City signs get animated

It’s out with the old, in with the new, for Armstrong’s A&W sign and the city’s sign bylaw.

It’s out with the old, in with the new, for Armstrong’s A&W sign and the city’s sign bylaw.

The city is undergoing a process of changing its sign bylaw. The old version prohibits erecting animated signs, which is what A&W has requested.

The new bylaw allows for such signs but, because it hasn’t officially been adopted, the hamburger company has to go through the old process of applying for a development variance permit.

There were no public objections and no concerns or comments from the fire chief, building inspector or Ministry of Transportation to A&W’s plan to add an animated portion to the approved free-standing sign located on Smith Drive. This will replace the existing changeable letter portion of the sign.

An animated sign is described in the new bylaw as a sign that “employs sound or physical movement or change of lighting to depict action, whether by flashing, oscillating, pulsating or traveling illumination.”

There are two conditions for the sign that A&W must follow.

“The change in message shall be limited to one change per minute, and no form of movement in the way of scrolling, flashing, fading change or illumination or chasing borders shall be incorporated into the sign or message,” said Coun. Steven Drapala of the city’s planning and development committee.

The city’s new sign bylaw, which received unanimous three readings at a recent council meeting, proposes to allow for animated signs according to certain specific conditions designed to reduce the potential for driver distraction.

The bylaw also contains updated definitions and regulations, and provides additional clarity regarding sign regulations for business owners and residents.

Councillors Paul Britton and Lance McGregor were absent from the vote.