So about those traffic lights

Last night, I sat in on the very poorly notified meeting given by the council and the developer that was an attempt by them to inform local business owners about the impacts on the Miramar peninsula.

Quite a few interesting things were said, but one of the more salient bits for those of us living and enjoying the eastern suburbs came from a traffic engineer. A question from the audience about the intersection at the cutting generated a little waffling about redirected lanes to improve flow. When pressed further, the engineer admitted that they’ll probably need to put in one or two(!) traffic lights to deal with the increased traffic.

Welcome to gridlock!

One of the most disturbing aspects of this entire development is this continuous attempt to rush decision making while providing minimal information, and no real consultation with the public who will be affected. Worse, is what is happening now, when these same people are trying to obfuscate information and avoid answering questions. When councils and developers do this, it’s invariably because they know that the local community is going to dislike what’s going on, and they’re trying to make it happen anyway.

I say to folks: call the council on this one – if they want our approval of the sale of our land, if they want our approval of an uncapped infrastructure spend pulled from our pockets, they need to provide us with all the information in a clear concise way. No waffling, no attempt to redirect to a flackey, just simple, verifiable information, and an actual clear plan.

The council is supposed to represent your interests. Hold them up to that standard. They clearly aren’t doing that now.

(As an interesting side note, your two visible council members last night, Simon Marsh and Chris Calvi-Freeman were once again huddled in the corner with Ian Cassels and the rest of the Wellington Company contingent. They may be eastern ward councillors, but they’re quite clearly not on your side – it appears they’ve been bought, hook, line, and sinker by the developers.)

P.S.: Don’t forget to put your submission in by 5PM August 14, 2017

CLICK HERE for the Wellington CIty Council Submission Site

or

CLICK HERE for a printable submission form.

The ratepayer gets screwed. Again.

The last few weeks have been quite interesting for the Shelly Bay development. We’ve found out about the city council ignoring requests for information:

Ombudsman launches ‘urgent’ investigation into Wellington City Council

There have been a a few drop-in question and answer sessions at Shelly Bay, that I suspect were an attempt to assuage the concerns of locals, but have only actually served to inflame them. We learned that all parking will be removed on Shelly Bay Road, so that anyone wanting to have a fish, or enjoy the afternoon sun on the beaches there won’t be able to do so any more. That cyclists currently enjoying the relaxed and native ride along the road will have to compete  with construction trucks, or be run off the road for the next 13 years, and will have to deal with a load more traffic after that. So we’re going to have to say goodbye to one of the cycling jewels in Wellington as well.

And then there’s this gem which showed up at the last drop-in (of which there were only two copies available for viewing by the public)

Wellington City Council Shelly Bay FAQ

What I immediately noticed, was more details of the dodgy infrastructure deal emerged. You know, the deal where you, the ratepayer are supposed to deliver $10 million in pure profit into the developers’ back pocket.

Well, it turns out that this isn’t the deal at all. The development company in fact dictated to the council that they would only pay for up to $10 million, that the costs would be 50/50 up to that limit, and that the ratepayer would have to pay for anything else.

Yes, that’s right, if the infrastructure costs balloon to $40 million, you the ratepayer will be on the hook for $30 million of that. What happens if the road needs significant widening, yup, you’ll be paying for that. New reservoirs? Yup, you’re paying for that as well.

When asked about the cost of the infrastructure at the last meeting, the Councillors in attendance (that would be Simon Marsh and Chris Calvi-Freeman for the record) admitted that no detailed planning had actually been done, so there really is no idea what the real cost might be.

So there it is, a development creating what amounts to a gated community of million dollar plus housing, to be subsidized by at least $10 million of your rates, and maybe much, much, more.

I think this is a travesty; that this is yet another case of government privatizing profits while socializing costs, and that the City Council should say NO to this deal and the sale of the land on principle.

Are you listening Paul Eagle?

Don’t forget to get your submission in by 5PM Monday August 14, 2017

CLICK HERE for the Wellington CIty Council Submission Site

or

CLICK HERE for a printable submission form.

 

UPDATE: the FAQ mentioned above is now on the council website as well:

Wellington City Council Shelly Bay FAQ