Geoff Meggs introduces motion to kibosh staff call to deal with nonconforming Vancouver billboards

Vancouver city council has voted to ask staff to study the Vancouver sign bylaw rather than approve staff's recommendation to deal with hundreds of nonconforming billboards.

Vision Vancouver councillor Geoff Meggs introduced the motion at today's (March 5)  planning and environment committee meeting.

The motion was approved over the opposition of the two COPE councillors, David Cadman and Ellen Woodsworth, who supported the staff recommendation.

Staff noted in its report that approximately 313 of 612 billboards in Vancouver are subject to removal, including 13 on city-owned property.

Staff recommended  beginning with a “removal process”  for 118 nonconforming billboards within 30 metres of residential premises.

This would have unfolded over the next two to three years.

In 2000, council amended the sign bylaw to ban billboards within 60 metres of a residential area. The following year, council banned billboards within 60 metres of existing and future rapid-transit or rail tracks with passenger trains.

After Meggs introduced his motion,  a Jim Pattison executive, John Moonen,  spoke to council opposing the staff recommendation.

A senior Jim Pattison Group executive, Glen Clark, was premier when Meggs was the NDP government’s director of communications.

In  January, Pattison told the Vancouver Sun that Clark is responsible for 9,000 employees, including those who work for the Pattison Sign Group.