By Steve Hubrecht
The Village of Radium Hot Springs will discuss the possibility of changing its signage bylaw.
The current signage bylaw has been around for some time, and during the Wednesday, Dec. 15 Radium council meeting, councillors and staff talked about whether it was time to look at some updates.
Radium bylaw officer Kent Kebe explained that in the past three months there have been a number of inquiries about putting up signs from new local business owners, but only one sign permit has been issued. He noted that many of the inquiries centred around potential signage features such as scrolling letters, flashing signs, and bright picture signs. “The majority if not all of those features are in contravention of our existing sign bylaw,” said Kebe.
Radium mayor Clara Reinhardt explained that the current sign bylaw goes back quite some time, and simply didn’t envision the technology of the present day, as well as the current reality of Radium being on a major highway corridor used by a great many tourists. A committee was struck in 2014 to look at refreshing the sign bylaw but that effort “fell by the wayside,” said Reinhardt, noting that since the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic began there are a number of new business owners in town, and the village should do what it can to support them.
Councillor Mike Grey said the village needs something that is consistent over time, rather than deciding on signs on a case-by-case basis, as the latter approach could lead to a given business getting a certain type of sign approved, and council then deciding they don’t like this type of sign and turning down other similar applications. This uneven approach could theoretically give a quick-off-the-draw businesses a competitive advantage over other similar businesses, noted Grey, adding “it has to be an even playing field. It has to be fair.”
Council members emphasized, for the benefit of the public, that no official decisions or bylaw changes were being made that night, but that council is simply agreeing to meet to further discuss the idea of changing the sign bylaw.