Request for moratorium on offsite signage shot down by council

 

Town Logo Small-webBy Ron Giofu

 

Town council has rejected a motion that would have placed a moratorium on permanent and temporary offsite signage, preferring to wait for a review of the sign bylaw instead.

Deputy Mayor Ron Sutherland put the motion forward, stating he had received several calls about the issue. He said he checked with bylaw officer B.J. Wiley who Sutherland said told him that if the language in the bylaw was there, the town could deal with the signs on a case-by-case basis.

“There’s clutter on the north end of town, and there is some in the centre of town along Sandwich St.,” said Sutherland. “These signs seem to go up and stay there forever.”

Nicole Rubli, the executive assistant to the CAO, said she is currently working on reviewing and re-writing the town’s sign bylaw. She did note that a recent blitz by the bylaw officer saw 40 signs removed in a 90-minute time period with those signs having been in violation. The sign owners were contacted and were able to retrieve their signs at the public works yard.

Councillor Carolyn Davies said she wanted a clear policy on the matter detailing everything from who gets a sign and what the sign looks like. Councillor Bob Pillon said he would “definitely not support” Sutherland’s motion as he believed it was “too broad.” He wondered how it would impact farmers who have signs set back from the road advertising businesses.

“(The motion) paints all signs with the same brush,” said Pillon, adding it should be held in abeyance until the sign bylaw is re-written.

Planner Rebecca Belanger clarified that the motion involved advertising signage placed on other people’s property.

Mayor Wayne Hurst said the issue has been talked about for several years and has yet to find a resolution.

“Before we pass anything, we want to make sure we accomplish what we set out to do,” said Hurst.

Hurst added that what  is “very annoying” is the yard sale signs that are taped to light poles and then forgotten about once the sale is over.

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