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Signs seized so historic building exposed

17 January 2006

Signs seized so historic building sees the light of day

Auckland City has seized a number of large signs from a commercial property in Dominion Road, which has failed to comply with the council's signs bylaw.

The enforcement action comes after months of requests for the Mt Eden business, Stereo World Retravision, to abide by the city's signs bylaw.

Stereo World had advertising hoardings for stereos and sound equipment over most of its 99-year-old Edwardian Italianate building at 225 Dominion Road.

The chairperson of the Planning and Regulatory Committee, Councillor Glenda Fryer, says the action fits in with the council's aim to improve the urban landscape by removing illegal signage.

"This is a beautiful older building with an important place in Auckland's history. We do not want significant historic sites, such as this, lost beneath a mass of modern advertising.

"Now that the signs have been removed, some of the unique detailing and original character of this building can shine through for all of the city's residents to enjoy.

"This was an action of last resort, but one the council makes no apologies for.

"Stereo World or its agents did not respond to requests made in November to provide information for dispensation from the bylaw. The council was left with no other option, but to seize the offending signs."

One of the objectives of Part 27, of the council's consolidated bylaw relating to signs is that signs should not significantly alter the presence of buildings.

Stereo World Retravision contravened the bylaw in a number of different ways, by having: * signs covering an area greater than 50 per cent of the largest wall * signs covering windows * signs that were more than five metres high.

The Stereo World building is currently being assessed as part of a review of heritage buildings and sites on the isthmus for possible scheduling in the District Plan.

It was constructed in 1907 in the Edwardian Italianate style and was purpose-built as a butcher shop. It was the first suburban outlet for the Auckland Meat Company.

The council still holds the Stereo World advertising hoardings, but the owner can apply to have them returned for a fee. In order to have the signs returned, the owner will also need to provide an assurance that the signs would not be fixed to the building again.

ENDS

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