January 16, 2012
Mayor Gregor Robertson,
Members of City Council
City of Vancouver
453 West 12th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5Y 1V4
Re: Motion on Notice – BC Place Digital Signs
Dear Mayor Roberson & Members of Council,
I am writing on behalf of the Vancouver Public Space Network (VPSN) to offer our support for Councillor Geoff Meggs’ motion on BC Place outdoor signage.
We are concerned both about the material aspects (size and functioning) of these signs, as well as the process through which they were installed. We are encouraged that Councillor Meggs is proposing that the City request “a clear action plan by PavCo to bring the signs into compliance with City standards and processes.”
Of particular concern to the VPSN are:
- The size of the signs (many times larger than would be allowed under the City’s Sign Bylaw),
- Their luminosity (in particular their nighttime impact on both residents and drivers);
- The visual impact of the signs themselves (particularly with the western-most sign which overshadows the recently renewed Terry Fox Memorial; and
- The lack of any reasonable public process connected with the installation of the signs.
On this latter note, we understand that the fact that the Stadium site on which the signs were installed is owned by PavCo, a Provincial crown corporation. We further understand that this may have jurisdictional (or extrajurisdictonal) implications in terms of the application of the City’s Sign Bylaw.
Nevertheless, we feel that the present motion is the appropriate approach to take. It provides a more substantive follow-up to the Mayor’s earlier correspondence with PavCo and allows them a further opportunity to properly resolve this issue in the spirit of good neighborly relations.
At the same time, we encourage the City to be clear about what they feel “bringing the signs into compliance” might mean. There is some latitude for allowing variances to the Sign bylaw. We feel that it would be helpful (and in the public interest) for the City to declare its desired outcome – or opportunities for negotiations – beyond the request for adherence to the municipal Sign Bylaw.
Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to comment on this matter. Should you have any questions or comments about our letter, please do not hesitate to contact me at your convenience.
Vancouver Public Space Network
Box 2759, Station Terminal, 349 W. Georgia
Vancouver, BC, V6B 3X2 | vpsn.ca | @vpsn