Surrey bylaw zeroes in on ugly, cluttered signs

SURREY – Surrey has made changes to its sign bylaw in an effort to create a more beautiful city.

 

Surrey Coun. Bruce Hayne said amendments to the Surrey Sign By-Law No. 13656 were approved by council late last year, and the city is now looking to educate businesses before it starts handing out tickets.

 

The changes are intended to reduce red tape and to enhance the city’s streetscapes.

 

Most of the amendments deal with unsightliness, Hayne said.

 

"So, flags, banners, bouncing gorillas, all of that stuff. And then multiple signs in windows, for instance, covering up almost the entire window of a premise, we’ve reduced the percentage of windows that can be covered by signage, we’ve reduced the number of second-storey signs on a building and so on, just to try to reduce sign clutter in the city."

 

Hayne said sandwich boards, for example, are not allowed on public property.

 

"They can’t be on sidewalks, they have to be on the proponent’s property," Hayne said. "So mostly it’s a beautification issue for the city. And a lot of the signs were illegal before, but we’ve sort of clarified things more and made things more clear in the bylaw."

 

When asked if the bylaw will target "ugly" signs, Hayne said yes.

 

"That is more discretionary with the planning department and that’s where it becomes a little tricky because to one planner something’s ugly and to somebody else it’s not…. There’s got to be discretion there."

 

Hayne said Whistler Village is an example of attractive, fair signage.

 

"You walk around the village and everybody has very, very controlled signage. It’s elegant, there’s not a single business you can’t find and everybody’s on a level playing field."

 

And that’s what he wants to see in Surrey. To get there, Hayne said the city plans to zero in on problematic business sectors.

 

"Real estate is a big one for us. Gas stations and convenience stores are a big one for us. Some of the retail, like the furniture industry, is another one for us. And home-based businesses where people are putting up massive signs on houses and things like that in residential areas. There’s no problem having a home-based business, but you can’t take the entire upper floor of your home and wrap it with a thing that says accounting. That’s just not fair to your neighbours."

 

While the main focus is on business sectors, Hayne said there are some geographical spots the city will focus on, such as sections of 128th Street and Scott Road. But before the city begins handing out tickets, it will be rolling out an education campaign, Hayne said.

 

"We want to get the word out to the business community. So we’re doing some brochures and a video to go on our website and things like that, to support it, just so the business community understands the new bylaw is here and in place, and that there are new rules and regulations," Hayne said. "At first, we’re going to try to do things in a communicative and co-operative style, but if there’s still persistent violations then we’ll start to crack down."

 

Hayne went on to say that signs are not the city’s most pressing issue right now.

 

"But I think it’s something that needed to be addressed," he added. "It just goes to the whole beautification of the city and it’s just one of the things we can be doing."

 

Last year, in an effort to clean up Scott Road, Delta council barred certain businesses from its side of the street.

 

Porn stores, cash for gold shops, chequecashing centres, dating and escort services, gun shops, massage parlours, pawnshops, private smoking clubs and tattoo parlours were all banned from hanging out their shingle along the Delta side of Scott Road.

 

Delta Mayor Lois Jackson said at the time that Surrey’s side of the road could also use a facelift.

 

"I’m not impressed with the Surrey side of Scott Road," Jackson said last April. "It’s like a forgotten part of Surrey."

 

Visit surrey.ca to find the amended bylaw.

 

areid@thenownewspaper.com With files from Tom Zytaruk

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ivan Scott. (Aaron Hinks photo)
Surrey mayor enters word war with speakers, councillor

McCallum calls brief recess after asking two speakers to leave chambers

Montreal-based writer Michael Foy grew up in the Newton area of Surrey. (submitted photo)
Surrey-raised writer Foy really loves to set his short stories in the city

His latest is published in ‘Canadian Shorts II’ collection

Officers with the Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team were at a White Rock home Tuesday (Oct. 20) to assist Vancouver Police Department with execution of a search warrant. (Contributed photo)
ERT response to White Rock home connected to homicide: police

Search underway in the 15800-block of Prospect Crescent

A reminder to students at Surrey’s Strawberry Hill Elementary to physically distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Nine Surrey schools reporting COVID-19 exposures

INTERACTIVE TABLE: Search for schools, organize by exposure dates

The site of the former Rona store in Newton could be home to a park and civic amenities, in the 6900-block of King George Boulevard. (Photo: Google Street View)
Surrey buying 16 properties in Newton for parkland, civic amenities

Mayor Doug McCallum says project will be ‘fast-tracked’

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/NIH via AP
At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings

UBC geoscientists discovered the wreckage of a decades-old crash during an expedition on a mountain near Harrison Lake. (Submitted photo)
Wreckage of possibly decades-old airplane crash discovered on mountain near Harrison Lake

A team of UBC geoscientists discovered the twisted metal embedded in a glacier

The official search to locate Jordan Naterer was suspended Saturday Oct. 17. Photo courtesy of VPD.
‘I am not leaving without my son,’ says mother of missing Manning Park hiker

Family and friends continue to search for Jordan Naterer, after official efforts suspended

A bear similar to this black bear is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich on Oct. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bear kills llama on Vancouver Island, prompting concerns over livestock

Officers could not track the bear they feel may not fear humans

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
RCMP cleared in fatal shooting of armed Lytton man in distress, police watchdog finds

IIO spoke to seven civillian witnesses and 11 police officers in coming to its decision

A 34-year-old man was treated for a gunshot wound in Williams Lake Monday, Oct 19, 2020. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake man treated for gunshot wound after accidental shooting: RCMP

Police are reminding residents to ensure firearms are not loaded when handling them

A injection kit is seen inside the newly opened Fraser Health supervised consumption site is pictured in Surrey, B.C., Tuesday, June 6, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. records 127 fatal overdoses in September, roughly 4 each day

Vancouver, Surrey and Victoria continued to see the highest numbers of overdoses

Most Read