Nelson city council and the business association are looking at how to handle unapproved signs downtown.

Nelson city council and the business association are looking at how to handle unapproved signs downtown.

City of Nelson and local business team up to tackle unapproved signage

Rogue sandwich boards in Nelson's downtown have led to a look at how the policy can be better implemented.

  • Dec. 5, 2011 1:00 p.m.

Rogue sandwich boards in Nelson’s downtown have led to discussions between the city and the Nelson Business Association around how the city can better implement its policy.

“The current policy is that all sandwich board signs have to be approved by the city for design and placement,” said manager or development services and sustainability Dave Wahn. “Most signs out there from my understanding do not have approval from the city, so it is causing some problems like bottle necks and tripping hazards and that sort of thing.”

Representatives from the city met with the business association last month to discuss some of the cities concerns.

According to current city policy, any downtown businesses should be submitting an application for design and placement before the sign hits the street.

“Stickers are the requirement,” said Wahn. “Right now when it’s approved by the city the sticker is put on the sign saying that it has been approved, but most signs don’t have stickers. That’s what determines an approved one versus an unapproved one.”

Wahn said that some of the concerns the city has around the signs involve advertising for businesses that are located outside of the downtown area and that they are becoming a safety hazard.

“People have tripped over them and it does provide a liability for the city if they are not managed in an appropriate manner,” he said.”Signs for business that don’t exist in the downtown. Is that appropriate or not? Those sort of questions need to be looked at. Our policy as it is right now is that we would approve signs for existing businesses in the downtown but not for businesses outside the downtown and in some cases for businesses outside of town.”

There are also concerns about the potential for politically incorrect things to be put on the signs.

“That’s not really for staff to determine but there may be certain things out there that may be offensive to other people and who knows what those things might be,” said Wahn.

The city and the Nelson Business association are going look at what can be done to look at what suits both parties needs and meet again in the new year.