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Stop order upheld on Highway 2-area signs near Olds


MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY – The county's subdivision and development appeal board (SDAB) has upheld a stop order regarding two signs on the sides of trailers in the county.

The ruling came following a Dec. 19 appeal hearing held in council chambers. The SDAB is made up of county councillors and appointed members of the public.

The trailer signs involved are owned by appellant Inc. based in Grande Prairie.

They had been positioned southeast of the intersection between Highway 2 and Highway 27 east of Olds and on a rural property about four kilometres north of the intersection between Highway 2 and Highway 581.

The county had a stop order issued for both trailers saying they were not permitted under the land use bylaw, that they were unauthorized use/development of prohibited signs.

Posted on both sides of large tractor trailers, the signs have the company name and the words: “The trusted way to sell farm & ranch land.”

During the appeal hearing, appellant president and CEO Roy Carter said the signs were in place to advertise properties at each site.

“We believe people have the right to market their land in a way that they basically can advertise and promote their land so it is reasonable and they are not bound by conventional real estate signs,” said Carter.

Margaretha Bloem, director of planning and development services with the county, spoke on behalf of the respondent (Mountain View County).

She said the county has provisions in the land use bylaw prohibiting some signs.

Section 7.2 specifically reads: “All signs that are not in accordance with the definitions for signs under the commercial and industrial guidelines shall be prohibited from development, except for portable signs erected by the county or the RCMP.

“The types of signs prohibited include signs displayed on shipping containers, roadside signs displayed on licensed or unlicensed vehicles, machinery or other objects.”

In its published notice of decision, the board ruled to deny the appeal and uphold the stop order on the signs.

“The decision of the SDAB is to vary the time for compliance outlined within the stop order to require the development to be removed from the lands to be in compliance with Mountain County bylaw No. 16/18 within 14 days of the date of the signing of this notice of decision,” the ruling states.

 The board cited five reasons for the decision, including the following:

• The board determined that although there is not an explicit definition for the term "roadside" contained (in the bylaw) the board accepts the evidence provided that the development falls within Alberta Transportation’s development control zone and thereby accepts the determination by the respondent that the development is appropriately defined as "roadside."

• The board determined that the signage in question was appropriately classified as a prohibited sign (under the bylaw) due to its placement on a trailer located roadside. The board determined that regardless if the signage is deemed to be a real estate sign, its placement on a trailer located roadside contradicts the provisions of the bylaw.

• The board determined that the stop order was administered appropriately in accordance with the Municipal Government Act.

The appellant could appeal the SDAB decision to the provincial Court of Appeal within 30 days of the Dec. 24 ruling.




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