Summary of Information and Invitation for Submissions
Over the past five years inspections of the street verandahs of some business premises in the centre of Otorohanga have revealed a general lack of maintenance, corroded connections to facades, additional loading from air conditioning units and poorly secured signage.
The current poor state of some verandahs over these public places suggests that they are at risk of collapsing not only in an earthquake, but also during more common natural events such as strong winds or heavy hailstorms, with potential to cause injury to the public.
Lack of maintenance of these structures in some cases also creates other issues of public nuisance or hazard, such as water leaks or lack of adequate lighting.
Currently Council has a very limited ability to ensure that verandahs and other structures attached to buildings over public spaces are maintained in a sound condition. Whilst Council has the power to require that these structures are removed, it is generally not considered desirable to do this as the presence of verandahs provides shade and shelter that is likely to contribute positively to retail trade.
Informal requests to property owners to remedy deficiencies of existing verandahs have been largely unsuccessful, and it is therefore believed that new powers are required to protect public safety whilst retaining the centre of towns in an attractive form that is conducive to strong retail trade. The making of a bylaw is considered the only practical means of giving such powers.
It is therefore proposed that a new bylaw – the Structures and Works in Public Places Bylaw 2015 – is made that will address issues related to the construction, maintenance and demolition of structures in or adjacent to public places that are not addressed by the Building Act, Building Regulations, other legislation or the Otorohanga District Plan. The Bylaw will be applicable to all public places in the Otorohanga District.
A more detailed Statement of Proposal, including a copy of the proposed new Bylaw and associated information, is available from Council on request.
Submissions in respect of the making of the Structures and Works in Public Places Bylaw 2015 can be made in writing, and should be addressed to:
The Chief Executive
Otorohanga District Council
Submissions can be made from 21 May 2015 and close on Friday 26 June 2015, 5.00pm.