Rule changes on signs

Rules on signs in Queenstown Lakes are about to be simplified.

Queenstown Lakes district councillors have accepted a plan change proposal to simplify and streamline the rules.

Council planning and development general manager Marc Bretherton, speaking before the meeting, said the goal was for ''less red tape and cost for property owners and tenants and a less complex process for gaining resource consents for new or replacement signs''.

The report recommended putting up signs become a permitted activity if they were within an approved sign platform, so then existing signs could be altered or replaced without further approval.

Signs were at present considered to be non-complying activities under the district plan and required resource consent.

Council resource consenting manager Blair Devlin said the plan change would go through various processes, such as a notice being sent to ratepayers, and any submissions heard before commissioners.

Another change is that each tenant of multi-tenanted buildings will be able to put up signage covering 15% of the ground floor facade without needing separate resource consent.

The present rules concern each building rather than each tenancy ''meaning the existing 15% maximum area could be used up by a single tenant on a 'first come first served' basis'', the report, prepared by Mr Devlin and discussed by the council, said.

Rules concerning signs visible in shop windows are unclear so the plan change recommends allowing 50% of a window within a building to be used for signage.