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Village Changes Sign Proposal Size

Board ups size allowed, but adds other restrictions.

A few weeks after East Hampton Village held a hearing on a proposal to downsize real estate signs, trustees decided to compromise slightly on size. However, the board did discuss including a slew of additional signs, including limiting what the signs can say and the color of the signs.

And, if passed, the new law will apply to contractors and other similar industries.

"I think we agree that the signage that we originally indicated in the hearing is too small," Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach Jr. said of the 1.5 square foot proposal at a work session on Thursday. Currently, the signs are allowed to be as much of 7 square feet.

Instead, the village board agreed 18 by 18 inches, or 2.5 square feet, was more appropriate. The village has to re-notice the hearing with the new measurements and restrictions.

The board decided the following restrictions would also be apart of the proposal:

  • Signs will only be allowed to be one-sided. 
  • They will be placed parallel to the property.
  • The height, from the bottom of the post to the top, could be no more than 3 feet (right now it's 4 feet). 
  • Signs will have to be white with black letterings.
  • The posts the signs are on will have to be black metal posts. 
  • Only three lines of text will be allowed on the sign with the name of the real estate agency, the broker and the phone number.
  • Contractor signs will have to come down when the work is completed.
  • The new law will apply to all districts in the village, including the commercial district.

Deputy Mayor Barbara Borsack said she would prefer a white post, as she found it more attractive than black metal. However, Rick Lawler said he felt metal poles would be easier to put in and take out given that the signs are temporary.

The board did conclude that the village should not require permits for such temporary signs.

Village attorney Linda Reilly will draft the legislation for the board to review at its next meeting. A hearing will then be scheduled.

"I repeat for the umpteenth time, this is a work in progress," Rickenbach said.

Barbara Mueller February 07, 2012 at 02:16 PM
Advertising is key to marketing a company and establishing and growing the brand. Is there really a benefit to reducing signs other than aesthetics? I have not heard an argument compelling enough that would warrant doing this. In an already fragile local economy is it necessary to further hinder local businesses. The idea that every company will need to be uniform in their sign advertising takes away from immediate brand recognition and individuality.
Joe Citizen February 07, 2012 at 02:20 PM
I do think that having the signs parallel to the street is actually more of a hazard as now people will need to slow down to see what the sign says instead of being able to read it easily as they drive by. Also, allowing a small logo, will also make it easier for people to know who to call, reducing the amount of braking required to read an 18" sign.
Mark Perry February 07, 2012 at 11:10 PM
Regarding store signs being a real blight. As a small business owner I feel it is challenging enough to run a business in a seasonal town like East Hampton with all of the rules and regulations. Between the Dark Sky rules hindering how you can light your business and Town regulations about signage it's a wonder anyone can stay in business. I understand why there are rules but I think they should be more tolerant of businesses especially in this economic climate. With that said I feel ALL businesses should be forced to turn off all lighting with the exception of emergency lighting after business hours. And if there are signs in the windows, window dressing to hide them at night, both of which I do. At wits end, Mark Perry, Hamptons Wines & Liquors.
Amy Zachary LCSW, MA February 08, 2012 at 04:20 AM
I think it's all about aesthetics and how refreshing is that! Aesthetics Trumps Commercialism. Now that's a headline.
Mark Perry February 08, 2012 at 04:10 PM
Dear Taylor, Thank you for your post regarding keeping it polite and I'll add adult. After all it's about moving the conversation forward positively in this very small town. Thanks again, Mark

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