Tauranga City Council will continue to investigate the processes and conditions that might accompany an alcohol ban on 12th Ave.
Council commissioners have decided against the initial recommendation regarding an alcohol control area in 12th Ave, which would have seen no ban enforced.
Residents and business owners on 12th Ave submitted petitions to Council last month. The petitions were sparked by continued reports of anti-social behaviour related to alcohol.
Whilst no alcohol ban has been put in place at this stage, investigations will continue into what such a ban would look like and what it would entail.
Council plans to continue working with police, who would have to enforce any changes to the current bylaw, regarding an action plan for 12th Ave.
A report will be returned to Council in six weeks time when further decisions can be made.
One business owner impacted is Paul Bllinghurst of Professionals NRG Realty, on the corner of Cameron Road and 12th Ave. He was an initial signatory on one of those petition and spoke in the public forum of the continued problems.
He says he has cleaned vomit up from the business premises twice in the past week and that yesterday morning he prevented one loiterer from urinating behind the company billboard.
“Again and again my team is saying they are not feeling safe,” he says.
“I 100 per cent believe that the reason people are congregating around there is to have some drinks with their mates,” he states. “So if they can’t drink with their mates they are not going to congregate around that area.”
He urges commissioners to consider the option to enact a temporary liquor ban to then monitor the issue.
Commission chair Anne Tolley again expresses sympathy for those impacted, as she did last month when the petitions were submitted. However, commissioners stopped short of enforcing a ban at this stage.
Council state that police have assured them patrols in the area will be stepped up whilst reassurance patrols to residents and business owners about the issue will begin this week.
The decision to review the process in six weeks is to ensure some action is being taken, says commissioner Stephen Selwood.
“I think what we are hearing from the commissioners is that we do not want nothing to happen here,” he says.
“We want this problem addressed,” he says, with the hope the six week period gives Council, police and all parties involved the time to establish whether or not they are in a position where an alcohol ban is needed.
A liquor ban would require community consultation and an earlier than anticipated amendment to the current Alcohol Bylaw.
The next review of the Alcohol Bylaw is not scheduled until 2027/28.