Doubling up on car dealer's signs a problem for Kelowna

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KELOWNA - A car dealership in Kelowna has found out how many business signs are too many.

City staff are recommending council deny RJS Holdings Inc. its application for a second pylon sign along its Highway 97 frontage.

RJS Holdings says it needs the second sign to differentiate between the Nissan and Infiniti showrooms occupying the same lot.

But planner Adam Cseke, in a report to council, says the request violates the city’s sign bylaw designed prevent the highway from excessive signage.

The bylaw allows for a second sign for every 150 metres of frontage. The lot the dealerships occupy is just 97 metres wide.

The applicant claims the signs are pre-made by Nissan and Infiniti to save money and constructing a single sign would triple the cost.

However staff say their analysis shows little hardship for the dealer, with the value of the single sign neglible compared to the value of the entire development.

“There is concern that permitting it will provoke others to use this variance as a precedent which could increase the density of free-standing signs along the highway,” Ceske says.

Kelowna’s official commmunity plan encourages high-quality, imaginative signs, in scale with the buildings on site, using concise language and simple graphics.

Light lettering on a dark background is best, using front-lit signs is highly encouraged, while box signs are equally discouraged.

Staff has provided council with an alternate recommendation allowing the variance.

Councillors will consider the request at a public hearing, 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 24 in Kelowna council chambers.

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