Does your Council have a signage bylaw or do you need to check the district plan?
Check to see if your Council has a signage bylaw. If your Council does not have a signage bylaw check the district plan to see if there are any requirements around signage or advertising. To find the website of your Local Council, please click here.
Make a complaint if you feel there is a breach of a bylaw or district plan
If your Council does have a bylaw, and you think it is being breached you can make a complaint. You can do the same if the signs at licensed premises are inconsistent with the requirements of the district plan.
Record the details of the advertisement - you can keep track of all signage-related incidents in a log. We have created one for you below.
Take a photo of the possible non-compliant signage
After collecting relevant evidence, raise your concerns with your local Council, as they are responsible for enforcing bylaws and ensuring the district plan is followed.
If your council does not have a signage bylaw
If your council does not have a signage bylaw, check if there are appropriate controls on signage in the district plan or in other bylaws. If there are no appropriate controls, contact your local council to ask if there are plans to develop controls on signage. If not, you could encourage your council to develop a signage bylaw or to make changes to their district plan. Please check out the section on alcohol in public places.
You can highlight the importance of signage controls in your community:
- Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper, please click here;
- Raise community awareness of the harms from alcohol advertising - please check out the sections on seeking others in the community who are interested and get your message across ;
- Write a letter to your representatives at council or on the local/community board to raise your concerns. You may find the template below helpful:
Seeking to have conditions imposed on a licensed premise
When a licence comes up for renewal, you might consider making an objection or requesting conditions be included in the licence. These conditions could include limiting or removing signage and advertising visible from the outside of the premises.
Record the details of the signage and advertising in a log like the one below.
Make it clear in your objection letter what conditions you would like imposed on the licence, here are some examples:
- All signs and advertisements must be fully compliant with local bylaws and district plans
- Limit advertising and signage to the trading name of the premises only
- Maximum of 2 signs visible from outside the premises
- No advertising of alcohol brands or prices visible from outside the premises
- Windows must be clean and clear, with signs limited to 25% of the window area
- No portable signs (sandwich boards, banners/flags, bollard sleeves)
In your objection letter, it may be useful to quote local bylaw(s) or the district plan. Check if there in your area applying to external signage or advertising.
It may be difficult to have conditions imposed on the licence – but you may be able to encourage the applicant to sign an undertaking. An undertaking is a formal written statement (can even be in an email) that the applicant promises to adhere to certain requirements.
Please visit the section on Alcohol Licensing to learn more about objecting to a liquor licence application.