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Visual Environment Board Minutes October 2007
Advisory Board on the Visual Environment
Village of Croton-on-Hudson

Given scheduling conflicts and the fact that no applicants would be appearing before the Board at its October meeting, members opted to review the month’s lone sign application via PDF file and email.

Dino’s Barber Shop
As submitted by its proprietor, the proposal for signage at the new barber shop at 129 Grand Street (formerly Magna Jewel and Creative Copy) calls for three signs:  a wood panel with raised wooden letters to be fitted into the niche above the entrance; red lettering applied directly to one of the shop’s windows spelling “Dino’s Barber Shop” in an oval pattern; and a light box measuring 38 inches wide x 18 inches high in the other window with the same red lettering.  In addition, Dino hopes to be able to mount an old-fashioned barber pole on the brick façade at the corner of the building.  Joe Sperber reported that the signage as proposed conforms to code, but that the barber pole would require further study and might need a variance from the Planning Board.
VEB Discussion:
a.      In their exchange of email responses, members agreed that it would be preferable to have just a single sign in one of the front windows, since having two different styles—one a light box, the other applied lettering—is confusing and unnecessary.  
b.      As noted by Tom, the shop is located in a crucial spot in the Upper Village, and it is desirable to keep the signage as clean and uncluttered as possible, especially given the sub-par appearance of other storefronts located immediately to the west. Attractive signage for Dino’s could serve as the first step in improving that part of the street.
c.      In this context, members were mixed in their reaction to the proposed wooden sign for the niche over the entrance, with one member making the point that the single illuminated sign in the window would be sufficient for a shop that size.  At the very least, members consider it important that any sign mounted over the doorway should be of professional quality in both design and execution.  Members would like to see a carefully drawn proposal with the proposed color scheme indicated.
d.      The Board reacted very positively to the idea of mounting a barber pole on the outside of the shop if permitted by code.  If a traditional pole is not possible, the Board suggested a number of  alternatives—for example, it might be possible to install a small-scale barber pole or to use something that could be mounted flush on the façade and serve a more decorative purpose.  Possibilities for the latter would include a “half-cylinder” painted to denote a barber pole.
VEB Recommendations:
a.      The Board recommended that Dino restrict himself to one window sign and encouraged him to pursue the idea of mounting a barber pole or decorative elements as a way to enliven the area’s visual environment. The VEB would interpret a wall mounted barber pole as a decorative element that also provides a generic visual clue of services.  As such, it is the VEB’s determination that this would not constitute a code deviation and therefore is not required to go before the Zoning Board for variance consideration.