Signs for the times

Signs are very subjective things. Some people like them, some don’t and the rest couldn’t care less. We at the BR, after much editorial discussion, have come down on the side that says signs should be regulated as they can be construed as visual pollution. Just as a loud radio can upset, big signs do the same for us.

Take for example, this sign on Division St. Every establishment is allowed to have signs that advertise their business. In this case the bylaws allow facia signs to identify the business at the location and a spot on the larger Plaza sign. But as we know exemptions to sign bylaws have to be applied for. In most cases the exemptions are granted in the name of ‘helping business’. But when is too much too much? This sign was granted and when an email was directed to the Director of Planning he replied to me – “The Lighthouse Dental business signage does appear to be relatively large and bright (and maybe a bit different from what we are used to, having a tooth bolted to the side of the building), however I do not feel it is disproportionate to the size of the unit or the building frontage, or consider it over-bearing towards the streetscape, but rather is quite tastefully and professionally done in my opinion.”

It is this size because the the bylaw does not specify the size of a facia sign. For the full correspondence read it here, the Council did approve the much larger sign, but it is still ugly and large!

That brings up the campaign 2018, and the plethora of signs that will be assaulting our sense for the next 44 days – election signs. The bylaw that covers this is here and is comprehensive: laying down the law on locations, numbers allowed on each property and size.

This sign is an ‘outlaw’ as was the Piccini sign, posted on exactly the same spot – 8ft high during the last Provincial election. This is not a slight against the candidate but an example of an illegally placed sign. Election signs are only allowed to be 2 metres high, measured from the top to ground. The point of this is to highlight the lax way the Town administers the bylaw.

An official complaint was made about the “Piccini OPC” sign during the last Provincial election as that sign was in exactly the same location and same height as the one in the picture. The Manager of Bylaws did not respond to the complaint and it stayed. When this candidate’s sign went up on the first day of campaigning A complaint was registered with the Manager of Bylaws and he sent this reply <snip>The Town of By-law Enforcement department is aware of the election signs and will be conducting measurements and contacting the Candidate to determine compliance.</snip>

This was dated on the 17th of August and the sign is still in non-compliance. So I say to all the candidates “go to it put your signs anywhere you want, because the Town is not enforcing its own bylaw!”

A Test – how many of these signs are illegally located? Remember none are allowed on public property!

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