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August 19, 2009

Meeting of the Visual Environment Board Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Present:        VEB Chair, Doug Wehrle
Members Valerie Leis and Sandy Hardy
Trustee Demetra Restuccia
Village Assessor Joe Sperber
Absent:         Members vacationing Kevin McManus and Tom Smith

Doug Wehrle chaired the meeting.  Sandy Hardy filled in as secretary for Kevin McManus.

1.      La Monica’s Salumeria, Italian Delicacies and Catering
358 So. Riverside Ave.
Permit applied for by owner, Harmon Deli
Steven Chester, Signs Ink

Ref. is made to Permit Application #20090263 to replace an existing sign

Sunbrella Fabric (burgundy) and Aluminum frame
Font script
Spot art Italian flag and “boot” of Italy

Members approved the application, generally agreeing the sign/awning is a good upgrade of the existing treatment, and that either burgundy (as currently proposed) or dark green (suggested by VEB as an alternative) would be attractive colors.

 2.     Croton Commons
179 So. Riverside Drive
Permit applied for by the Management Corp.
Steven Chester, Signs Ink
Ref. is made to Permit Application #20090264 to place two new signs serving as
Croton Commons Directories at the following locations: 1. On the wall of this shopping plaza, specifically the Coach Nails salon end wall, facing Maple Street, and 2. freestanding at the Riverside entrance to the Commons, as cars proceed to parking in front of Chase Bank and adjacent businesses

Carved signs with raised panels
Color scheme blue, gold leaf, black, and white
Font Ariel sans serif for store lists

Members questioned the placement of the sign facing the entrance on Riverside. NY-DOT prevents placement within the grass strip between the parking lot and the street.

Objection was made overall to uneven type weight and the use of full caps throughout, causing a crowded difficult to read presentation. The board questioned the order of the listing, whether alphabetical, left-to-right as stores appear, or random as presented in the application. Signs Ink assured the board the type would be even, upper and lower case, and in order given to them by the management, the application showing position only.

With regard to the wall-mounted directory, strong objections were made to the relatively diminutive size and placement of the sign, making it seem  “lost” and disassociated from the wall and the entire structure it is supposed to be describing. Members made various suggestions including painting the wall and creating a home “niche” for the sign. In discussion with Signs Ink, VEB members suggested painting the wall a tan color (to complement the front brick façade of the building). A white rectangle painted on the wall, sized slightly larger than the sign itself would then provide a frame for the sign, helping to enlarge it and relate it to the building itself. Members were mindful of suggesting a cost-effective solution to the problems they identified.
3. In a follow-up discussion and review of signage at Anton Restaurant on Riverside, the board expressed thanks and approved changes.

4. General discussion followed observations made by Trustee Demetra Restuccia.
The Village will need assistance with several kinds of signage: “adopt-a-garden” signage acknowledging neighborhoods and (discretely advertising) local businesses that agree to support (plant and maintain) certain public areas of the Village. Public spaces discussed include the traffic circle at Bennedict and Cleveland. In addition, the board discussed directional or way-finding signage. Reference was made to positive examples including the Pleasantville train station area and new signage at Croton Landing. It was acknowledged that the Village now features several generations of different directional and naming signs, some of which are confusing, difficult to read, or inaccurate.

Doug Wehrle suggested that the board take time to examine and photograph existing signage, as well as examples of exemplary signage, before entering into a more comprehensive discussion of the issues, problems and potential solutions.