City planning director John Guenther meets with residents to discuss an ongoing city sign bylaw revision on Jan. 31

Facing criticism, Revelstoke city sign bylaw under review

The City of Revelstoke planning department is looking to update its sign bylaw following complaints.

The City of Revelstoke planning department is looking to update its sign bylaw following complaints the approval process is slow, confusing, overly-bureaucratic and maddening for new business owners.

On Jan. 31, the department unveiled its review process at a public open house.

The city proposes to streamline and simplify the approval process by establishing clearer guidelines and paperwork, including “one-page” guidelines for each kind of sign and a simplified sign checklist.

The review, prompted by complaints from business owners and by lobbying from the Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce, also contains several new signage rules – many of them more restrictive than the current bylaw.

New or revised proposed rules include:

-a ban on billboards in city limits.

-new rules restricting what’s allowed on existing billboards.

-revised guidelines for allowable fascia sign sizes.

-a new rule stating under-awning signs must be two-sided.

-a reduction in maximum sign heights in the city.

-a reduction in the allowable area of window signage.

-new restrictions stating posters and signs advertising community events can only cover 10 per cent of total window area.

-a rule saying sandwich boards may be maximum of two-feet wide and four feet high. Sandwich boards can be 50 per cent chalkboard or paintboard.

***

The Jan. 31 open house turned into a town hall meeting, where planning department staff heard two main veins of complaint.

The first was that the sign approval process was a Kafkaesque odyssey rife with unanticipated bureaucratic delays, unclear, odious paperwork and complicated, costly multi-step processes.

A local sign manufacturer noted one of his clients had sent him back to the drawing board several times for a large metal sign at great expense.

A real estate agent said the city process to approve his canopy sign had superfluous steps; once he submitted his design, the city asked for a fabric sample of the basic flat-black material and an engineering report for the small canopy. He said the manufacturers were surprised: “’We’ve never done one in our lives and we’ve done thousands of signs,’” was their response.

City planning director John Guenther defended the process, saying many business owners had smooth processes and could even access funding through the city for a sign design consultant. He encouraged business owners to come speak with the planning department at the outset.

The second area of criticism focused on the rules themselves. There was a spectrum of opinion. Some advocated laissez-faire policies; business owners should be able to do whatever they want. Others noted the existing policies favoured a heritage look that may not be appropriate for each business (although this point was disputed by planning staff).

Most agreed that rules were necessary, but argued they lacked the flexibility required to suit individual businesses’ needs. Others more or less favoured the status quo – if the rules and process were clearer.

The city’s planning department is seeking public input on the review by Feb. 15, and is targeting mid-March for completion.

 

Just Posted

Priorities highlighted for continued tourism growth in Revelstoke

The City of Revelstoke has released their Resort Development Strategy for 2019-2021.… Continue reading

MP Wayne Stetski calls for urgent climate action

Government Business No. 29 motion made by Catherine McKenna, minister of environment.… Continue reading

Stoked on Science: Why didn’t the mountain ash bloom?

Question: I’m sure I’m not the only person in Revelstoke who has… Continue reading

Revelstoke cadets host 67th annual Ceremonial Review

Revelstoke’s 2458 Rocky Mountain Ranger Army Cadets hosted their 67th annual Ceremonial… Continue reading

Construction and wildfires in the area

Forecast from Environment Canada: Today: A few showers ending this morning then… Continue reading

Murray McLauchlan delights Okanagan crowd

Canadian music icon puts on wonderful two-hour show at Performing Arts Centre

Rose Valley Rd. fire in West Kelowna has now been extinguished

West Kelowna Fire Chief says first two grass fires Tuesday were human caused

Life’s work of talented Shuswap sculptor leads to leukemia

Former Salmon Arm resident warns of dangers of chemical contact

Shuswap car dealership seeks return of unique stolen Jeep

The red 1989 four-by-four was taken from Salmon Arm GM’s lot early Monday morning.

College investigates Okanagan physiotherapist

Stephen Witvoet’s matters are currently before the courts

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

MPs hear retired South Okanagan nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Public weighs in Okanagan rail trail parking development

“It was a great evening to interact with the community and hear the input for the property”

Most Read