Posted on 15 February 2014.
A Hummer allegedly parked with a large billboard in tow has prompted officials to raise the spectre of legal action against an advertising company that operates from a home in Perth’s poshest suburb.
In a report now before their political masters, Shire of Peppermint Grove officers allege that Evoke Media proprietors Zane and Elaine Barry have been parking the pictured Hummer and a big billboard at their home at 1 Monument Street in Peppermint Grove.
The shire officers allege the Hummer and several Smart brand cars parked in and around the 776sqm property constitute an ongoing enforcement issue. The officers allege the Barrys have been operating a vehicle depot in the leafy street without approval.
The Barrys bought the property, where they live, in 2005. In 2012, the shire received a number of complaints about signs and trailers on the site and parking on the verge. In 2013, several more complaints were received.
An email from the Barrys to the council in April last year said the large Hummer trailer was only present at the premises on the day council officers took a photo of it, while repairs were being done.
The Barrys claimed the Hummer trailer was only in Monument Street a few hours. They said the trailer was being stored elsewhere and would never be stored at the home.
The email said that on the same day all the business’s cars were being attended to by a valet, and that to be waterwise the vehicles were being washed on the grass verge. The Barrys said they would ensure the valet service “does not happen again” in Monument Street.
They also told the council that Evoke Media employs mainly students who use public transport to get to work, and so did not compete with the Barrys’ Monument Street neighbours for parking.
Several follow-up inspections by the shire in May and June last year detected a number of Smart brand cars, and advertising banners, parked on site.
In December, 2013 and January, 2014 the shire received several more complaints from Peppermint Grove and Mosman Park residents. The issues were alleged excessive street parking by employees, and the Hummer and large billboard trailer allegedly being parked at the property and in nearby streets overnight.
A council site visit on January 7 allegedly revealed the Hummer was being stored on site along with at least 10 advertising trailers and 10 Smart cars.
“The land use appears to be intensifying and results in a loss of amenity to nearby landowners,” the shire staff now allege.
“The after-hours and weekend parking issues have been substantiated by the Mosman Park ranger.”
A Google Maps search by oneperth.com.au shows that on the currently available street view, dated January, 2010, the Hummer was in the driveway along with a small number of advertising trailers. The larger Hummer trailer was not on site.
The latest available Google Maps aerial view, dated December 9, 2011, shows no Hummer, but eight advertising trailers and at least five other vehicles in the driveway. Again, the larger Hummer trailer was not on site.
The shire officers have recommended that the council direct the Barrys to cease all business activities at their home within 60 days of receiving a council directive, and that the Barrys be prosecuted if that does not happen.
A successful prosecution would carry a fine up to $200,000 with a daily penalty of $25,000 for a continuing offence.
Shire councillors will debate the officers’ recommendation on February 25.
The Evoke Media website lists the company’s address as 1 Monument Street, Peppermint Grove. The site promotes the company’s ‘hummerAd’ as “the ultimate mobile media product to hit the streets of Perth!”.
Past hummerAd clients include BankWest, Satterleys, LotteryWest and Channel Ten.