City Council must say “NO” to TELUS’ new giant screen application: Concerned residents insist

Proposed Telus Garden light sign

Proposed Telus Garden light sign

(Update May 4: A staff report to Council is scheduled to go to Council on May 26 to decide if the application will be referred to public hearing. Report will be on-line a week before the meeting, with summary of public input.)

(Updated: Link to interview on CBC)
CityHallWatch is sharing this information from concerned downtown residents, based on their independent analysis. (Download and print PDF-format flyer here: Council say no Telus sign Feb 2015-rev).

Listen to interview David Cookson with CBC’s Rick Cluff, The Early Edition. Click image to hear sound file.CBC Early Edition image

(The proponents have powerful connections at City Hall and the ability to advertise and use their influence. Residents — not so much. So we are trying to balance the discussion a little bit.)

Previously we reported that “Westbank and Telus propose giant illuminated screen on West Georgia. Open House Feb 11th.”  The rezoning proposal is for a 7.5 m x 11 m media sign on the west facade of the building at 520 West Georgia Street, facing Seymour Street. The sign would be located between the 16th and 18th floors.

proposed area for signThe open house is over, and there has been no announcement when the Public Hearing will be held, but the City is accepting feedback until February 18 at this link here.

Some big questions: If Council approves this request, will it create a precedent resulting in more and more giant screens? Why should this request be allowed at all? And why should Telus and Westbank be given special treatment?

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City Council must say NO to TELUS’ new giant screen application

‘Application to Amend Sign By-law – 520 West Georgia Street’Telus Garden light sign Feb 2015 image REV

Here’s why:

  • Telus’ new proposed giant video screen is only two blocks away from the closest residential high-rise building (amongst others). In Telus’ own application, when addressing line-of-sight, Telus admits that ‘The Hudson’ at 610 Granville is only 176 meters away. Scores of families will suffer.
  • Telus is favouring corporate interests over family interests, this despite the pain and suffering that Telus has caused and is still causing to thousands of families living near Telus’ screens at BC Place. Screens and homes simply don’t mix under any circumstances, even when care is taken to mitigate the effects – Have we learned nothing?
  • Telus is misleading the public by claiming that the new giant screen is “only viewable in low light conditions” (which is incidentally the most invasive time of day for nearby residents). However, in Telus’ own application, Telus admits that they intend to run the screen during several daytime events such as the Sun Run.
  • Telus is misleading the public by claiming that the new giant screen will not feature advertising. All that will be required for Labatt to feature Budweiser ads (for example) will be for Telus to rent a single office at Telus Gardens to Labatt. In Telus’ own application, Telus admits that they intend to allow “brand recognition” (which precisely means advertising) on the screen for tenant businesses at Telus Gardens.

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