Heart of the City has programme to support alternatives
The decision was made today by Auckland City Council’s planning & regulatory committee.
Sandwich boards will also be outlawed through the rest of the inner-city area â€” across to the foot of Nelson St, up to Princes St, and up the Queen St valley to Mayoral Drive.
Two councillors, Bill Christian and Barbara Storer, opposed the ban while the other three still at the meeting, chairman Juliet Yates, Dame Barbara Goodman and Frank Ryan, supported the removal of the boards, which was a campaign led by the Heart of the City business association.
Today’s decision was made after a comprehensive report on street advertising was compiled by council staff.
When the committee discussed the issue in June, it asked Heart of the City to consult its members about street advertising and a managed withdrawal of the boards, to ensure street numbers are in place and to encourage building owners and managers to pursue alternative advertising methods.
At the June meeting, Heart of the City chief executive Alex Swney (left) said there were 956 ground-level businesses and 589 boards out on the street, and 61% did not comply with existing bylaws. “Their sheer number works against their effectiveness,” he said.
Today, Mr Swney said the business association had conducted a positive campaign, promoting alternative signage such as pedestals, scrolling signs, illuminated signs and better signs under verandahs. It would subsidise replacement schemes for businesses, particularly those without street frontage, which faced a loss of business by having no street frontage.
“We’re talking about a modern, clean streetscape,” he said. “A priority for us will be signage for those businesses above street level.”
The business association is also within a fortnight of launching its website, which it wants to get incorporated into promotional pedestals in the city in about a year. The website will contain maps, pointers to shops and information about the inner city.
These are two of the association’s main programmes. Next up is a scheme to improve inner-city policing, including provision of security guards by the association. Heart of the City also has a project to get three electric buses into the downtown area, to which it will contribute. The buses will be run by Stagecoach and Mr Swney hopes the scheme can be supported by a regional council trial budget fund.