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Lewisboro OKs New Emergency Sign Law

LEWISBORO, N.Y. – The Lewisboro Town Board has approved a measure that will allow the fire stations in South Salem, Goldens Bridge and Vista, along with the Lewisboro Volunteer Ambulance Corps headquarters, to install electronic signs for the primary purpose of relaying information to residents during power outages and other emergencies.

The board unanimously passed the amendment after a public hearing this week.

The board needed to amend the local law because the proposed signs are larger than the code currently allows. They are 7-feet, 6-inches tall and 6-feet wide with a 4- by 6-foot display area. They also are electronic, which the code prohibits. The amended law would allow for exceptions to these stipulations for the fire departments and ambulance corps.

Members of the town’s Architectural & Community Appearance Review Council were on hand to express concerns about the aesthetics of the signs. Noting that the council had no objection to the size of the signs or that they were electronic, the members said they were not consistent with the design of other town signs.

“They are too commercial looking, especially for Route 138,” said Ciorsdan Conran, the council's chair. “We are suggesting something less commercial that is more consistent with the white colonial tavern-style signs at other locales in town.”

“They should look like they are part of Lewisboro,” added council member Ira Sanchick. “They represent Lewisboro and we should care what they look like. It’s an iconic Lewisboro thing.”

Supervisor Peter Parsons said the group's recommendations would be costly.

“This money [for the signs] is raised by volunteers,” he said. “I don’t think commercial standards should apply. From what I’m told this would increase the cost of the sign by 60 percent – from $10,000 to $16,000.”

Some board members said a compromise could be reached by allowing some flexibility in the concil's recommended standards, such as by installing the signs by simply using capped columns.

Ultimately, the board decided that rather than using specific language that spells out the signs’ aesthetics, the amended law should simply dictate that the signs be “consistent with other municipal signage within the town.”

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