Electronic signs considered

Electronic signs with ever-changing messages may soon be seen around Summerland if a new sign bylaw is approved.

Electronic signs with ever-changing messages may soon be seen around Summerland if a new sign bylaw is approved.

The bylaw includes provisions for electronic static changeable copy signs, which have not been permitted in the past.

The signs use electronic screens, video monitors, liquid crystal displays or other electronic technology to display messages and business logos.

Long-range planner Julie McGuire said the proposed bylaw would allow signs with changing messages, but certain provisions would be in place.

The images can change no more than once a minute and there are restrictions on the size of the signs.

Electronic moving changeable copy signs, which show video animation, are not allowed in the bylaw.

Pictures also may not be displayed, although business logos would be permitted.

The sign bylaw allows for other sign types as well.

Permanent changeable copy signs, used at churches and at some of Summerland’s schools and other businesses, would be allowed, with restrictions on the colours of the lettering.

Sandwich board signs, already in place at some downtown businesses, will be allowed as long as a sidewalk width of at least 1.8 metres remains clear for pedestrians to pass by.

Because sandwich board signs are on municipal property, the business owner must enter into an agreement with the municipality before erecting the signs.

The bylaw also contains regulations for the signs on businesses, but these bylaws are far less restrictive than in the past.

Gone are the Old English design guidelines which defined Summerland’s downtown in the 1980s and 1990s.

New design guidelines took effect at the end of 2010.

McGuire said these guidelines are criteria-based rather than focussed on a specific look.

Full information on the proposed sign bylaw can be found online at summerland.ca/docs/docs_forms/reports/Open%20house%202%20Sign%20Bylaw%20Story%20Boards%20Nov%202013.pdf.

An online survey is available at www.surveymonkey.com/s/SignBylawSurvey2.

Before the bylaw can be adopted, it must receive approval from municipal council.