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Visual Environment Board Minutes 01-21-04
Advisory Board on the Visual Environment
Village of Croton-on-Hudson

Minutes:        VEB Meeting of Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Present:        Doug Wehrle, chair; Marianne Bosshart, Valerie Leis, Kevin McManus, Ross Weale, Trustee Liaison Leo Wieegman.
Absent:         Building Dept. Liaison Joe Sperber, Planning Board Liaison Ted Brumleve.

The VEB’s first meeting of 2004 included a review of two applications for amended site plans forwarded by the Planning Board.  There was also discussion of the Board’s agenda for the coming year and preliminary review of materials submitted in response to the RFP for a new Village logo.

1. Applications for Amended Site Plan Approval
In accordance with Chapter 60 of General Municipal Law, the VEB reviewed amended site plan applications for Croton Cleaners and Launderers and the Croton Free Library.  Documents relating to both had already been distributed via email attachments, and Board members also reviewed architectural plans.

        Croton Cleaners and Launderers, 2 Maple Street
Lakomota Realty Co. has submitted an application that calls for subleasing the laundromat side of Croton Cleaners and Launderers while continuing to operate a dry cleaning business on the other half.  Plans for the façade call for installing a double-glass door (to the dry cleaner’s) where a window now exists.  Interior work includes the erection of a firewall to divide the space into two narrow stores and to install two new rear doors with exist signs.
The VEB had no objections to the plan, which Luis A. Saavedrathe owner of Croton Cleaners and Launderers, claims is needed for him to maintain the family business.  The Board unanimously affirmed its recommendation in support of the application.  At the same time, the Board emphasizes to Mr. Saavedra and the tenant who subleases the new retail space that both establishments must submit plans for new or revised signage for VEB review.

Croton Free Library, 171 Cleveland Drive
The Board reviewed materials submitted by James D. Lothrop, partner in the architectural firm of Lothrop Associates, setting forth plans to renovate the existing Children’s Room in the Croton Free Library.  In addition to the installation of new flooring, ceilings, lighting, and furniture, the plans call for removing a pair of doors leading to the outside and replacing them with a large window to accommodate a new seating space.  He supplied a Code Analysis to demonstrate that the number and total width of exits would remain well above the minimum required.
The VEB had no objections to the plan and unanimously affirmed its recommendation in support of the application.

2.  VEB Agenda for 2004
Board members briefly discussed a proposed agenda for the year along with a Vision statement that Doug Wehrle had circulated via email prior to the meeting.  The vision statement will undergo continued refinement; among the items identified as priorities for the year are the following:
·       Creation of the new Village logo;
·       Completion of the Sign Ordinance review;
·       Development (most likely with a consultant) of a best practices signage
·       guide;
·       Creation of a video “slide show” for the Croton cable station; and
·       Publication of a report on the Status of the Village's Visual Environment;
3.  Preliminary Review of Logo Materials Submitted
Nine designers and firms have submitted materials in support of their proposals to create a new Village logo.  The nine are:
Calori and Vanden-Eynden
Dakota Group, Inc.
Future Brands (Violante)
Parise Marketing and Design
Puches Design, Inc.
Elton Robinson
Russell Design
Tibor Gerstl
Wertheim Design, LLP
The Board was impressed with the quality of materials supplied, including a number of concepts for possible logo designs.  VEB members devised a plan for routing the nine proposals among themselves over the course of the next two weeks, at which point the Board will hold a special meeting to discuss their reactions and decide how to proceed.  A prime concern will be to identify the top submissions and to begin sketching out an estimate of how much money should be budgeted for development of the logo.
In this regard, the Board plans a special meeting to discuss logo submissions (tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, February 11th), and to push back its regular monthly meeting to Wednesday, February 25th.
In this regard, the Board acknowledges that the bulk of funding for the project will not be available until after June 2004.  However, the Board will write to Village Manager Herbek to ask if some initial amount—in the neighborhood of $3,000—might be provided before then to help get design work started.

The meeting adjourned at 10:25 p.m.