Shop owner vents his fury over footpath laws
ANTIQUE dealer Baden Lang cannot believe his efforts to brighten up Park Ave have landed him in hot water with Coffs Harbour City Council.
Mr Lang, the joint owner of Coffs Harbour Antiques, has been setting out footpath displays of antiques, potted plants and hanging baskets of flowers since moving to No 2 Park Ave three months ago, but removed them all after receiving a letter from the council advising him he had to buy a licence or remove the goods.
"It made me really mad," he said.
"We are trying to brighten up a dead end of town. These displays cost time and effort.
"I refuse to pay the council $1340 to make the city look attractive.
"We have $20 million public liability insurance, which extends to the kerb and the footpath is wider here."
A council spokeswoman said the Local Government Act and sections of the Roads Act required prior consent for use of the footpath and the council aimed to provide a consistent citywide policy, improve overall safety and provide guidelines through its licensing.
"This process aims to improve the quality of public places and urban life and provide an active street frontage that is alive and continuously changing.
"Council wishes to encourage the establishment of street stalls, banners on poles, trading tables, busking and other community events wherever feasible and appropriate."
The chairman of the CBD Masterplan Committee, Rod McKelvey, said the existing licensing policy seemed counter-productive. Discussions were under way between the council and the committee.