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Amherst closer to approving electronic signs in the downtown core

AMHERST – Amherst is close to adjusting its land-use bylaw to permit the use of electronic LED signs in the downtown core.

However, it wasn’t done without opposition.

Several months ago, the town receive a request from Holy Family Parish to allow a LED messaging sign in front of the church. However, the church is located in the Core Area District of the downtown zone, which comes with additional regulations aimed at maintaining the traditional downtown commercial built form and character.

The existing regulations were just enacted 2013, leading Coun. Jason Blanch to question the need to change them already. The bylaw change, once it passes second reading, would allow for electronic signs for ground, facia wall and canopy signs.

“It doesn’t make sense to me,” Blanch told council. “There must be another way to do this without putting the character of the downtown at risk.”

Blanch said it’s one thing for Holy Family to make the request, but changing the bylaw opens it up for every business to erect an electronic sign if they wish.

Deputy Mayor Sheila Christie said she supports the change, but only favours free standing signs.

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