Stopping ''sign wars'' between businesses is among the
priorities raised by submitters on the Queenstown Lakes
District Council's signs plan change.
Twenty-one submissions were received on plan change 48, which
aims to simplify and streamline signage provisions in the
Until recently, the district's signage was controlled through
both the plan and a council bylaw. The latter has been
Sign rules have also been subject to environmental
monitoring, which has identified areas for improvements,
including amendments to the definition of ''sign'', providing
for signage platforms and identification of signs within
those as a permitted activity.
Plan change 48 also proposes changes to the activity status
for most sign limit breaches from non-complying to permitted,
controlled or discretionary; greater clarity over the control
of signs in building windows; and increasing signage
allowances to match the scale of commercial buildings.
Submitter Barbara East, of Wanaka, said off-site signs should
continue to be classified as non-complying or prohibited,
rather than discretionary, and she sought the removal of a
policy providing for off-site signs in circumstances where
displaying a sign where the activity occurs is ''not
She could think of no instance where it would not be
practical to display a sign on site, yet many circumstances
where it would be ''extremely desirable'' for a business
owner to have an off-site sign, - such as a business located
outside the CBD area - which might be undesirable in a visual
''As we have seen, over and over again, as soon as one sign
is located [illegally] off site, it spawns a plethora of
competing signs,'' Mrs East wrote.
''The first sign then gets bigger to outdo the competition
and a signs war commences ... Businesses in the CBD that pay
CBD prices feel very aggrieved when signage is erected
directing traffic away from the CBD when they are only
allowed to have on-site signage.''
Federated Farmers said off-site signage should be a permitted
activity for businesses in remote rural locations so
operators could advertise in areas with higher foot or
vehicle traffic or signpost turn-offs to make it easier for
customers to find their business.
Books and Toys (Wanaka) Ltd, trading as Paper Plus Wanaka,
called for an exemption to the rule that window signs not
exceed 50% of the window. The store held ''blackout sales''
and other special store promotions requiring windows be 100%
covered with signage at certain times of the year, it said.
Commercial and retail property company DNZ Property Fund said
council opposition to signage for first-floor premises had
made securing tenants at Frankton's Remarkables Park Shopping
Plan change 48 proposed an ''excessive level of control of
signage that is unjustifiable'' with regards to the
distinctive environment and setting of Remarkables Park, DNZ
A joint submission from the Lakes District Museum, the
Arrowtown Planning Advisory Group (APAG) and the Arrowtown
Promotion and Business Association called for plan change 48
to recognise the ''special character'' of central Arrowtown
as a heritage precinct where ''inappropriate signage is
starting to proliferate''.
It suggested a return to a previous system where the APAG
became a ''vetting'' agency for Arrowtown's signs.
A submission from supermarket operator Progressive
Enterprises Ltd said sign sizes proposed in the plan change
were ''wholly inadequate'' for its Queenstown supermarkets
and out of step with accepted signage throughout the rest of
Remarkables Park Ltd said plan change 48 should be amended to
reflect the importance of sign quality, rather than focusing
only on size and quantity.
The plan change would result in a significant ''double-up''
in resource consent requirements for buildings and signs and
the two should be considered together.
The Wanaka Chamber of Commerce suggested a rule be introduced
requiring a building owner to designate a proposed signage
platform at the time an application for building or resource
consent was submitted.
Submissions from developer Allan Dippie's companies, Wanaka
Hardware and Building Supplies Ltd, trading as Wanaka Mitre
10, Orchard Road Holdings Ltd and Willowridge Developments
Ltd, opposed the move to require consent for all signs in
commercial areas, on the grounds it was an inefficient use of
the resource management process and an unnecessary cost and
time expense for business operators.
The QLDC has called for further submissions, to be received
by May 21, before a public hearing to assess the plan change.
A decision will then be issued by the council to withdraw,
retain or modify the plan change.