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Auckland City to continue blitz on signs

22 July 2005

Auckland City to continue blitz on signs and billboards

Auckland City Council’s Planning and Regulatory Committee yesterday confirmed the council’s stance on illegal signs and billboards, with education and seizure operations to continue around the city.

Councillor Glenda Fryer, committee chairperson, says the council has identified a significant number of businesses around the city which do not meet the Auckland City signs bylaw and have also received complaints from the public about illegal signs limiting pedestrian movement and cluttering the streets.

“Initial operations in Ponsonby in June highlighted a lack of understanding amongst business owners of the regulations controlling signs and billboards,” says Ms Fryer. “Operations carried out so far have visibly removed clutter in some locations, providing better access for pedestrians, and have also raised awareness amongst business owners of the regulations they must follow.”

In late June, Auckland City’s combined committees allocated $200,000 towards compliance and monitoring of the city’s regulations.

Ms Fryer says this is a part of a move by the Auckland City to be more proactive about enforcement of and education about council bylaws.

“These enforcement measures go hand in hand with an education process about what is acceptable under the bylaw,“ she says. “Council officers are visiting businesses in key areas around the city to explain the regulations and highlight areas of non-compliance.”

Operations will be carried out in Queen Street (from Customs Street to Mayoral Drive) and Dominion Road. Once these initial areas have been completed, areas of the city for which centre plans or character overlays have been developed, where illegal signs and billboards can have a large visual impact, will be targeted.

An operation in Ponsonby in June removed 43 sandwich boards on public footpaths. Business owners must pay council’s seizure and impounding costs to have their sandwich boards returned. Costs may vary but are estimated at $60 – $90 per item returned. Re-offenders will not have their boards returned.

“Auckland City values the relationship it has with business owners and seeks their cooperation, says Ms Fryer. “We understand how important advertising is to businesses, but this must be balanced against public safety and the attractiveness of city streets.”

The Auckland City bylaw controls the number, size and location of signs and billboards permitted in the city.

The bylaw also covers illegal good displays, planter boxes, side screens and excess chairs and tables which can block the footpath.

ENDS

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