of attractive, safe streets which encourage walking/cycling is an important goal. The transport network is required to provide effective movement for all transport modes.


A key consideration is the provision for pedestrian and cycle paths. The Town Centre will be promoted as a walkable node to cater for the large number of people anticipated to be living within a 10 minute walk (800m) of its centre.

The concept plan indicates a pedestrian/cycle path along the active reserve’s western edge. The link could be reinforced with appropriate landscaping and lighting. This link will provide good connectivity to the north side of the site whilst providing an effective linkage to schools and the bus interchange.

The Rototuna Town Centre comprises minor collector and major arterial transport corridors which will be designed in accordance with the guidance in Appendix 15-6​, and the Hamilton City Infrastructure Technical Specifications. This concept contains three main types of street; these are the Main Street, Park Lane and local streets. The following guidelines apply to the three street typologies.

Main Street

i. North City Road is to be designed to function as the Town Centre’s main street.

ii. The carriageway needs to accommodate buses, cars and cyclists, and be designed so these uses can safely co-exist with one another. Footpaths need to be sufficiently wide to provide for pedestrians along with opportunities for street-side dining.

iii. Parking should be accommodated along with large structure trees within the parking area.

iv. The street should be designed to create a low speed environment.

v. All crossing points should be at grade.

vi. Develop a ‘shared street’ concept (where pedestrians have priority) in conjunction with the passenger transport interchange.

Park Lane

vii. The Lane’s primary function is to provide access to the active recreation reserve and adjacent residential development.

viii. Park Lane must provide a strong interface with the edge of the recreation reserve.

ix. The street must be designed to have a low speed environment.

x. A shared pedestrian/cycle path needs to be provided along the edge of the recreation reserve.

xi. Angled parking should be provided along the edge of the recreation reserve, along with planted berms (containing large specimen trees).

xii. Design safe pedestrian/cycle access ways to the schools.

Local Streets

xiii. These streets are intended to provide connections to other areas of the Town Centre.

xiv. The carriageway needs to be designed to accommodate vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians, and to include parking (angle and parallel) along with provision for service vehicles. Paved pavement areas need to be provided on both sides of the street.

xv. Landscaping is to include large specimen trees on either side of these streets.

2. Car Parking


An adequate number of parking spaces needs to be provided to enable the Town Centre to function effectively.


Parking provision that is not carefully integrated with the surrounding buildings has the potential to disrupt the centre’s pedestrian-friendly nature and compact urban form.

The following therefore applies.

i. Large open parking areas should be avoided, especially along primary and secondary street frontages as this can disrupt building continuity.

ii. Parking areas should be located at the rear or side of development or towards the centre’s perimeter.

iii. Shared parking should be promoted so it can be used by a multitude of users rather than those visiting a single building.

iv. Multi-level parking buildings should be located away from the main street unless they can be designed to accommodate ‘active’ ground floor uses. Consideration needs to be given to the design of the building’s façade so this has a minimal effect on the centre’s streetscape.

v. Parking and circulation areas adjacent to the open space network need to be carefully designed and landscaped to integrate with the streetscape, landscape and buildings.

3. Passenger Transport

Within the Town Centre, it is intended that bus stops will be integrated into the carriageway of the transport corridors. A transport interchange will be provided and located opposite the public square on either side of the Main Street. A number of routes will converge on the centre at this point enabling people to transfer from one route to another.

The interchange (including shelters, bins and other streetscape elements) needs to be carefully designed to reflect and compliment street character, the public square, and surrounding buildings. The street at this location needs to be designed as a ‘shared space’ (where no single mode has priority) to facilitate the large number of pedestrians anticipated to be crossing the transport corridor at this point.

4. Gateway design principles

Two gateways have been identified on the concept plan, to define the start and end of the heart of the Rototuna centre. Main road intersections provide opportunities for landmark buildings/structures which are often used to announce the sense of arrival and departure.

It is therefore important that the gateway features be carefully designed so that views can terminate upon them. The exact form of the Gateway features has yet to be determined and will be developed as part of the CDP for the area. Council’s Public Art Plan will be a key reference point.

Page reviewed: 25 Jan 2019 2:22pm