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Illegal signs on Métis Trail raise resident concerns, councillor says

Sign litter along Métis Trail in Calgary’s northeast has the area councillor asking what the city can do to fix the situation.

Ward 5 Coun. Raj Dhaliwal raised the issue in question period at Tuesday’s Combined Meeting of Council.

Dhaliwal said there’s been a number of 311 calls regarding the issue. He said the signage doesn’t comply with bylaw 29M97. That’s the Temporary Signs on Highways Bylaw, which forbids the use of signage along major roads.

The bylaw expressly prohibits signage along Métis Trail from McKnight Blvd. to Stoney Trail.

Prohibited sign areas are in red. CITY OF CALGARY BYLAW

According to the city, 311 has received 100 Métis Trail illegal sign complaints from 2019 until May 31 of this year. Some of the signage consists of multiples for one business.

Dhaliwal is concerned that residents might take action if the city doesn’t.

“I don’t want it to come to a point where residents are taking these signs out because they shouldn’t be,” Dhaliwal said.

“No other ward in the city has this many complaints. It leaves me to assume it’s because people either comply better or bylaw officers actually get out to address them there.”

According to Dhaliwal, none of the signs on Métis Trail comply with any of the laws. That includes the mobile community sign bylaw.

City working on a fix: GM

Calgary’s Community Services GM, Katie Black, said the city is aware of the different parts of Calgary where there are challenges of illegal signage. They’re working on fixing the issue.

“We are working right now with our peace officer team to develop some really great proactive strategies,” Black told council.

“We are seizing, illegally placed signs. We’re issuing fines for individuals or businesses that continue to place signs illegally along streets.”

Dhaliwal questioned if fines were handed out to businesses that have not been complying with the city’s bylaws. In response, Black said the city is reviewing the fee schedule to make sure it’s covering the cost of enforcement.

Black also encourages Calgarians in helping the city to decrease the amount of illegal sign usage.

“We encourage any citizen to please call 311 to let us know if you’re concerned about illegal signs in the area,” she said.

Calgarians can go to Calgary.ca for more information on how the city handles illegally placed signs, Black said.