Problems persist for Pauatahanui cafe
Darryl Ellis feels like he’s been fighting a long uphill battle against Porirua City Council and Pauatahanui residents.
The owner of GroundUp has spent two years trying to secure resource consent to upgrade his Pauatahanui cafe.
Though the consent was strongly contested by residents, it was given the green light in November.
However, Ellis said he was still facing problems. ‘‘I’ve been treated terribly. I feel like I’ve been bullied,’’ he said.
The consent permitted the number of cafe patrons to increase from 35 to 65 and for a car park, suitable for 22 vehicles, to be built.
Ellis paid $40,000 to get work done on his property in 2013. When he then applied for resource consent, his total outgoings jumped to more than $120,000.
‘‘Nothing seems to add up. Apparently I’m changing the face of the village, but all I’m trying to do is run a successful business.’’
Ellis said he was given a short time period to complete the car park work and that he told the council it would be difficult to get contractors on site before Christmas.
He received a $300 infringement notice for not having the work finished before this month.
‘‘The council are five months behind on their project in the CBD; I’m five days and they’re giving me a fine. It’s not on.’’
The council has agreed to waive the infringement notice if the work is completed by March 9.
Surveying his mounting costs, Ellis said he would need to sell a lot of coffees to keep his business going.
He said he would take the council to the Environmental Court to recover some resource consent costs.
‘‘I don’t know what Porirua City Council is doing to local business, but it’s ridiculous.’’
Ellis has owned
the Pauatahanui business for eight years.
Adrian Ramage, the council’s acting general manager of environment and regulatory services, said the costs incurred during the consent process were reasonable.
The process had been difficult and required considerable time, he said. ‘‘We have maintained an impartial approach with the applicant and objectors, and focused on key issues,’’ Ramage said.
‘‘Getting to the point where the proposed plan matched what was required by the resource consent was more involved than in some other consents.’’
Cafe owner Darryl Ellis cannot understand why people are against him in Pauatahanui.