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Eight isn’t enough for fingerboard signs

By Nicole Kleinsteuber
Prince Edward County Council voted to scrap  limitations placed on business owners stating how many fingerboard signs they’re allowed to post giving directions to their location.
Owners from Closson Chase and The Grange vineyards requested council to remove the restrictions, saying the current eight directional fingerboards allowed aren’t providing visitors with adequate directions.
Councillor Terry Shortt agrees with the vineyard owners and said it’s important in a tourist area to make sure travellers don’t get lost.
“I know from my own experiences in travelling if you’re looking for a resort or certain site, if you miss a corner that doesn’t have a fingerboard sign on it you’re lost,” said Shortt.
Shortt said when he brought the bylaw to council in May, he had no restriction to the number of fingerboard signs, and it was put on by staff.
Bev Campbell asked Commissioner of Public Works, Robert McAuley to explain reasoning behind limiting the number of signs to eight.
McAuley said there was a concern with sign pollution.
“The number was chosen by staff and was thought to be reasonable,” he said.
The Grange owner Caroline Granger said there are multiple ways to get to her business and she doesn’t feel limiting her business to eight fingerboards is reasonable.
“When we increased our number to 12, our visitors stopped saying we were hard to find,” said Granger.
Councillor Gale doesn’t think fingerboard purchases should be restricted because they serve multiple purposes.
“If businesses use the signs for directional purposes and get them to keep our economy going then I don’t see a problem,” said Gale.
Councillor Nowitski wanted to leave the amount of signs allowed at eight.
“If you look at Schoharie Road and Belleville Road there has got to be 20 fingerboard signs on that one location.  If we increase then were going to end up with fingerboards all over the place.”
Councillor O’Brien doesn’t agree with the limitation.  She said she uses and appreciates fingerboard signs.
“It’s a clear, uniform way to direct patrons to places in the county and that’s what we’re here to do – promote business,” said O’Brien.
Councillor Marisett suggested limiting the distance in which a business can provide directions to their business.
“If there is a business located in Hillier you don’t need fingerboard signs directing you to that business in South Marysburgh,” said Marisett.
Shortt said looking into measuring distance over-complicates the issue.
“This is a sign bylaw it simply states the size of sign and the number of signs that you can have,” said Shortt.  “The rest is up to the business owner and whether or not they’re willing to spend a 100 or 1000 dollars on signs.”

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