An amendment to a bylaw to allow for an illuminated sign at the Rimbey Nazarene Church was not given second reading following a public hearing Tuesday. Treena Mielke photo

An amendment to a bylaw to allow for an illuminated sign at the Rimbey Nazarene Church was not given second reading following a public hearing Tuesday. Treena Mielke photo

Use of illuminated sign at Nazarene Church is not approved

Public hearing held regarding sign

Following a public hearing Tuesday, council nixed a request by the Nazarene Church to keep their freestanding illuminated sign.

In a three to one vote, council voted against giving second reading to the amended bylaw which would accommodate freestanding illuminated signs for institutions in residential districts.

Mayor Rick Pankiw voted in favour of the amendment as he felt Alberta Highways needed to have more input into the final decision.

Councillors Bill Couthard, Gayle Rondeel, Paul Payson and Lana Curle voted against the amendment.

The councillors all agreed the Nazarene Church was a valued component of the community, but the sign would be a distraction and interfere with the safety of the area.

“The Nazarene Church is a great church and does a lot of work, but I don’t want to see flashing signs on every institution or church (in town),” said Coun. Payson.

“It is a distraction,” agreed Rondeel.

More than a dozen people attended the public hearing held before Tuesday’s council meeting with several people speaking both for and against the amendment.

In a letter to the town’s development officer, Liz Armitage, Gwen Boyce said she is opposed to the sign because she finds it distracting, irritating and the constant repetitive motion is a trigger to a medical condition to which she is prone.

Caroline Hickie said the sign does not belong in a residential area.

“I fear it will attract an unwelcome element to our neighbourhood at night, as it may appear to be a business which is closed for the evening and therefore vulnerable for illegal activities.”

Daniel and Meghan White sent a letter in favour of the sign.

“It is a shame that the town is causing issues for the church. We live a block away and we do not see the sign as a problem or a distraction,” they said.

In her letter, Joan Klugkist said the sign is a win for the community.

“I think it is a great way to display information on a regular basis about the church, our local youth group which is affiliated with Central Alberta Youth Unlimited. In the 21st century, this is where technology is leading us and we need to stay in touch with those around us.’

Malcolm Turner also wrote a letter in favour of the sign.

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