It’s official, the City of Vancouver is moving to ban floating billboards.
The move comes after a 12-metre-wide boat and barge mounted billboard appeared in False Creek in March, drawing numerous complaints from residents.
Last night, City Council moved to amend the city’s sign bylaw, banning all floating signs larger than one square meter.
The move followed a staff report on the issue, which says the sign by-law does currently regulate signs “on waters within the boundaries of the City, including False Creek and English Bay,” and adds some of those waters are also under Port Metro Vancouver’s jurisdiction, which also bans floating advertisements.
Patsy McMillan with the False Creek Residents association says it was the right move.
“We’re very pleased about it,” he said. “We’re pleased that the city has taken the initiative and the City Manager has taken this initiative to get serious about. It because it’s a visual pollution intrusion into all of our lives.”
MacMillan says on top of the light pollution blasting into residents’ homes, the billboard was polluting the air as well.
“It’s also polluting the air itself, because you’ve got a rather large vessel that’s using fuel that’s going around from False Creek to English Bay and back from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m. seven days a week, that’s a lot of fuel,” he said.
Council will formally enact the bylaw next Tuesday, May 31.
The issue cropped up after a company called Burke Billboards began operating in March, with plans to float the billboard between False Creek and English Bay daily from morning until 11 p.m.
The company’s website, which now reads “down for maintenance,” claimed the billboards are visible from up to two kilometers away, and would reach an average of 10.5 million people a year, targeting festivals like the fireworks and tourist hotspots like Granville Island.
Transport Canada detained the vessel in March for not having a commercial certification, however, the billboard reappeared in April on a barge and towed by a smaller boat.