Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Council reverses staff spin on signage

Three small businesses in Kings Cross will soon be able to advertise their presence on the street with a revolving sign. Council staff have repeatedly opposed the idea but last Monday Clover Moore's team amended the local Development plan, removing any policy impediment and any rationale for the staff's opposition.

This opposition was already based on pretty thin reasoning and defied councillors who supported the sign. After repeated petitions from Avry Ben-Zeev, who owns World Internet in Darlinghurst Road, staff executive Jason Perica could only base his refusal on the grounds that the sign would 'increase clutter and reduce public amenity'.

Ben-Zeev rejects this as the single sign, shaped like a Toblerone packet with three sides, would replace two existing static signs. He also pointed out that all the JC Decaux signs move, so council was applying a double standard. Councillors agreed that this was a material argument.

Perica repeatedly stood up and argued against the proposed amendment during the council meeting until he was asked to desist by Mayor Clover Moore. The amendment is specific to Kings Cross.

The World internet site held three businesses -- a money exchange, internet room, and a travel agency which had cancelled its lease because it had been unable to advertise its presence.

The development control plan for signage in Kings Cross now encourages creative and animated neons and allows moving signage.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Council workshop on East Sydney street closures

-- from a DRAG press release --

DRAG, 2011 and local business associations are campaigning for a City East Traffic Plan.

Council has agreed to convene an open workshop also open to residents and businesses in the surrounding areas to develop a Traffic Study and Plan for City East. Thanks to Greens Cr Chris Harris for his work on this key planning issue.

Chris Harris put a motion to council on 21 February. It was heavily amended by Clover Moore to read:

That Council
1) recognises the need to regulate the passage of motor vehicles through some streets to provide pedestrian, cycling, amenity, public domain and traffic improvements;
2) supports community consultation, and traffic and other appropriate studies of the affected areas (East Sydney, Woolloomooloo, Darlinghurst, KIngs Cross, Potts Point, Rushcutters Bay and Elizabeth Bay) prior to road changes;
3) notes the variety of opinions in East Sydney, Darlinghurst, Woolloomooloo and Kings Cross over the possible beneficial and negative
impacts of road changes in their area, including:
a) completion of the Cross City Tunnel;
b) William Street upgrade, including possible closure of Bourke Street;
c) Oxford Street upgrade, including possible partial closure of Palmer Street; and
d) trial closure of Liverpool Street at Whitlam Square; and
4) requests the Lord Mayor convene a workshop with representatives of relevant community and business groups in the surrounding areas, Council officers and interested Councillors, with a view to developing an agreed a way forward.
5) The proposed public consultation for the proposed trial closure of Liverpool Street at Whitlam Square, as required under Section 116 of the Roads Act 1993, be deferred until the outcome of the workshop has been reported back to Council for consideration.