Downtown Whitby BIA

Feedback Requests

Feedback Requests

From time to time, the BIA is asked to provide comments or feedback regarding certain topics. Submissions from members can be made here on those topics.

Town's Permanent Sign By-law - Projecting Signs and Internally illuminated Signs

A request has been made for feedback from BIA members regarding changes to the Permanent Sign-Bylaw.

Feedback is Due January 26th, 2018

On October 30, 2017 Council directed staff to report on amendments to the Permanent Sign By-law to allow projecting signs and prohibit new internally illuminated signs within the downtown areas. Staff intends to bring forward a recommendation report to the Planning and Development Committee on this matter on February 26, 2018.

Staff intends to recommend that the Town’s Permanent Sign By-law be amended to permit projecting signs and prohibit new internally illuminated signs in Downtown Whitby and Downtown Brooklin.  Examples of such signs are attached.

Projecting signs project outwards, perpendicular from the facades of buildings. The signs have a historic look and feel and are important for wayfinding, both for motorists and pedestrians. Projection signs are limited in size, and serve as secondary identifiers for businesses, in addition to their primary banner-style signs.   Internally illuminated signs are backlit signs and can also be installed perpendicular to business façades. Light pollution from the internal illumination can detract from the historic feel of downtown areas.

These permissions and prohibitions would apply to the Downtown Brooklin - Heritage Conservation District Plan area and the Downtown Whitby - Community Improvement Plan area (maps attached).

The design of projecting signs may cause them to project outwards over sidewalks, especially in downtown areas that have limited building setbacks. To ensure pedestrian and motorist safety, the following design guidelines are proposed to be incorporated into the proposed Permanent Sign By-law:

•           Maximum sign width is 1.0 metres;

•           Maximum sign area is 2.0 square metres;

•           Minimum setback of 60 centimetres required from the edge of a sign to a street or private lane used for vehicular travel;

•           A projecting sign overhanging a sidewalk or pedestrian walkway must be 2.5 metres above the adjacent grade, measured from the bottom of the sign;

•           A projecting sign is not permitted above the second storey of a building;

•           A projecting sign located within 30 metres of an intersection controlled by traffic lights must be approved by the Commissioner of Public Works; and

•           Sign must comply with the Ontario Building Code.

The by-law would prohibit projecting signs from obstructing windows, ventilation systems, entrances/exits, or firefighting access points. Further, internally illuminated, electronic, or read-o-graph projecting signs will be prohibited.

The proposed by-law also would prohibit new internally illuminated signs from being installed in the downtown areas. Externally illuminated banner-style signs, such as the style shown in Attachment 1, will continue to be permitted. Externally illuminated signs will allow businesses to advertise, while limiting the amount of light pollution in the downtown areas.

The proposed by-law does not prohibit existing internally illuminated signs which were installed with a permit in accordance with the current by-law. These signs will be permitted to remain in place until such time as they are removed.

Liam Nichols