Council misses deadline to tighten sign rules in Langley Township

Council had wanted to cut the use of signs to 20 days.

Langley Township council voted to drastically shorten the amount of time election signs will be displayed, but it was too late to make changes to election-related bylaws.

Township council unanimously approved a notice of motion Monday evening, which would have restricted the display of election signs to 20 days before the Oct. 20 municipal election.

Councillor Kim Richter – will will run for mayor against incumbent Jack Froese – noted that wording in the current rules will allow signs to go up in early September.

After some discussion and an amendment, the motion was adopted.

However, Township staff confirmed that the last day to make bylaw-related changes to local election rules had already passed.

During the last election, in 2014, signs were allowed to be displayed from Oct. 26 to election day on Nov. 19.

The new motion would have cut that down to 20 days.

But instead, signs will be allowed to be displayed from the first day of the nomination period – which starts on Sept. 4 at 9 a.m. Election signs can be displayed from that day until Oct. 20.

Election signs are typically placed on roadsides in high-traffic areas. In recent years, forests of them have been staked out on some major roads.

Bylaw officers can move or remove signs that are blocking views and could be dangerous to drivers or pedestrians.

Langley City has a more restrictive sign bylaw, which creates two “political sign areas,” one in the BC Hydro right of way zone on 200th Street, and the other near the Gateway of Hope homeless shelter on the Langley Bypass. Signs are not allowed on public property anywhere else.

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