The city says it was right to remove signs advertising a new housing development and it didn’t have to notify the business first.
“The signs were put up without the owner making enquiry and were in contravention of the sign bylaw. We will try to contact an owner or business but our bylaw officer is authorized to remove something like this and then contact or notify the owner later. Since these were placed on municipal city-owned park property we, like any land owner, have the right to remove first,” said city planner David Block.
The signs belong to Deep Creek Masonry, the developer of a housing project called Sleeping Beauty Estates.
It placed advertising sales signs around town but the signs disappeared.
The city then wrote them a letter explaining they had been in violation of the sign bylaw that stipulates temporary signs containing advertisements are only allowed on the property for which they are advertising and not on public or other right-of-ways.
Goddard said a sign bylaw change was needed and that residents should be allowed to promote new construction, new businesses and advertise freely.
Another business had put up signs where it wasn’t allowed but with different results, said Block.
Its staff had placed a similar sign and the bylaw officer was able to contact them and they promptly removed the sign, he said.
“In this case, we removed signs Ms. Goddard had placed in road dedication as well as on park property. All locations violated the sign bylaw,” said Block.
Goddard had said that there was a double standard since other signs could be placed on public property, such as election signs.
Block disagreed, saying there is no logical comparison between commercial business advertising and election signs.
“The bylaw permits candidates to apply for a permit and place a limited number of election signs along public roads,” he said, adding that the bylaw allows election signs on the Grand Trunk Pathway.
“There is no way staff would recommend commercial advertising be allowed on public property. We are working on revisions to the sign bylaw to bring to council soon. We will be recommending tightened up provisions to limit election signage on public park property in the future,” said Block.