Nov 21, 2012 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
The village board of trustees voted last week to allow two temporary business directory signs to be erected on the corners of Genesee and Jordan and Jordan and Fennell streets until the end of the year as a way to gauge the effectiveness and public opinion of placing permanent signs at the same locations.
The approval came after the chamber of commerce made a proposal to the board Nov. 8 to approve three new signs in the village that would direct pedestrian and automobile traffic to local businesses that reside off the main Genesee Street corridor and therefore are often unknown or ignored by visiting shoppers. The trustees, at that meeting, requested that scale mock ups be placed on the street as examples. After examining the mock ups, the village board held an operations meeting on Nov. 15 to discuss the chamber’s proposal.
“The mock ups have been installed and I’ve talked to several people in the village who think it is an excellent idea, that tourists need visual cues to know where to go,” said Trustee Mary Sennett, who has been working together with the chamber of commerce on the idea.
The mock ups, erected Wednesday, Nov. 14, were made to show the approximate size, look and location of the proposed permanent signs the chamber of commerce. The chamber’s proposal is to have signs posted eight feet in height on an existing post or a stand-alone post, with up to six signs on each side of the pole. Each sign – approximately 40 inches tall and three feet long, or the size of a regular street sign – would bear the name of a local business on both sides as a way to tell visitors what shops are down which street. They would be placed at the corners of Genesee and Jordan streets, Jordan and Fennell streets and West Genesee Street and Kane Avenue.
At the Nov. 15 meeting, the trustees expressed concern over the width size of the proposed signs, and chamber Executive Director Sue Dove agreed to reduce the size to five feet across from six feet across.
The sign to be placed at the corner of Genesee and Jordan streets is in the village historic district, and the Historic Landmarks Preservation Committee, which discussed at its Nov. 14 meeting the possibility of building the sign, voted to hold a public hearing on the issue.
Former village codes officer Jorge Batlle told the village board that he was at the HLPC meeting and said that the village code states that while the HLPC has every right to hold a public hearing, the village board has sole discretion over whether or not to approve the sign.
Batlle said the village board is not required to hold a public hearing on the sign erection because it does not require a building permit to be approved but only a sign permit because the sign would be a “directory sign” as defined by the village code sign ordinance.
Mayor Marty Hubbard said he saw no downside to the HLPC holding a public hearing, and he and the rest of the board all felt it was a good idea to get more public input on the proposed signs before they make a final decision.
“We strongly encourage public input [on this],” said Trustee Jim Lanning.
Sennett made the suggestion that the current mock up signs – which are painted solid black and only meant to show size dimensions – be improved to include gold lettering of all the businesses set to be added to the final directory signs proposed by the chamber of commerce. She said to do so and then leave the signs up through the end of the year would be “an excellent opportunity” for the board to get resident feedback on the proposal and for village merchants to get some improved signage during Dickens Christmas.
The board unanimously voted to approve allowing the improved mock up signs at Genesee and Jordan and Jordan and Fennell streets to remain standing through Dec. 31.
The board did not take any action on the proposed sign for Kane Avenue and West Genesee Street due to the zoning issues certain to be raised by the state Department of Transportation, due to its proximity to state routes 20 and 41A. The board will ask village Director of Municipal Operations, Bob Lotkowictz, so contact the DOT and discuss the issue.
Also at the meeting, the board approved the village employee health plan for calendar year 2013. It is the same plan as approved for 2012 through Excellus Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and will have an 8.5 percent increase to individual and family premiums, which will be paid by the village and by the individual employee.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.