Visual Environment Board Minutes 06-21-06
Advisory Board on the Visual Environment
Village of Croton-on-Hudson

Minutes:        VEB Meeting of Wednesday, June 21, 2006

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

Absent:         Trustee Liaison Leo Wiegman.

At its June meeting, the VEB reviewed two sign applications and discussed plans to nominate a candidate for the open position on the Board.

1. Mexigo
Craig Purdy appeared before the VEB to discuss signage and exterior improvements being planned for his takeout business, which will be located at 345 South Riverside Avenue, former site of Athena Pizzeria.  As designed by Signs Ink in Yorktown, the sign would consist of a wooden oval measuring a maximum of 18 inches high and 36 inches wide, hung from a bracket projecting outward from the façade.  Both sides of the sign would feature the name “Mexigo” in a casual red typeface, with the “M” measuring 7.5 inches in height, with the phone number in black, 2-inch high letters below a green “brushstroke.”  These would appear against a white background.  The sign would be externally illuminated by incandescent bulbs in a gooseneck fixture trained on either face of the sign.
VEB Discussion:
a.      Discussion of the sign focused primarily on the handling of the phone number (“271-togo”), with members Sandy Hardy and Tom Smith questioning its effectiveness.  Tom suggested that the use of upper case lettering in the “togo” might be more legible.
b.      During the course of the discussion, Mr. Purdy also noted plans to use the same design on a film to be applied to the front window of the shop.  The Board said this would be acceptable, as long as the window sign did not the exceed the 25% maximum coverage allotted under code; members also noted that Signs Ink should have included plans for the window treatment in the application packet.
c.      Mr. Purdy described a series of exterior improvements being contemplated, including the addition of a corrugated metal awning over the façade and of wooden wainscoting and a flower box covering the lower portion of the full-length front windows.  The plan also calls for the application of facing material—or perhaps simply paint, as suggested by Doug Wehrle—on the existing aluminum door and window frames.  Joe Sperber noted that changes to the façade should be reviewed in light of code requirements to determine whether or not they need to be presented to the Planning Board.
d.      Other exterior improvements would include painting the exposed side of the building facing south and adding shutters and a decorative window box to a window on that side.  

VEB Recommendations
a.      The Board expressed its enthusiasm for the new business and approved the sign as presented, with the suggestion that Mr. Purdy and Signs Ink consider making the logo bolder and presenting the phone number in upper case letters.
b.      Doug recommended that a rectilinear planter, projecting several feet from the building face at right angles along the southern property line, be considered as a means of enclosing / defining the exterior space / sidewalk from the adjacent parking area.

2. Groovy on Grand
Co-owners Andrea Andrews and Lisa Primeggia appeared before the board to discuss proposed window signage for their new business, Groovy on Grand, a children’s clothing store located at 119 Grand Street.  The store will feature clothing and accessories targeted to boys and girl aged 4 to 16.  As presented, the sign would feature the store’s name in multicolored vinyl or painted letters in a wave pattern measuring 14 inches from its lowest to highest point; this lettering would run 5 feet in width.  The bottom of the window would feature the legend, “Cool Clothes for Cool Kids,” in 6-inch tall multicolored letters and extend 5 feet, 8 inches across.  Proposed colors for the lettering would be bright blue, turquoise, lime green, purple, and magenta.
VEB Discussion:
a.      After commenting that it would be preferable if the building’s exterior could be altered to reflect both the nature and “feel” of the business, the VEB focused discussion on various aspects of the sign, ranging from the height at which the store’s name would be applied to the window to the choice of colors.  During the course of the conversation, it became apparent that Ms. Andrews and Ms. Primeggia had considered numerous alternatives before settling on the proposed design..
b.      Tom suggested a variation in the pattern in which colors appear on the two strips of multicolored lettering, and the applicants agreed to explore this possibility.
c.      Tom and Sandy also suggested the application of a thin strip of vinyl around the inside of the window to serve as a “frame” to ground the sign.  Further, they raised the possibility of making the word “Groovy” somewhat larger than the “on Grand.”   
VEB Recommendations:
a.      The Board wishes Ms. Andrews and Ms. Primeggia well in their new business and approved the sign with the understanding that the co-owners would further explore the Board’s suggestions, including a variation in the sequence of colors and the addition of a strip to “frame” the sign.

3.  New VEB Member
The Board agreed to recommend that the mayor appoint Nancy Kennedy as a new member of the VEB.

The Meeting adjourned at 9:15 p.m.