Friday, September 10, 2004

Born under a bad sign

World Internet on Darlinghurst road has just been notified it will lose one of its tenants, Peter Pan Travel, because they cannot get permission from Council to erect an under-awning sign.

There are three businesses on the premises, but current council rules do not permit a sign unless the business has a street frontage. The shop has a five-metre frontage, and owner Avry Ben-Zeev says there is room for the three signs. He spoke at the Council committee meeting which dealt with the draft signage Development Control Plan where Cr Phillip Black said different levels and types of signage were appropriate, and Lord Mayor Clover Moore agreed, saying there was a need 'for more flexibility'.

An email trail shows that Council asked for the artwork for the sign to be submitted for approval.

However Peter Pan travel says they were subsequently advised by Council that 'no signage is to be erected at this time', and that the application for the light box sign 'does not look like it will go through'.

We will be asking Council staff if having bureaucrats destroy businesses is a fair and just thing. Incidents like this every day reinforce the perception that unelected council staff are doing everything in their power to sabotage the will of the elected Councillors.

The common perception in the Cross is that Council staff are dedicated to imposing the Frank Sartor/Lucy Turnbull plan to kill -- sorry -- 'clean up' the Cross, even though they were never elected by anyone in this area. Their term for it, if I recall was to 'improve the business mix'. Peter Pan Travel and Avry Ben-Zeev must think this is a prime example of bureaucratic doublespeak. Writer Richard Florida calls these type of people 'Squelchers' because they kill good ideas. See Richard Florida references below or just click the headline.

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