Variation 13

Residential Centres

The review of residential centres in urban areas is referred to as Proposed Variation 13.

Residential centres cover a broad range of activities from accommodation for students to care facilities such as counselling or behavioural change programmes. Currently the Proposed District Plan allows these facilities to operate without resource consent, provided they cater for no more than 10 people and comply with a number of other requirements. 

Council has identified that these two groups of activities are in reality very different and result in different types of effects. It is therefore proposed that they be treated differently in the District Plan.

Issues surrounding care facilities generally relate to the behavioural characteristics of their residents and the perception within the community that their presence may lead to higher levels of crime and social disorder within the neighbourhood. 

Student accommodation facilities on the other hand have often been developed without consideration for the character of their residential neighbours and in many cases do not provide sufficient on-site parking. The following points are a summary of the main changes proposed:

  • The definition of residential centres will be split in two representing these two different categories. These new categories will be known as 'Residential Centres' and 'Managed Care Facilities' respectively.
  • All future Residential Centre developments will be required to apply for resource consent and will be judged against design guidelines, the density of existing development in the neighbourhood, the extent of existing Residential Centre development already present and the amount of parking provided. Council will have discretion to refuse consent.
  • Managed Care Facilities will remain a Permitted Activity in the Residential Zone, however the standards with which they will be required to comply have been significantly strengthened. Resource consent will be required where any of these standards are failed.
  • Facilities established under S.364 of the Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act 1989 or to which people are referred by a Court Order will no longer fall under the category of Residential Centres or Managed Care Facilities. Council does not consider these types of facilities to be compatible with the residential areas of the city.

Current status

Two appeals were received on Variation 13. These were resolved by consent order on 10 November 2011. The variation now forms part of the Proposed District Plan.

Council Decisions

At the Council meeting held on the 20th November 2009, Council made its decisions on all submissions and further submissions to Variation 13. The decisions were publically notified on Saturday 5th December 2009.

Public notice (PDF, 38KB)
Index of submissions (PDF, 114KB)
Variation 13 decisions (PDF, 1.49MB)
Proposed District Plan Changes:
Policy 5.1 (PDF, 100KB)
Rule 4.1 (PDF, 1.92MB)
Rule 4.2 (PDF, 72KB)
Rule 4.3 (PDF, 42KB)
Rule 4.4 (PDF, 71KB)
Rule 4.6 (PDF, 67KB)
Rule 4.7 (PDF, 107KB)
Rule 4.11 (PDF, 134KB)
Rule 5.2 (PDF, 484KB)
Rule 8.0 (PDF, 199KB)
Rule 10.0 (PDF, 3.25MB)


A hearing to decide on the submissions and further submissions received was held from the 10-14 of August 2009. 
Hearing Report (PDF, 804KB)
Appendix A
(a) - Track changed version of Variation 13 (PDF, 58KB) (as proposed by the hearing report recommendations)
(b) – Variation 13 as notified (see below)
Appendix B
(a) – Re-evaluated Section 32 report (PDF, 58KB)
(b) – Section 32 report as notified (see above)
Appendix C – Recommendation table (PDF, 69KB)
Appendix D – submissions and further submissions to Variation 13 (available on request from City Planning Unit)


Further submissions closed Monday 15 October 2007, 4pm.
Page reviewed: 16 Jan 2014 2:23pm