COASTAL residents are banding together to demand removal of recently installed illuminated street signs.
The signs, which feature prominent advertising, have drawn ire from nearby residents, with many describing them as visual pollution.
Sylvia Mayes and her husband Noel were “horrified” when the sign was installed at the corner of West Coast Terrace and West Coast Highway in Trigg this week.
Neighbour Adam Zencich believed it interrupted their ocean views.
“When you look out your window all you see is the sign,” he said.
It was a similar story for Shirley Ramsay, who said the advertisement was all she could now see from her TV room window.
Scarborough residents previously expressed dissatisfaction to the Times about signs installed in February, and Wembley Downs and Watermans Bay residents shared their disappointed at Tuesday’s council meeting.
Councillor Karen Caddy presented a motion at the meeting seeking the contractor cease installation of additional signs pending a review of existing locations, and investigate amending the policy to restrict signs to non-residential areas.
She believed there was good intent behind the policy to support local businesses but residents were not happy with the result.
“We make a lot of decisions, but sometimes we look back and think, ‘maybe that wasn’t so great’ and this is one of those occasions,” she said.
“We’ve only rolled out 15 of these and we’ve already seen the public reaction.”
Cr Giovanni Italiano was worried about legal implications for the City given it had a contract with Claude Outdoor and Cr Keith Sargent agreed it was “problematic”.
But infrastructure director Michael Littleton said the company was keen to work through issues with the City so did not believe it would be an issue.
Council endorsed the illuminated street signs policy in 2015, following an original motion by Cr Sargent in 2013.
A five-year contract was awarded to Claude Outdoor in 2016, with a five-year extension option, and the revenue to the City was estimated at $2 million over 10 years.
About 40 more signs have been approved for installation in suburbs including Mirrabooka, Tuart Hill, Woodlands, Mt Lawley and Carine.
Lisa Thompson said the decision did not go far enough and wanted the Trigg sign removed.
“It’s totally invasive; we come here for the beautiful beachside,” she said.
“The council is making money out of the residents in the area.”
Richard Curry found it “appalling” there was no consultation with residents before installation and no way they could object.
“It’s one of the worst examples of public policy,” he said.
Mayor Mark Irwin said councillors had heard ratepayers’ concerns and ceasing the rollout would address these before going further.
“This will give the City time to work with the contractor to review current and future sign locations and come up with solutions to ensure they don’t impact on resident’s amenity,” he said.
“It will also give the City an opportunity to review its policy and look at adding provisions that would see signage restricted to non-residential and non-heritage precincts.”
Council will consider a report following the reviews.
Mr Littleton confirmed the City received an annual fee for each sign but said details were confidential and noted installation and maintenance costs were the contractor’s responsibility.