As far back as 2017, conversations around advertising signage were happening at Council. At that time, Council asked staff to provide options for a policy. After researching similar programs, conducting workshops, engaging the business community, and consultation with Nova Scotia Transportation & Active Transit (NSTAT), Staff and Council developed a draft Uniform Advertising Signage By-law and Program.
The intention is to implement the draft By-law throughout the entire Municipality, but we will use near Exit 6 (46 Highway 3 to 443 Highway 3 in the Hubbards/ Simms Settlement area) as the pilot location. Then, after the pilot is finished and if the program is well-received, Council will review it again. Before adjusting the By-law to fit the rest of the Municipality, it will go through another adoption process, which includes notifying the public and receiving feedback.
The By-law uses a regulatory framework for erecting, maintaining, pasting, painting, or exposing advertisements along portions of the highways and routes in the Municipality. Signage within the area covered by the By-Law will be consistent in appearance and recognizable by visitors. Signage not permitted by the uniform signage program non-tourist related businesses) can still advertise outside of the By-law area but will need a permit from NSTAT.
Some of the provisions being regulated through the By-law are:
- The Program will only be open to tourism-related businesses.
- There is an application fee of $ 150 that will cover the costs of the sign and installation, and $40 maintenance fee for every year following.
- Community Development Staff will handle application submissions and any inquiries from business owners as well as issue permits for uniform signage.
- Tourism businesses within the Municipality can have two uniform advertising signs.
- Tourism businesses outside of the Municipality can have one uniform advertising sign and cannot be more than 10 km from the signage structure that they intend to advertise on.
- Owners of Illegal signs will be notified by the Municipality via registered letter and
- will have 14 days to retrieve their sign before it is destroyed.
Owners of existing signs in the pilot area (near Exit 6) were already contacted regarding the upcoming By-law and Program.
Council made a motion to approve First Reading of the draft By-law on July 22, 2021. This means that once public feedback is received, it will be moved to Second Reading and then adopted.
You can review the draft By-law by visiting our public engagement website at www.voicesandchoices.ca/uniform-signage. You can also request a copy of the draft By-law by calling the Municipal Clerk at 902-275-3554. For information about the draft By-law, or to provide your feedback, you can email planning@chester. ca or call 902-275-2599.
The Municipality plans to implement the By-Law and Program in the Spring of 2022.