A number of residents have contacted my office and city bylaw staff in recent weeks regarding the large signage at the corner of Martha/Lakeshore advertising a non-approved development, to ask whether the signage conforms to the city’s bylaw, and if not whether the city can compel compliance or remove the signage.
The signage does not conform to the bylaw because of its size, and the city can remove signs on private property that do not conform.
Residents in the immediate area may be aware that the city has now removed the signage. Work crews were on site this morning. I passed them on my way to Spencer Smith Park for Remembrance Day services.
The developer who had put up the signs had previously been formally directed by the city to remove the signage and chose not to do so. Given there are no permits to do any work on the site, the city took the position that this signage is not hoarding, rather pure advertising signage. As such, it does not comply with our sign bylaw as it exceeds the sign size limits.
The city has taken a similar position with respect to other properties in Burlington where signage in the form of hoarding goes up in advance of permits. The developer has also been advised how to bring any future signage into compliance, including getting the proper permits from the city.
The city sign bylaws are in place to ensure public safety, as well as protect and enhance the aesthetic qualities and visual character of the City of Burlington, among other intents. (Read the full bylaw here: Sign Bylaw)
The city expects compliance from all members our community with all of our bylaws, and to that end provides the opportunity for appropriate notice to allow time to comply before the city takes enforcement action. Where compliance is not achieved within a reasonable timeframe, the city will enforce its bylaws in service of the public interest.
As of this morning, the city has now taken enforcement action with respect to the signage at Martha & Lakeshore.