Council seeks feedback for fees
Resource Management Amendment Act changes which take effect from October 18 have resulted in a number of proposed amendments to the Whakatane District Council’s fees and charges.
The Act introduces new processes for resource consent exemptions and fast track procedures and also changes applicants’ appeal and objection rights for some resource consent decisions
Fee changes for the new processes are also provided for, subject to consultation with the community.
The procedural principle guiding the Amendment Act is that councils are required to “take all practicable steps to use timely, efficient and cost-effective processes that are proportionate to the powers being performed and exercised” when undertaking Resource Management Act functions.
New functions include 10-day ‘fast track’ consents for controlled activities (excluding subdivisions), which are processed on a non-notified basis; a 10-day ‘Deemed Permitted Activity’ process for boundary activity infringements where neighbours’ written approval is provided, or where a council has discretion to waive the need for a consent and permit a marginal or temporary breach.
Fees proposed for the new processes include extending the current fixed deposit of $1500 for non-notified consents to include fast track consents; and a fixed fee of $400 introduced for written notices relating to permitted boundary activities and permitted marginal or temporary activities.
A further provision of the Act allowing applicants to request that their objection be heard by an independent commissioner will see the actual cost of that process charged to the applicant.
That provision may be replaced by a set fee in the future, once there is more certainty around the likely cost involved.
Those proposals are now open for public submissions until 5pm, Friday October 13.
Submissions can be lodged directly via the Council website or by filling out a submission form, which can be obtained from any Council office, or downloaded from the website.
Any submissions will be then considered before a final decision is made on the proposed fees takes effect, from October 18.