Town getting tough with signage

Staff ~ The Amherst News
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AMHERST - The town is not going to allow a local businessman to cover the front of his property with advertising signage.
Warren Chapman had requested an amendment to the town's land-use bylaw that would have allowed him to cover the face of his building at 8 Croft St. (the former bridge workshop) with advertising.
The planning advisory committee considered the request, but recommended the town not give first reading to a bylaw amendment.
In his report to the planning advisory committee, planner Andrew Fisher said: "The land-use bylaw sign provisions are a balance between allowing businesses to effectively advertise the location of their operation, and maintaining a level of aesthetic control in the community."
When he appeared before the committee, Chapman said the bylaw is not fair and is not being enforced evenly throughout the town. He also said it's in contravention of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms while pointing out his signs help many small businesses advertise at an affordable price.
The present bylaw says frontal wall signs shall not cover more than 0.6 square metres for every linear metre on the wall on which the sign is affixed. The wall in question is about 81⁄2 metres wide, allowing for five square metres of sign coverage.
Fisher suggested in his report that if the town allowed Chapman to cover the front of his business with signs, all commercial buildings in the town should be permitted the same.
Considering the town is spending $150,000 on an arts, culture and heritage strategy, downtown redevelopment and beautification, he feels allowing this would undermine efforts to improve the town aesthetically or economically.

Organizations: Charter

Geographic location: AMHERST

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Recent comments

  • Jim in Amherst
    February 24, 2010 - 23:46

    The town made the right decision. Beautification and culture in Amherst needs to be cultivated. With all the laws about cell phones being distracting, I think it is wise to reduce ugly signage. There are lots of ways to advertise - you don't have to just throw up a big sign.

    Good move amherst, let's keep on the right track and make this town what it can be!

  • Kim
    February 24, 2010 - 23:46

    I'm glad the town said No ... we work hard to keep our home looking nice ...painting, planting flowers, shrubs and lights on the holidays ...thank you town of Amherst !!!!! :)

  • Warren
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    Firstly I should point out that shortly after we bought this building we realized the positive exposure that the front of the building offered. At that point we offered the front of the building for a murual at no charge and were told they wern;t interested. For those who commented in my favor I thank you, for those who disagree I respect your opinion but perhaps you should look at the whole picture.
    My intent was not strictly to generate revenue, although the extra funds would have been nice, it was to offer small business a media to promote their business at a very affordable price. Also we should realize that lower overhead means lower prices off the shelves.
    We have spent a considerable amount of time and money, none of which came from the government federal, provincal or MUNICIPAL. to provide Amherst with the first ever Private Career College in this town. We are providing a place to work for 5 persons full and part time.
    We have an option to appeal the council decision and are currently considering this option.

    Warren Chapman
    Small Business Owner

  • Prior Resident
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    I too agree with the town decision, however lets put all parties involved on a level playing field!
    If were going to stop the building advertising then the portable signs have to go! They look like they fell from the top of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down! you can buy these signs for next to nothing...why?....because every other community has stopped the use of them. Jesus H, you drive down South Albion and all you see are tese signs sitting on the lawns of the war time homes. Lets start here and maybe it will start a trend...clean up the town!

  • Bang
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    The town constantly makes the statement that they don't want to encourage or support local business.

    Just last week, they walked away from the transient vendors by-law - a slap in the face for local business, then they turn right around and give Warren Chapmen a hard time about his property.

    And if you look at the area that surrounds Mr Chapman's business - there are two old eyesore gas stations , a couple of condemned houses, a sex shop, an out of business restaurant, some vacant lots and a derelict schoolhouse. I don't even want to talk about the old police station, legion building.

    So heres a guy who buys an old building and starts a trade school and has an idea to generate some revenue and the town gives him some bs line about beautification ?

    Lets face it, the downtown core is in a mess. Mr. Fisher and his crew at the town had better start looking into some of the rat holes around the center of the town before they strong arm a guy for wanting to generate some profits.

    This defies reason ...........

  • galfromAmherst
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    For Good from NS i agree those red trailers advertising real estate Jo just have to GO !! and i agree that the town was right not letting signage up on that building make it look trashy, we want to attract people to the town.

  • Gary
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    Aw, just another good samaritian trying to help others that got shot down by the man...

    I'm sorry but a town of this size does not have its businesses rise and fall because of outdoor signage.

    The commitee made a good decision. This town needs to work toward making it less of an eyesore, and business signs aren't going to do that.

  • amherstguy
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    Another example of poor choice making. I have done a great deal of traveling and often see signage on buildings. Hard to believe that our town would worry about a few signs when the rest of that area looks like a dump. Hard to beliee but not at all surprised. Hey Warren, how about painting the words Victorian Christmas on the building, then you will be allowed.......

  • Good!
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    I agree 100% with this. The town needs to improve the signage image, South Albion is a disaster. The signs on that building were by no means nice.

    Next step is those awful red trailers that have started to appear for the real estate guy. For a real estate agent....he doesn't seem to mind killing property values!

  • Eric
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    Regarding the rejection of non politically correct signs within Amherst; are we becoming so culturally correct that we are no earthly good?
    Is there any wonder why there is so little growth within the Town?

    The Truemanville Kid..

  • wow
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    The signage that was there didn't look that bad. Certainly no worse than all the murals that take up more than .6 metres per every linear metre. Businesses have to advertise wherever they can, the downtown area needs more businesses, and needs to get rid of some of these restrictions. If you live in or near the down town area you have to live with it. You're in a commercial zone. Also the town should be ashamed that that they didn't pass the transient vendor by-law. If the town want people to invest in it by keeping or bringing their businesses here they need to wake up