On January 16th from 5-7 p.m. there was a sign by-law open house in the lower level
training room of the Central Elgin Municipal offices at 450 Sunset Drive. The purpose
of the open house was to gain public input and to provide answers to any questions
on the draft of this proposed thirty-one page sign by-law. Attendance for this rather
long reaching proposed by-law that would affect the entire Municipality was somewhat
The reason given by the Municipality of Central Elgin for the creation of a sign
by-law came from complaints received from the public about the number and nature
of existing signs. The only solution to ensure consistency of allowable signs was
to create a standard on which to follow like many neighbouring municipalities, including
London, St. Thomas, Tillsonburg, the County of Lambton, and the Municipality of
Thames Centre which already regulate signs through by-laws.
Currently signs are regulated through the Municipality's Zoning By-laws which is
a costlier time consuming process, and is not the most appropriate means of regulating
signage, as signs are only regulated by height, sign type, location of the sign,
and zone they are in.
Summary of the Proposed By-law:
- Allowances for pre-existing signs, with the exception of portable signs.
- A maximum of 1 sidewalk sign permitted for any one business, with the maximum number
of signs for any property being 2.
- The requirement that business advertised on a sign is conducted on the property
that the sign is erected upon.
- The requirement that most signs be approved through an application to the Municipality.
- The allowance of temporary signs, by application, for periods of 30 days, renewable
to a maximum 120 days per calendar year.
- Special event and real estate signs would not require an application, but would
be subject to time limits, which varies depending on the type of event.
The proposed by-law also had a list of sign types permitted in specialized zone
classes of Commercial, Industrial, Intuitional and Open Space, Agricultural, and
Residential throughout Central Elgin. Port Stanley also had specialized restrictions
for areas classified inside the Heritage Conservation District.
The proposed application fees range from $50 for temporary sign to $150 for a permanent
sign, and $150 for removal if deemed necessary. Fees for signs erected without an
application would be doubled. Although no fee is proposed, farm and community signs
would still require an application and staff approval.
The Chief Administrative Officer would also have the ability to approve variations
apart from portable signs, billboard signs, and signs restricted by zone. Applicants
would also be able to appeal to Council. Special provisions allow for real estate
signs, farm signs, and signs for community events, excluding portable signs.