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Urban Environments Bylaw 225

Seven of Nelson’s existing bylaws have been combined in the new Urban Environments Bylaw, which will take effect from 2 June 2015. It covers: keeping of animals, urban amenity, trading in public places, control of alcohol in public places, reserves, and burial and cremations.

urban environments bylaw infographic


Seven of Nelson’s existing bylaws have been combined in the new Urban Environments Bylaw, which will take effect from 2 June 2015. It covers: keeping of animals, urban amenity, trading in public places, control of alcohol in public places, reserves, and burial and cremations.

Combining these topics into one bylaw makes it easier to keep track of the bylaw provisions that apply in Nelson’s urban areas. Copies of the bylaw are available at the Customer Service Centre and download.

Summary of the bylaw

Keeping of animals

A general provision applying to the keeping of all stock, poultry and pets in the City requires animals to be kept in clean and sanitary conditions. Noise or odours associated with the animals must, as far as practicable, be confined within the property.

Council has retained the existing provisions related to keeping animals in urban areas, not allowing roosters but allowing up to 12 poultry on a property (keeping more requires a permit). Keeping of stock animals in the urban area also requires a permit.

A new provision requires that poultry houses must be at least five metres from dwellings on neighbouring properties. This excludes garages and other buildings used for storage. This provision has been included to reduce impacts on neighbours related to the keeping of poultry.

The bylaw also includes a new provision related to confinement and fencing of stock animals (throughout Nelson, including rural areas) to avoid traffic hazards associated with wandering stock.

The limit on rabbit numbers (previously three) has been removed and there are no specific rules about cat numbers. However, the Council encourages responsible ownership of all animals. It provides a subsidy to the SPCA to assist with the costs of neutering and spaying cats.

Significant nuisance related to roaming domestic cats can be addressed under the Health Act 1956. Feral cats are managed separately, under the Nelson Tasman Regional Pest Management Strategy.

Urban Amenity

Council has retained its provisions related to use of caravans on residential properties, but is likely to review them as part of the Nelson Plan process. These limit use of a caravan (associated with a residential house) for sleeping purposes to 50 days per year. The occupants of the caravan must use the toilet and cooking facilities of the residential unit. The caravan must not be parked in the front yard (as defined in the Nelson Resource Management Plan), or nearer than 1.5 metres to any boundary.

Rules related to slaughter of animals and storage of carcasses still apply. It continues to be an offence to deposit household and trade refuse, and hazardous material, in public rubbish bins.

Barbed or razor wire on fences, and electric fences, are not permitted on the boundary of land which is adjacent to any street, reserve or other public place, where the fence is in a position or at a height accessible to the public. This is an expansion of the previous bylaw provision, which only referred to barbed wire.

A requirement to display the street number of a building in a way that is visible from the street is also included in this part of the bylaw. This is an existing requirement, but it is not particularly well known. The reason for this provision is to make it easy for people to find their way around the city.

Trading in Public Places

A permit is still required to do any of the following in a public place:

  • operate as an itinerant trader
  • run a mobile shop
  • provide a commercial service
  • solicit donations
  • sell lottery tickets
  • place an advertisement.

A permit is also required to:

  • place a retail display (a display of goods for sale) in a designated commercial area (such as an inner city street)
  • write, paint, chalk, spray or otherwise mark any street, footpath, tree or structure in a public place.

No one can use a sign to advertise a commercial sexual service if the sign is likely to cause a nuisance or serious offence to any ordinary member of the public, or is incompatible with the existing character of the area. The Council’s Chief Executive is responsible for making this decision.

As in the previous bylaw, begging is not permitted in public places.

Minor changes have been made to the busking provisions. Buskers can now perform in the same place for up to one hour within any two hour period, which is an increase from the half hour provided for in the previous bylaw.

A permit is not required to busk, but anyone wishing to busk in a public place must first provide their name and contact details to the Council and pick up a copy of the rules related to this activity (44KB PDF).

A minor change was made to the retail displays provision. Permits will not be granted for the placement of a retail display unless a two metre clearway for pedestrian access is maintained. (The previous requirement was for a 1.5 metre clearway.)

A new bylaw provision has been added which does not allow people to offer to wash vehicles in public places where this poses a traffic hazard (such as window washing while cars are stopped at intersections).

Sandwich boards are required to be beside shop frontages for businesses at ground floor level and beside the kerb for businesses at second floor level with a 2 meter clearway for pedestrians.

Control of Alcohol in Public Places

This part of the bylaw is enforced by the Police rather than Council officers.

All of the existing areas where alcohol is banned have been retained. An additional inner city area has been added to the areas where drinking of alcohol is banned from 9pm to 7am each day. This is the area of the inner city (730KB PDF) bounded by Riverside Drive, Collingwood Street, Hardy Street and Tasman Street.

This change has been made in response to Police statistics on the number of alcohol-related call outs and incidents in this area, and in recognition that the Collingwood Street boundary (of the alcohol ban) does not reflect the fact that there are bars in the same area which are not in the alcohol ban area. This change discourages drinking in these public places, before entering or returning to bars and nightclubs.

New legislation means that an instant fine of $250 applies for drinking in areas where alcohol is banned. Street signage about the alcohol ban areas will include this information.

A 24/7 ban now applies to Victory Reserve (alcohol was previously banned from 9pm to 7am) and to Wigzell Park. The reason for making these parks alcohol-free is to promote family-friendly environments. It ensures a consistent approach is taken with parks in the central Nelson area. For example, Pioneers Park, Rutherford Park and Queens Gardens are already subject to alcohol bans.

A new provision has been added to the bylaw that enables people to apply for a permit (214KB PDF) to hold a low risk event involving the drinking of a small amount of alcohol in areas where alcohol is normally banned. An example of the kind of activity that could receive this kind of permit is a celebratory drink after a wedding in the Queens Gardens.

Read more about the alcohol ban areas.


All aspects of the previous reserves bylaw provisions have been retained.

The only reserves where golf can be practised or played is on the Waahi Taakaro Golf Course and the designated area in Neale Park.

bylaw 225 neale park golf areaThe designated area in Neale Park where people are permitted to practise golf.

Permits are required to carry out the following activities in Council reserves:

  • Drive a vehicle faster than 20km/hour
  • Use chainsaws or other tree felling implements
  • Take rocks, minerals and sand
  • Possess firearms
  • Kill animals, including pest animals.
  • Plant, spray or remove vegetation
  • Graze livestock
  • Land recreational motorised aircraft
  • Place or erect memorials, including plaques.

Some exemptions apply to these requirements. Nothing in the reserve bylaw provisions prevent authorised officers from carrying out activities in reserves, or prevent Iwi from carrying out activities in reserves which are provided for in any legislation enacting Deeds of Settlement between Iwi and the Crown.

Ambulances and other emergency services are exempt from the provisions related to motor vehicles in reserves.

Burial and Cremation

Almost all of the existing provisions related to burial and cremation have been carried over to the new bylaw, unchanged.

These bylaw provisions are in place to ensure cemeteries are well kept, quiet places where headstones and other monuments are not damaged, property maintenance can be carried out efficiently, and funerals can occur without interruption.

A provision related to animals in cemeteries has been removed, because the Control of Dogs Bylaw 2013 already requires dogs to be on a lead in cemeteries, and there have not been any issues with other animals in cemeteries.

You can view all the standards in the download below.