Claims not true, resident says
A man involved in a dispute with the council says documents don’t support its claim they weren’t aware he planned to park his boat on an extended driveway.
Rex Kirby’s battle with Taupo¯ District Council was first reported on in the Taupo¯ Times in October when the commercial property manager claimed the council only told him half the story before he spent $100,000 on building a park for his boat, after obtaining resource consent to do so.
That involved transforming sloping ground on the edge of his Acacia Bay property into flat ground, which was paved and fenced.
However, the council later told him that he needed a building consent to be granted before the earthworks began, meaning it was now too late to do so and he won’t be able to gain required certification. The wall has since failed. A council spokesperson previously said it wasn’t clear from the resource consent application that the retaining wall was to support load from boat parking.
‘‘There was one comment in the application referring to boat parking, but nothing shown on the plans to indicate the location of this parking,’’ the council said.
‘‘The planner did not comment on this in the consent application as it was a minor aspect and not relevant to the planning matters.’’
But Kirby says the claim is ‘‘another red herring’’.
An email to Kirby, approving the resource consent, states that ’’Once the earthworks have been completed the area will be paved and used for boat parking’’.
The email is penned by a TDC staff member and the phrase comes under the heading ‘‘PROPOSAL’’.
Kirby purchased the sloping sliver of land from TDC for the purposes of development and said it amazed him that no one working on the job had asked about the building consent.
‘‘It still amazes me to think of all the council employees, even their engineer who has been on site during the construction and the dozen others involved, no one asked the question, ‘where is the building consent for this wall, that is clearly taking a surcharge?’
The council have since offered Kirby ‘‘no application fee when and if he makes an application for a building consent for the retaining walls’’.
Kirby wants TDC to cover the cost of redoing the wall properly, but the council says it does not consider it is liable.
‘‘Mr Kirby engaged a landscaper to design and build the wall. It is up to property owners to be aware of their obligations, or the agents acting on their behalf,’’ the council said.
Rex Kirby says council planners granted him resource consent - but didn’t tell him he’d need a building permit too.