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

Snowfall warning issued for Highway 1 from Salmon Arm to Golden

Environment Canada says to expect 15-30 cm of snow by Thursday evening

Q and A with MLA Doug Clovechock for Columbia River Revelstoke

Columbia River Treaty, Three Valley Gap improvements, caribou, and invasive species were discussed

UPDATE: Highway 1 closed east of Revelstoke, set to reopen at 7:30 p.m.

Highway 1 is closed east of Revelstoke near the west entrance to… Continue reading

Cafe opens in U.S. named Revelstoke Coffee

The owners visited Revelstoke two years ago, loved it and decided to name their business after it

Revelstoke council to hear first proposed cannabis store application

Starbuds would be located at 109 Connaught Ave.

Man caught on camera allegedly trying to defraud ICBC

Auto-insurer warns B.C. drivers to record info after crashes

Warning issued as forecast calls for 20-foot waves in Tofino

Dangerous waves, strong currents and upper-shoreline flooding expected for Tofino-Ucluelet area

An 800-pound pig named Theodore needs a forever home, B.C. society says

‘Theodore is not destined to be somebody’s bacon’

Single-bridge option chosen to replace Highway 1 bridge in Sicamous

Five-lane span selected over plan with second bridge at Sicamous’ Main Street

Submissions sought for UBC Okanagan’s annual fiction competition

University’s annual short-story contest enters its 21st year

Teenager Alphonso Davies wins Canadian Men’s Soccer Player for the Year Award

Derek Cornelius and Chilliwack native, Jordyn Huitema were named Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

B.C. teen MMA fighter shows heart

Young Unity MMA competitors bring home Ws

2,000 Canadians died of an overdose in first 6 months of the year

New data from the Public Health Agency of Canada shows the crisis is not subsiding

Another B.C. city votes to ban single-use plastic bags

First six months of proposed ban would focus on education, not enforcement

Most Read