Woolwich will review its township-wide sign policy before acting on a request for another sign along the already crowded Industrial Drive boulevard in Elmira.
The decision follows the latest application for a directional sign pointing to Birdland Plaza. Earlier this year, Lori Weber, owner of Guys & Dolls Hair Design and Spa, asked for a sign after being told by the township she could not continue using her own markers over the former Selby’s Freshmart sign.
In reviewing that case, staff took note of the hodgepodge of signs across the township, an indication that a set of design standards is needed, clerk Christine Broughton told councillors meeting Tuesday night.
That policy review will join an overhaul of Woolwich’s sign bylaw, which has been many years in the making. The township has been waiting for several years for the Region of Waterloo to finalize its own sign bylaw, but Coun. Mark Bauman suggested the waiting is over – “I think it’s time to move on. If the region wants to, it can catch up to us.”
Working from the current draft of the region’s bylaw, Woolwich can come up with something firm for council’s consideration by January or February, Broughton suggested.
Signs have been a sore point with council, particularly the proliferation of roadside signs, from the wheeled, neon-lettered type lining roadways to posters slapped up on hydro poles throughout the township.
The latest undertaking would look at providing consistent design standards for advertising and directional signs, for instance.
To date, Woolwich has agreed with most of the clauses in the region’s draft bylaw, including limiting A-frame or sandwich-board signs to the settlement core areas. The measures aimed at so-called accessory signs would also restrict the placement of any temporary signs along regional roads outside of the core areas. In Woolwich, the largest impact would be along Arthur Street heading into Elmira and King Street through St. Jacobs.
Posters would be limited to designated spots, with the region proposing to install poster collars in the core areas. That move is aimed at drastically reducing the number of posters on utility poles and traffic lights. Woolwich is looking to have such collars installed in each of the settlement areas.
Enforcement is also a key concern for the township, especially in the overlap with regional roads, such as Arthur and King streets.
“We need to have a coordinated effort on this,” said Bauman.