Red Deer city council considers changing billboard bylaw

Spreading fewer signs over more areas is being proposed

In an attempt to please both commercial and community interests, the City of Red Deer is considering changing billboard bylaws

Since more commercial applications for billboards are being submitted to the city, administrators are looking at expanding some of the arterial routes where billboards are allowed.

But as many Red Deer residents don’t like large roadside advertisements, the city is also proposing to limit the density of billboard proliferation through tighter rules about how far apart the large advertisements can be erected.

Among the new proposals is to limit one billboard per “site” — which is defined as a 500-metre radius. This means that the closest distance between any new billboards would be 1,000 metres.

Also, a 10-metre separation would be required between a new billboard and any ground, freestanding or monument signs. No dynamic or electronic messaging would be allowed on billboards, and they would be prohibited within a 30-metre radius of a residential district.

A few of the new areas that billboards would be allowed include the east portion of 77th Street, the west end of 67th Street, near Hwy 2, and Hwy 11A, on the western border of Red Deer. Billboards would continue to be allowed in existing locations, along Gaetz Avenue and Taylor Drive.

City planner Jolene Tejkl said all existing billboards, installed under the old rules, would be grandfathered and gradually phased out. Whenever old billboards are taken down, new ones would have to be installed according to the new distance rules if this proposal is approved by city council.

Coun. Vesna Hingham suggested increasing to 100 metres the separation between billboards and residential areas. This amendment was given first reading by council with everyone, except Coun. Dianne Wyntjes, voting in favour.

Wyntjes had suggested reviewing the city’s dynamic signs bylaws at the same time. Instead they will be dealt with early in the new year.

A public open house will be held in council chambers on Dec. 11.

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