In the news today, the Post reports that Kapiti Council have agreed on new Density rules for their larger urban areas. That will mean that Paraparaumu will heavily densify in the centre, while Waikanae and Paekakariki will be allowed to densify to slightly lower heights. I imagine that this will cause quite a ruckus.

“The new changes mean buildings up to 15 storeys would be enabled in a new ‘’metropolitan centre’’ zone at the centre of Paraparaumu, while 10 and six-storey buildings would be permitted within 400 and 800m of the area. It also allowed buildings of up to six storeys within 800 metres of Paraparaumu, Paekākāriki and Waikanae train stations, and within the town centres at Paraparaumu Beach and Waikanae. Four-storey structures would be allowed within 400m of the town centres at Ōtaki’s Main St, Ōtaki train station and Raumati Beach. They are also enabled within 200m of the village centres at Raumati South and Waikanae Beach.”

I don’t get up the coast that much to the “town of many ovens”, but from memory there is one existing tower (maybe 11 storeys tall?) and basically everything else is just one to two storey high? Even three storeys is a radical concept out here, as all the stairs would frighten the Zimmer frames.

I’m all in favour of increasing density, to sensible limits, in sensible and appropriate places. Generally, cities make sense, although not everywhere, given Wellington’s narrow winding streets. But out in the wild suburban back yards of Kapiti – is that really sensible? Let’s have a look at Waikanae, with an approx 800m radius circle drawn on, to indicate where some buildings of drastically increased height may go :

Waikanae, with development centred around the Rail station

That makes some sense I guess, and corresponds quite well with the area encompassed by the “old town” of Waikanae. Growth around here is probably more around the beach front these days? Hence allowing for four storeys at the beach – which sadly is probably going to mean some ugly McMansions on the beachfront.

and then if we look at Paraparaumu, now the curious curve of the new Expressway makes sense at last.

Paraparaumu, with a similar 800m radius applied

And now look at Paekakariki. Hmmm. Are we really planning on putting six storey towers on the side of the hill, or anchored off the coast out at sea?

Paekakariki, where a 800m circle really doesn’t work very well…
How exactly would this multi storey business work?