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syohana

Building a private jetty - legalities, costs and design

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I'm looking at buying a coastal section and one of the things attracting me to it is the possibility of building a jetty out to deep water.

 

It would need to be 20-30M long in order to put an all-tide mooring at the end, with the first 20M of it drying at low tide, but at high tide there's 1m of water even at the shore so a shorter jetty could accomodate a cat or lifting keel, drying out on the mud at low tide.

 

There seem to be three main options:

 

a floating jetty with a gangway out to it

a wooden jetty built on the seabed

a combination of both (jetty leading to floating pontoon in the deeper water)

 

The floating jetty could either be moored or attached to piles.

 

Has anyone got experience of building a private jetty? What did it cost? Did you get resource consent or just quietly do it? Were there any issues with the council? How much paperwork was it?

 

The legalities on foreshore development seem to be constantly changing and I've been told conflicting things so I would particularly appreciate advice from anyone with recent experience of this.

 

Would any conditions be imposed on live-aboard on the mooring? If it was big enough for multiple berths could I rent the extras out? I read that I would need to allow 'reasonable public access', but I assume that means something like "15 mins max, not to be left unattended, must move if owner returns, no access to shore".

 

One place I'm looking at has direct access to shore but there's an alternative site which has 20m of 'queens chain' land between the private land and the high water mark. Does that make any difference or can a jetty still be built if the structure is all below the high water mark?

 

I need to work out the value of the mooring opportunity (if it even exists) to determine whether the property is worth buying. All help and advice welcome :)

 

Thanks!

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Each Council will have it's own variances. so depenmdinmg on where you are looking at this, you will need to get the Council requirements of the Jetty. Yes you will need resource consent and don't even think of trying to biuld something without permission, let alone an engineers design. Yep you will need an engineers design.

Making it a Public facility brings it's own issues. You will need insurance to protect yourself and the people that use it, especially if you hire for reward of some kind.

Many jetties in the sounds have had to be upgraded due to safety concerns and many simply got demolished due to the cost. The cost of biulding one is unbelievable. I would suggest you look at concrete pontoon type. It will last far longer than timber and has many benifits.

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In a word Chris, you are entering a minefield.

 

I've had some experience in this.

Do knot try to do it quietly, knot with the ensuing drama. The days of quietly knocking one up are pretty much over, too many eyes and vested interests.

'Reasonable public access' does mean access to dry land, short term parking to on or off load passengers or gear, does knot mean fishing off or lingering.

 

Of and the phrase 'BIG bucks' springs to mind unless you want a 1/2 arsed one.

 

I know someone who knows all this stuff very very well. PM me if you like and I can give you his number.

 

But in short, it probably won't be easy, will involve many ticket clippers in the way of assorted Resource Consent people, councils people, probably design Engineering people and don't forget the Taniwhas, they are everywhere.

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I have considerable experience developing strategies for consenting jetties of similar dimesions to that proposed and knot me is largely correct.

 

Depending on where your site is your proposal would likely have to include:

 

A resource consent

A building consent

Adjoining landowner and affected party approvals, including local Iwi, possibly DoC and any other party the Council deemed potentially affected

An engineered design suitable for the location including producer statements

 

Depending on the local terrtorial and regional authority and exactly where your structure is proposed you may need consents from one or both Councils.

 

If the Council has a bylaw or management plan controlling or directing the placement of such structures your application or proposal must carefully consider these documents.

 

Invariably, if a coastal site(as this is) the application would have to be accompanied by a detailed assessment of environmental effects which would address, navigation and safety, effects on flora and fauna, effects on coastal landscape and effects on public access to the coastal margin.

 

As Knot me suggests it can be a very expensive and drawn out process and is not for the faint of heart. Invariably, such consents will be publicly notified and if submissions are received which opposed the proposal a hearing will have to be held, bearing in mind an applicant pays all costs this can be significant.

 

If the Council grants a consent and an aggrieved party wishes to appeal

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I have considerable experience developing strategies for consenting jetties of similar dimesions to that proposed and knot me is largely correct.

 

Depending on where your site is your proposal would likely have to include:

 

A resource consent

A building consent

Adjoining landowner and affected party approvals, including local Iwi, possibly DoC and any other party the Council deemed potentially affected

An engineered design suitable for the location including producer statements

 

Depending on the local terrtorial and regional authority and exactly where your structure is proposed you may need consents from one or both Councils.

 

If the Council has a bylaw or management plan controlling or directing the placement of such structures your application or proposal must carefully consider these documents.

 

Invariably, if a coastal site(as this is) the application would have to be accompanied by a detailed assessment of environmental effects which would address, navigation and safety, effects on flora and fauna, effects on coastal landscape and effects on public access to the coastal margin.

 

As Knot me suggests it can be a very expensive and drawn out process and is not for the faint of heart. Invariably, such consents will be publicly notified and if submissions are received which opposed the proposal a hearing will have to be held, bearing in mind an applicant pays all costs this can be significant.

 

If the Council grants a consent and an aggrieved party wishes to appeal

to the Environment Court - again with the applicant most likley paying all costs. In a word it can be done.

 

I would stongly advise an initial visit to your local Council to discuss requirements and then if you wish to proceed organise a visit to a Resource management specialist in coastal structures. If you can bring a specialist skill to the process great, but I would also strongly recommend involving a marine engineering consultancy early on.

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Or you could look at it this way.

Can you afford a ruffly $50K for those initial investigations.

No = end of story

Yes=

Can you afford a few hundred $K for the next step of resource consents, site studies, court approvals and "negotiations" with locals and other affect parties.

No= end of story

Yes=

Can you afford a further $50+K for design

No=end of story

Yes= can you afford a $mill+ for dredging to get a barge in to drive piles and to get a barge in to drive piles and have a company biulding the jetty

No=end of story

Yes= Then welcome to the Jetty owners club and when can we "crew" members come and use this flash shiney new facility??

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I've had a fair bit of experience in getting consents for jetties and then constructing them. The previous comments are all (pretty well) correct, and Splat is right on the money.

 

In one case we had structural engineers, architects (who did computer generated photo montages), marine biologists who did a grid pattern search of the sea bed, heritage experts (due to the area we were building in), hydrologists, lawyers and planners involved - all needing paying. I spent months with Dept of Conservation, Historic Places Trust and the Regional Council and we still got turned down. We appealed to the Environment Court and ended up with a negotiated (and in my mind superior) approval.

 

Building it then had its own hassles - we designed and built it to last and used only the best materials. All in all the cost was around $2.2M for a private jetty! This was a floating pontoon off a fixed jetty structure.

 

Another one however was a much simpler process, due to its location (no road access and up an inlet) and probably closer to what you are envisaging. The cost was still in the hundreds of thousands and that was with much labour being done by the owner.

 

Don't bother building a half arsed one - you will regret it. Toredo worm will attack even the best treated pine - you will want to go for Greenheart or similar for anything which is permanently submerged (or even submerged with each tide). Stainless steel fixings are essential.

 

They're great to have and will add value to the property, but be prepared to spend time and money!

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You have to remember this process is approving an essentially privately funded structure in the public domain or commons - it is not goiung to be straight forward and there must be minimal impact to public assets (amenity, landscape, heritage etc) and hopefully some tangible public benefits eg angling , emergency access, access to local track network etc

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Thanks very much everyone, that's really useful information.

 

It sounds like the cost and hassle for a new jetty would far exceed any potential benefits or increase in value of the property.

 

I looked at a property which already has access to a small jetty in front of a neighbouring house. The jetty has been there for a very long time and is shared by neighbours but it doesn't have any resource consent or permission. Neither the seller or the neighbours admits to building it but the seller maintains it.

 

Is there any history of the council (Auckland) removing such structures or do they just turn a blind eye as the estate agent claimed? I have heard they cracked down on unlicensed swinging moorings but I assume the cost of removing a jetty would be prohibitive and if nobody admits to owning it they can't make anyone remove it ... ?

 

Thanks again for the info, great to hear from people who have actually done it. Knot me - I'll take you up on that contact if I decide to buy a waterfront property, but I certainly wont be paying a premium for it from what I have heard!

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Councils can grandfather existing structures if they are structurally sound plus tick a whole bunch of other boxes. Regional Councils got all active in this area investigating, licencing and labelling structures in the CMA (coastal marine area) back in the early 90s when the Resource Management Act first came in. So I'd be very surprised if this jetty was unknown to the relevant regional council .... unless it was a sneaky build after the RMA. For a whole raft of reasons the whole sneaky build deal is very difficult to get away with these days.

 

Any clues as to region?

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