Kelowna to crack down on temporary signs | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna News

Kelowna to crack down on temporary signs

Temporary signs are pictured in this undated image in Kelowna from Google Street View.

KELOWNA - Kelowna city council has agreed to make temporary signs just that – temporary.

At its regular meeting yesterday, Dec. 10, council agreed to boost the fees for temporary signs by as much as seven times the current rate in order to pay for a bylaw officer to make sure they don’t stick around for more than three months.

“I’ve been tracking a number of temporary signs that have been up for 10 years and they’ve never gone away,” Coun. Luke Stack said in supporting the change. “Usually they’re in some beautiful landscaping that we’ve asked developers to put in.”

For many years, the city has charged $30 for businesses to put up temporary signs for 30 days. That rate will jump to $75.

For a three-month permit, the fee was $50 but is now seven times as high at $350.

Coun. Maxine DeHart said she thought the new fees were a little steep when she first saw them, until she realized they have not changed since 1998.

“Shame on us that we haven’t got to that sign bylaw before now,” she said. “This really wasn’t good business practice for us.”

The higher fees are expected to offset the cost of hiring a bylaw officer to enforce the sign bylaw. That position will be reviewed during provisional budget discussions on Thursday, Dec. 13.

Rates for permanent signs are also going up, from a minimum of $30 plus $5 per square metre to a minimum of $75 plus $10 per square metre.

The fees will be increased by two per cent on Jan. 1 of each year and permits for temporary signs will not be issued for more than 90 days per calendar year.

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