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Sign OK, but must be maintained

The sign on Lake Country district property hasn’t had the correct permit since 2011.
The Lakes sign on Lake Country district property has proved contentious.

A sign near Tim Horton’s in Lake Country gave Lake Country council plenty to talk about at its bi-weekly meeting on Sept. 5.

The sign points drivers along Highway 97 to The Lakes, a development that when completed will add some 3,500 residents to the district.

The sign is on Lake Country district property and has been since 2004. For the past several years it hasn’t had the correct permit—a temporary use permit—that is needed to have a sign on district property. A permit was granted in 2004, ran out and then was denied in 2011.

Now council has decided to re-grant the temporary permit for the next three years but not before some discussion.

“How temporary is it if it’s been there for a decade?” asked Coun. Jamie McEwan. “Are we setting a precedent by allowing a third party billboard in Lake Country? Are we opening our doors for people to come in and ask for a billboard?”

In a letter, the developer of the Lakes told council that the sign is needed to direct people to the area to help sell the development and create more of a tax base for the district.

That had councillors leaning towards allowing the sign.

“It will add about 35 hundred people and that’s a whole community, a major development,” said Coun. Penny Gambell. “The permit did lapse and that’s our responsibility. I just think it makes sense that we would continue to allow it.”

Council was concerned with the shoddy upkeep of the area around the sign and passed a resolution allowing for a new three year permit with the added notation for the developer to regularly maintain the landscaping around the sign.