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Application process, restrictions for event posters considered

The City of Saskatoon is exploring a possible application process for posters on public property and/or better enforcement in Saskatoon on December 4, 2017. The business districts like Broadway, downtown and Riversdale are concerned about the mess created by posters as they sometimes become loose and blow away and sometimes the paint is ripped off power poles.

Michelle Berg / Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Saskatoon community groups may soon have to apply to put up posters in public after concerns about the mess they can make were raised at city hall.

DeeAnn Mercier, executive director of the Broadway business improvement district (BID), appeared before a city council committee on Monday to ask for some new rules.

Mercier said some posters are attached to power, light or telephone poles and either fall off or leave a mess because of the use of heavily adhesive tape. Some remain up long after the event they are advertising is over, she added.

Mercier asked that posters either be restricted to the 12 approved locations with poster barrels along Broadway Avenue or at least be prohibited on non-wooden poles.

“You see the poles really look like crap,” Mercier said.

Cindy Yelland, the city’s director of legal services, advised the planning, development and community services committee that the city cannot prohibit posters, which are protected under the right to free speech. However, the city is able to regulate posters, Yelland said.

The current bylaw limits the size of posters to 11 by 17 inches and requires the date of posting to be printed on them. They must be removed after the event being promoted, or 30 days after posting. Easily removable tape must be used, the bylaw states.

The first-time fine for violating the bylaw is $200. Yelland said she is unaware of any fines being issued under the bylaw.

Brent Penner, executive director of Downtown Saskatoon, the downtown BID, and Randy Pshebylo, executive director of the Riversdale BID, also appeared at the committee to support Mercier.

Penner said the downtown area has 35 to 40 approved locations for posters.

“Certainly, I’m open to having more poster boards put up,” he said.

The committee unanimously endorsed studying the possibility of adopting an application process and improved enforcement through the BIDs. A ban on applying posters to non-wooden poles will also be explored.

ptank@postmedia.com

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