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City moves ahead on updating sign regulations

The city wants to have its sign bylaw revised by the end of the year to reflect the growing number of businesses wishing to install animated LED signs.

A spate of variance permits to allow animated signs outside of the C2 commercial zone inspired the revision. Boston Pizza was the first company to apply for a variance last year, and was granted permission to install a 3.5 square metre animated sign.

Currently these signs are only allowed in major commercial centres such as the Skeena Mall.

Council has already said other variance permits should not allow for animated signs larger than Boston Pizza’s.

The Boston Pizza sign also set a precedent for third party advertising as LED signs can be  programmed to display ads not associated with the principal business.

The Boston Pizza sign also displayed ads for Nechako Northcoast, which shares owners with Boston Pizza. This drew critical reaction from neighbouring businesses, who reported their displeasure to the city.

“We have allowed Boston Pizza to keep the Nechako ad running until the end of April 2014,” said city development services director David Block. “Boston Pizza has been clearly informed that they cannot run any further third party ads on this, or any, signs on the commercial property.”

Since Boston Pizza’s sign went up, Terrace Home Hardware, Your Decor, and Lindsay Enterprises Inc were given variance permits for animated signs of various sizes and heights.

Block said that future variance permits might be deferred until after the city’s sign bylaw is amended.

“In the event another similar application is made staff will likely recommend against issuing any further variances pending an update of the bylaw,” said Block.

The new bylaw could include set back rules for signs at busy intersections.

 

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