The Jacobson Ford sign that the City of Revelstoke rejected last summer has been allowed to go back in.
Mayor Mark McKee led the push to allow the sign after Mike Vandermeer and Mark Schneider, the owners of the car dealership, wrote him an e-mail asking him to reconsider the matter.
The changeable-letter sign was installed last summer on city property without permission, resulting in council voting to have it removed.
Vandermeer and Schneider took the opportunity of a new, business-friendly council to have the re-considered — directing their request straight to the mayor.
“Public support for our sign prior to removal was 100 per cent positive,” they wrote. “We ask for the same support from our mayor and councillors.”
McKee introduced a motion supporting re-installation of the sign.
“I’m trying to right something that I think was done wrong by city hall,” he said.
He was backed by councillors Connie Brothers, Scott Duke and Trevor English.
“I don’t see the sign as being anything negative,” said Duke. “It’s an improved sign and I think at the council table we can say we’re happy to embrace it and help your business out.”
Councillors Linda Nixon and Aaron Orlando both voted against the decision. Nixon said she would like to see the matter presented to the enhancement committee first.
Orlando wanted to see a staff report on the matter, arguing council approval would set a precedent where companies would bypass city staff if they didn’t get what they wanted.
“I would really like to see a staff report accompanying this request,” he said. “I would like to see this have a clean process as far as the application goes.”
Dean Strachan, the manager of development services, said the sign bylaw didn’t apply to the Jacobson Ford sign because it was on a city right-of-way. “There isn’t a process to allow it except for council to allow it directly. It’s a very specific one-off approval,” he said.
Council also asked staff to look at amendments to the sign bylaw to allow for changeable-copy signs in certain locations.