Petrolia businesses could face stiff fines for misplaced signboards


Retailers in Petrolia could face stiff fines if their sandwich board signs get in the way of pedestrians.

That’s one of the changes after Petrolia Town Council updated its sign bylaw.

Ron Nesbitt, a Lambton County planner working for Petrolia, says the bylaw has been working fairly well since it was put in place but some changes needed to be made.

The changes were prompted by some of the problems the town was having regulating street signs commonly called sandwich boards. Deputy Clerk Mandi Pearson says often the signs end up in the middle of the sidewalk.

“It’s a matter of public safety,” says Pearson. “No matter how many notices I hand deliver people put them in the middle of the sidewalk.”

The amendments spell out retailers must leave about six feet of space for pedestrians and if they don’t, they could face a $250 fine.

The changes also limit how big signs in store windows can be. “In both commercial and downtown regulations more complete set of rules,” says Nesbitt. “We want to keep windows open – we want to be able to see inside the store…we’ve limited the amount of signs (allowing retailers) to cover up to 25 percent of a window with signage.”

Pearson says the issue came up when three businesses wanted to use new technology, which allowed pedestrians to use touch screen technology with electronic window signs.

The bylaw would allow the use of the electronic signs as long as they don’t cover more than 25 per cent of the window.

Nesbitt says the changes also give council more leeway on signage allowing council to approve signage, which may not be “exactly to the letter” of the bylaw but “make sense according to the building.”