September 16, 2010
Minutes of the Visual Environment Board
September 16, 2010
The VEB convened to hear presentations on two signage applications (one of which – the Richard Albert building -  is also being presented to the Planning Board).  In addition, board members discussed proposed site improvements under consideration by the Planning Board for Croton Colonial Diner.
  1. Sunshine Cleaners
Board members spent a good deal of time crafting a re-design for this establishment’s signage proposal.  Sunshine Cleaners is expanding its footprint at its Maple Avenue location to include the storefront immediately to the north of its existing operation.  This presents an opportunity to add an additional sign within the vacated light box associated with the new frontage.  The proposal presented by Signs Ink, would add a new sign with the name “Sunshine”.  This sign would be located the left of the current sign, which has the name “Cleaners”.  While the business owner wants its name “Sunshine Cleaners” to be reflected by the new signage, board members think that due to the signs’ spacing, being essentially separated from each other, the name Sunshine will not be read as being part of the word Cleaners.  Following revisions are proposed:
  • Move existing sign “Cleaners” from right sign frame to left sign frame so that the word Cleaners it is positioned over the entrance door and the 2 signs read from left to right.
  • Create new sign for right sign frame as follows:
 Layout 4 green blocks with white type at left. Blocks should be equal to the 2 blocks on the existing sign.
  • Match font in existing green blocks. 
  • Insert services in 4 new green blocks as follow, left to right. Edit copy as indicated.
  • -100% Eco Friendly (note Eco not Environmentally)
  • -Same day service / Drapes • Gowns (insert small round bullet between Drapes and Gowns)
  • -Tailoring / Shirts • Shoes (note delete Expert)
  • -Plant on Premises (note not Full Service Plant on Premises)
 Insert Sunshine comfortably in the remaining space to the right of the 4 new blocks in a casual script font (not Brush Script).
  • Make the dot on the “i” in Sunshine a slightly enlarged orange yellow circle to represent the sun.
  1. 2-4 Croton Point Avenue (Richard Albert Building)
Board members support the proposal to locate two additional signs on the rear façade of the Richard Albert building.  These signs will be necessary to identify the two new businesses (Kitaj Headache Center and Law Offices of Michael D. Kaufman), to be located on the ground floor with access from the parking lot at the rear of the building.  In addition, the Board is supportive of the single sign to be located on the front façade that identifies both new occupants.  While the signage concept appears sound, the Board did have several design revisions that it discussed with Mr. Kaufman and Steve Chester of Signs Ink as follows:
  • Sign Size and Position of Individual business signs on rear facade
 Make Kitaj Headache Center sign equal in width to second window from left and position under that window. 
  • Make Law Offices of Michael D. Kaufman sign equal in width to third window from left and position under that window. 
  • Sign Position of combined businesses sign on building front
 Move combined businesses sign down so that top aligns with top of windows on left front of building.
  • Move sign to right so it is not centered in the space between the door and windows so that the sign relates to the door, not the space.
  • Layout and design of individual business signs on building rear
 Change proposed blue sings to white with navy lettering with a navy box rule border inset 1 inch from perimeter of sign.
  • Leave 2 inch space between lettering and box rule border.
  • Maintain font styles.
  • Reduce size of phone number to equal size of ‘Law Offices’.
  • Layout and design of combined businesses sign on building front
 Change proposed blue sign to white with navy lettering with a navy box rule border inset 1 inch from perimeter of sign.
  • Change color of rule line that separates the two businesses to red.
  • Leave ample space between lettering and perimeter of sign.
  • Maintain font style.
  1. Croton Colonial Diner (215 South Riverside Avenue)
Board members began an examination of the proposed site and planting plans associated with a Site Plan Amendment that will considered by the Planning Board on September 28, 2010.  Plans provided did not include existing conditions, which required board members to make certain assumptions as to existing and proposed features. 
In general, the owner Mr. Tsagarakis is to be commended for his desire to improve his property and better accommodate his customers.  The plan includes improvements to the parking lot and egress/ingress.  Ingress will be accommodated by a one way entrance from Bungalow Avenue and two way egress/ingress onto Riverside.  In addition to revisions to the parking lot, the proposal would provide a handicap ramp and new drop off zone along the south side of the building.  The plan also includes extensive new plantings of trees and shrubs within planting beds adjacent to the parking lot.  In sum, the proposal appears to add both to the functionality and appearance of this Village landmark business.  Following are thoughts and concerns that surfaced and are provided for the Planning Board’s consideration:
  • Egress/Ingress
 Requiring all egress to be funneled onto Riverside just before it merges with Maple Avenue seems less than ideal.  One wonders why the side street along the north side of the building is not used as a secondary exit point. 
  • In addition, the absence of sidewalk, curb and street trees along this side street is curious.  As it exists today and as it is proposed, the relationship between the diner and this side street is walled off by fencing and would be even more separated by the proposed planting of an arborvitae screen.  Would it not be better to enliven this edge by making it pedestrian friendly to both customers and residents, with the look and feel of a normal residential street?
 Placement of the proposed handicap ramp and drop off zone seems fine.  However, while we understand that this application is not considering changes to the existing entry or interior layout, one wonders what opportunities might be found by reorienting the main entrance to the diner along the south side of the building, where it would incorporate handicap access and remove the rather constrained access now provided along Riverside Avenue.
  • In addition to remarks made concerning the planting of a solid arborvitae screen along the residential street along the north side of the building, the VEB may provide the Planning Board with a more in-depth analysis of the planting plan prior to its 9/28 meeting, including an analysis of the selection and positioning of individual plants.