Road signs proposed
By Becky Somerville
Fanshawe Park Road may soon emulate Highway 401, if a request to construct three corporate landscape logos is passed.
According to John Gauld, manager of site plan approvals for the planning and development department for the City of London, Oxford Dodge Chrysler Ltd. asked city council to amend a city bylaw which governs signs in the city.
London's sign and canopy bylaw does not provide for the type of landscape display sign Oxford Dodge had requested, Gauld said, so they asked the city to amend it.
"Their proposal is to construct three corporate identification signs," he said. The logos would include Copp's Buildall, Sifton Properties Limited and Oxford Dodge, Gauld added.
He explained the landscape advertisements would display the companies' logo on a city-owned embankment located on the boulevard of Fanshawe Park Road, west of Richmond Street.
Joni Baechler, president of the Stonybrook Heights/Uplands Residents Association, said the proposal represents a potential safety hazard and would hinder the recently landscaped appearance of the area.
"We fail to see the benefits of this type of advertising for the citizens of London," Baechler said. "It doesn't enhance our streetscapes. If anything it detracts from them."
Gauld said he believes the signs would not impose a safety threat to drivers or pedestrians. He added the hillside logos would be similar to those existing on Lakeshore Boulevard and the 401 in Toronto.
A report has been compiled by the planning and development department which will be discussed by city council and the community at a public meeting on Nov. 30, Gauld said.
"[The community's] comments together with our report will be considered," Gauld said. "[Planning] staff have no objection to the proposal they put forth."
The primary concerns of the residents association, Baechler explained, concerns placing the signs on an arterial road which is surrounded by residential homes. "It's not the 401," she said.
Baechler said the association would be voicing its concerns at the public meeting and hopes the city will listen to the community, not the corporations.
Dave Bird, owner of Oxford Dodge, said he was hesitant to comment on the proposal because he was sure there would controversy surrounding the issue.
"It's strictly a landscape design," he said. "It's not advertising. It's a company logo with attractive bushes and landscaping." He added the design would only enhance the appearance of the hill.