‘Banner year’ for White Rock bylaw enforcement

“It’s almost like they don’t want the businesses to succeed,” says one Marine Drive restaurant manager.

A rule in White Rock’s sign bylaw that restricts businesses to hanging just one banner per year is akin to kicking business owners when they’re down, say managers of one Marine Drive restaurant.

Tracy Gass and Arun Fryer said they were shocked when bylaw officers told them that a banner hung on the railing at Charlie Don’t Surf violates city rules. They first needed to pay $75 for a permit, and then the sign – which is advertising a fish-and-chips deal – could hang for up to 28 days, they were told.

While the stipulation is one of many that took effect last January with approval of the city’s new sign bylaw, Gass and Fryer said to enforce the rule during the waterfront’s slowest months of business is “ridiculous.”

“The parking lot is empty,” Gass said. “There’s no one in here and we can’t get this special going. How is he (owner John Carroll) supposed to do business down here if we can’t even put a special on?”

Paul Stanton, the city’s director of planning and development services, said last week that the banner rule itself is not new; there were similar regulations in the city’s previous sign bylaw. Enforcing the rule, however, is being taken more seriously.

“The commissionaires were told not to enforce that part of the bylaw before, whereas now they’re being told to enforce the bylaw,” he said. “We have a new bylaw and they’re being told to do their job.”

Stanton said he hadn’t heard of any complaints, and confirmed business owners had a voice in developing all of the new rules. The revamped legislation also includes an updated fee schedule and provisions for sandwich boards, which were previously prohibited.

“We went through the BIA for input, and had a number of meetings over it,” he said.

Businesses that violate the bylaw won’t be hit with a ticket right away, Stanton said. But those who continually ignore repeated warnings will, at some point, be fined.

Gass said she doesn’t know what will happen if Charlie’s is ticketed for the banner.

A $100 fine handed to the business in September for violating sandwich-board rules remains on display – and unpaid – in the restaurant, she said.

Following a second warning Dec. 5, and a subsequent visit the next day, the two-for-one banner – along with a second hung to promote Christmas-party bookings – were taken down, she said.

Carroll said he hasn’t decided what to do, but may hang them in the restaurant’s windows, which he was told is allowed.

He added he wasn’t asked for input on the new sign bylaw, and that this year is the first his banners have been singled out by the city.

“It’s very frustrating,” Carroll said. “I’m confused, to say the least.”

Echoing Gass, Fryer agreed it doesn’t make sense to enforce the bylaw at a time when many waterfront businesses are struggling to entice clientele.

“(The city) should be begging for people to come down to the beach.

“It’s almost like they don’t want the businesses to succeed.”

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Items collected from last year’s Ocean Park Food Drive. (Contributed file photo)
Ocean Park Food Drive expands, open to residents south of 32 Avenue

Homeowners south of 32 Avenue and west of 160 Street encouraged to put donations on doorstep

(Black Press Media files)
‘Potentially damaging’ winds expected in Metro Vancouver

Wind is expected to pick up late Sunday night

Bella Coola RCMP are alerting residents that the road between 4 Mile subdivision and downtown will be closed until at least tomorrow. (File image)
Missing man found safe, Surrey RCMP said

Riley Arnold- Higgenbottom was last seen at 1:30 p.m., Nov. 28 in the 18900-block of 69 A Avenue

An animated Gordie Hogg introduces his 'Community Connections' videos. (YouTube screenshot)
Community Connections: Gordie Hogg speaks with Kathy McIntyre

Former mayor, MP began posting conversations on YouTube in June

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Top doctor urges Canadians to limit gatherings as ‘deeply concerning’ outbreaks continue

Canada’s active cases currently stand at 63,835, compared to 53,907 a week prior

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

Langley RCMP issued a $2,300 fine to the Riverside Calvary church in Langley in the 9600 block of 201 Street for holding an in-person service on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, despite a provincial COVID-19 related ban (Dan Ferguson/Black Press Media)
Updated: Langley church fined for holding in-person Sunday service

Calvary church was fined $2,300 for defying provincial order

The Abbotsford Police Department is investigating a shooting on Adair Avenue on Saturday night. (Photo by Dale Klippenstein)
Drive-by shooting in Abbotsford targeted home with young children, police say

Investigators believe home was mistakenly targeted by assailants

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
B.C. care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Family would get paid as temporary workers, while having chance to see loved ones while wearing PPE

Most Read