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Visual Environment Board Minutes 05-17-06
Advisory Board on the Visual Environment
Village of Croton-on-Hudson

Minutes:        VEB Meeting of Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Present:        Doug Wehrle, Chair, Kevin McManus, Tom Smith, and Building Dept. Liaison Joe Sperber.

Absent:         Sandy Hardy and Trustee Liaison Leo Wiegman.

At its May meeting, the VEB considered two sign applications.

1. Westwind
Three representatives of the Westwind Homeowners Association appeared before the VEB to discuss plans for an identifying sign to be erected on Scenic Drive at the entrance to their development.  As designed by McCaffrey Sings, Inc., the sign would measure 18 inches high by 60 inches in width and would be mounted approximately 30 inches above the ground on two pressure-treated posts.  The sign would feature the name “Westwind” in gold leaf, using the distinctive font originally designed for marketing the development.  A maroon-colored rooster weather vane shown in profile would separate the two syllable.  The words “Croton-on-Hudson” would appear in all upper case in a smaller font below a ruled line at the bottom of the sign.  The background of the sign itself would be gray-blue in color, and a gold leaf border would surround the whole.
VEB Discussion:
a.      VEB member Tom Smith suggested adding some “breathing space” between the letters in “Westwind,” especially in those places where adjacent letters were touching.  He offered the spacing between the terminal “N” and “D” as a model for the rest.
b.      Homeowners Association Secretary Amy Jaeger reported that the group was interested in making the background of the sign a blue along the lines of what appears in Ossining’s village signs.  The Board was unanimous in encouraging the Association to remain closer to the gray blue in the application, especially since they seek to convey a “colonial” feel.
c.      Tom further suggested that light pewter lettering might be more distinctive than the gold leaf shown in the application; the background would have to be made slightly darker to ensure sufficient contrast.
d.      The Board also advised against using the gold leaf border shown in the application.
e.      Regarding the proposed location of the location at the entrance to the Westwind development, Joe Sperber will follow up with the Association to review an as-built survey to confirm that the sign complies with code requirements governing sight lines at intersections.  

VEB Recommendations
a.      The Board approved the sign and encouraged to Association to pursue the modifications suggested at the meeting.
b.      The location of the sign is to be determined pending the Association’s review of an updated site plan with Joe Sperber.

2. The Tavern at Croton Landing
Owner Brian R. Panessa appeared before the Board to discuss the sign for the business he and his wife have opened at 41 North Riverside Avenue, former site of Honey’s Restaurant.  As designed by Signworks, Inc. in Elmsford, the sign will consist of individual letters and a boat logo mounted on copper that extends across the façade of the building.  The word “tavern” will be spelled out in black lower case letters measuring nearly 9.5 inches in height; below it will be a quarter-inch thin-ruled line, with the words “At Croton Landing” in nearly 2 inch high letters below that.  The left side of the sign will feature a mustard-colored rectangle measuring approximately 14 inches high by 20 inches wide with a boat logo (in black) and the word “the” in 4 inch high white letters running vertically on the right side of the rectangle.  The entire area covered by the sign measures approximately 16 inches high by 72.3 inches wide.
VEB Discussion:
a.      Mr. Panessa and the VEB discussed a number of issues about the proposed lettering, including the material, which is listed on the plan as aluminum but might in fact be plastic.  Joe Sperber cautioned that the installer should make sure that both the sign material and the hardwire used to install it should be compatible with the copper on which the letters will be mounted.
b.      Tom Smith called attention to the spacing of the letters in “tavern”—for example, the extra-wide spacing on both sides of the “v”—and urged that it be made equal.
c.      VEB members likewise advised Mr. Panessa to ensure that the boat depicted in the logo should be clearly recognizable as a boat, lest its visual impact be lost.
d.      The members commended Mr. Panessa on his choice of paint for the building, the use of copper, the colors selected for the sign, and the overall quality of plans for the sign.
e.      Mr. Panessa mentioned the possibility of erecting a flagpole in front of the restaurant at some future date, and Joe said he would work with him at the appropriate time to identify issues regarding the Village’s right-of-way and other concerns.   
VEB Recommendations:
a.      The Board approved the sign with the understanding that Mr. Panessa and his sign company would pay careful attention to the materials to be used and how they might react with copper.  The Board reiterated its concers with the spacing of the lettering and the “legibility” of the boat design.

3.  New VEB Member
The Board has identified a possible member to join the VEB but agreed to hold off on a recommendation pending further discussion with the individual and submission of the name.

The Meeting adjourned at 8:45 p.m.