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New subdivision being planned west of Grey Street

August 15th, 2012
[by David Armstrong]

Wakatu Inc has received approvals from land owners to begin planning for a new 101-section subdivision on the western side of Grey Street, some to target the "affordable" house buyer market.

The plans were discussed at the August meeting of the Motueka Community Board last evening, during a familiarisation presentation to the board by Wakatu board director Barney Thomas and property manager Iain Sheves.

The Motueka West development is still a long way off, they said, as negotiations are on-going with the land owners and lessees. In the meantime, the land on the northern side of that development will be used to develop a range of housing including some low-cost units on smaller sections to help alleviate the housing problems of the town.

However, Wakatu are also well aware of the parallel need to make more land available for light industrial and commercial use to encourage more businesses and thus more jobs into the town - somewhere for new residents to work. Iain said that they are ready to respond to market forces in that regard.

Cr Jack Inglis urged Wakatu to be careful not to remove too much horticultural capacity from the area, because in coming generations this region will become "the foodbowl of the Pacific" and we need to be able to maintain that. Barney said that Wakatu are well aware of their responsibilities in terms of social and productive use of the land.

He said Wakatu will only sell land if the proceeds are used to buy land elsewhere in order to maintain the quantum of land they currently own.

River maintenance
Some discussion followed the reading of a letter from Whakarewa Street resident Deidre Mackay who asked why she should pay river rates if the money is not being spent on river works. She said that since the 1991 floods she has paid a premium on her rates for protection works at Woodmans Bend. "Twenty years later the situation is unchanged, except I have paid money earmarked for work that has not been done."

She said that unless a concrete plan with a given timeframe is forthcoming, "I will not pay the next installment of river rates on my annual bill".

"Am I right in thinking legal action could be an option for me, for money taken over the past 20 years under false pretences? Please keep me informed of any work planned in the near future on river works that protect Whakarewa St and consequently much of Motueka."

The board said that about $1 million was collected through rates each year, and they also would like to know how that has been spent over the past decade or more. They asked the council to produce a report on this spending, noting that they could not discern any significant work done beyond some basic maintenance.

Special projects
A list of 18 suggestions for the use of the board's "Special Projects" funds (see earlier story) was tabled and board members indicated their preferences for their 12 favourites.

These will be collated and the 12 most popular among board members will be costed and presented to the September meeting, ready for advertising for community response. The final decision will be made at the board's October 9th meeting.

Community board 2012-13 budget
David Ogilvie presented a simplified budget for the financial year just started, based on conservative estimates which do not yet account for the final surplus figure for 2011-12.

The main income is expected to be last year's surplus ($35,000) plus Sunday market income ($7,500) and the Community Board rate from TDC ($55,500). The expenditure budget includes salaries and administration ($44,000), Special Projects ($44,000) and projected surplus ($10,000).

Library upgrade
David's report (see earlier story) was tabled and board members agreed that before any decisions are made about this project, the planning group need to consider other sites. Most were agreed that a much better site, as suggested in a borough council plan back around 1980, would be in the Decks Reserve area.

Discretionary funding for Good Vibes
The community board approved an application by Lisa Chambers on behalf of Good Vibes 2012 for $500 to help fund the event's Family Day on Saturday, which will include many attractions for the general public including a big fireworks display.


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