A stormwater report found that viable stormwater options are available for both sites. However, a liquefaction report found the City West site and small parts of the Whakarongo site are likely to be susceptible to liquefaction in the event of an earthquake.
Policy planner Daniel Batley says a number of uncertainties exist with regard to new residential subdivision and housing development on land susceptible to liquefaction.
"Therefore, at this time, it is not appropriate to rezone City West residential."
"Instead we've recommended that the Whakarongo area is advanced for residential rezoning to cater for short to medium term residential growth of Palmerston North."
The Planning and Policy Committee approved the addendum to the Residential Growth Strategy that acknowledges the results of the technical reports and the officer's recommendation at its meeting last night.
The decision now needs to go to the full Council meeting at the end of the month for ratification. If it's accepted then the next step is to finalise the Proposed District Plan Change to rezone the Whakarongo site from rural to residential.
Daniel Batley says in the meantime the Council will continue to monitor residential growth across the City to help with future decisions on residential rezoning