Crystal Schick/Yukon News Parking attendent Const. Ouellet writes up a parking ticket, with an option to pay the fine in food donations, on the windshield of a vehicle in downtown Whitehorse on Dec. 6, 2018. Parking attendant writes up a parking ticket. Black Press file photo

Kelowna Chamber of Commerce reacts to new fees

The chamber wants to stick with a complaint-driven approach

The Kelowna Chamber is concerned that the city’s consideration of hiring additional bylaw officers to enforce the revised sign bylaw could add costs to the city’s budget and set the stage for continual increases in fees and taxes.

“This change is just a small example of how incremental changes occur within operations that in isolation don’t seem to be that large; but when the cumulative impact of many such changes are considered,” said Carmen Sparg, chamber president. “The outcome is usually an inevitable increase in taxes that is above the rate of inflation.”

“It shouldn’t come as a surprise that taxes go up when there have been numerous incremental decisions made that have led to that outcome,” said Sparg. “We understand that the proposed increase in taxes (of 4.4%) is required to maintain current services while also addressing the infrastructure deficit, but we continue to encourage the city, and all other levels of government for that matter, to consider the cumulative impact to taxpayers who are getting hit with tax increases and hikes in fees and other levies at every turn.”

RELATED: Stuart Park fire pit blazes once more

On the issue of the revised sign bylaw, the chamber had been encouraging the city to continue to take a complaint-driven approach to enforcement of sign bylaw infractions. That approach is the most cost-effective way to deal with offenses since they are acted upon only when there is a complaint. It also ensures bylaw officers focus on those issues that are of most concern to the community; those issues where there is a health or safety concern and where most of the complaints come from. The city’s own data, communicated orally to the chamber in meetings, shows there have been very few complaints received that were related to mobile signs and potential bylaw infractions.

“This seems to be a desire to regulate mobile sign companies out of business and the business community has shown they believe mobile signs are valuable in promoting their products and services to the public,” said Sparg. “There may be some that don’t like the visual aspect of the mobile signs, but the reality is the market place has shown there is a demand for that type of short-term signage and it’s in fact helping small businesses and various sports and youth organizations that have a limited advertising budget get their message out to the public.”

The chamber has provided numerous suggestions with respect to revising the sign bylaw and appreciates that some of those suggestions were considered in the final bylaw put before Council including stepping back from a total ban of mobile signs and refraining from regulating the allowable colours for such signs.

To report a typo, email:


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

KFD, COSAR rescue injured hiker in Kelowna

Rescue happened after 1 p.m. on Lost Lake Trail after woman injured her leg

Firefighter spring training comes to Lake Country

From LNG to breaking down doors, firefighters get training from industry pros

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Thunderstorm possible for South Okanagan

The rest of the region will enjoy a sunny day.

Free GolfBC Championship hits Kelowna golf course

Gallagher’s Canyon Golf Club hosts the Mackenzie Tour June 13

Okanagan FC kicks off regular season Saturday night

OKFC starts their inaugural season of the Pacific Coast Soccer League (PCSL) in Penticton

Police say it’s “impressive” no arrests were made after Raptors celebrations

Toronto will play the Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors next

Social media giants in hot seat as politicians consider regulations in Ottawa

Committee members will also grill representatives from Facebook, Twitter

Neighbours help save Okanagan garage fire from spreading

Neighbours knock down fire enough before BX-Swan Lake firefighters arrive to fully extinguish

UBC researchers want to hear from rural residents on health care

Once completed, the project will inform health care planning and policy decisions

Kamloops RCMP investigate violent home invasion

Police believe the incident was targeted

Wildfire crews watching for dangerous wind shift in High Level, Alta.

The Chuckegg Creek fire is raging out of control about three kilometres southwest of the town

UN urges Canada to take more vulnerable Mexican migrants from Central America

The request comes as the United States takes a harder line on its Mexican border

Trail played role during fur trade era

Fur Brigade Trail in Okanagan has long history

Most Read