Dynamic sign rules tabled

City council continues to grapple with how to deal with digital signs along Red Deer streets.

City council continues to grapple with how to deal with digital signs along Red Deer streets.

First reading of a land use bylaw amendment regarding dynamic signs was once again delayed at City Hall.

Council had questions on Monday regarding how many signs should go up in areas in proximity to one another in commercial areas, and how far they should be from housing.

Dynamic signs, also known as reader board signs, display rotating digital messages or images, like the ones found on Red Deer College and Westerner Park properties.

“It’s one thing to have bright signs in commercial areas, but we need to have an adequate buffer in residential areas,” said Councillor Tara Veer.

Administration asked for and received postponement of first reading in August.

One change that received approval on Monday concerned the length of time an image can be on the sign. Council elected to have that image stretch to five seconds from three.

Veer said extending the time should make the image less distracting to drivers.

Later on in discussions, Councillor Cindy Jefferies wondered whether any new dynamic signs should be allowed.

“It seems like we’re ramping up the competition as to who can have the biggest, brightest sign,” Jefferies said.

She called for a motion to turn down the bylaw amendment completely, but it was defeated.

After the meeting, Jefferies said she wanted to take a stand against the proliferation of signs. She referred to the billboards that dot the landscape of main highways, including those found entering mountain national parks.

“While those are bigger in scale and on bigger land, in my mind the reader board signs are in that same category,” she said. “We need to enjoy our city and this distracts from it.”

ltester@bprda.wpengine.com

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