Public Places Bylaw - FAQ
Here are some questions you may have about using street advertising, displays of goods and al fresco dining on public footpaths
We want to make sure our footpaths and town centres are accessible, safe and attractive for everyone who uses them. To make sure this happens there are a few important rules in place that regulate how public spaces such as foot paths and berms are used. These rules are outlines in the Public Places Bylaw 2018.
Yes – we want to create a level playing field where all businesses have the same opportunities to use public spaces without creating safety risks or visual clutter
My sign/display/tables have been in the same place for years and nobody has ever been hurt or complained – why do I have to move them now?
It is important that we address non-compliant items on the footpath before anybody is injured or they cause accessibility or visibility issues for any footpath users or motorists. There may have been issues or near misses that owners don’t know about.
In some cases, a single sign in the wrong place is not a significant problem on its own, but if everybody were to breach the bylaw in the same way, it would become a problem.
The first response will be a visit from our Transportation Safety Officer to ensure you understand what is required. If you continue to breach the bylaw, any non-compliant items can be removed by the Council and a fee charged for their return. Depending on the type and severity of the breach, there is also the possibility of prosecution.
Why have I received this information but other people haven’t? Does this mean I am doing something wrong?
No, it does not necessarily mean you have done something wrong. We expect all businesses to comply with the bylaw, so we are delivering the brochure to as many businesses as we practically can.
If you know somebody who has not received the information, let us know or direct them to our here.
Exemptions will only be granted where there is a genuine need and unique and compelling circumstances.
Let the Council know so we can follow up with those businesses. We need to know the location of the business, how you believe they are breaching the bylaw, and (if possible) the name and type of business.
Sending in a photo of the business and the item you believe is breaching the bylaw is helpful.
No, flags are still advertising signs and must meet the rules under the bylaw – including the maximum height of 1.0m.
Most of the rules are the same as they were before, they have just been consolidated into a single bylaw and we will be ensuring people are aware of them and complying with them.
No, we recognise that it will take time to replace or modify over-sized signs or signs with sharp corners/edges etc so, unless it is a serious hazard, you can continue to use your existing sign until 31 January 2020. After that time you will be expected to stick to the dimensions in the bylaw.
Signs: How are potential customers supposed to know where my business is if I cannot put signs on the main road letting them know where I am?
As a single business, there are now a wide range of advertising options available through traditional and online media to publicise your business. Word of mouth and online reviews are among the strongest influencers, so make sure you provide the best product and service you can and encourage customers to spread the word among their friends and family.
As a group of businesses in the same location, look at ways that you can work together to promote your street or alcove to bring people in. Share advertising to cut the cost for individual businesses and promote other businesses in the area to your customers through shared promotions, making recommendations, or sharing their social media posts via your own sites.
Yes it does. These gardens are often deliberately located to provide clear lines of sight for pedestrians and motorists near intersections and crossings. If people put signs in these spaces, they are likely to block visibility.
Waipa District Council wants to encourage a dynamic street environment, but we also need to check that activities such as footpath dining are not interfering with access to and safe use of the footpaths for the general public. A permitting system enables us to monitor use of the footpath and ensure everybody is playing by the same rules.
The cost of a permit to use tables and chairs on a public footpath are set out in the 2019-2020 Schedule of Fees and Charges. At present this includes:
- A fixed fee of $234 (including GST) for new applications and a minimum of $78 for renewals paid before the existing permit expires
- A fee of $22 per square meter of footpath space approved by the Council.
Displays: Why does my display have to be flush against the storefront? Why can’t I put goods for sale out by the kerb?
Consistency is important for people with mobility or vision impairments so it is better if all businesses keep their displays on the same side. Displays on the kerb side of the footpath are more likely to obstruct people parking outside your store trying to get from their vehicles to the footpath.