CITY COUNCIL adopted a new sign bylaw at its Feb. 9 meeting, but not without reservations on the part of one councillor.
City councillor Brian Downie suspects that certain rules will be difficult to enforce.
He takes issue with one rule stating a sign can only cover up to 25 per cent of a window for businesses in the downtown core, despite a trend of huge signs now covering up an entire window.
Downie said there can be several reasons why a business might want to have this sort of sign and it will be hard for the city’s bylaw officer to determine intent.
“Right now when you drive around town, you see quite a few window with decals covering the windows – could be security, could be promotions, and we are going to have to decide which ones are going to be considered contrary to the intent of the bylaws,” he said.
Since the bylaw was already at the adoption stage Feb. 9, and because he missed the prior council meeting when second and third readings were given, Downie said he wasn’t in a good position to propose amendments. Downie said most of the amendments couldn’t have come sooner, because the old bylaw had been outstripped by technology as well as new and better ways to organize the rules.
“It was really important that we modernized the sign bylaw. There are people out there, we get these applications for sign bylaws weekly and so there [was] some uncertainty.”
Downie also said he disagrees with the requirement to get a new permit if changing a sign because businesses have to pay $50 when making an application for the permit.
But like the rest of council he did vote to adopt the bylaw.
“In each zone, the stipulations are much clearer, the illuminated sign part is much clearer,” Downie said.