Pitt Meadows still scooping up anti-HST signs

Pitt Meadows bylaws was at it again last week, removing a more “Vote Yes: Extinguish the HST signs” – this time from what people thought was their own property.

Pitt Meadows removed at least 38 such signs.

Pitt Meadows removed at least 38 such signs.

Pitt Meadows bylaws was at it again last week, removing a more “Vote Yes: Extinguish the HST signs” – this time from what people thought was their own property.

But according to bylaws officer Lesley Elchuk, the four or five signs she took down were actually on the city’s boulevard, the strip of land between the roadside curb and the front property line, which includes land on both sides of a sidewalk.

That distance varies but often can extend 4.8 metres from roadside to property line. So if someone put a sign on the edge of what they thought was their lawn, it could be on municipal property.

Pitt Meadows’ sign bylaw bans political or election signs from roadsides, medians, parks and bridges, though they’re OK on some municipal properties and private lots.

Elchuk said she was directed to remove the signs by senior staff following council’s discussion of the bylaw last Tuesday.

“That came from council the night before.

“My direction was, if there are signs [on roadsides or city property], they should be picked up in order to be consistent with the week prior.

“We didn’t remove any from private property,” she said.

City crews previously took down 38 Vote Yes: Extinguish the HST signs that FightHST volunteer Corisa Bell put up along roadsides, after receiving one complaint.

Because bylaws require a complaint in order to be enforced, the city only acted after the complaint was filed.

FightHST organizers had to go door to door to ask residents if they’d like to have a sign outside their property.

Bell says the city could have asked homeowners to move the signs instead of just taking them.

She said she’d continue to knock on doors to ask residents to allow Vote HST signs to be put up.

“I’ll even bring a measuring tape and take a picture,” to show the sign is within a private lot, she added.

From now though, Elchuk said she’ll contact homeowners and ask them to move signs on to their property, if she sees any that are on city boulevards.

B.C. is in the middle of a mail-in vote on the Harmonized Sales Tax and people have until July 22 to mail in their ballot.

Pitt Meadows city last week refused to let Bell speak to council. Mayor Don MacLean said council didn’t want to hear from either side on the issue.

Election, political or HST signs are exempt under Maple Ridge’s sign bylaw.