Matthew Martin is a senior reporter at the Rotorua Daily Post

Advice says yellow signs illegal

New yellow sign - IMAG NE at the Malfroy/Ranolf roundabout. Photo / Stephen Parker
New yellow sign - IMAG NE at the Malfroy/Ranolf roundabout. Photo / Stephen Parker

The Rotorua Lakes Council has received legal advice backing its position that yellow and black signs put up around the city are illegal.

But the group responsible for them - Rotorua District Residents and Ratepayers group - says it would consider seeking its own legal advice over the matter.

The council's compliance solutions manager, Neven Hill, said as at January 18, 10 signs were found to be outside the rules of the District Plan and another site check would be carried out next week.

He said any sign not on a road came under rules set out in the District Plan and the council deemed the yellow and black signs to be temporary.

Temporary signs are allowed to be up for no more than three separate six-week periods, must be less than 3sq m in size and no greater than 2m in height. Permanent signage requires a resource consent.

Mr Hill said if sign owners failed to comply with the rules they would be sent a follow-up letter.

"If they still do not comply an abatement notice would be issued and if they did not comply with that, they could receive an infringement of $750 for failing to comply with an abatement notice. The next step after that could be legal action."

Mr Hill said staff would be checking the signs again next week. "The legal advice is privileged information but we can confirm the signs do not comply with the District Plan rules. Of the 10 sites identified, all owners have been advised and some have not taken their signs down."

Rotorua District Residents and Ratepayers group chairwoman and district councillor Glenys Searancke said the group did not consider the signs as temporary as the message on them changed regularly.

"We will have to wait and see what happens," she said.

"We have lots of people keen to have the signs on their property. This all seems like snakes and ladders."

Mrs Searancke said she would speak to the group's committee about getting its own legal advice on the matter.

"There are far more serious matters to deal with than signs. Some people really like them," she said.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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