Council seeks guidance on illuminated signs

Faced with its 8th decision in two years regarding illuminated signs, the Highlands Park Council Monday sought the advice of experts for guidance on a technology not covered in the zoning code.

The request followed a hearing on an application from Eton Supermarket, which is seeking to erect an illuminated fascia signs on its premises.

Councillor Benjamin Lewis asked legal adviser George Smith for his judgement on the legal status of illuminated signs.

In time, said Lewis, every business in Highlands Park could appear before the council seeking permission to erect illuminated signs, and the council has neither the right nor the responsibility of making policy on the issue.

Eton's is asking for a variance from the sections of the by-laws that prohibit "illuminated signs that uses any method of illumination that can cause glare" and "any fascia signs with flashing, revolving, revolving, moving or animated parts."

The code does not mention LED displays, but it does make an exception to the prohibition on moving signs for barber poles, an older form of advertising that is no longer as common as it once was.

Since March 2006, the council has granted variances for illuminated signs to Highlands Park Grammar School, The Organic Bakery, Maxine's Hair Salon and a dental practice.

The new illuminated signs at Etonís will replace older, window graphics, a boards, banners and magnetic signs, supermarket manager Simon Neil told the council.

"It looks like you are getting three bites of the cherry to me" council member Craig Wilson told Neil. "Youíre getting illuminated signs across the top, window graphics in the middle and a boards on the pavement."

The council postponed a decision on the illuminated signs until January.

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