Big Changes in Store for Oakville Businesses Come the New Year

Published December 14, 2018 at 3:28 pm

Once the New Year hits, some big changes that will impact Oakville businesses will be in effect.

Changes are coming to the signs that are seen around the town.

Once the New Year hits, some big changes that will impact Oakville businesses will be in effect.

Changes are coming to the signs that are seen around the town.

After an in-depth review of signs and sign usage, the Town of Oakville decided to change the sign by-law to better reflect the identification and advertising needs of today’s businesses.

These changes will come into effect on Jan. 1, 2019, with By-law 2018-153 will replace the former Sign By-law 2006-005.

Some of these changes will include an updated fees list which is to be included with the 2019 Rates and Fees schedule.

“This new by-law reflects two years of thorough public consultation and review,” Mayor Rob Burton said in a recent Town of Oakville news release.

“It ensures the town’s regulations address the needs of local businesses while managing visual clutter, ensuring public health and safety, and preserving Oakville’s unique character and streetscape compatibility.”

Key points of the Town of Oakville’s new sign by-law, according to the news release, include:

  • An improved format and web presence — easy to use tables based on specific uses and land use designations (now aligned with the town’s Official Plan) will make the by-law easier to navigate and understand. A user-friendly companion document with visuals, definitions, and interactive mapping can also be found online.
  • Better capturing of sign types — more detailed sign regulations can be grouped into several categories such as permanent or temporary signs, signs for certain motor vehicle-related land uses, development and real estate signs, community signs on town property, and signs that incorporate new technology.
  • Recognition of new technology — businesses are now provided additional flexibility in advertising through Static Electronic Message Boards (SEMBs). Under the new by-law, electronic message signs are permitted on a broader basis. However, there are regulations around illumination levels depending on the time of day. 
  • Upheld advertising sign regulations — the town’s designated employment areas will continue to be the designated area for signs which are used to advertise goods or services not related to the premises.
  • Enhanced exceptions and amendments process — to simplify the process for the client, applicants seeking changes to sign regulations will now have options available according to the impact of the change being requested. These options include exceptions, appeals and amendments.
  • A new notification and confirmation process — permanent sign applicants must now provide notification followed by as-built confirmation of sign installation so staff can better monitor the installation process and guarantee that signs have been installed correctly.
  • An updated enforcement process — enforcement processes have been updated and streamlined by including orders and administrative fees. A $100 fee will be charged for second and subsequent orders issued to the same property when there has been no change in property ownership. 
  • Revised sign permit fees — the fees are set to achieve full cost recovery for the sign program.

Before the new by-law was created, all aspects of the by-law including format, function and standards were evaluated. 

According to the news release, staff was directed by council to revise the new by-law in order to increase real estate open house directional signs from three to five per open house. 

There are, however, still more rules and regulations regarding signs that need to be looked at.

Community mobile signs will continue to be reviewed in 2019. 

Staff will also be reviewing election sign regulations.

Click here to view the Sign By-Law Review staff report from the Dec. 10 Planning and Development Council in full.

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