- Tina Pope
A Paekakariki sleep out: the difference between a minor flat and an accessory building
Wanting to build on your section? As Paekākāriki Housing Trust furthers its research into backyard dwellings, Kristen and Anja Foley share their recent valuable experience building a 54m2 additional dwelling on the back of their 851 m2 property.
Many houses in Paekāariki have one bedroom flats as separate dwellings to their main dwellings. Under the District plan these are called minor flats - and initially we thought this was the way to go. We wanted a building that could be used by visiting family, a place to work from and, potentially, a place for us to live in once our children fly the coop. The following is our experience - if you are considering building you should seek expert advice from the appropriate people.
The District plan changed in late 2017 which relaxed the rules around building a minor flat (note though that some changes in the plan are subject to appeal and we are currently operating under two District plans). One key difference is that you no longer have to have `family’ only living in it. This change gives more flexibility and security in terms of funding a build as you can rent it out if you want to.
In July 2018 we submitted our building consent and resource consent documentation to Kapiti Coast District Council (KCDC). KCDC have standard fees, which in part are based on the cost of the build. In July 2018 the District Plan was amended resulting in three factors that influenced our build. Firstly, there were the development contribution fees ($4,294 for Paekākāriki - or 70% of this if your build is less than 60 m2). Secondly, the financial contributions fee ($13,649.74 for living and working zones - discounted by 50% for minor flats.) and finally a new requirement that you need a 10,000 litre water tank. These changes added approximately 9% cost to our build and made us seriously consider if we were to go ahead.
Fortunately, some conscientious KCDC staff met us on site and, after understanding our purpose for the building suggested we re-submit our building consent as an accessory (sleep out) building. This change would save approximately $15,000 of additional costs.
So, what’s the difference between a minor flat and an accessory building?
Minor flat is a building used for small-scale self-contained residential activities which is ancillary to a household unit. In order to be self-contained a minor flat must contain a kitchen and bathroom. A minor flat has a gross floor area which is no greater than 54m2 in Paekākāriki (excluding decks and covered outdoor living areas).
Sleep out is an accessory building typically used for sleeping accommodation purposes which may include a bathroom but does not include a kitchen.
Kitchen is a room or part of a room capable of use for food preparation and cooking which contains a sink and an oven or any other cooking appliance. Small electric appliances such as toasters, sandwich makers and kettles/jugs are not included as cooking appliances for the purposes of this definition.
If you’re looking to build here are some other things worth considering:
· Boundary pegs are rare in parts of Paekākāriki. Fences are not necessarily on your boundary! KCDC require confirmation of your boundary by a surveyor.
· Your septic tank needs to be large enough and in good condition to handle extra pressure from a second dwelling. A new septic tank costs approximately $14,000. Any new septic needs to be signed off by an environmental engineer.
· Think ahead with water meters, electricity meters and internet cabling i.e. future proof your build.
And lastly, we have some great architects, draftspeople and builders in Paekākāriki. Go local if you can!