The precise nature of modern covenants

By Stuff NZ

'We are talking more and more about Inclusionary Zoning -IZ- but it's rare to hear the opposite term.

Yet that is another way to think of the use of covenants: it's a form of exclusionary zoning.  The stated reasons are often about protecting the property value for homeowners in these subdivisions -by specifying types of cladding, roofing materials, minimum dwelling sizes and so on -but has morphed into something must more that seeks to dictate to a much greater extent how residents live their lives in such communities.... right down to the placement of rubbish bins and maximum permitted height of dogs!

In amongst all of that, any chance of more affordable housing options or different tenure options are excluded.  They are simply not permitted -which is of course the intended effect of the covenants. 

Excluding opportunities for a range of different housing typologies, masterplanned with integrated affordable options from the outset.

Covenants can be used in a variety of positive ways too, including ensuring retained affordability, but city planners must be careful to keep in mind the principles of new communities or densification of existing communities still catering for a whole range of individuals and families -not just a select few.'