Tauranga City Council is asking for the public’s feedback regarding the proposed changes to the Freedom Camping Bylaw.
There are a number of reserves, roads and car parks in Tauranga where self-contained mobile homes can freedom camp.
On Tauranga City Council’s website it says the freedom camping bylaw allows them to control freedom camping in Tauranga by defining areas of council land where freedom camping is prohibited or restricted.
“It also gives us the ability to set necessary restrictions and regulate freedom camping in our city, including the power to issue fines.
“We have certain rules that people must follow when freedom camping in Tauranga. They ensure we are protecting our environment and the health and safety of our residents and visitors.”
To have your say on the proposed changes to the bylaw, make sure you do so before 5pm on Friday February 22 2019.
Proposed changes to the bylaw and why the council wants to change them:
Proposed rule: Council has the ability to change the location of designated freedom camping parking sites within a permitted freedom camping area by publicly notified resolution. Why: When a park or reserve is upgraded or modified, we can move the designated freedom camping parking sites to a more suitable location within the park or reserve.
Proposed rule: The Chief Executive can temporarily waive or modify the freedom camping rules in Tauranga. Why: To temporarily allow freedom camping in an area for an event or other activity.
Proposed rule: Public applications to temporarily wave or modify the freedom camping rules must be in writing at least 14 days before any changes take effect. Why: To allow sufficient time to consider and approve any applications.
Proposed rule: The Chief Executive can temporarily close or restrict freedom camping in any area. Why: To prevent damage, to allow park maintenance, to protect the safety or persons/property or to allow an event to take place.
Proposed rule: Freedom camping prohibited in Ocean Downs Reserve. Why: This reserve will be developed so it has a dedicated car park. We expect high use of this carpark due to the sports field, making it unsuitable for freedom camping.
Proposed rule: Freedom camping prohibited in Cliff Road car park. Why: Due to concerns of heavy vehicles in certain areas of the car park, it is not suitable for freedom camping.
Proposed rule: Freedom camping prohibited in Shadelands Lane. Why: This is a narrow lane that has high use and is not suitable for freedom camping.
Proposed rule: Reduce the number of freedom camping sites at Kulim Park from five to two. Why: To protect the grassed area that was being damaged by freedom camping vehicles.
Proposed rule: Increase the number of freedom camping vehicles permitted in Mount Greens car park (five to 10), Cambridge Park (two to six), Carlton Street Reserve (six to eight) and Marine Park 1 (increase to eight all year round). Why: A recent assessment of these locations supports accommodating more freedom campers without it having an impact on the area.
Proposed rule: Include Marine Park 2 as a new freedom camping area and permit three freedom camping vehicles. Why: A recent assessment of Marine Park 2 supports accommodating three vehicles without it having an impact on the area.
Proposed rule: Freedom camping vehicles must stay within the designated parking area, and not encroach on another designated parking area. Why: To ensure freedom campers only take up one car park, so that everyone has fair access to the park or reserve.
Proposed rule: Add timeframes for restrictions to freedom camp in certain reserves from 7pm Sunday to 10am Friday. Why: For clarity. Current rules are Sunday to Thursday with no timeframes.
Proposed rule: Freedom campers cannot park directly outside (i.e. on the same side of the road as) a private residence or commercial/industrial premises. Why: For clarity. Changing ‘in front of’ to ‘on same side of the road’ so that the rule only applies to the side of the road where the residence or premises are located.
Proposed rule: Removal of all reserves without formed car parks from the list of parks and reserves. Why: For clarity. All reserves without formed car parks remain prohibited.
Proposed rule: Removal of Harington Street car park and Durham Street West car park as restricted areas. Why: These car parks are no longer accessible. Note: Harington Street car park will become a paid parking building on completion.
To have your say on the freedom camping bylaw, click here: