Trailer advertising on highways a provincial issue

Eyesores being discussed at different government levels

County of Wetaskiwin councilors heard a report about tractor-trailer signs in the municipality, and across the province, during their Planning and Development council meeting Sept. 17.

The issue was presented in a memo by Assistant CAO Jeff Chipley, who told councilors tractor-trailer advertising is a province-wide issue.

“On July 18, 2019, the Rural Municipalities of Alberta (RMA) sent a letter to the Honourable Rick McIver, Minister of Transportation, expressing the members concerns with highway trailer signs,” stated Chipley in his memo.

“The letter, which is provided for review by Council, provided information on previous work, included a list of recommendations to address concerns with these signs, and requested an update from the Minister of Transportation.

“Administration notes that the County of Wetaskiwin does indeed have several unauthorized tractor trailer signs, with the majority of them being along Highways 2, 2A, 13, and 616. Regarding this matter, Administration notes that these signs are regulated under the Highway Development and Protection Act and associated regulations, all of which are overseen by Alberta Transportation.

“In a response to a concerned citizen that the County of Wetaskiwin was copied on, Alberta Transportation noted the following regarding the matter: “Under the Act, Alberta Transportation is responsible for signs within the right of way of provincial highways.

“The Act also gives Alberta Transportation authority to manage signs within the development control zone outside the provincial highway rights of way (development control zones extend 300 metres from a right of way boundary and 800 metres from the centre line of provincial highway intersections with other public roads). The Act prohibits advertisement signs in the highway development control zone along major highways in rural municipalities.” Additionally, the County of Wetaskiwin has specific references to sign regulations, including tractor trailer signs, as contained within the current Land Use Bylaw.”

Chipley noted tractor-trailers aren’t considered a “sign” in the County of Wetaskiwin.

“As further clarification, Administration notes that a tractor trailer sign is considered a ‘Development’ and if located on a property in the County of Wetaskiwin, is technically required to have an approved Development Permit.

“Currently, only one (1) Tractor Trailer sign has been approved by the County. No other applications have been made to or been granted approval by the County.”

Councilor Kathy Rooyakkers echoed this concern, noting the county doesn’t know if the tractor-trailers have a provincial permit.

Chipley said the fact the issue is being discussed at different levels is a good “sign,” no pun intended.

“In summary, the matter of unauthorized Tractor Trailer signs is an issue that continues to be ongoing and requires a collaborative approach between both Municipalities and the Province,” stated Chipley.

“In this regard, the correspondence between the Rural Municipalities of Alberta and the Minister of Transportation provides a proactive step forward in alleviating this increasing worsening matter.”

Council accepted Chipley’s report for information.

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