Donair sign boards don’t belong by highway

Owner's crusade continues on legalizing roadside A-frames

Pita Jack owner Gerhard Loeffeler says he is “not giving up” in his lobby to eliminate a District of 100 Mile House ordinance prohibiting sandwich board signs.

He addressed District council on Jan. 20 about getting the bylaw changed to allow him to place one of these A-frame signs along the highway, but was told the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MoTI) won’t allow it on the right-of-way (RoW).

Now, Loeffeler is going to continue to pursue getting sandwich boards allowed on other land in District, but is expanding his focus to other “business-unfriendly” bylaws, such as tourism-specific zoning.

“The whole signage bylaw is ridiculous. I will get a petition going collecting signatures to change those bylaws … because then they will have to deal with it.”

Mayor Mitch Campsall notes because MoTI does not allow private business signage on its right-of-way, council’s hands are tied.

“We will have a talk with [MoTI], but I don’t find them hopeful [for Loeffeler] because they have turned us down before. It doesn’t matter if we change our bylaws or not, they make that decision.”

However, the District-wide ordinance against sandwich board signs will be reviewed for potential change, Campsall explains.

“We’ll look at the bylaw and see what we can do. There are lots of issues and lots of concerns and liabilities and what-have-you that are all to do with sandwich boards on sidewalks.

“We’ve got to take a good look at it and see … staff is tasked with doing that right now. Eventually, it will come back to council.”

The mayor says there are A-frame signs illegally in use now, but the District follows up on bylaw complaints rather than seeking out individual infractions, which is “a waste of time and energy.”

“We have no interest in targeting anybody, we are here to make business work.”

Loeffeler says he was told by the bylaw officer that the District has difficulty enforcing the ban on sandwich board signs on private property.

However, a meridian strip closer to his restaurant, which is on private land, is hidden from the highway traffic’s line of sight by a snowbank, and is often also behind a row of parked trucks, he notes.

The Pita Jack owner says he plans to talk to MoTI to see if it understands it is a portable and temporary sign needed mostly at peak hours. He is looking for some flexibility or lenience on its policy.

As of press time, Loeffeler adds he has not received a reply from the District on the questions he raised at the meeting.

Meanwhile, he is considering placing a larger sign on private property south of town to attract travellers, but says that won’t solve his problem of having mealtime traffic cruise on by his donair and pizza restaurant.

“Then they need the indication in town to [find] the business … or they don’t see us.”

See related story on page A4 of the Jan. 29, 100 Mile House Free Press.

 

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