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New signage standards now in effect for the Coromandel

Coromandel Peninsula | Wed December 06, 2017

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TCDC's new Advertising and Signs Bylaw is now in force and it contains some provisions about the placement, size, content and type of advertising and signs which many businesses and community organisations will be interested in.

After a public consultation in May and June this year, Council adopted the bylaw in September and it took effect from 1 December.

The bylaw was written to ensure that advertising signs do not present a hazard, obstruction or danger to public safety.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

The bylaw applies to all publicly visible signs, regardless of purpose.
The bylaw recognises the need to advertise businesses and promote commerce, activities and events and balances this with the need to ensure such signs do not pose a hazard.
The bylaw does not apply to state highway road reserves. The NZ Transport Agency has its own bylaw to cover these areas.
The bylaw clearly states that signs, posters or other advertising devices cannot be placed on any Council-controlled property without the written approval of Council.
The content of signs can't breach the Human Rights Act by being discriminatory or advocating discrimination and they can't incite or counsel anyone to commit an offence.

The schedules to the bylaw state the maximum size, height and ground clearance of different types of signs for different zones of our district. For example, in the commercial zones, flat wall-mounted signs can be up to 3.5 metres high, 3 metres wide three metres in height and up to two metres in width and the number permitted depends on the speed limit of the road the property fronts on. For example, in a 70km/h zone this type of sign can be spaced up to one per 60 metres of road frontage. In higher speed limit zones, the spacing is further apart.

These types of regulations take into consideration the cumulative effect of signs in areas where clusters of them could prove distracting to drivers.

There are also requirements around signs being secured and braced so they won't cause an obstruction or put anyone at risk - by being too low over a footpath, for example - and placed so that they won't obscure the line of sight around any corners, bends or intersections.

Signs also must not be placed so that they resemble or could be mistaken for a traffic sign. Any signs directed at people driving must also be able to be read safely by drivers going the legal speed limit on that road.

The owner, occupier and manager of any premises on which signs are publicly-visible are responsible for complying with the bylaw.

If a sign doesn't comply with the bylaw, we'll talk to the person responsible for the sign (as above) to resolve the issue. Under the Local Government Act, our Council is empowered to remove or alter signs that are in breach of the bylaw and may recover the costs from the person responsible.

To read the full text of the Advertising and Signs Bylaw, including the schedules, go to www.tcdc.govt.nz/advertisingbylaw

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