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Report on Draft Approvals Policy - Use of Road Reserves & Public Land for Commercial, Community & Charitable Activities

Attachment 5

15076/2008 - Report on Review of Policy for Use of Road Reserves and Public Land for Commercial, Community and Charitable Activities

 

Director Environment & Planning's Report

ITEM 9.1      SF1031            250608         Report on Review of Policy for Use of Road Reserves and Public Land for Commercial, Community and Charitable Activities

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Greg Meyers, Director Environment and Planning         

 


 

Summary:

 

At the 14 March 2008 Budget Workshop, Council when considering the draft 2008/09 budget sought explanation in regard to when a “Usage Fee” should become a “Lease Fee” in relation to footpath usage.

 

The current Policy that controls footpath usage in the shire is the Footpath Signage, Trading & Café Tables and Chairs Policy”. Notwithstanding, Council in 2006 prepared and exhibited a Draft Approvals Policy – “Use of Road Reserves and Public Land fro Commercial, Community and Charitable Activities (2006)”.

 

However, the draft Policy was never adopted due to several unresolved anomalies with regard to the recommendations from Council’s Access Committee based on guidelines under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), which relate to the general safety of all pedestrians using the footpath.

 

 


 

Recommendation:

 

1          That Council form a Working Party to resolve the conflicting issues surrounding the use of footpaths for such items as A frame signs, trading tables, street vending (excluding street stalls and outdoor eating areas) and this Working Party consist of Council Planning, Health and Engineering staff, Council’s Safety Officer, Council’s Insurers, a representative from each of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Access Committee.

 

2          That Council require the Working Party to include for discussion and consideration the requirement of a “No Smoking Provision” for all footpath café and restaurant seating areas situated on Council controlled land.

 

 


OPTIONS:

 

The alternative options available to Council other than the one proposed by this report are:

 

1           Not to continue with the formulation of the draft Approvals Policy and continue to operate under the current Policy. However, it should be noted that the Policy does not adequately address Council’s legislative responsibilities under the Disability Discrimination Act, Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, Local Government Act and the Roads Act.

 

2           Adopt the draft Policy in its current form permitting A frame signs, trading tables, outdoor eating areas and street vending (excluding street stalls). Again this raises issues about Council’s legal position in relation to the Disability Discrimination Act.

 

3           Amend the draft Policy to prohibit all A frame signs, trading tables, outdoor eating areas and street vending (excluding street stalls) on the public footpath and re-exhibit the draft Policy. This would address Council’s responsibilities under the Disability Discrimination Act.

 

DISCUSSION:

 

The current Policy Footpath Signage Trading & Café Tables and Chairs Policy” provides for an annual usage fee only. As such all A frame signs, trading tables and restaurant tables and chairs require an annual licence, application and user fees and are dealt with under Section 68 of the Local Government Act.

 

The Draft Approvals Policy – “Use of Road Reserves and Public Land for Commercial, Community and Charitable Activities (2006)”, provides for an annual approval & Licence to be issued in a similar manner as current for “A-Frame Signs” and “Trading Tables and the Like”.

 

Outdoor Eating areas are proposed to be dealt with differently under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act and the Local Government Act requiring the preparation and lodgment of a Development Application and be treated as “Additional Floor Space” for the existing café or restaurant. Such approval/License would be for a maximum period of five (5) years to avoid the necessity to gain Ministerial Approval for a longer period (LG Act).

 

If temporary structures are proposed in conjunction with the outdoor eating area then approvals under Section 68 of the Local Government Act may also be required.

 

The new Draft Approvals Policy also included, under the one Policy, controls/processes for Street Vending, Street Stalls, Crazy Day Sales and Activities on Council controlled Community Land.

 

The Draft Approvals Policy was exhibited and several responses where received. These responses were  considered as at the time, with Council resolving not to adopt the new Policy due to the anomalies with the proposed placement and location requirements under the Draft Policy to meet the guidelines under the DDA and the recommendations from the Access Committee. These proposed requirements are at odds with the current Policy.

 

This Draft Approvals Policy has not been afforded any priority since June 2006 due to other higher priority Strategic Planner matters.

 

The Draft Approvals Policy and the current Policy are attached for Council’s perusal.

 

It is suggested that Council should again review the Draft Local Approvals Policy - “Use of Road Reserves and Public Land for Commercial, Community and Charitable Activities (2006)”. This review to include Council’s insurers, Safety Officer, Staff from the Engineering Department, Town Planners, Health and Building Surveyors, Access Committee and the Chambers of Commerce in an attempt to review and address the anomalies regarding the placement and location of items on the footpath.

 

It is also suggested that Council consider placing on the agenda for the review a “No Smoking” provision for all footpath café and restaurant seating areas. 

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

There are no environmental impacts with this report.

 

Social

 

Issues relating to Council’s responsibilities under the Disability Discrimination Act need to be addressed along with general community safety.

 

Economic

 

Should the Draft Approvals Policy proceed to be adopted there is likely to be an economic impact on some business operators if the Licence fees for Café and Restaurant seating elevate to fair commercial rent rates.

 

Risk

 

Irrespective of whether Council continues with the existing Policy or adopts or amends the Draft Approvals Policy, Council has a liability that it must manage if it is to allow the continued use of the footpaths for use or placement of items.

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

The financial implication associated with the review will primarily be the use of staff time through the researching of issues, arranging meetings, making changes where necessary to the current draft Policy and the preparation of Council reports.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

No specific funds are allocated as all costs would be incurred in current budget possibly at the expense of the timing of other projects within the Strategic Planning Works Program for this and would

 


Attachments:

1

11607/2007 - Current Footpath Signage Trading & Cafe Tables and Chairs Policy

 

2

15077/2008 Draft Approvals Policy