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Grey District Council currently has a Sandwich Boards Bylaw which regulates the use, size and locations of sandwich advertising boards in the District. A register is kept of sandwich boards in the District and owners paid an annual licence fee.
Council is proposing that the existing Sandwich Boards Bylaw is rescinded and a new Street Signage Bylaw is adopted which provides rules around the use of street signage, which includes (but is not limited to) sandwich boards, teardrop flags and feather flags, but does not require owners to acquire a licence from Council.
The current Sandwich Boards Bylaw is due for review and this was an opportune time to look at any changes which need to be made.
At present Council issues invoices each July to businesses that held a sandwich board licence in the previous 12 months. For the 2016/2017 year, there were 67 sandwich boards that were licensed.
An audit of sandwich boards carried out in 2017 found that six premises were displaying boards that were not licensed (licensed the previous year) and 12 businesses were displaying boards that had never been licensed.
The monitoring of sandwich boards takes place annually, usually around November, and is only a snapshot on that day of what is on display. Unlicensed sandwich boards displayed before or after that day are not captured. The time spent auditing the boards on display, which involves the use of a pool vehicle, as well as sending letters is very time consuming. In some instances, the audit creates ill feeling towards Council and is seen as little more than a form of revenue gathering.
It is estimated that there is revenue to Council of approximately $7,400 per annum from sandwich board licences. However, there is a significant amount Council time and resources that will be saved from not having to administer and police the current bylaw. Currently, both Westland District Council and Buller District Council do not license street signage. They both have bylaws in place with restrictions on placement size and number of signs that can be displayed (2) but no license fee as such. There is provision in their bylaws to uplift any street signage that does not comply with their bylaw.
There are two options – rescind the current bylaw and adopt a new Street Signage Bylaw or remain with the status quo, ie keep the existing Sandwich Boards Bylaw.
OPTION ONE: IMPLEMENT THE PROPOSED STREET SIGNAGE BYLAW
Under this option, the existing Sandwich Boards Bylaw would be rescinded and replaced with the Street Signage Bylaw. Regulations with regards to the street signage will still apply but owners will no longer need to pay an annual licence fee. This would free up Council resources, cut costs to business owners, create goodwill towards Council and add vibrancy to the CBD.
The new bylaw will be enforced by the Compliance team on an as needed basis as opposed to proactively seeking non-compliance.
This is Council’s preferred option.
OPTION TWO: STATUS QUO – STICK WITH THE CURRENT SANDWICH BOARDS BYLAW
Do not adopt the proposed Street Signage Bylaw and continue with the existing Sandwich Boards Bylaw, which includes an annual licence fee.
Residents are strongly encouraged to have a say. Please take the time to read both bylaws, current and proposed, and have your say today.
Written submissions posted to Grey District Council, PO Box 382, Greymouth or hand delivered to 105 Tainui Street, Greymouth
You are welcome to address Council in person on your submission – if you wish to do this, please clearly indicate this in your submission. Council will hear and consider submissions at a meeting after the close-off date (most likely the February 2019 meeting).
Every submission made to the Council will be acknowledged in accordance with the Local Government Act 2002, copied and made available to the public.
Submissions close at 5pm on Monday 21 January 2019.