City News

New Richmond sign regulations receive initial approval

14 June 2017

Richmond City Council has given first reading to an updated Sign Bylaw and other bylaw amendments, which will modernize regulations related to signage, increase education and enforcement and address a variety of concerns about clutter and visual pollution. City staff were also directed to further study and report back on policy options to encourage the use of English and/or French on signs.

The new bylaw includes a number of major changes, including:

  • decluttering rules, which will limit the percentage of storefront windows that can be covered by signage;
  • updating the existing Sign Bylaw dating back to 1990 to modernize language and definitions,  and meet current business needs, technology advancements and trends;
  • clarifying rules for temporary signs, such as signs for new businesses, signs for community events or signs on construction sites;
  • specifying the number, location and duration of display of each type of sign permitted;
  • increasing application fees to recover processing costs and match current norms across the region;and
  • increasing penalties for sign bylaw infractions and introducing an adjudication process to deal with disputes.

Subject to funding, a permanent full time sign inspector, with fluency in English and Chinese, will be hired to continue the City’s successful outreach program designed to educate businesses and ensure compliance with signage regulations.

The sign inspector will also raise awareness of City’s current preference that all signs include English. Since the launch of the outreach program, 100 per cent of new approved signs have voluntarily complied with the preference to include English.

The updated Sign Bylaw and other amendments are expected to receive final reading from Council on July 10, 2017and implementation will begin this summer.

Staff will continue to work on options for policy related to language on signs. Further public consultation will take place once policy options are identified.