Another billboard may be coming to West Kelowna — the city's sign | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Another billboard may be coming to West Kelowna — the city's sign

This is the first draft of a new sign proposed to be erected next to Highway 97 to promote the West Kelowna Warriors hockey team.
Image Credit: Submitted/City of West Kelowna
May 16, 2021 - 7:00 AM

West Kelowna city councillors have unanimously agreed to look into erecting an electronic sign on Highway 97 directing hockey fans to Royal Lepage Place.

On Tuesday, Chris Laurie, president of the West Kelowna Warriors hockey team, suggested a 24-foot tall, 10-foot wide electronic sign be erected at Highway 97 and Bartley Road to promote the team, the city and to help people find the hidden-away Royal LePage Place where the team plays.

In supporting the proposal, three councillors noted that there has been strong pushback from some residents in the past against the proliferation of signs along the highway, especially billboards.

That included Coun. Rick de Jong before he added, “There are so many signs on the highway, what’s one more?”

But it was Coun. Carol Zanon who spoke out most strongly against the sign.

“I have to be conscious of the protests our community has had on the billboards as you approach Kelowna from West Kelowna that obstruct the view and your illustration that we have in the report is in front of a nice view towards Last Mountain – I realize it’s just for illustration purposes – but for me, it would have to be a much more tasteful sign than what’s proposed there,” she said during Tuesday’s council meeting. “There’s an element in the community that’s very strongly against any kind of billboard type of presentation along the highway and consider it a kind of visual pollution.”

She noted that she’s never heard from anyone that they had any problem finding the arena even though it’s some distance off the highway, so any sign should not be seen as something just for the arena.

The design of the sign was simply a concept for discussion purposes created by Laurie, as was the location, Brent Magnan, the city’s planning manager told iNFOnews.ca.

He’s been asked to put together a report for further discussion by the city.

“At this point it is a fairly new concept so we haven’t actually even spent any time bouncing this off our sign bylaw,” he said.

The Ministry of Transportation will have a say in the matter as well since it’s next to the highway, even though it’s on city-owned land.

And how the sign is used is also up for debate.

“I want to see how we can do something that is appealing to the many other segments of the society here, other than the followers that use the Royal LePage Place,” Zanon said. “I know council members are very enthusiastic Warriors supporters but, for the overall community, we do need something more than that.”

Laurie estimated the sign would cost between $60,000 and $75,000 and the team would be willing to look at some sort of cost sharing agreement with the City, which would own the sign.

Coun. Doug Findlater suggested community donations could help.

As for timing, if the city has to pay part of the cost, it likely can’t be done until it’s put in the 2022 budget.


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