THE City of Terrace could very well put an end to decal-like signs on windows of businesses in some locations should its amended sign bylaw be passed.
The style of sign is popular because of its ability to spread over a window and be transparent when looked through from inside a building.
These signs tend to be temporary and are larger than the 25 per cent maximum coverage of a storefront window currently stipulated in the old bylaw.
According to the city’s director of development services David Block, staff was not been aware of the prevalence of decal signs until they did a walkabout and noted their increasing popularity.
“We do have some in the downtown right now, they have just gone up in windows without us being aware of it until we took a look around, but they really defeat the intent of a pedestrian-friendly, walkable, attractive downtown that has windows that people can see in and out of,” said Block.
“It gives people walking in public space on the sidewalk some safety if they know the people inside can see them. If you don’t know that people are seeing you, you lose that connection, so there is a lot of reasons from an urban planning and urban design [perspective] that we don’t encourage or suggest they should be allowed in the downtown.”
The new bylaw will permit the usage of such signs, but only in the commercial and industrial zones and only for half a year. “The new bylaw does not permit this type of window advertising in the downtown commercial zones (C1, C1-A, C2 and C7). Any decal signs currently in windows can remain until such time as the business owner removes them,” said Block.
A few business owners who tend to have large decal signs covering one or more of their windows said they had not been consulted or even sent a letter by the city indicating this might soon be breaking a bylaw for those zones.
Furniture seller TJ Kaler from City Furniture & Appliances on Lakelse Ave. says he hadn’t heard a thing about the new sign bylaw, but that having large signs is important for advertising his products.
“It’s important for window shopping, that’s what windows are for, for advertising,” says Kaler. “We get big posters from the supplier, we put them up. That was the whole idea.”
With about six window allowing for people to see into what would otherwise be a solid warehouse wall, he says it’s strange he wouldn’t be allowed to cover a window or two with decals.
Other businesses such as Totem Furniture and Speedy Cash, also on Lakelse Ave.,were also unaware of the bylaw changes.
The new bylaw passed second and third reading at the Jan. 25 regular city council meeting, and will most likely come up for adoption at the next regular meeting to be held Feb. 9.