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July 18, 2012
Minutes 7/18/2012       Advisory Board of the Visual Environment

Present: Douglas Wehrle, Chairperson; Members Tom Smith and Valerie Leis; Greg Schmidt (Board of Trustees liaison); Members of the Public Janet Mainiero and Mary Cain
Absent: Member Mark Flaherty and Joe Sperber (Engineer’s Office liaison)

Meeting Agenda
The board discussed one sign, presented by 9-11 Remembrance Memorial Committee representatives, Janet Mainiero and Mary Cain (the “applicants”).
The Proposal

The proposed sign would be located at Croton Landing and is intended to advise the public of the memorial.  As originally proposed, the sign would be free-standing, measuring 3 feet by 6 feet, to be mounted on a double post base with two above ground wedge shaped braces for support.  The left half of the sign to would consist of lettering declaring the site to be that of a 9-11 memorial, including a request for donations for Phase 1, scheduled for 9/11/12 and Phase 2, scheduled for 9/11/13.  The right half to be an image of the proposed memorial to be built in the circle at the north end of the park.  The memorial is designed around a remnant steel I-beam taken from the former World Trade Center site.  The memorial is being implemented as a joint project of three municipalities: Village of Croton on Hudson, Village of Buchanan and Town of Cortland.  The sign is to be donated by McCaffrey Signs, Inc. who was not present at the meeting.

The VEB expressed a number of concerns, including the nature, size, design and location of the proposed sign.  

Placing a sign soliciting funding on Village owned property, no matter how worthy the cause, could establish a precedent.  In this light the board queried whether such a sign would be considered a billboard rather than a free-standing sign.   With respect to the size of the proposed sign, the board pointed out that such a large sign (3’ X 6’) would be out of scale with all other signs located at Croton Landing.  The applicants commented that they were uncertain as to the location of the sign, but after some discussion there was general agreement that it should be near one of the walking paths.  The board expressed an opinion that it would work best located at or near the actual memorial site at the northernmost section of the park.  In addition, the proposed method of support for the sign was discussed, including concern that the proposed above ground braces would not secure the sign in high winds.  
Board Recommendations

The board advised applicants that a smaller sign would be more appropriate, recommending a reduction of the overall size of the sign to 1.5’ by 3’.  The board also recommended and the applicants agreed to remove verbiage relating to any solicitation of funding.  In this way, the sign becomes solely informational.   The board also recommended design revisions in lettering, use of boarders and background coloration.   It was suggested and all parties agreed that the sign should have a vertical alignment with the lettering at the top and the image at the bottom so that the sign could be mounted on a single 4x4 wooden post.  The board opined that the sign should be constructed of weather resistant material, designed to last for 2 + years without deterioration.  With respect to mounting, posts will need to be securely buried into the ground, below frost level and collared with concrete. The Village Engineer should be requested to review mounting specifications to insure the sign’s stability.  Finally, the board concluded that the sign should be located beside the site of the memorial at the park’s north end to inform park visitors what will be occurring there.

Additional Information

Jane Mainiero referenced a letter received from The Open Space Conservancy approving the construction of the memorial at the chosen site. Work is to commence there on site preparation for Phase 1 on July 20, 2012. The VEB thanked Janet and Mary Cain for explaining the project and the meeting concluded at 9:45 pm.

Post Meeting

Based on board recommendations, applicants submitted a revised sign design on 7/27/12 that effectively incorporates all board recommendations.  Further, Janet Mainiero and Doug Wehrle walked the site to determine optimal location for sign placement along the path adjacent to the memorial site.