In case you haven’t heard, there is much to do about our new sign. The short of it is that is was disapproved by Planning after the fact. Looks like my recent letter to the editor in rebuttal to a letter last week was a bit too much for the Gazette. Here’s what I sent in…..
OF COURSE HERITAGE MATTERS….
But not when in infringes upon ones’ personal right to Freedom of Expression.
As Mr. Roberts pointed out in his recent letter, the permit process is fairly simple. Yes, many local businesses have applied and received approval. Several businesses have also erected new signs without any type of permit – heritage or otherwise. I know this firsthand from ‘the horse’s mouth’ but far be it from me to mention any names. However, one of those businesses happened to be the LCBO who did not have a permit for their signage at their temporary location at the old Mac’s Milk location. A commercial building was being purchased, inventory was trying to be cleared out, a very big move was on the horizon and the sign permit was forgotten. No malicious intent to defy any bylaws. The permit was promptly filled out, returned and PAID for within 24 hours of receiving it from the Chief Building Officer. It was denied. I appealed as I have the right to do so. And, I would have done the same had the process been followed. As well intentioned as the HCD plan is, I welcome anyone to show me where it states that I HAVE TO do anything…..it suggests what a sign should look like, what it should be made of, what colours ‘they’ prefer it to be in, what materials are discouraged, etc. It is suggestive and subjective. And subjective information (based on personal opinions, interpretations, points of view) is ill suited for decision making as it is not fact based and measurable. I think you get my point. Nowhere does it state that a sign MUST be done in any certain way except that it SHALL comply with existing sign by laws. Which brings me to my next point…..the sign is 2.4% larger than what is allotted for our building façade size. Now, 2.4% is tiny. Mr. Roberts, how many times have you gone 100km’s on Hwy. 62?? How many times have you possibly put out cardboard for recycling that wasn’t tied in the proper sized bundle?? There will always be exceptions to rules and laws will always be broken. That is a fact of life. Nowhere in any sign permits pulled for my viewing through a Freedom of Information Act request did I see a request for a sign size exemption. It’s not a common thing nor would it become one if I was granted one. This seems to be a case of selective persecution which angers me. I am a small business owner….not Home Hardware, not LCBO, not the owner of the docks thus not a big tax payer nor a big employer of the county. Nor do I have the ability to vote in favour of my own wrong doings such as council does (proper Heritage permits for the major construction being done on Main Street). When council doesn’t follow the rules, when the county doesn’t follow its own bylaws (3286-2013) and when the bylaw system is complaint based and backwards, there is cause for concern.
If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around, does it still make a sound?? If a sign is erected and no one complains about it, is a permit still required??