Kitimat Council backs a solution to liquor store sign

A controversial sign will be moved back but can remain up, at least until winter hits.

A sign advertising liquor sales at the store attached to the Ol’ Keg Pub caused some work for council but a solution has been set, although was not unanimous.

The property owners submitted a retroactive downtown revitalization area development permit (DRA-DP) after it was discovered the sign had been placed on District of Kitimat property.

Such permits are required for new projects such as signs, and signs that do not advertise community events are not permitted on District property.

Council earlier had directed staff to work with Elly Castilho and Ron Skuggedal on figuring out a solution to the sign, rather than simply grant or deny a permit at their last regular meeting.

The solution now is to give the permit with the conditions that the sign be moved on to private property, that the concrete blocks be covered, the sign be landscaped, and that the sign be removed in the winter.

Director of Planning and Community Development Gwen Sewell said the sign would be removed at the end of September this year.

Mario Feldhoff moved for staff’s recommendation but Rob Goffinet argued he wasn’t happy with the sign.

“When this first came to us there was the issue that the sign itself was not compliant with the other signs of businesses in the general area and I believe one of the business people in public comment referenced that fact,” he said, saying the look of the sign hasn’t really been addressed.

“The most troubling part of this is the sign has to actually be removed [in winter] because it can’t stand the winter in Kitimat,” he said.

“Why would we ever site a sign that has to be taken down over the entire winter?” he asked. “I think this sign has fundamental flaws and I would say it doesn’t fit in with the quality of signage everywhere else in the community.”

Feldhoff countered that council shouldn’t pick apart this issue.

“Lets not beat this to death,” he said, saying the conditions are resonable, and were endorsed by the Downtown Design Panel.

Goffinet voted against the recommendations but was outnumbered with the remainder of council in favour.