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City Council approves new Outdoor Advertising By-law<p>​</p><p>The purpose of the newly approved Outdoor Advertising By-law is to regulate outdoor advertising in a manner that facilitates economic opportunities while being sensitive to Cape Town's natural and cultural environment. Many areas within the city have unique visual, historical and cultural appeal, and this must be taken into account in the permitting of outdoor advertising.</p><p> </p><p>'The new by-law strikes a fine balance between outdoor advertising opportunities and its contribution to our local economy, innovation potential and job creation prospects, and the need to conserve the visual, tourist, traffic safety, environmental and heritage characteristics of Cape Town.</p><p> </p><p>'What is appropriate in one area, may be inappropriate in another, depending on the qualities that are unique to the area where the outdoor advertising will be placed and the type of sign. Also, improving the ease of doing business with the City, reducing red tape and providing for a number of signs that do not require applications before installation are key outcomes of the new by-law,' said the City's Deputy Mayor and Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Alderman Eddie Andrews. </p><p> </p><p>The new Outdoor Advertising By-law will repeal the 2001 by-law. No person may display any advertisement or erect or use any sign or sign structure for advertising purposes without approval in terms of this by-law.</p><p> </p><p><strong>The Outdoor Advertising By-law:</strong></p><ul><li>addresses the new trends and technologies in outdoor advertising</li><li>includes specific provisions to accommodate digital and electronic screens</li><li>clarifies ambiguous language</li><li>reduces red tape</li><li>expands provisions for upfront or as-of-right approvals of advertising signs</li><li>provides for sponsored murals</li><li>supports non-profit organisations to derive an income from outdoor advertising</li><li>enhances cost-effective regulatory compliance and enforcement</li><li>determines the procedures and criteria when obtaining approval for outdoor advertising</li><li>provides for an appeal process against the outcome of a decision made in terms of the by-law</li><li>provides for fines and penalties applicable to those who contravene the by-law</li></ul><p> </p><p>'The use of digital and electronic screens in outdoor advertising is a worldwide trend. The new by-law addresses this, given our sensitive environment and with Table Mountain as the backdrop to the city landscape. The new by-law provides luminance guidelines and will enable the City to better control the illumination of signs, brightness, and the impact on the surrounding environment,' said Alderman Andrews.</p><p> </p><p>Included in the by-law is a schedule indicating areas of control where the City applies maximum, partial, and minimum control. </p><p> </p><p>The potential for outdoor advertising and the sign types to be considered are determined by permitting certain sign types in certain areas of control. Control measures are applied by means of approval or refusal, and by means of general and specific conditions and requirements.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Proposed areas of maximum control include, among others:</strong></p><ul><li>natural areas like proclaimed nature reserves, beaches and sea shores, Table Mountain National Park and World Heritage Sites, scenic drives, wetlands; </li><li>rural areas such as small holdings, large private open spaces, scenic drives, City parks; </li><li>and within the urban areas it includes heritage sites and locations that fall within a Heritage Protection Overlay Zone, residential zones, public open spaces</li></ul><p> </p><p><strong>Partial control</strong> will be exercised in central business districts, mixed use commercial and residential areas, commercial and business districts, entertainment districts, mobility routes, sportsfields and stadiums.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Minimum control</strong> will be exercised in industrial zones, designated transportation terminals, railway stations and rail reserves, and other specific areas or sites.</p><p> </p><p>Billboards and advertisements in public places, or on land and buildings visible to the public, have a visual impact on its surroundings. Outdoor advertising signs should be placed where they are most compatible with the surroundings, and where they do not adversely impact on the visual appeal of scenic drives, and unique or sensitive areas. At the same time, the by-law seeks to open up advertising possibilities in commercial and industrialised areas and where you would normally find businesses.</p><p> </p><p>The type of sign will determine the impact it may have on the area where it is displayed. Of further importance is the nature of the local character of the area. In terms of the by-law, these are considerations the City will take into account to determine the suitability of the sign. </p><p> </p><p><strong>The by-law addresses all types of outdoor advertising, among which:</strong> billboards; freestanding signs; window signs; sky signs; roof signs; signs on a veranda, balcony, canopy, columns, pillars and posts; signs on boundary walls and fences, construction site signs and development boards; newspaper headline posters; advertising on banners, flags, balloons, inflatables, and lamp pole swivel banners; posters; property marketing signs; portable signs; aerial signs; transit advertising for non-profit events; signs on City owned land or buildings; signs by or for the benefit of non-profit bodies; and sponsored murals. </p><p> </p><p>The above sign types are not all regulated with equal complexity. But there must be a common understanding that outdoor advertising and signs should not compromise the safety and flow of traffic – be it vehicular or pedestrian traffic, nor should it have an adverse effect on the local character by way of appearance, size, or illumination.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Background of the review process</strong></p><p>The Outdoor Advertising and Signage By-law of 2001 was reviewed in 2014, but with minor amendments. </p><p> </p><p>The latest review process commenced in 2019 with the intention to update and align the 20-year-old Advertising and Signage By-law with new technologies such as digital and electronic signs; streamline the submission and approvals processes; improve enforcement; and make concessions for smaller and less impactful signs, amongst others.</p><p> </p><p>The four-year long review was extensive and technical, and included focus group workshops with ratepayers, the events industry, billboard companies, and the Western Cape Government, as well as stakeholder engagements sessions, and a public participation process in June and August 2021.</p><p> </p><p>City officials received over 1 000 unique comments during this time, with some of the common themes being:</p><ul><li>long turn-around times for approvals</li><li>the need to relax the regulation of billboards and increasing billboard size</li><li>stricter control in residential areas</li></ul><p> </p><p>During the review, the City was guided by the following principles:</p><ul><li>for safety to take priority over the right to advertise and display signs – thus, to mitigate possible physical hazards and the risk of distracting drivers</li><li>the need to conform to the South African Manual for Outdoor Advertising Control guiding national practice as far as possible</li><li>that certain signs will always be prohibited; some signs can be allowed on application and evaluation, subject to an appeal; and certain signs will be allowed with no application required</li><li>that the City will strive to strike a balance between the economic opportunities presented and the impact of outdoor signs on local communities </li></ul><p> </p><p>'Many hours went into refining the by-law given the technical and legal nature of the issues at hand. The City officials assessed more than a thousand individual comments, and considered each and every objection and proposal to see where and how these could be accommodated, where possible and appropriate. </p><p> </p><p>'There are many improvements that will have a real and positive impact on the signage industry, but we have also strived to protect the unique heritage of our suburbs, and to protect residents against the impact of signage, in particular electronic and digital signage,' said Alderman Andrews. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Some of the amendments:</strong></p><ul><li>third party approval duration has been extended from five to seven years</li><li>municipal courts can now order removals, avoiding the cost of civil litigation in the Western Cape High Court</li><li>Sponsored murals can now contain commercial content of up to 5%</li><li>Reduced turn-around times based on the application type and complexity</li><li>Streamlined pre-scrutiny process from 21 to seven days</li><li>There are more first party signs that do not require an application</li><li>Allow for event posters for community for-profit markets</li><li>Height waiver for signs next to elevated roadways</li><li>Increased billboard size along freeways (120km/h) from 36m² to 81m² </li><li>Electronic billboard size increased to 36m² </li><li>Allowing third party static and electronic signs at shopping centres and service stations of up to 3m² </li></ul><p> </p><p>'I want to thank all of those who were involved with this lengthy process – from the officials, to the industry, stakeholders, and our residents – who took the time to participate in the robust engagements. We can be proud of the new Outdoor Advertising By-law which is the product of extensive collaboration, and will serve and guide us for many years to come,' said the City's Deputy Mayor and Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Alderman Eddie Andrews. </p><p> </p><p> </p><p><strong>End</strong></p><p><br></p>2023-12-07T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#3c08c8dd-2094-44fa-bdaa-6a9ce2c34833;L0|#03c08c8dd-2094-44fa-bdaa-6a9ce2c34833|advertisers;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#41159432-73ea-4337-90bf-b74485b3dcc1;L0|#041159432-73ea-4337-90bf-b74485b3dcc1|outdoor advertising10

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