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June 15, 2011
VEB Minutes June 15, 2011

Meeting convened at 7:30 PM. Present : Board members Douglas Wehrle-chair, Sandra Hardy, Tom Smith, and Valerie Leis.  Code Enforcement and Building Dept liaison, Joe Sperber and Village Board liaison, Greg Schmidt.  
Agenda Item 1: Update on the progress of the 911 Memorial at Croton Landing. Designers James Rhodes and Lauren Davis, Engineer Rocco Mastronardi, and Chair of the 911 Committee, Janet Mainiero  presented the concept for the design and responded to questions and concerns that had been expressed by members of the board individually and collectively after their preliminary review of the project some months ago.  Architect Rhodes and Sculptor Davis discussed the materials to be used and their resistance to the salt water elements of the Hudson River site. Mr. Rhodes defended the choice of the thorny plant Poncerus Trifoliate at the base of the steel beam whose primary purpose is to discourage adventurous visitors to the site from climbing the steel beam. Some concern remains as to the plant’s ability to flourish near the river’s edge and perform its deterrent function.  It was acknowledged that substantial funding would need to be necessary not only to cover the costs of building a complex project in the appropriate materials, but also for the maintenance of the site into the future.  It was also noted that there would need to be comprehensive instructions on the maintenance of the memorial that would be available well into the future with those responsibilities carefully delineated and ascribed. There was discussion also about the location of the memorial. Mr. Wehrle thought it might be somewhat in accessible but Ms. Leis agreed that the site should be removed from the entry of Croton Landing, that it be a destination in the park. The Board remains concerned at the scale of the project at a time when the economy is still struggling and discretionary funds are limited but wishes the committee the very best in their endeavors.

Agenda Item 2: Sign application for Oil City which is converting to Citgo. Riverside Gas, Inc.
~The Board reviewed a sign application submitted by York Industrial Painting Corp. of Astoria Queens, representing Jagit Singh, the business owner of the new Citgo gas station located at 380 South Riverside Avenue (formerly Oil City).~ The proposed sign would be constructed of vacuum formed modified acrylic, with a color scheme of red, white, blue and green.~ Letter size is proposed to be 10 inches tall, font style Swiss 721 BlkCn BT.~ Overall size of the sign is proposed to be approximately 6 feet tall by 8 feet wide.~ The sign would be double sided with internal lighting.~ the 6 X 8 foot sign would be supported by a single 12 feet tall pole with the mounted height of the overall sign topping out at just over 18 feet.~ No information was provided as to the specifics of the support pole; neither material, cross sectional dimensions, specific location nor construction details.~ With respect to the remainder of the business establishment, no other signage information has been proposed.
The VEB wishes to note that while the proposed freestanding 6’ X 8’ sign may be within the maximum size allowed by code, we seriously question the appropriateness of placing such a large sign at this location, which appears to be constrained by limited siting options and is located at the heart of a Gateway District.~ In fact we wonder if the proposed sign would overhang the sidewalk.~ Looking at other nearby filling stations, we note that they permit greater setbacks from the public right-of-way than what seems possible in the case of the proposed Citgo sign, which would be nearly twice as large as the existing Oil City sign.~ In addition, the Board notes that new filling stations in adjacent Westchester village settings are employing smaller and less tall signs, recognizing the fact that these stations are located on smaller scale village roadways with lower speed limits.~~~~~~
~Final note: the proposed application does not include an overall signage scheme for the rest of the service station, suggesting the lack of a coordinated signage concept.~ Currently the garage façade does incorporate signage from the previous business, however we do not know if these signs are to be retained.~ Moreover, there is no overall design coordination, including signage and facade improvements, that would reflect the rather nice color combination making up the proposed free standing sign.
~In order for the VEB to adequately assess the proposed sign for this site (as is requested in the application) we will require a site plan showing proposed location of the sign and a super-imposed color photograph (min. 8.5” X 11.5”) showing the proposed sign within the context of the service station façade (this may require several photos taken from different vantages).~
Agenda Item 3: Introduction by Tom Smith to the Board of prospective new member, Mark Flaherty. Mr. Flaherty, after viewing the proceedings first hand, expressed his continued interest in serving on the VEB.  We would be most pleased to have him join us.
Meeting adjourned at 9:20 PM