This rendering shows the illuminated sign that the Salvation Army Victoria Citadel plans to erect on its property on Douglas Street near the intersection of McKenzie Avenue and Patricia Bay Highway. Saanich’s council signals its green light Monday.

New light to shine on Saanich church

A new light will dawn on Douglas Street.

Saanich’s council meeting as committee-of-the-whole Monday signalled its support for plans by the Salvation Army Victoria Citadel to raise a new illuminated sign.

The freestanding sign — which would be more than nine feet tall at its highest point — would replace an existing sign in the same location in the southeastern corner of the property next to the church’s entrance on Douglas Street. The current sign barely rises above the ground, and the public heard last week that the existing sign lacks visibility against the backdrop of increased traffic and urban growth. Nearby trees also obscure the sign’s visibility.

“We simply want to improve our sign,” said Jim ten Hove, representing the church.

The sign would consist out of two portions: an upper portion featuring the Salvation Army shield logo in red with white lettering and the words “Victoria Citadel Community Church” in black vinyl letters.

The lower portion consists of a programmable electronic display message board, with monochrome LED lettering. These boards can display flashing, scrolling or static but changeable copy. Saanich prohibits flashing or scrolling copy and limits copy changes to once every 24 hours.

Ten Hove said the church would change the displayed copy likely once every week. He also promised that the the church would turn off the illuminated portion during night hours, likely starting at 10:30 p.m., in deference to the church’s residential neighbours.

Ten Hove said though that the sign could shine on past 10:30 as building houses a variety of uses that might require continuous display of information.

“You have to realize that our building is also a disaster response area,” he said. The building also serves as a provincial and municipal polling station.

Councillors approved the application, which includes variances to the existing sign bylaw, unanimously.

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