Shop flags no longer banned

Tenterfield Fish Shop's Jeff and Carole Smith were among Rouse St business owners protesting the removal of flags outside their shops back in November.
Tenterfield Fish Shop's Jeff and Carole Smith were among Rouse St business owners protesting the removal of flags outside their shops back in November.

CBD shop owners have had a reprieve from somewhat-Draconian rules on signage and flagging that came to the fore recently when the rules were enforced by council officers back in November.

After receiving a complaint voicing concerns that flagging outside a business premise could cause a traffic accident, council staff conducted an ‘audit’ of non-compliant signage, somewhat overzealously according to deputy mayor Greg Sauer and the businesses involved. See earlier story here.

Twenty-five premises received letters requesting the offending flags or bunting be removed. Cr Sauer raised the concerns of the business operators, and requested that council take no further action until a workshop could be conducted and the matter fully reviewed.

The workshop took place last month. Under discussion was the possible removal of any restriction on window signage for shopfronts, the flag displays on business shopfronts in Rouse St (particularly their height, propensity to obstruct the view of pedestrians and traffic, and visual appeal or lack thereof), flashing signs (considered inappropriate), novelty and mechanical signs (ditto), above-awning signage and council signage. (The latter is deemed not be to advertising structures, including those providing tourism information.)

Resulting amendments to the guidelines on signage and outdoor advertising in the Development Control Plan include a clause exempting property identification signage on rural properties (limited to one sign per property entrance), that internally-illuminated signs be restricted to motels/hotels outside of the Heritage Conservation Precinct (or not listed as heritage items), and removal of the current prohibition of billboards, to be replaced by a new clause to allow billboards with development consent where advertising a business or attraction within the shire (and complying with Roads and Maritime Services requirements).

The proposed amendments were presented at the last council meeting, where Cr Sauer was concerned they didn’t fully address the issues which led to the fracas in November. 

Cr Bronwyn Petrie’s amendment to delete window signs and flags/bunting or the like from the Prohibited Signs list and add another point under the “Signs that are not Acceptable” detailing appropriate distance restrictions from walls and roadways was carried. Similarly carried was Cr Sauer’s move that engagement be undertaken as part of the implementation process through the Tenterfield Chamber of Tourism, Industry & Business with all the businesses affected by potential areas of non-compliance.