Township lays out its sign rules

Langley Township is looking at stricter rules for signs used during election season.

This fall will see Township and school board candidates putting up signs along local roads, in a traditional form of advertising that goes back decades.

But this year, the Township is looking at keeping those signs farther away from intersections, to improve traffic safety.

The massive new bylaw is intended to combine and simplify rules that were scattered across a number of different sections of legislation before now.

The bylaw was brought before the council Jan. 13.

If passed, the new rules will end the practice of having clusters of signs around intersections.

The rules would ban signs within 30 metres of an intersection, and within two metres of the curb or nearest driving lane.

There will also beefed up penalties for anyone violating the bylaw.

A ticket of $200 can be handed out by the Township for violating the placement rules, or for causing any danger to drivers or pedestrians.

The Township can also remove any signs that violate the rules.

Coun. Kim Richter asked why there needed to be height restrictions on signs.

She also questioned the $200 penalty.

“That seems to me a little excessive,” she said.

Mayor Jack Froese noted that the bylaw officers will have discretion about whether to actually hand out tickets immediately, or to give warnings and let candidates move the signs.

Some of the rules suggest Township staff are worried about a number of high-tech gimmicks.

Signs “must not be animated, illuminated, rotating, flashing or have moving lights or other electrical features [and] must not have attachments such as balloons, kites, an electronic message centre or inflatable devices,” reads one section.

The Township council didn’t vote on the measure immediately on Monday, sending it instead to a Council Priorities Committee meeting for more discussion.

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