County to conduct sign bylaw review 0
The county will be conducting a review of its sign bylaw and creating a new one that is more clear and concise.
Instituted in 1972 and amended numerous times since, the current bylaw has become a source of confusion.
"[It] ends up getting tangled up with other stuff," roads director Doug Ray told councillors on the county's roads committee at a June 13 meeting, explaining there is often overlap with regulations of other levels of government, which causes some of the frustration.
There is also a feeling in the community that the bylaw is too restrictive.
"That's the impression most people have," Ray said. "It's confusing. You have to read it and read it."
The bylaw gives the county power over any signs within 400 metres of one of its roadways.
There is a desire, especially from the local real estate industry, Ray said, for more field advertising.
"I think we can improve on that," he said.
Minden Hills Reeve Barb Reid thought county council needed to create a solid philosophy on signage and while she sympathized with the needs of the business community, she was also wary of letting the bylaw get too liberal.
"I would hate to see us ease the restrictions so much that it's just one sign after another," Reid said, suggesting that perhaps billboards should be clustered in certain zones.
There are 37 billboards along a 20-kilometre stretch of County Road 21 between Minden and Haliburton Village and another 30 signs along Highway 35 between Minden and Carnarvon.
The idea of stacking some of these signs was also suggested and Warden Murray Fearrey felt some were too wordy.
"It's almost like you were looking at a menu for a restaurant," he said.
There is increasing demand for signage along provincial highways in the area as well.
"There are some businesses that are very, very aggressive," Ray said, explaining one company that would rent out billboards has applied to the Ministry of Transportation, which regulates signage along provincial routes, for some 30 sign locations along highways 118 and 35.
"If the MTO is opening the doors . . . then it may be that we want to take a very conservative view on county roads," Reid said.
Currently, a business can have only two signs on a county road, one in each direction.
The county has also been busy taking down prohibited signs from trees and telephone poles, including directional signs from realtors.
Some councillors felt these signs were helpful for people looking at property, but Ray insisted they can create safety issues.
The bylaw review will be conducted by staff with input from the public.
For more information, contact the roads department at 705-286-1762.