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Beach Bum owner hopes to sway council vote Tuesday

Beach-Bum-signThe owner of Picton’s Beach Bum store will ask council to reconsider its committee of the whole decision to deny a heritage permit and larger sign on the downtown store – lost by a 7-6 vote – or to help pay costs for a new one.

Cindy Nicholls, scheduled to present a deputation at Tuesday night’s council meeting, will ask to keep the current sign in place and avoid additional expenses.

The Beach Bum, has operated in the County for the past 25 years, and moved recently just a few doors down. The bright blue and yellow colours, and the sign’s size, do not fit in with the new heritage district guidelines.

“It was designed to be recognizable, to draw customers to our store, to entice local and tourist Main Street shopping,” said Nicholls in her report to council. “We are the type of business the town of Picton should encourage for contributing to a vibrant downtown, ultimately an asset to the County economy. Some visitors to the County actually consider our store to be a tourist attraction.”

“As ascertained in the previous meeting, the sign is a mere 2.3 per cent over the allowable size. We opted for a sign of this size to cover the entire, ugly brown corrugate-like fascia. Surely you would grant an exemption for that.”

Nicholls, in her report, notes she favours conservation and preservation of heritage buildings but notes “in protecting our past, we must also allow for freedom of expression, diversity and creativity so as not to create a dull, mundane cookie-cutter environment.”

She also notes comminities with heritage districts also have a Facade Improvement Program program and funding for business owners to help cover costs – especially for those who may have to have signage that is against business owners’ visions and branding.

“If we have no choice but to implement modifications to the existing sign (mutually agreeable changes), we believe the costs should be borne by the County,” Nicholls’ report suggests. “Or perhaps the funds could come from the BIA as I believe they have a $3,000 surplus. Or, postpone changes until which time there is a Facade Improvement Fund to draw from.”

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