July 2015 Newsletter

St Mary’s Bay Association Inc.

Member Update, July 2015

It’s a party!

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the St Mary’s Bay Association – and we’re having a party! All members are invited to join in the celebration, with a complimentary glass of champagne and a cash bar. This will follow the Annual General Meeting at 6.30pm.

When: 7.30pm , Thursday, August 13, 2015

Where: Richmond Yacht Club, Westhaven

Without the work of this association, in particular its founding members, this historic little suburb would have lost its unique charm. The Reserve would have disappeared under extra motorway lanes, the Marina would be much less attractive and the parking trial would not have happened. And that’s just a few of the association’s achievements. Come and hear more about the history of St Mary’s Bay – and what lies ahead for its future.

This is also a farewell for association stalwart and founding member Tony Skelton. After 40 years, many of them as chairman, Tony has retired from the association. His energy and foresight have made St Mary’s Bay a better place for us all, and he deserves our sincere thanks.

What about non members?

For the small sum of $25 (individual), $30 (couple) any resident of St Mary’s Bay can join the association. All new members are especially welcome at the anniversary celebration. For joining details see the end of this Newsletter.

Executive changes – now it’s your turn

In May, Tony Skelton retired as chairman and committee member. Mark Gascoigne, a local architect, has been elected interim chairman. Secretary Wendy Moffett will be retiring at the AGM in August and a number of committee positions are up for re-election.

What this all means is that it is time for other members of the community to consider offering their skills to ensure that the work of the St Mary’s Bay Association continues to maintain the character of this unique little suburb. Voluntary organisations such as ours need committee members with the professional skills to respond to the increasing complex issues requiring consultation and action.

In particular, if you have a background in town planning, environmental law, communications or computers we want to hear from you! For more information contact secretary Wendy Moffett wendymof@xtra.co.nz and she will arrange for you to have a chat with one of our committee members.

Parking Survey – what you should know

Auckland Transport is currently surveying residents in the five streets outside the current parking zone as to whether they wish to be included in the zone. These streets are: Hackett St, Swift Ave, Ring Terrace, Amiria St and Percival Parade. The online survey closes on July 17. The St Mary’s Bay Association strongly believes that residents must ask for these streets to be included.

Even if you and your visitors do not have trouble parking at the moment, this will quickly change as new and intensified pressures start to impact on parking in St Mary’s Bay.

Before responding to the Auckland Transport online survey at

https://at.govt.nz/driving-parking/parking-consultations/ the St Mary’s Bay Association urges residents in these streets to consider the following:

  • Neighbouring suburbs such as Freemans Bay are about to become Restricted Parking Zones, and commuters forced out of these areas will be seeking inner city streets with unrestricted parking, eg, in the five streets listed above.
  • Increasing numbers of staff from the rapidly expanding business centre in Wynyard Quarter want to park their cars in St Mary’s Bay and make the short 10 minute walk through St Mary’s Reserve to Wynyard Quarter. Residential apartments are also about to be built there, with little or no parking, and residents will see an opportunity in the above five streets to “garage” their cars here, until they need them for weekend use.
  • Auckland Transport’s proposal to introduce unlimited visitor permits at $5 per day for local business staff and residents is likely to increase pressure on parking in this area.
  • Park and ride car pooling. Before the 2 hour parking restriction introduced by the parking zone trial, commuters were driving to St Mary’s Bay and catching the Link bus into the city. This is now also occurring at Pt Erin car park. North Shore commuters drive individually to the car park and then share one car (and parking costs) to travel into the CBD.

For zonal parking to be effective all streets within a zone must be included, otherwise commuter parking pressure simply shifts to the next street – i.e. your street. Survey closes July 17 – have your say!

Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan (PAUP) submissions

The SMBA has made its own submission on proposed zoning changes in the College Hill/Jervois Rd area, but as yet no hearing date has been announced. The PAUP proposes a “mixed use” zone with a height of 16.5m (4 storeys) on the St Mary’s Bay side of College Hill, between New St and St Mary’s Rd and parts of Jervois Rd. This is of concern to owners of adjoining “single residential” sites, given the potential scale of new developments to dominate and shadow the low-rise sites which give St Mary’s Bay much of its character.

The SMBA has also supported the Westhaven Marina Users Association (WMUA) submission on the PAUP. This proposes to re-zone Westhaven to become a City Centre zone (like Wynyard Quarter). This could allow for major residential development once all marina contracts expire in 2025.

SkyPath

Resource Consent has been granted (announced July 3) for the proposed SkyPath shared walking and cycling pathway under the Auckland Harbour Bridge. The SMBA, while not opposed to the idea in principle, shares many of the concerns of the Westhaven Marina Users Association (WMUA) and the Northcote Residents Association regarding, in particular, the effects of large numbers of cycles, cars and people at the entry/exit portals on both ends of the bridge. The SMBA supported the WMUA submission on the Resource Consent application.

SMBA Rules

In 2010 the SMBA updated its Rules using a template from the Law Society. However, it became clear that this template did not meet our needs exactly and the Rules require minor revision. These revisions will be sent to members before the AGM and voted on at the AGM on August 13.

How to join the St Mary’s Bay Assn

The St Mary’s Bay Association is a voluntary group of residents working on your behalf to maintain the character of this historic area. If you have neighbours who may be interested in joining, send them to our Membership page.

Membership is $25 individual or $30 per couple.

Diary it now!

40th celebration party and AGM

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Richmond Yacht Club

Westhaven

6.30pm AGM

7.30pm 40th anniversary celebration and farewell to Tony Skelton