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Business signage plan fuels Fort Macleod MPC discussion

Tru Hardware Fort Macleod is preparing to open in the former Bargain Shop location on Main Street. The MPC is discussing signage and colours.

Tru Hardware Fort Macleod is preparing to open in the former Bargain Shop location on Main Street. The MPC is discussing signage and colours.

Fort Macleod Municipal Planning Commission tabled a decision May 6 on a development application for signage for a new Fort Macleod business.
The MPC wanted some more information about a sign that does not adhere to the standards of the provincially-designated historic district.
Tru Hardware, which is to open at 254 Col Macleod Blvd., applied to erect a sign on the front of the building consisting of three-dimensional lettering with lights and a backlighted sign box.
The colours will be chosen from Benjamin Moore’s historic colour palette.
The window and store front trim is Danville Tan, the front and back doors will be painted Garrison Red and the awning will be Kendall Charcoal.
The proposal had support from at least one Main Street business.
“Kudos to the owners,” Bernadette McNab of McNab Realty wrote in a letter to the MPC. “The proposed upgrade looks fantastic.”
Fraser Shaw, a heritage conservation advisor with the historic resources management branch of Alberta Culture, had some concerns with the application.
“It’s great to see a new business locating into the historic area,” Shaw wrote.
Shaw asked Town of Fort Macleod development officer Rhonda Day to confirm how the sign will be anchored to the building.
Shaw pointed out the proposed gooseneck lighting predates the building.
“The sign panel proportions are a bit square for the sign area,” Shaw noted.
Shaw pointed out that it is not a permanent sign and can be changed
The building does not have historical designation but it is in Fort Macleod’s provincially designated historic area.
“As far as I’m concerned there is a balance that needs to be struck,” MPC chairman James Coast said.
Coast said that balance is between using modern materials and 100 per cent historically accurate materials.
MPC member Scott Norlin pointed out signage on the refurbished ATB Financial building and the signage on the ATCO Gas building are not historically accurate.
Day said there is concern about the colour and material of the awning and the sign box.
“The whole historic colour pallette is so hard to follow,” Day said, noting companies change it with regularity.
Day asked the MPC to table the application for further discussion with the company about changing the look of the sign.
“I wish that I had a little bit more time to review this,” Day said.
Norlin said the building owner should have more control over what material is used and the look of the development.
“I agree with you but that’s not what the rules say,” MPC member Gord Wolstenholme said. “Are we just going to ignore the rules?”
Coast pointed out the Town of Fort Macleod ignored the rules when Main street was refurbished.
The bump-outs on Main Street are not historically accurate, Coast noted as an example.
Day said she would like to spend more time with Fraser Shaw finding out the history of the building and looking into the colours Tru Hardware is proposing to use.
Anyone interested in commenting on the application must submit written comments by 12 noon May 16 in council chambers in the Town Office.
The MPC will discuss the application at its next meeting Tuesday, May 21 at 12:15 p.m. in council chambers in the Town Office.

2 Comments For This Post

  1. Rene Gendre Says:

    Paint versus peeling – peeling versus not appealing. What’s so appealing about other buildings that have been held up when our town administration has delved into the exterior design business? Mr. Coast and Mr. Norlin are correct wherein they state that a balance is required. After all, rules must be changed with the changing times. It is up to us (the residents and businesses) as the owners of our Town, to determine what we would like our Town to be.
    How about placing an emphasis on bringing business to town rather than getting bogged down on examiniming what kind of paint the local ants now have acquired a taste for?

  2. Tracey Says:

    Well put Rene
    Rather have business wanting to come to this town and populate the down town area than have it deserted.