The new LED sign by the Drumheller and District Chamber of Commerce office, is landing the Town of Drumheller and the sign’s owner, DCT New Age Promotions Ltd., in court.
Following a complaint made by local resident, Mr. John Parsons, represented by Schumacher Gough & Company, the Crown has issued summons against the Town of Drumheller and DCT New Age Promotions Ltd. for breach of a town bylaw.
The charge states that the town, as the owner of the land, and DCT New Age Promotions Ltd., as the lessee of the land, permitted a condition that constitutes a nuisance to exist contrary to bylaw 24.98.
Mr. Parsons, who resides near the sign, brought the complaint as he feels the board and its location has a negative effect on the neighbourhood due to its lights shining into nearby homes, as well as changing lights, constituting a nuisance.
“It is sad that it has to come to that,” Mr. Parsons told The Mail, explaining he has tried various avenues to resolve this.
On January 25, 2010, Mr. Parsons approached Council asking them to reconsider their decision to allow the sign to be placed at its current location, explaining the nuisance he felt the board and its location were causing.
He also questioned the classification of the sign, explaining the product was described as a billboard by its manufacturers, rather than a third party free standing sign, terms the Town and Municipal Planning Commission used to describe it.
As a billboard, Mr. Parsons alleged the sign was in breach of various bylaws due to its location, height and lighting.
Mr. Parsons asked Council to rescind the motion MO2009.131 dated May 25 2009 which allowed for the sign to be put up, and to have the sign removed.
Following the meeting, Mr. Parsons told The Mail Council advised him they felt their decision to allow the sign was not in breach of bylaws and the sign was to remain.
“The facts are that the Town of Drumheller has approved a sign which should not have been approved….They [the Town] don’t have the right to impose something on the citizens without some moral justice in it.”
Mayor Nimmo told The Mail the summons had been received.
"We, at Council, have not discussed it because it just goes through the regular court situation,” he said, adding they would await the outcome of the hearing and deal with any changes the court requests if the complaint is found to be valid.
Darcy Thompson, of DCT New Age Promotions Ltd., was unable to comment as he had yet to see the summons when The Mail contacted him.
The hearing will take place on Friday, September 10, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. at Drumheller Provincial Court.