Consultation has opened on proposed public verandahs bylaw

8 May 2015

Public consultation begins today on the proposed bylaw for Structures in Public Places – Verandahs agreed to last month by the Wellington City Council Transport and Urban Development Committee.

Example of a well maintained verandah.

Feedback can be submitted at wellington.govt.nz/verandahs until 5pm Wednesday 10 June.

The Council recommends introducing a bylaw to manage the city’s network of verandahs – roofed spaces extending from buildings over a public space. The bylaw gives the Council the ability to enforce verandah upkeep. This will improve public safety and contribute to the city’s resilience, among other benefits.

“Verandahs are critical in protecting Wellingtonians from bad weather and assist retailers and other business owners by making it more attractive to do business in suburban centres and the CBD, which can only be a good thing for Wellington,” says Councillor Andy Foster, chair of the Urban Development and Transport Committee. 

Buildings Portfolio Leader Councillor Iona Pannett adds, “Verandahs are an important part of Wellington’s character and our heritage buildings.”

If introduced, the bylaw will require building owners to repair and maintain their verandahs to a reasonable standard. It will only regulate verandahs that extend over public places, such as footpaths. It does not affect the use and enjoyment of purpose-built, load-bearing balconies nor regulate verandahs on private property.

“We want to work proactively with building owners to improve the state of verandahs,” says Pannett. “For the verandah owner, regular maintenance is cheaper in the long run and Wellington benefits; it’s win-win.”

The Council surveyed the city’s approximately 900 verandahs and identified that 225 needed some form of repair. Of the 225, up to 45 need immediate action to be restored to a reasonable and safe standard. Many of these verandahs are in the central city, which has a high population, so pose a particular risk.

Building owners of defective verandahs will receive a letter asking them to repair their verandahs to a reasonable standard before the bylaw is invoked.

More information and the consultation form are at wellington.govt.nz/verandahs