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The signage regulations and policies in Clarington are based on the following
Guiding Principles:

a) The Municipality of Clarington should lead by example.

b) The visual quality of signs matter to the overall community image.

c) Proactive enforcement makes the Sign By-Law fair.

d) The cumulative effects of signage matter –sign clutter is a civic liability.

e) Signage should be proportionate to the property it identifies and advertises.

f) Signage should supplement the land use and not dominate the landscape.

g) Signage has direct economic value to their owners and users.

h) One size does not fit all – some parts of the Municipality have characteristics that warrant exemptions, limitations, experimentation, etc. 

i) The Sign By-Law and its regulatory processes must be easy to understand and must have monitoring and educational tools built into the process.

j) Signage and art is not the same thing.  Understanding the message being communicated will assist in differentiating.

Signs on private property in the Municipality of Clarington are regulated by the Sign By-law 2009-123 as amended.  Depending on the type of property, for example, residential, agricultural, commercial there are different regulations that apply.  Of particular concern are the heritage resource areas, essentially the three older downtowns of Orono, Bowmanville and Newcastle.  These areas were identified as affecting the character and perception of the community.  The regulations for Heritage Resource areas are:

8.21 Heritage Resource Area Signs 

i) Signs within the Heritage Resource Areas identified in Schedule 1 to this By-law shall comply with the provision of any applicable Community Improvement Plan. 

 No person shall erect a sign which disfigures or conceals any significant architectural feature of a building, and no person shall erect a sign which distracts from the heritage nature of the surrounding area. 

iii) Preferred sign materials include wood (painted, carved or cutout letters) and metal (porcelain coated, photo or line-etched, engraved or brass letters). Alternative material may be considered, provided that they maintain the heritage character of the streetscape. The colour and design of a sign shall be sympathetic and compatible with the surrounding area. 

iv) Ambient, overhead, gooseneck or low-key lighting should be used for exterior lighting of all signs, regardless of the age of the building. 

Excerpt from Sign By-law 2009-123 (PDF)