Fashion company sign design an imperfect fit for city hall

A large design by Nygard Properties has proven to be a fashion don't at city hall.

Nygard loses appeal to keep oversize 'Denim' sign built without a permit

The City of Winnipeg says Nygard Properties erected this sign without a permit. It also doesn't conform to city design standards. City council's appeals committee denied the company's request to keep it. (City of Winnipeg)

A large design by Nygard Properties has proven to be a fashion "don't" at Winnipeg city hall.

Council's appeals committee voted unanimously Thursday to deny a request from the property wing of Winnipeg's Nygard International to keep a wall sign that was built in contravention of city design standards — and without a permit, to boot.

According to a report by city planners, the sign — which spells out "denim" in large block letters — covers more than 50 per cent of a wall on Notre Dame Avenue at Clifton Street. Signs in manufacturing areas are only allowed to cover 25 per cent of wall. Manufacturing areas already have among the most permissive sign standards in the city, the planners state.

Their report also states the sign advertises a retail use in a manufacturing area — which is not allowed — is significantly larger than other signs in the area, and has an adverse effect on the neighbourhood.

While the sign was built without a permit, Nygard sought permission for it after the fact from the city's Board of Adjustment earlier this year. The board denied the request, leading the company to appeal the entire order.

Council's appeals committee upheld the earlier decision. Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry Coun. Jenny Gerbasi said she was surprised the sign was erected without a permit.

"This is a pretty well-known company that's done lots of construction in the city. You would think they would understand permits were needed," she said.

According to Gerbasi, a Nygard official said the company may build the wall up higher, so that the sign takes up less than 25 per cent of the structure.

The company has been asked to comment.