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November 19, 2008 VEB Minutes
Advisory Board on the Visual Environment
Village of Croton-on-Hudson

Minutes:        VEB Meeting of Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Present:        Doug Wehrle (chair), Sandy Hardy, Kevin McManus, Demetra Restuccia, Tom Smith, and Building Dept. Liaison Joe Sperber.

Absent:         Trustee Liaison, Susan Konig

The Board met for the second consecutive month, this time to review a sign application for a home business.

1. Riverside Yoga and Bodyworks
The Board reviewed a sign application from Tom and Doreen Brennan for a massage therapy and yoga business to be located at 45 Truesdale Drive.  As designed by Hudson Sign Co., the sign would be 2 feet wide by 12 inches high and would be fabricated of high-density urethane.  The word “Riverside” would appear in red letters at the top of the sign, with the rest of the writing and phone number arranged below in beige—all against a classic navy background.  The sign, which meets code requirements for a residential district, would be located next to the driveway leading up to the house.
VEB Discussion:
  • In discussing the sign as submitted, the Board agreed that, considered on its own, it was perfectly fine and inoffensive.  There was some concern that it was located too close to the driveway and could be knocked over by a careless driver.  
  • Considering the sign in the context of its residential setting, however, members of the Board suggested that it was too “commercial” in nature and would benefit from a different treatment.  It was generally agreed that the sign for such a business should function as an “identifier” to help clients find it, rather than as advertising.
  • The VEB proposed two alternative treatments.  One would be to incorporate the sign into the mailbox, along the lines of an old-fashioned doctor’s sign; this could take the form of a small natural wooden rectangle, with the business’s name in black lettering.  A second, more stylized option would be to fashion a freestanding vertical sign made of natural wood and rising directly out of the ground; it could be 5 or so inches wide and, with its vertical orientation, would reflect the surrounding trees and other aspect of its natural setting.
VEB Recommendations:
  • The VEB encouraged the Brennans to consider one of the alternative approaches it had suggested for the sign as more appropriate for a residential area.
  • The Board wished them well on the venture.
2.  Concluding Discussion
Doug informed the Board of the upcoming work session of the Village Trustees to review the recommendations of the Harmon Business Development Committee.  This led eventually to discussion of the VEB’s role as a purely advisory body and the possibility that its recommendations should be given “some teeth”—perhaps by assigning the VEB permit-granting authority.  Doug noted that this would entail additional responsibilities along with the services of a “real secretary,”

The meeting adjourned at 8:45 p. m.