This new $20,000 Queenstown Events Centre sign could be history if the public agrees it’s “garish and tacky”.
Former councillor and local lawyer Warwick Goldsmith has protested to Queenstown Lakes District Council about the sign – putting QLDC and its Lakes Leisure quango on the back foot.
As well as labelling it “garish and tacky”, Goldsmith alleges the illuminated sign is unsafe and illegal.
It’s dangerous for motorists – particularly at night – because it distracts drivers from a long way off, he claims.
Perhaps most embarrassingly for the council, the prominent planning lawyer also alleges the sign breaches QLDC’s own signage bylaw and flouts its formal policies on “the appearance of entry points into Queenstown”.
Going by the official reaction, Goldsmith’s complaint about irregularities appears to have hit the mark.
QLDC boss Debra Lawson reported to councillors this week that she’s ordered Lakes Leisure to apply for retrospective resource consent on the sign.
Retrospective consents are occasionally issued to legalise breaches of planning law.
Whether the sign ultimately stays or goes may come down to public submissions.
Goldsmith won’t elaborate on his earlier criticisms but believes the consent application will give people a chance to air their views.
Given the sign’s location, I assume the retrospective consent application will be publicly notified,” he says.
Lakes Leisure boss Fiona McKissock says the controversial sign cost about $20,000.
The normally flashing sign appears to have been turned off since the start of this week.