Lyttelton residents say they want changes in planning guidelines for the earthquake-damaged town so it can be rebuilt in a more imaginative way.
A petition with 400 signatures has been handed to Christchurch City Council asking it to update the guidelines.
Local business owner Kris Herbert says new buildings still have to conform to guidelines from 1999 which are out of date because the quakes radically changed how the town looks.
Mrs Herbert, who collected signatures for the petition, says residents want the chance to be creative and want Lyttelton to reflect the present, not the past.
She says the changes are part of the Land Use Recovery Plan which will go to Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee for approval next month.