Footpath Trading Policy | City of Casey
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9 November 2017

Footpath Trading Policy

1.2

Definitions

Council

means Casey City Council, being a body corporate constituted as a municipal Council under the Local Government Act 1989

Councillors

means the individuals holding the office of a member of Casey City Council

Council officer

means the Chief Executive Officer and staff of Council appointed by the Chief Executive Officer.

Footpath Trading

is the use of footpaths for commercial activities as approved by City of Casey, including the provision of outdoor dining areas and the placement of infrastructure, goods and signs.

Scope

This policy covers all trading activities on footpaths within the municipality.

Footpath trading is only permitted outside individual business premises with a three (3) metres wide footpath, where Council has granted a permit.

Context

Footpath trading is a popular part of the retail environment, with the use of the footpath in front of commercial premises adding to the vibrancy and appeal of a business if appropriately managed.

Council is committed to supporting local businesses, however as the footpath in front of many commercial premises in Casey is publicly owned, Council has a legal obligation to maintain the footpath to provide safe, accessible and unobstructed passage for pedestrians, regardless of mobility levels; and ensure the amenity of the streetscape.

Footpaths cater for a wide range of needs – that of shoppers, tourists, public transport users, delivery persons, all generations, pet owners and those with particular mobility needs. Whilst the trading activities on the footpath are an important part of the retail environment, Council has a legal responsibility under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA) – section 32 Access to Premises, to ensure safe and equitable usage of footpaths for people with a range of disabilities.

The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission recommends that in order for Local Government to fulfil its responsibilities under the DDA, footpaths should as far as possible allow for a continuously accessible path of travel that extends from the property line at least 1.8 metres wide and 2.4 metres high with no obstructions or projections, in order to provide an unobstructed pedestrian zone.

Council has a legal obligation through the Local Government Act 1989 to provide a safe and unobstructed footpath environment for all pedestrians.

4.1 Permits

Council administer a permit system in place to regulate and standardise the placement of items on footpaths.

Items include:

  • Temporary advertising signs (e.g. A-frames)
  • Display of goods
  • Tables and chairs
  • Umbrellas
  • Heaters
  • Screens and planter boxes

Council’s City of Casey Community Local Law 2/2010 prohibits the placement of items on footpaths unless a permit has been issued. The permit allows for the placement of items on the footpath provided business operators comply with the permit conditions.

There must be a minimum distance of three (3.0) metres between the shopfront and kerbside before a permit for footpath trading is considered. In some circumstances, e.g. narrow footpaths, Council may not issue a permit.

A footpath trading permit will only be approved where pedestrian access is not obstructed, regardless of mobility levels, the environment is safe, and the visual amenity of the area is maintained.

Applicants must not breach existing Planning conditions, as specified in individual Town Planning permits pertinent to the property (e.g. seating capacity must not be exceeded).

A permit grants limited rights to business operators to place items on the footpath provided they comply with the conditions of their permit. It must be displayed in the front window of the business at all times and expires after 12 months from the date of issue. Renewal is required before the expiry of the permit, including an application renewal fee and non-refundable application fee.

A permit immediately expires if:

  • The permit holder ceases to be a proprietor of the business; or
  • The permit holder fails to maintain public liability insurance.

Permit fees and charges are set annually and will increase in accordance with Council fees and charges.

4.2 Footpath Trading Zones

In order to maintain unobstructed access, the footpath is divided into four (4) zones to ensure complimentary use of the area between public and commercial uses. The zones consist of:

Pedestrian Zone – The pedestrian zone provides a continuous accessible path of travel for people of all abilities. It extends a minimum of 1.8 metres from the property boundary.

Kerbside Zone – The kerbside zone is a buffer from the kerb to allow for access to and from parked vehicles. (a minimum of 70 centimetres from the front of the kerb).

Access Zone - measured from adjoining property boundary line, allow a 50 centimetre buffer zone from either side of the adjoining property to enable pedestrians access from the kerb/ parking zone onto the footpath. This will allow a one (1) metre access for pedestrians where neighbouring properties are both trading.

Trading Zone (the balance of the footpath width) – the only area of the footpath where commercial activity can take place. This zone allows for commercial use including furniture, goods/ services and trading. This zone is the distance between the kerb zone and the pedestrian zone and the width will vary depending on the overall width of the pavement. All commercial use must be contained within this zone and can occur only during normal trading hours.

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Corner locations:

No items may be placed within 2.0 metres of an intersection or pedestrian crossing.

Overhead items:

Signs and awnings may only be hung from a building where a minimum clearance between the hanging object and the footpath below is greater than 2.4 metres.

Existing Public Infrastructure:

A clearance of 1.0 metre applies to existing public infrastructure and public street furniture, examples include:

  • Bike Stands
  • Fire hydrants
  • Seats and benches
  • Poles
  • Post boxes
  • Taxi ranks
  • Traffic signal boxes
  • Pay phones
  • Bollards
  • Trees, garden beds, planter boxes
  • Litter bins
  • Bus stops and shelters
  • Disabled parking bays
  • Loading zones

Council generally does not move existing infrastructure for the purpose of footpath trading.

4.3 Temporary Signage (A-frames)

  • Advertising signs must not exceed 90 centimetres in height or 60 centimetres in width, and be placed in the Trading Zone only.
  • All signs must complement and enhance the character of the streetscape, be of good quality and design, improve customer amenity, and not pose a hazard to pedestrians. Illuminated, spinning, revolving or flashing signs are prohibited. No other items are to be affixed to signs.
  • Signs must only display the business name, and must not promote any products.
  • A-frame signs should have a contrasting colour to their background to assist people with vision impairment.
  • Signs must be removed when business has ceased trading each day.
  • Only one sign is allowed for each business and should only be displayed outside that premises.
  • Advertising signs should be weighted so to avoid being blown over, and should not be secured to any existing infrastructure.
  • Signs must not impair the vision of motorists or pedestrians.
  • Signs must not be placed on roundabouts, roadways, traffic islands or garden beds at any time.
  • The footpath trading area must be maintained to ensure it is tidy and free of litter and all items are clean and safe.

4.4 Display of Goods

  • Goods must be placed in the Trading Zone only and must not impair the vision of motorists or pedestrians. All goods displays must be positioned so browsing shoppers do not encroach into the Pedestrian Zone or Kerb side Zone.
  • Any goods must complement and enhance the character of the streetscape, be of good quality and design, improve customer amenity, and not pose a hazard to pedestrians.
  • All goods displays must be portable. Goods display stands must be a maximum height of 1.5 metres, and a maximum width of 1.0 metre.
  • The display of fresh flowers, fruit and vegetables, tinned or dry packaged food and plants must also be a minimum height of 60 centimetres above the footpath level.
  • Goods must be removed when business has ceased trading each day.
  • Goods display units must provide pedestrian access to the kerb at intervals of 2.4 metres along their length. This access space must be at least 1.0 metre in width.
  • Stands must be secured and must not have any illuminated or movable parts.
  • The street trading area must be maintained to ensure it is tidy and free of litter and all items are clean and safe.

4.5 Tables and Chairs

  • Tables or chairs must not impede the vision, or obstruct the movement and free passage of motorists or pedestrians and must be placed within the trading zone only.
  • Any fixtures, furniture and accessories must complement and enhance the character of the streetscape, be of good quality and design – meeting Australian Standards where required, improve customer amenity, and not pose a hazard to pedestrians or motorists.
  • Any umbrellas used in conjunction with any table must allow a minimum height clearance of 2.2 metres above the footpath and only cover the Trading Zone.
  • Tables and chairs must be of an outdoor design that is portable, sturdy and windproof, and uniform in design and style within the one premise.
  • Tables, chairs and any umbrellas must be removed when business has ceased trading each day.
  • Screens must only be placed on the perimeter of the approved trading zone, and cannot promote any products.
  • Temporary screens cannot exceed 1.0 metre in height and 2.4 metres in length, and must be removed when business has ceased trading each day.
  • The design and location of any barriers, screens or awnings around an outdoor seating area adjoining a road under the control and management of Vic Roads (main roads) must be to that authority’s satisfaction.
  • The permit holder is responsible for the conduct of patrons in regard to noise and obstructions (e.g. chairs, prams, trolleys in the Pedestrian Zone or Kerbside Zone).
  • The street trading area must be maintained to ensure it is tidy and free of litter and all items are clean and safe.
  • If alcohol is to be served from the outdoor eating facility, a liquor licence permitting such sale and consumption must be obtained.
  • Additionally, tables and chairs are subject to a ‘per setting’ fee (1 table with up to 4 chairs). Where the application involves tables and chairs, the application fee is deductible from the final permit fee if the application is successful.

4.6 Umbrellas

Any semi-fixed free standing umbrellas installed within the street trading area must:

  • comply with any relevant Australian safety standards;
  • be constructed of materials to achieve a wind rating of up to 120km/h;
  • have a minimum clearance height of 2.2 metres;
  • only have one central pole support using a socket and sleeve system or other system that minimises damage to the footpath and enables reinstatement of the pavement should the umbrella be required to be removed;
  • be designed and located to ensure that when erected and fully open, the umbrella does not protrude beyond the approved street trading area;
  • be constructed to achieve a Certificate of Compliance – Design Form 11 under the Building Act 1993, a copy of which must be submitted to Council; and,
  • be of a neutral colour scheme.

4.7 Heaters

Any free standing electric or gas heaters used within the street trading area must:

  • be installed and operated according to specifications outlined by the manufacturer.
  • comply with AS4565 (AG405) radiant Gas Heaters and AS 5601/AG 601 Gas Installations.
  • ensure the gas cylinder is contained within locable housing, that it is in date and of serviceable quality with hoses and fittings regularly checked for leaks.
  • Be maintained by the permit holder with service records made available upon request.
  • Comply with safety standards specified by Energy Safe Victoria. (These can be obtained by telephone Energy Safe Victoria on 1800 800 or from their website at www.esv.vic.gov.au).

4.8 Planter Boxes and Screens

  • Planter boxes or removable screens can be used in alfresco dining areas to divide one café from another but must not extend beyond 50 centimetres of the building line of the premises.
  • They can also separate the seating area from the kerb, provided a minimum setback of 70 centimetres is maintained.
  • The maximum height for screens or planters (including the plant height) is 1.5 metres.
  • Each planter or screen should not exceed a length of 2.4 metres and must leave a gap of 70 centimetres from the kerb.
  • The permit holder is responsible for maintaining the planter boxes.
  • Plant species used should be evergreen; dense in cover; slow growing; drought tolerant; non-toxic; low pollen and not prickly. Artificial plants of a good quality and appearance may also be utilised.
  • Planter boxes cannot have sharp corners or edges, or any protruding material.

4.9 Litter

  • Litter generated by footpath trading must not be swept into the street gutter or adjacent footpath areas and must be picked up and deposited within the operator's own bins, kept within the premises.
  • Food scraps or other rubbish within the immediate area must be removed and deposited within the operator's own bins - no trade waste is to be placed in public street litter bins.
  • Litter must be cleared from the trading area at all times by the business operator.
  • Any items placed on the footpath area must not cause any undue obstruction or danger, restrict the reasonable access or exit of any premises, or obstruct the vision of motorists at intersections.
  • Permit holders must ensure that no noise or other disturbance emanates from the footpath activity, so as to cause a nuisance to others or detriment to the amenity of the area.

4.10 Considerations regarding other associated permits

  • The permit holder is responsible for obtaining all necessary approvals to trade from the footpath area (e.g. planning permit; if required).
  • All food associated uses must receive a permit from Council’s Environmental Health unit prior to permit application and must demonstrate this approval.
  • If alcohol is to be served, from the outdoor eating facility, a liquor licence permitting such sale and consumption must be obtained.

4.11 Public Liability Insurance

The permit holder has an obligation to ensure:

  • The permit holder shall at all times during the agreed Term, be the holder of a current Public Liability Policy of insurance (“The Public Liability Policy”) in respect of the activities specified herein in the name of the Permit Holder providing coverage for a minimum sum of $10M (or more).
  • The Public Liability Policy shall cover such risks and be subject only to such conditions and exclusions as are approved by the Council and shall extend to cover the Council in respect to claims for personal injury or property damage arising out of the negligence of the Hirer/User/Permit holder.

Administrative updates

It is recognised that, from time to time, circumstances may change leading to the need for minor administrative changes to this document. Where an update does not materially alter this document, such a change may be made administratively. Examples include a change to the name of a Council department, a change to the name of a Federal or State Government department, and a minor update to legislation which does not have a material impact. However, any change or update which materially alters this document must be by resolution of the relevant Management Committee.

Review

The next review of this document is scheduled for completion by 30 August 2018.

Breaches

When a person engages in activities without a current permit, breaches or fails to comply with a condition of the permit or fails to comply with the direction of an Authorised Officer, that person is guilty of an offence.

Council has the right to instigate enforcement action or modify the conditions of a permit. Council also has the authority to suspend or cancel the permit. An infringement notice may be issued and carries a penalty of $200, should the matter advance to a Court they may impose a maximum penalty of $2000.

Disclaimer

Council policy documents change from time to time and it is recommended that you consult the electronic reference copy at www.casey.vic.gov.au/policiesstrategies to ensure that you have the current version. Alternatively you may contact Customer Service on 9705 5200.