Building consent might be needed to place murals on buildings as part of the planned Murals along the Maitai project.
The need for resource consent has been avoided through the art works not having any words, and therefore they do not constitute "signage", a council report says.
The council has agreed to allocate $77,000 over two years towards the riverside murals project. The aim is to install 10 professional mural artworks on buildings adjacent to the Maitai riverside walkway. Five wall sites are on buildings owned by the city council and five are privately owned.
Council communications adviser Kim Chambers said the first stage of mural work was expected to involve the Collingwood St Bridge and Millers Acre car park east wall. It was anticipated that work would start before the end of this year.
Golden Bay artist Chris Finlayson is spearheading the project with help from the Nelson Arts Council, and asked for the council's input through the annual plan process.
A council directive prevented Mr Finlayson talking about the project publicly but he was hoping to begin either later this month or next month.
Mr Finlayson, whose public artworks include the Aotearoa mural on Wakefield Quay, Urban Jungle on a building at the top of Trafalgar St, and several on public buildings around the country, told councillors during his annual plan pitch that the riverside project would create an "unprecedented urban feature" in Nelson.
Following the council's approval of the project, regulatory issues were highlighted by staff. Concerns were noted that the project could trigger resource consents for working adjacent to the river and for the installation of the murals. However, the murals were not considered as "signs" unless they had wording on them, and therefore resource consent was not needed.
Walls on buildings and structures adjacent to the river would not need to be washed before the murals were installed, which eliminated the possibility of contaminants being discharged into the river, a staff report said.
Depending on the type of mural, building consent could be needed. Mr Finlayson was responsible for obtaining the consents.
A clear varnish coating on the artworks would give them a 10 to 15-year lifespan and would allow any graffiti to be removed, but the project aimed to encourage community involvement and ownership which would hopefully discourage vandalism.
The staff report said several murals were planned for buildings with uncertain futures, because of seismic concerns or potential redevelopment. In these instances, removable or relocatable murals would be considered.
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