Monday, 14 January 2013 08:46

Council approves temporary sign bylaw for Swift Current after reducing permit fees

Written by  Matthew Liebenberg
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Councillors approved a temporary sign bylaw with reduced permit fees for portable signs as a result of concerns raised previously by a local sign company.


The new temporary sign bylaw was approved at a regular council meeting on Jan. 7. It regulates the placing of temporary signs in Swift Current to minimize visual clutter.
The aim is also to ensure the safety of road users by prohibiting signs with flashing, rotating or moving lights or signs that resemble traffic control devices.
“In the past signage was covered by the zoning bylaw but it was determined that a separate bylaw should be introduced to regulate temporary signage,” Director of Engineering Mac Forster explained.
The bylaw covers all types of temporary signs, including election, real estate and garage sale signage as well as portable signs. Permits are not required for every type of sign.
“They are required for when there is a portable sign being used or for community and commercial events signage, so we can regulate those very well,” he said. “Otherwise we will just patrol the area to see if temporary signs are contravening the bylaw and deal with it at that time.”
The bylaw was originally introduced to council three months ago, but councillors decided to defer their decision on the new law after a submission by the owners of Signs 'n Such during a public hearing on Oct. 15. They expressed concern that the proposed permit fees for portable signs will be a significant cost for local businesses.
Councillors discussed the proposed bylaw at their Dec. 17 strategic planning session. The amended bylaw sets the permit fees for portable signs at $10 per month instead of the previously suggested $50 per month. The bylaw also sets permit fees for inflatable and commercial event signage, but there is no permit fee for community event signage.
Another amendment provides for a penalty of $100 that can be issued by a bylaw enforcement officer for any contravention of the bylaw. An impoundment fee of $100 will also be charged on any sign removed by the City.
Forster said the placing of temporary signs in Swift Current was basically unregulated during the time it took to finalize the new bylaw.
“A few signs got placed during this period that contravene both the previous bylaw and the new bylaw,” he noted. “Most of them deal with outside advertising that is typically using portable signs that aren't on the site of the business. They're put along the service roads or another area that is not allowed under our new bylaw.”
The City already notified local sign companies that these signs will have to be removed once the new bylaw is passed. Forster did not expect any difficulties with the enforcement of the new bylaw.
“We are typically only dealing with three main sign companies in town, which we correspond with regularly” he said. “So I do not anticipate a problem whatsoever in getting this bylaw in motion and regulating it right away.”

Read 7589 times

More Swift Current News...