Brampton to allow city councillor's 'slow down' signs on private property

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After an entire year, the City of Brampton will be allowing the posting of councillor Charmaine Williams’ ‘slow down’ signs.

On January 9, Williams released a statement in regard to the ‘Please Slow Down’ signs that were posted by residents around the City of Brampton.

In the statement, Williams stated that the city should apologize for threatening to charge parents who displayed the signs last year in a media statement and revealed a legal opinion that confirmed the signs were legal when placed on private property.

"Pedestrian safety should be a priority for the City of Brampton. These signs are not the total solution, but they are PART of the solution in increasing pedestrian safety. No change to the sign bylaw is necessary. The signs are already allowed," said Williams.

Williams also emphasized her commitment to encouraging and supporting Brampton residents who want to make their neighbourhoods safer.

At the end of January, Brampton City Council passed a resolution that restricted the posting of signs that identify, or contain references to a social media account or candidate, pending completion of the City’s Sign By-law review. 

The resolution stated that "in the interest of balancing freedom of speech with the visual landscape of signage in Brampton, that the usage of signs identifying an elected official or candidate (referring to a Member of Council, provincial or federal office, or including a photo, website or social media link thereof), not be permitted until such time as the review of Sign By-law 399-2002 has concluded or an amendment thereto has been considered by Council."

The resolution continued to allow the posting of ‘slow down’ signs as Brampton continued to review the Sign By-law as per the statement from January 9, 2020, threatening to charge parents who displayed the signs.

However, despite this, any ‘slow down; sign or other signs in general, which were erected after January 22, 2020, were still to conform to the Council resolution, including the requirement that no website referenced could identify an elected official. 

The City concluded by stating that they expected the outcome of its comprehensive Sign By-law review to be presented to City Council later this year.

At a conference on September 2, bylaw director Paul Morrisson confirmed that the sign bylaw is still presently “under review by planning and legal services” and are enforcing any signs that are on public property.

The homeowners that have them on their own private property; their own allotment of the property past the city easement, they are going to stay there,” said Morrison, adding that anything on public property will be removed.

While Brampton’s ongoing sign bylaw remains “under review,” Williams continues to state that her signs are legal.

At the same conference, Williams said, “People have the right to put up a sign on their property and to encourage their residents to slow down and it’s a great addition to the automated speed camera system that we have set up to make sure that people are being held accountable if they are going to speed.”

You can't have community safety without community involvement and participation. That's why our residents are so keen on putting a sign on their lawn to encourage drivers to slow down," concluded Williams.

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