Application for ground billboards stalled as council awaits sign bylaw

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A request to have ground billboards installed in Amherstburg has been stalled as the town awaits its updated sign bylaw.

David McLarty of DB Media came before council at its most recent regular meeting seeking permission to install six billboards within the town, four of which would be in farmer’s fields. He said his company has done business in other municipalities in Essex County and is looking to bring his business into Amherstburg.

“We want to get into the fields before farmers get to work,” McLarty told town council.

Manager of licensing and enforcement Nicole Rubli told town council there is no current provision in the town’s sign bylaw that would allow for billboards but council has the authority to provide an exemption.

Councillor Diane Pouget said the previous council was “very, very concerned” with the amount of offsite signage that is already in town and wanted to know why an updated sign bylaw still hasn’t been before council.

“This sign bylaw has been in the works for over two years,” she said.

A ground billboard stands along Walker Road, on the Essex side. A request to install similar style  signage in Amherstburg did not move forward at the most recent meeting of council as town council members await the new sign bylaw.

A ground billboard stands along Walker Road, on the Essex side. A request to install similar style
signage in Amherstburg did not move forward at the most recent meeting of council as town council members await the new sign bylaw.

Pouget called it “absolutely ludicrous” that a meeting has been held with stakeholders and not with the general public.

Rubli noted that many consultations have gone into the bylaw including with provincial agencies.

Councillor Rick Fryer said he would like to see signage centralized, suggesting LED signage either at town hall or near the library. Signage seen throughout town “doesn’t make the town look very good at all,” he believed.

Pouget urged council not to provide an exemption for McLarty’s request until a new sign bylaw is before council and public input is allowed for. A time frame of six months to one year was provided before council is expected to see an updated sign bylaw.

McLarty’s delegation was simply received by council.

A motion asking administration bring back a report on ground billboards was defeated. Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale and councillors Fryer and Leo Meloche were in favour with Mayor Aldo DiCarlo and councillors Pouget and Jason Lavigne opposed. Procedurally, the motion was lost on a tie vote.

Councillor Joan Courtney was absent from the meeting.

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