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Proponents seeking additional signs for Aberfoyle Farmers Market

by Mike Robinson

ABERFOYLE - If you build it - they will come - but better signs help.

Matthew Bulmer was at Puslinch council on July 20 looking for support to improve signs to the Aberfoyle Farmers Market.

Bulmer said, “We’ve been quite careful on our approach to signs in the community.

“We were very lucky when we started, and a number of businesses in the area made their signs available to promote the market and spread the word,” he said.

“It was quite effective, and everyone knew it was here. But we found out later that people didn’t know where ‘here’ was specifically.”

Bulmer said he had started to hear from vendors and board members that they would like to have signs specifically identifying the site.

“We tried to deal with that through some smaller portable signs that go up on Friday nights.”

But after a recent storm, proponents found a number of those signs on the road - and one in Carrol Pond. That led proponents to reconsider that approach.

He said that neither they nor the community want to see signs end up on the roads.

In looking into options, Bulmer said, “The irony is that the county bylaw would allow signs which advertise fresh farm produce on county roads up to 1.5 metre square, without a permit.

“Of course we’d need a willing private landowner to do that. But it doesn’t address identifying the site. That is why we are here tonight. You are the landowners of the site,” Bulmer said.

And, he added, the county bylaw is not in effect in urban areas.

In those areas, the local bylaws are in effect.

“As you are well aware, your local bylaw does not have effect on township properties. So we have a policy void - but at least the land ownership is clear.”

Bulmer said the reason he was at council is there is no policy to follow regarding getting a permit. So, he is starting with the people who own the property - the township.

“All the rest is secondary until you get the permission of the property owner,” he said. “This would help identify the location of the market so that people coming in to the community can find it.”

Councillor Susan Fielding congratulated Bulmer for what he had done with the market.

“It’s a wonderful boon to the community. I hope it continues for many years.”

Fielding said, “Considering how everything has been so well done and laid out, I don’t really have a lot of qualms about saying yes. Anything we can do as a council to support our farmers’ market is a good thing.”

Bulmer said thanked council for its support.

He noted that while there had been pressure from the vendors and the board regarding the signs, it is the pressure from the residents to promote their market.

He noted one individual had scheduled to meet a friend at the market, but that friend couldn’t find it.

“It may sound hard to believe - but we all know where it is.”

Councillor Wayne Stokley said he enjoys riding his bike to the market. “It’s now part of my ritual.”

He, too, agreed it would be good to have the sign there.

Stokley suggested it was a good idea to have something that could be removed in the off season.

“I think it’s a wonderful idea and we should go ahead with it.”

Councillor Ken Roth said he is “100% supportive of any signage you require. A business without a sign, is a sign of no business.”

Mayor Dennis Lever also supported the proposal.

But there is another issue that needs to be considered, he said - a sign on the road is one issue, but he has also seen confusion in the parking lot of the community centre about where the market is on the property.

“We know its in the recreation centre at the back, but there does need to be something directing traffic back there.”

Lever said his other question is actual location of the sign on the property to ensure it does not block sight lines to traffic.

“It is a very busy road.”

Bulmer said he has had talks with the county that indicated a preference for any permanent sign to be on the township side of the fence.

“We don’t want it to block sight lines either.”

Clerk Brenda Law suggested Bulmer submit the plans to the township’s chief building official, who can then issue a permit.

She believes that would trigger any review needed.

 

July 29, 2011

 
 

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