In a media release Wednesday, the Hastings District Council announced that the public submission period for Hill Country’s Ocean Beach private plan change will begin next Saturday, January 19, and continue until February 29.

The release confirmed that Andy Lowe’s Hill Country development plan envisions up to 1,000 dwellings with associated commercial development. The public won’t see the details until Saturday.

Two waves of submissions will be reviewed by planning consultants Montgomery Watson Harza, who will then prepare a report with recommendations for independent commissioners, who will then make the final decision on the fate of Ocean Beach. BayBuzz reported the RMA process for Ocean Beach in more detail here.

The Hastings Council might or might not make its own submission during this process. In an email to BayBuzz on December 14, Mayor Yule responded as follows to our query about further Council discussion of the issue:

“Yes there will be an open meeting discussion in a public meeting in February. The council actually needs to decide if it will make a submission to the Private Plan Change. I believe it should.”

So at the moment there are several options for those opposed to Andy Lowe’s Ocean Beach development plan:

  1. Sign and help circulate a petition opposing development presently being distributed by Friends of Ocean Beach. You can download a copy of the petition by clicking here, or call Chris or Linda Ryan at 877-6651 for a copy or to help.
  2. Make your views known directly to Hastings Councillors, and plan to attend the February Council meeting to demonstrate your opposition to the Lowe plan.
  3. Make a formal submission by February 29 to the Council as provided for under the Resource Management Act.

You can find heaps of information on Ocean Beach now at the website of Future Ocean Beach. And in February, BayBuzz will launch an expanded website where you will be able to download petitions, send messages to Councillors, and review online the submissions that others are making.

But don’t wait. Shake off the summer doldrums. Make your views known. Ocean Beach needs your help now!

Tom

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