Just say no to gaudy digital sign for Capri Mall, staff tells Kelowna council

Yonge Street at Dundas Square in Toronto.
Image Credit: Shutterstock


KELOWNA - Highway 97 won’t be turning into Toronto's Yonge Street anytime soon as staff are recommending city council reject a proposed LED illuminated sign proposed for the Capri Centre Mall.

The mall’s owners R.G. Properties, have asked for a development permit to revamp the current pylon sign on Highway 97. It would remain the same size but include backlit illuminated signage plus an LED screen allowing animated advertising.

But staff have a litany of concerns with the sign, planner Ryan Roycroft writes in a report to council, ranging from its failure to fit with Kelowna’s character to its potential as a distraction.

“City engineering staff and the RCMP have also expressed concerns regarding the potential for distracting signs along the highway, especially so close to a major intersection,” Roycroft says.

Of concern is the potential for drivers to confuse the sign with traffic lights in what RCMP say is already a high-collision intersection, he adds.

And while the city’s revitalization guidelines require developments to minimize signs and shun box lighting in favour of indirect front-lit signs, Roycroft says the mall’s proposal is the opposite of what the city wants.

“The proposed animated box sign will be brightly lit and distinct,” he writes.

Roycroft adds that if council votes counter to their own guidelines, other businesses will want in.

“Should council approve the requested digital sign, it is anticipated additional applications will be made for similar signage across the city.”

Plans for a major redevelopment of the Capri Centre Mall were recently approved under a comprehensive development zone bylaw.

Council will consider the application at its regular Monday afternoon public council meeting today, April 4, at Kelowna city hall.

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