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Signs and billboards in the city up for discussion

9 December 2005

Signs and billboards in the city up for discussion

The most appropriate way to control signs and billboards in Auckland city is being investigated by Auckland City Council as part of the review of the Auckland City Consolidated By-law.

Council has a statutory obligation to review all of its bylaws by July 2008 under the Local Government Act 2002.

Community boards and councillors have called for the review of the signs and billboards provisions to be treated as a priority. As part of the review, the council is required to consider whether regulation is actually required and whether a by-law is the most appropriate tool.

"There is no question that the proliferation of signs and billboards needs to be controlled to protect the visual amenity in the city," says Councillor Glenda Fryer, chair of Auckland City's Planning and Regulatory Committee.

"Officers have told us that retailers and other advertisers will benefit from clarity in the rules given that when there is a breach, some ambiguous and conflicting wording makes explanation and enforcement difficult. We need to address these issues."

The committee yesterday established a working party that will work with council staff to assess the need for a savings provision in the bylaw, develop appropriate visual standards and translate these into coherent and enforceable provisions within the control mechanism that is found to be most appropriate.

The savings provision is included in the current bylaw and allows for non-complying signs that were legally established under previous versions of the bylaw.

Any new provisions would be available for public consultation and industry input once the review is complete. Given the complicated nature of the issue, the review is not likely to be completed within the current financial year, which ends 30 June 2006.

ENDS

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