It is necessary to have a good understanding of the urban environment in order to justify any differentiation and associated controls through zoning. This may include undertaking the following.
- Identify any unique or localised aspects of the residential environment that may justify different treatment of non-residential activities. Examples include age of housing stock, or any special heritage, visual, landscape or natural values. Another example is proximity to public transport, community facilities or business areas.
- Analyse the results of consultation with residents groups, tangata whenua, or stakeholder groups.
- Acknowledge that, in many cases, operators of non-residential activities may not be part of any local or organised groups, and therefore may be overlooked in consultation or information gathering. In these cases inviting broad-based consultation, such as through regular council newsletters, may be necessary.
- Review resource consent applications, case law and complaints to determine development pressures, conflict and trends.
- Acknowledge that a desk-top exercise will be inadequate, and that field visits to areas subject to non-residential activity applications and pressures, or controversial sites, will be necessary.
- Look at areas which have deteriorated or declined in terms of amenity values and the factors which have contributed to this outcome.
- This information can both help identify both what standards are appropriate, and issues that cannot be addressed through regulatory means.