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Sunday, June 26, 2022
‘Respect the Neighbourhood’ signs stay up despite town’s request to remove them

Some residents of Chautauqua have ignored a town request that they remove lawn signs that violate a municipal bylaw.

The Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake asked the Friends of Ryerson Park group to have its members take down their “Respect the Neighbourhood” and “Slow down!” lawn signs.

The signs conflict with a town bylaw which bans any lawn signs on private property with exceptions for real estate and political signage during election times.

“We have to regulate signage because they can’t be bigger than a certain size and all that kind of stuff,” Lord Mayor Betty Disero said.

Friends of Ryerson Park spokesperson Brian Crow said he asked members to remove the signs, but that it's up to individuals to comply or defy.

“We’ve had a request from the town to suggest to our people that they take the signs down. All of the signs are apparently illegal, even on private property, which we didn’t know,” Crow told The Lake Report.

About 20 signs were up in the neighbourhood over the weekend and several were still up as recently as Wednesday.

Crow said he feels the signs were successful in slowing down traffic leaving locals bewildered as to why they should have to take them down.

“They don’t feel good about it. We were getting a lot of support (for the signs) and they were slowing people down,” Crow said.

“Not everybody took the signs down and you might see them going back up – I don’t know.”

Crow felt that some co-operation between the town and Chautauqua residents was necessary to find a proper solution for the signs. He also emphasized that the town wasn’t forcing them to take down the signs.

“We’d like to work with them. The town made a request, not an order,” he said.

Crow said the signs that remained up were mainly on Shakespeare Avenue and Niagara Boulevard.

“That’s generally where the speeding is. Even beyond Chautauqua, there’s still signs up towards the golf course on Niagara Boulevard. They’re not even in Chautauqua and they wanted the signs,” he said.

Town council last week approved a Friends of Ryerson Park request for increased bylaw enforcement in the area to deal with on-street parking issues and illegal parking near the park.