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Businesses call for review of signage by-law


The issue of temporary or mobile signs in the community is continuing to drag on.
The topic came up last year when it was noted the Town has not been following their own by-law relating to the governance of the signs. The signs, most commonly known as the large black billboard-looking signs that are often located near the street, can only remain on a property for 90 days before being required to be taken down for a period of least 30 days or be moved to a different location.
A complaint was filed with the Town, kick-starting the measure. The Town in turn started to enforce the requirements the signs be moved.
That stopped, in part because the Town is undergoing a review of its zoning by-law and will likely not have the same requirements once that is done.
The review has been ongoing for some time, however with the formation of the newly created zoning district between the Town and the R.M. of Kelsey, the by-law will also be undergoing a review through that as well.
“We would expect that this isn’t going to be the process at all anymore. If you have a sign on your property, as long as you keep it in good shape, why would we make people move their signs if their advertising their business,” stated Town of The Pas Chief Administrative Officer Randi Salamanowicz.
There were also additional obstacles to enforcement of the by-law noted, including the difficulties of moving the signs in the middle of winter, as well as the fact this is a by-law which hasn’t been followed for years.
Salamanowicz did note that one this which could change is banning having several of the signs in one location, something she described as being possibly “distracting.”
The matter appeared before Town council following a petition being submitted by several businesses in the downtown to the Town in June.
While the zoning by-law, under which signage falls, is not done, Town of The Pas Mayor Herb Jaques decided against waiting for the by-law to be completed to work on this issue and instead asked if the draft version of the section of the by-law pertaining to signage could be provided to council for the next meeting.
The petition called for the by-law to be made clearer and asked that the signs be allowed to remain out, called the current practice “inconveniencing” and “creating more paperwork for both the Town administration and business owners.”

Trent Allen