Council chief deals with issue of business signs

Montrose council chief Maurice Shipley is recommending that the towns sign laws be amended to make it easier for businesses to adhere to and for the city to implement.

He said restrictions on three types of signs in the current laws need clarifying - vinyl banner signs, A boards and illuminated signs

Shipley said the council may want to relax the rules that currently limit a business’ use of banner signs to six times a year for periods of up to 30 days at a time.

Businesses are supposed to obtain a city permit to put up the banner signs.

Shipley stated that banner signs have proliferated because they are relatively cheap. He suggested eliminating the time restrictions on the signs, but requiring them to be attached to buildings.

The councillor noted that a boards signs are allowed on pavements in commercial areas, but not on pavements in other parts of the city.

"Some clarification of when and where these signs are allowed would be helpful" Shipley wrote.

He said LED technology has made the city’s current restriction on illuminated signs ineffective. The ordinance limits the intensity of each individual bulb in an illuminated message board sign to 33 watts, he noted, but LED lights use just a fraction of the electricity that older lights do.

Shipley suggested that the City Council put a moratorium on the placement of new illuminated signs until the ordinance regulating them is changed.

Melissa Abbott, owner of The Fat Duck restaurant on Moston Road complained to the council at the the meeting about a notice she had received from the city demanding that the business remove directional A boards on Jackson Road.

Abbott said removing the sign pointing potential customers to her restaurant would have a negative effect on business.

Shipley reported that notices were mailed recently to businesses asking them to remove signs in that are in violation of the existing laws on illuminated signs.

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