Thursday, 27 May 2010

Wednesday's CCC Meeting

I found last night's meeting had a mixture of negatives and positives.

Some negatives were that the CCC is starting, not from a position of preserving the trees, but rather from the kerb and channel point of view and these are the consequences for the trees. There is an undercurrent that the long term view is best served by the original plan of replacing all the trees. There is little recognition of the historical symbolism of the avenue, with a suggestion that the types of replacement tree would be open for debate. Debate was rushed, probably another 30-45 minutes should have been set aside.

On the plus side, it was good to see members of the Community Board there who understand the heritage nature of the oaks, and the local and wider Christchurch value. It was freely acknowledged by the CCC that if trees would be damaged by widening driveways to current 4.1m standards, then narrower driveways would be an acceptable alternative. The tree report (see separate blog page) recognises that many trees are healthy, which makes a nonsense of the original plan. While the report includes estimated life expectancy for the trees, CCC staff acknowledged there could be an error of at least 10 years, hugely important when decisions about removal are being based on these numbers. I also think they listened when we suggested using local government powers to obtain the cool stores land, to priovide parking for St James Park.

Here is my interpretation of the 7 draft option plans put up for debate.
Road humps/platforms or narrowings present on many options, but not listed below as these are less important. Note on figures given: (a) Currently 75 parks (b) Tree removals generally have fewer replacement trees e.g. 11 replaced by 7 in #3. 
#1: "Do nothing" but in fact this means "review in 5-10 years" i.e. yet another battle.
#2: Narrow 7m road width from Harewood Rd to corner, 10 trees removed (mostly due to driveway policy), no parking on this section of road (23 carparks Dalriada St to bend).
#3: Narrow 7m road width from Harewood Rd to corner, 11 trees removed (mostly due to driveway policy), 36 carparks (bays), kerb back of trees, then berm, then road.
#4: 7m road width to corner then 9m to Dalriada, 24 trees near driveways or with <10 year life expectancy removed, 45 carparks.
#4a: 7m road width to corner then 9m to Dalriada, 37 trees near driveways or with <10 year life expectancy removed, 51 carparks.
#5: 9m road width to corner then 10m to Dalriada, 17 trees lost - especially at Harewood Rd entrance, 61 carparks. Significant loss of street identity.
#6: 9m road width (10m from Harewood Rd to St James Park), all trees removed, 61 carparks. Dieter's original plan I suspect - pity this was even suggested. Nice kerb and channel though!

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