100 signatures reached
To: Christchurch City Council
Promote sustainable community focused housing over disconnected housing developments
Dear Mayor Lianne and Christchurch City Council Members,
We beg you to take action to preserve the suburban residential nature of the community in which we live, and within which we hope to see our children flourish.
-Firstly, we call on all council members to oppose the granting of a resource consent to the housing company that is proposing to bypass the district plan rules by building 20 townhouses at 74 Domain Terrace.
- Secondly, we ask you to spare the 100 year old elm and beech trees at the front of this property, in which little owls live.
- Thirdly, we invite you to listen to the voice of the community on their desires for the design of the development of 74 Domain Terrace.
We are calling on the Council to consider the greater good for all Christchurch communities. Consider, what is really best for our present and future residents? As human beings we yearn for a sense of connection to people and place. We believe this connection is essential to creating healthy humans and nations.
We request the council support our residents' need for community focused housing in a time where communities are more and more dislocated and compartmentalised by profit driven developers. All around us established gardens with shelter/shade and fruit trees continue to be levelled to create “concrete wastelands”. With little, if any, interest in building up a sense of connection to people and environment the developers plan to build maximised high-density housing on Domain Terrace which will require an exemption to The District Plan by way of Resource Consent. Why should profit driven developers be allowed to take charge of designing and changing our local spaces and lifestyle? Their plans are a significant departure from the 4002m. sections specified to preserve the intended nature of this area. This plan is already a considerable downsizing from the 8002m+ sections prevalent among the original houses on the street. No one wants to see another cookie cutter development with miniature sections, more fences, streets and driveways in our neighbourhood.
Why is this important?
Our concerns aren't isolated but sit amongst a greater context of unease. Other communities in Christchurch are confronted with the same problems and concerns as ourselves, e.g.
We are affiliated with groups around the country who advocate for community focused housing including;
Our shared vision is thriving communities of connected people in healthy ecosystems within a vibrant local economy.
Many people who hold this neighbourhood dear to their hearts are community builders who work at creating more connections between people. What we propose is the possibility of being intentional with the design of 74 Domain Terrace. It is possible to design a housing development that creates a diverse community attractive to people from a range of ages with a variety of skills and strengths. This has the possibility of becoming an “intentional community’ where members/residents communicate with and care for each other. Such a community would be inclusive of all and everyone’s needs. The elderly need not feel isolated, and young families could experience support around them for raising children in a whanau friendly environment. Imagine creating a village to wrap around our children and the most vulnerable.
Our environmental concerns are just as important to developing a flourishing community as our concerns for people. Care for the land on which we live is integral to our goals. Hence our plea for the trees and the ecological communities that they sustain.
Dr Colin Merck, locally renowned ecological scientist, has conducted urban biodiversity studies in this area.
The trees make a significant contribution to an unusually diverse range of bird life. Local residents, some seasonal, include little owls, kingfishers, bellbirds, fantails, grey warblers, paradise ducks, greenfinches, chaffinches, magpies, spur winged plovers as well as a large population of blackbirds and more common varieties like the sparrow, thrush and starling. Not forgetting the much-loved Avon hybrid ducks.
The topsoil of 74 Domain Terrace is precious. The property was originally a chicken farm. The soil has never been turned or sprayed. It has supported a range of animals for many decades. Most recently horses, sheep, free range chickens and rabbits. As such it is extremely fertile and likely to be supporting populations of the foot long native worm and leaf veined slugs as does the adjoining property at 80 Domain Terrace.
To leave this taonga solely in the hands of developers is to sign a death warrant for so much. Within 24 hours of the recent auction an arborist entered the property, without the permission of the residents, to establish a quote for the removal of the trees. The loss of the trees will have a huge impact on the local environment and community. Without these particular trees, in which they currently roost, the little owls are unlikely to relocate and will inevitably die. IT is these trees that resulted in Domain Terrace being nominated as one of the ten most beautiful autumn streets in the city. Destruction of the trees on this prominent bend would destroy the whole ambience of the street and the balance of vegetation between The Domain and privately owned land.
As with all similar developments the topsoil will be excavated and stripped depriving the property of an entire ecosystem. Most importantly what will die is POSSIBILITY. The possibility of developing housing solutions in partnership with diverse stakeholders that meet the social, ecological, cultural, and economic needs of the people living there.
Our desire is to have the housing company discuss their plans with the community and collaborate on what type of development best contributes to creating a sense of connection and wellbeing within the community. If the housing company can’t see sufficient profit from plans that meet the community’s needs a collective of residents is willing to buy the property back at cost price and become the principal actors of the change they want to see happening democratically in their neighbourhood.
Sign our petition to have our voices heard by the Christchurch City Council. Help stop the development that threatens our neighbourhood character and values. Help bring forth a true community focused sustainable housing alternative from the competitive housing crisis which builds up the inequalities that ravage our country.
This petition is led by Matthew Olykan (local businessman and environmental activist) on behalf of the residents of the Spreydon community living on Domain Terrace and the wider community of surrounding streets and suburbs who use The Domain as part of their day-to-day lifestyles. It is supported by all the signatories,
PLEASE SIGN OUR PETITION!
Watch this space! It is our intention to oppose similar disconnected housing developments in the area in our quest for a more workable, holistic living environment for all our residents.