Sunday, 21 July 2013

Here we go again!

You may have seen in The Press yesterday the article (click here) on the Cotton Club & Butchery, a proposed new club that rises from the ashes of Club 22. The item also features some appropriately choice comments from Margaret.

Like many of you, I find this Ground Hog Day experience very disappointing, and if it weren't so serious, I would be laughing at this turn of events. I am hoping that the proposals many groups have made to the CCC on the Local Alcohol Policy have and will continue to apply pressure to the CCC to put some common sense into the licensing process. Unfortunately last week's events have overtaken this process, and further residential action will be required very quickly.

At the end of the article it says that objections to the Cotton Club & Butchery's liquor licence must be filed with the Liquor Licensing Authority by August 7, so we better get cracking!


Monday, 17 June 2013

Chronic blocked gutters?

It is that time of year when the heavens open and we notice that our gutters are not draining as well as they might. The leaves are almost all fallen, but a few stragglers in the gutters require clearing out. However, some of the longer culverts have more significant obstructions deep inside -- the odd plastic bottle or branch that has become jammed -- obstructions that are resistant to the attempts of mere mortals like you and me to clear them.

If you have this issue, contact the CCC Streets Team (click here). They'll  magically appear with their water-blasters and other heavy-duty equipment and hopefully solve your problem (as they did for me recently).

For a full list of contacts for various other problems (graffiti, parking, rubbish, sewers etc) see this page.

Saturday, 25 May 2013


With the CCC about to put in bollards for those of us that have requested them, I thought it would be useful to discuss the pros and cons of having bollards placed outside our residences. The first round of bollard installation will appear in July, but if you miss out this time and change your mind, you will still be able to request these in the future by calling the CCC at 941-8999.

The St James Avenue oak trees are an important part of our identity and we need to preserve them if possible. They are not as healthy as they might be, and part of this seems very likely to be due to the road surface smothering and compressing their roots. This is worsened by the many cars that park close to the trees throughout the week.

If we stopped cars parking between the trees and had them park alongside instead, this would very likely help the trees because there would be a zone over some of their roots where cars could never park and which would be away from the traffic as well. What many of us didn't realise is, it would also add to the available parking spots because trees would no longer take up parking space.

But there will be disadvantages too. Some driveways may be harder to reverse out of because cars on the street will be able to park outside the trees near to driveways, so we will need to take extra care when driving out onto the street. In some places visibility will be reduced, but in some places it will be better, as the line of parked cars will be further out from the property entrance.  Alleyways create a similar issue and are not uncommon in cities throughout NZ (although in downtown Christchurch we seem to have lost a few to the earthquake!) so we know that this is not impossible to cope with.

Then there is the issue of street narrowing which is significant. Cars parked on either side of the road will undoubtedly narrow the street and potentially make 2-way traffic difficult for wide vehicles. However, the CCC have had advice from the experts that says such road narrowing still leaves adequate space for 2-way traffic. Bear in mind that a useful benefit will be the slowing of traffic that often speeds down St James Ave.

Another option I would like you to think about is making St James Ave one way. If there was only one stream of traffic, this would allow a safer pedestrian crossing point at the Harewood Rd end, and cars would no longer cut the corner. Personally I wouldn't mind which direction the traffic flowed in. Possibly, if the Harewood Rd end was the entry point this would stop the burst of 5pm traffic that shoots down the avenue to Harewood Rd each day, but there may be good reasons to go the other way. Perhaps independent traffic flow data should inform this decision.

Any thoughts?

(If you cannot comment here directly, email your comment to me and I'll post it here for you:

Local licensed premises -- Community Board meeting deputation

On Wednesday last week Margaret and I attended the Shirley-Papanui Community Board meeting to present our case opposing any further bars or nightclubs opening in our immediate area. The Board was chaired by Chris Mene who many of you will remember from his support of us during the Club 22 hearing. Also present around the table were Anna Button, Pauline Cotter, Peter Croucher, Kathy Condon, and Ngaire Button, familiar faces to many of us.

After I talked for 5 minutes on what we want out of the new CCC local alcohol policy, Margaret talked for another 5 minutes about our local community concerns about licensed premises, including how the Resource Management Act is applied (or misapplied) to companies like Club 22.

We were one of several deputations there that day, but I was impressed by the attentiveness of our Community Board representatives and their awareness of many of the issues facing us.

They will take our concerns back to the Council.

Agenda and Minutes (when they become available) can be viewed here  -  see 22 May in the table.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Infinity Bar

Many if you have been aware of the attempted resurrection of Club 22 as the Infinity Bar. This weekend I was going to post details of how we should mobilise the street to prevent this unwelcome phoenix from rising from the ashes, but Margaret's email campaign has done the trick and your many responses to the CCC have struck home.

Those of you on our email circulation list will already know that Peter Croucher on the Shirley/Papanui Community Board informed us a few days ago that the lease of 22 Harewood Road is no longer available, and Infinity Bar will not have premises in this area.

Well done everybody!

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Thanks again!

I have just delivered the last batch of submissions to CCC on their Local Alcohol Policy. That was my last "mail run" so if you still wish to make a submission send it in directly to Alan Bywater, Strategic Policy Unit, CCC, POBox 73012, ChCh 8154. Many thanks for all your responses.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Thanks for your submissions

Thankyou all of you (and your housemates) that signed the form I distributed around St James Ave last week. They have been handed on to Alan Bywater at the Council. A few are still a few coming in, so I shall be delivering those too every couple of days. So if you think you are too late, you are not. Just drop the signed form in my mailbox and it will get to the CCC.

This has been a useful process which has sparked some careful thinking about the issues, at least in my household anyway.

I look forward to seeing what eventuates in the CCC's Local Alcohol Policy.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Community consultation soon over Local Alcohol Policy

With Parliament passing the Alcohol Reform Bill recently, councils are being asked to develop their own Local Alcohol Policies. The CCC currently has this old policy (click here) but is going to canvass community groups like the St James Ave Residents Association for their opinions and suggestions.

A Local Alcohol Policy enables the community to have much more say in where and how licensed premises operate than at present. As you know from the recent battle with Club 22, making the old system work took a lot of effort! The Council's Local Alcohol Policy allows the CCC to regulate opening hours for licensed premises, control the location of licensed premises (the focus of our recent efforts) and make one-way door restrictions (i.e. no-one comes enters the bar after a certain time).

The CCC's Strategic Policy Unit Manager, Alan Bywater, is organising discussion forums at the Hereford Street Civic Offices on Friday 1st February 10.00-12.30 and Tuesday 5th February 1.00-3.30 to start this process, and our association will be invited. So put on your thinking caps and consider what you would like included in the CCC policy and email your thoughts to Margaret. 

(Some useful links on this subject are collated on the CCC LAP submission page of this blog)