Rural Zone Rules
Zoning is about the types of activities that you can carry out in a particular area. Each zone has a detailed list of activities provided for within that zone (permitted activities as well as activities requiring resource consent). It also identifies the standards those uses must meet to ensure that the area's environmental and amenity standards (e.g. noise levels) are protected.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I do in the rural zones?
This zone mainly provides for farming and horticultural activities. This also includes activities such as beekeeping and land based aquaculture. Other types of activity such as primary dwellings, small scale home enterprises and education and accommodation facilities for a maximum of four persons are also allowed without a resource consent. For more intensive activities, such as poultry farming, kennels and quarries, and developments such as retirement villages you will need a resource consent.
How close to the boundary can I build?
Yard' is the term used to define the extent of land required as a buffer between a building and its various property boundaries. All yard distances are measured from the legal boundary to the closest point of the building i.e. to the guttering. The minimum yard is 30 metres for dwellings, accommodation and education facilities, however there are exceptions to this rule (see FAQ below). Structures such as sheds, haybarns and freestanding garages need only be 5m from the boundary, except where the property adjoins a State Highway, in which case the yard is 10m.
Building closer to boundaries
Council will allow the 30m yard' (other than the front yard) to be reduced to 10m in one or more of the following cases:
- Where the title existed prior to the date of notification of the new rules (30 January 2010) or had a subdivision consent approved prior to this date and is no greater than one hectare.
- Where the title existed prior to the date of notification of the new rules (30 January 2010) or had a subdivision consent approved prior to this date with an approved building site shown on the subdivision plan and the reduced yard was assessed at the time of the subdivision consent.
- For any additions or alterations that are established with a reduced yard. This is provided that the alteration or addition does not increase the level of non compliance.
- Where a dwelling can meet the following standards:
- Is not located closer than 60m to any other existing dwelling, minor dwelling and accommodation facility on the adjoining title.
- Is not located closer than 35m to any other existing other structure' on the adjoining title.
- Is not located within 300m of any intensive farming activity on the adjoining title.
What if I can't meet the yard requirements?
Resource consent will be required. Written approval of the affected property owners/occupiers should be obtained.
How high and close can I build?
The maximum height for a building is 9m. To protect the daylight and views of neighbouring properties, there is also what is called a daylight performance standard. This specifies the height of a building in relation to its property boundary.
No part of a building can exceed a height equal
to 2m above the ground level at all boundaries and an angle of 45 degrees into the site from that boundary. Except where the site has a boundary with a road in which case this rule does not apply. A building can encroach through the daylighting plane where the written approval of the owner(s) of the immediately adjoining property to the specific encroachment is obtained.
Protecting the coastline
In addition, there are now landscape management areas which extend up to 300m from the Tauranga Harbour and the Wairoa River. A 100m landscape area also applies along the open coastline on areas zoned rural. Please contact our customer service planner on 0800 926 732 to discuss these details.
Resource consent information
If you do need to obtain resource consent, including this information in your application can help ensure you're application is considered complete' when lodged:
Why can you not comply and what alternatives have you looked at?
Below are some examples of why you may not be able to comply:
- the shape, size, topography or geotechnical constraints of you property
- the location of archaeological sites or other significant features on your property
- the potential for conflict with existing or foreseeable activities in your area
- if you do comply, then it will constrain the productive use of the site
- if you do comply, then the visual effect will be greater than if you didn't comply
- the separation distance from other dwellings
- to be able to comply with the on-site manoeuvring requirements.
What are the environmental effects of you not complying?
Here are some examples of effects that may result on you or other affected persons of not complying with the rules:
- spray drift risk
- shading/overshadowing by trees or buildings
- loss of privacy
- dust from unsealed roads or right of ways
- visual effect including loss of view
- access to the property may be limited
- sight distances if encroaching on the road front boundary
What are the ways you can lessen those environmental effects?
Here are some examples:
- plant screening plants to soften the visual impact
- building a fence to assist with privacy
- you may need to get a specialist Engineer's advice to assist with information on sight distances and traffic issues
- paint the building an environmentally friendly colour
- avoid putting large windows on the side that directly faces your neighbours
- seal the right of way
- include appropriate sound proofing into your structure
Have you provided the written consent of affected parties?
You may need some assistance in identifying who are the affected parties, which you need to obtain consent from. If you are encroaching the side and/or rear yard, then you will require the consent of your directly adjoining neighbour. However, with front yard encroachment or if you are exceeding the height restriction we may require neighbours across the road from your property as well.
This can vary from one application to another and it may not be able to be determined until we see your full application.
Note: Any consents from neighbours or affected parties must be on Council's consent of affected parties form.
Please note: This information has been produced to assist you in understanding planning rules and procedures. It does not contain all District Plan or statutory requirements.