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Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

The following information is provided for convenience. For more detailed information, please contact Planning Staff.

Where can I learn more about where this project originated?

To find out more about where this project originated, please read the Staff Report.
What is the purpose of the Rural Area Signage project?
  1. To identify community concerns and needs related to signage.
  2. To increase public awareness with respect to the role of the RDN and other jurisdictions in terms of providing signage through the District
  3. To report the outcome of the community engagement process to the Board with recommended options for addressing the identified community concerns related to effective signage in rural areas.
Who is responsible for regulating signs in the RDN?
In the rural areas of the RDN, both the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) and the RDN play an important role in regulating signs. Municipalities regulate signs which are located within their boundaries.

MOTI has jurisdiction over signage that is located within a public road right-of-way in unincorporated areas. The MOTI has strict standards for traffic signs and guidelines for service and attraction signs on highways. The MOTI's role in the regulation of signage is to control signs within or close to the road right-of-way primarily to ensure safety of the travelling public and to provide for consistent signage across the province. The MOTI also plays a key role in promoting economic development and tourism throughout the province by providing and/or accommodating wayfinding signs and various standardized signage that provides vital community information to the travelling public.

The MOTI considers signs within the public road right-of-way through a permitting process. MOTI has some guiding documents that provide direction for all signage that is located within the public road right-of-way. The following provides links to the applicable MOTI documents.

  1. Manual of Standard Traffic Signs and Pavement Markings
  2. Policy Manual for Supplemental Signs
  3. Service and Attraction Sign Manual
The RDN is involved in regulating signs on private property in rural areas through zoning and sign regulations. The RDN's role is to regulate signage which is located on private property to ensure that it is consistent with current zoning requirements which are intended to reflect community values and protect neighbourhood character. For example RDN regulations limit commercial signage on residential properties to home based business and real estate signs. The RDN also uses DPA guidelines in some areas to ensure that proposed signage is consistent with community objectives and the vision set out in an Official Community Plan (OCP).

Official Community Plans can include policy statements that provide direction with regard to the community's vision and interest in how signage should be incorporated into a community. Generally, the various OCPs within the RDN support signage improvements related to community identification and active transportation.

The following provides links to useful RDN policies and regulation that apply to signs on private property.

  1. RDN Land Use and Zoning Bylaws
  2. RDN Official Community Plans
  3. RDN Sign Bylaw No. 993
Why is the RDN doing this project?
This project is being undertaken as a result of Board direction in response to concerns raised by some business and community associations and community members who have identified a need to determine if there are barriers to effective rural signage.

The concerns raised so far relate to community identification signage, economic development signage, and wayfinding signage.

The Rural Area Signage project seeks to determine if the concerns raised so far are applicable to other unincorporated communities across the region and if so to identify potential actions to address the identified concerns. The focus of the Rural Area Signage Project is to promote community identity and encourage economic development.

What has been done to address concerns about community identification, economic development, and wayfinding signage?
The RDN has supported a number of pilot projects through funding and advocacy, that support community identification and economic development involving signage upgrades, or signage installations within a highway right-of-way including:
  1. Lighthouse Country Business Association – Lighthouse Country entrance signs at Qualicum Bay and Deep Bay on Highway 19A, Electoral Area 'H'.
  2. Lighthouse Country Business Association – Horne Lake/Mary Lake tourism and area services sign on Highway 19A, Electoral Area 'H'.
  3. Nanoose Bay Community Signage Program on Highway 19, Electoral Area 'E'.
Pilot projects 1, 2 and 3, which were partially funded through grants from the RDN through the Northern Community Economic Development Select Committee, resulted in the installation or upgrade of community identification and information signs. New sign installations within the highway right-of-way were installed under permit from the MOTI. These projects provide examples of "out of the box" community signage improvements that can be achieved in cooperation with the MOTI through the RDN's involvement and support.