City of Salem Massachusetts
Public Meeting Minutes
Board or Committee: Design Review Board, Regular Meeting
Date and Time: Wednesday July 28, 2010, at 6:00pm
Meeting Location: Third Floor Conference Room, 120 Washington St.
Members Present: Chairperson Paul Durand, Glenn Kennedy, Michael Blier, David Jaquith
Members Absent: Ernest DeMaio, Helen Sides
Others Present: Economic Development Manager Tom Daniel
Recorder: Lindsay Howlett
Board Member Paul Durand calls the meeting to order.
Urban Renewal Area Projects under Review
- 173 Essex Street (Witch Tee’s): Discussion of proposed signage
Joan Brennan is present on behalf of Witch Tee’s. The board reviews plans dated July 15, 2010.
Daniel describes the location of the proposed signage and states the letters will be 12” high by 102” long, spanning the sign band.
Brennan states the signage matches everything else that is on the street, it is plain simple and to the point.
Durand confirms that the letters are individually mounted.
Daniel states that 12” lettering is larger than most of the other signs.
Durand responds he wishes the letters were a little smaller.
Kennedy adds somewhere around a 10”-11” letter is pretty substantial and asks what font the letters are in.
Brennan replies the sign can be any font but adds that they tried to match the existing.
Durand asks if the apostrophe ‘S’ is correct.
Brennan replies it is a play on words to be read like ‘which tee’s do you want’ and adds it has worked for 18 years now. Brennan states the name does have to be the exact same as the other store location but adds they will change the lettering to be whatever the board prefers.
Kennedy states 10” gold letters with a little spacing in between like Bernard’s/Samantha’s would do it.
Kennedy: Motion to approve sign as proposed with the following conditions:
- The gold letters with black edge shall be 10” high; and
- A little letter spacing shall be added to be similar to Bernard’s.
seconded by Blier. Passes 4-0.
- 320 Derby Street (Two Girls Shop): Discussion of proposed signage
Pia Schoeck is present on behalf of Two Girls Shop. The board is reviewing plans dated July 19, 2010.
Daniel describes the shop is moving its location and is proposing a blade sign and simple window details.
Schoeck states they had to change their sign from vertical to horizontal and adds the sign is sized to ensure readability from the street.
Kennedy states it is kept very clear and simple and fits within the existing sign holder. Kennedy adds the small type can be seen walking but probably not from the street.
Schoeck states the window decal will be of white type with no color behind. Schoeck asks if the location on the window vertically is good.
Durand states higher is probably better but it can go anywhere vertically.
Blier asks if the subtitle is too small.
Jaquith states it is a little small but creates a nice line.
Schoeck adds horizontally they were trying to fit the subtitle in the span of the width of the main title.
Jaquith: Motion to approve with the following conditions:
- The sign color shall be Poolside Blue (Benjamin Moore); and
- The lettering on the window shall be white with no color background.
seconded by Kennedy. Passes 4-0.
- 32 Church Street (Milk and Honey Green Grocer): Discussion of proposed signage and exterior door replacement
Sharon Driscoll is present on behalf of Milk and Honey Green Grocer, packet dated July 15, 2010 with additional information (revised sign color) submitted tonight.
Daniel describes the location of the store and states the proposal is for a blade sign and new door.
Driscoll states it has been a bit of a struggle with the sign company they are currently working with and as a result have submitted new colors tonight.
Jaquith states he likes the new door.
Daniel states there have been a lot of desires for this type of retail to exist downtown.
Kennedy agrees. Kennedy asks if the images will be fore-color.
Driscoll responds yes.
Kennedy asks how the images they will be applied to the blade sign.
Driscoll has the board reference the packet. Driscoll adds the bracket will be modified slightly to have circular hooks from which the sign will be held.
Jaquith asks if the sign will move or be rigid.
Driscoll responds she thinks it will be rigid.
Durand states a moving sign will create less force on the bracket. Jaquith agrees.
Kennedy: Motion to approve proposal as submitted, seconded by Jaquith. Passes 4-0.
- 281 Essex Street, Suite C3 (Armstrong Field Real Estate): Discussion of proposed signage
Jim Armstrong is present on behalf of Armstrong Field Real Estate. The board reviews plans dated July 19, 2010 with new details and color samples submitted tonight.
Durand states there is nice visibility to the signs.
Kennedy states the blade sign is good and has no questions. Kennedy adds he is concerned with the color green being added onto the windows. Kennedy further explains the decals may be too close to the color of the paint on the window itself.
Armstrong responds he could reverse the colors.
Kennedy responds it may be too bright and they may not want that.
Armstrong agrees and states that is why they chose the green.
Kennedy suggests using the color of the trim with the yellow type will make it look like they created a different surface and it will not look too far apart from the green in the other sign.
Armstrong states he is going to have the doors re-lettered to achieve a more accurate color.
Jaquith asks what the font is on the windows.
Strong responds Arial Narrow and Times New Roman elsewhere.
Kennedy suggests making the font all the same with the exception of the “Armstrong Field”.
Strong states agrees.
Kennedy: Motion to approve with the following conditions:
- On the blade sign, the currently displayed white type in the logo shall be yellow;
- the window decals shall have the background green match the window trim green color with yellow type, the font to be Arial Narrow in upper and lower case; and
- the door decal shall be replaced with yellow, matching the sign the Armstrong Field Inc. font in Times New Roman and the rest of the type to be Arial Narrow.
seconded by Jaquith. Passes 4-0.
- 79 Washington Street (Lightshed Photography Studio): Discussion of proposed signage
Dan St. John is present on behalf of Lightshed Photography Studio. The board is reviewing plans dated July 20, 2010.
Daniel states this was reviewed last month with lettering in the sign band, with the URL removed from the blade sign design.
St. John states the sign has been simplified and kept clean to view the entire logo. St. John adds they wanted to utilize their location to enable traffic to see their signage.
Kennedy states Franklin Café in Gloucester is just a martini glass and is very visible and everyone knows what it is and they get the traffic.
Kennedy: Motion to approve as submitted, seconded by Jaquith. Passes 4-0.
- 118 Washington Street (Café Polonia): Discussion of proposed façade color scheme
Darek Barcikowski is present on behalf of Café Polonia. The board reviews plans dated July 21, 2010.
Barcikowski explains the steps they took from the last meeting for different façade options and have come up with a German house building style design. Barcikowski explains the trim would be thinner than shown, window boxes would be present and the wood trim would be painted a shade of brown called ‘revival mahogany’ by Behr. Barcikowski adds the white panels would be the existing building façade and would be recessed and the bottom half of the design is merely painting the existing white with brown.
Barcikowski states they feel it ties in with the region they are presenting at the restaurant without being too heavy on the building.
Blier asks if the sign above is the same design approved prior.
Kennedy asks if this façade design was run by the landlord.
Barcikowski replies the landlord asked to see what they were doing after going through the DRB.
Durand states it is busy and he is trying to visualize it three dimensionally.
Daniel states there is a good amount of space on either side that will be just plain. Daniel asks if the sign would be the same wood tone as before proposed.
Barcikowski states if this design was approved they would use the white background as the back of the sign.
Durand states the design seems to impact the architecture of the building scheme more than the sign. Durand states it seems too architectural and less signage.
Kennedy reiterates it is creating a storefront and adds that he likes that. Kennedy adds that corner needs something to stand out. Kennedy states it really is a big question for the landlord.
Durand responds the design is able to be removed and would not be permanent.
Blier asks if Barcikowski considers the façade design as part of the sign.
Barcikowski states they wanted something to stand out that goes with the building but relates to the region.
Durand asks if they think the actual sign should fill in the whole rectangle and be framed by the façade design.
Blier agrees it should.
Durand states he would go for the design, though he is a little surprised by it.
Blier states the façade will help draw the eye back through the trees.
Blier asks to learn more about the window boxes.
Barcikowski states they are planning to build the window boxes out of wood and then attach them to the window sill.
Durand states to be careful because the boxes would not want to inhibit the outdoor seating.
Kennedy informs Barcikowski to make sure they use the right wood, and adds that a Spanish cedar would work for the application.
Kennedy adds it is nice with the flowers there and thinks it works really well but agrees they will need to make sure the boxes do not inhibit the seating area.
Durand states they have two options for the sign, it could fill the white rectangle with raised lettering and emblem or it could be made of just raised lettering attached directly onto the façade.
Jaquith states he has a problem with the middle row of façade detail. Jaquith states the trim detail needs to line up with the real beams below and be more organized. Jaquith suggests eliminating the angled trim from this row. Jaquith states less is more. Jaquith adds the busyness is going to bring the eye up.
Kennedy states on the other hand they do not want to over simplify the design. Kennedy adds it can be simplified a little bit but he would not want to see it so structured that it appears as if it is supposed to be there.
Blier adds right now as designed it obviously is an appliqué and the more you rationalize it, the less good it would look.
The board suggests removing the vertical trim #1, 4, 6 and 9 (left to right) from the middle row to simplify the design.
Kennedy: Motion to approve with the following conditions:
- The vertical trim #1, 4, 6 and 9 (left to right) shall be removed from the middle row of trim; and
- The sign letters shall be attached to the building façade within the white panel
seconded by Jaquith. Passes 4-0.
- 50 St. Peter Street (The Great Escape): Discussion of proposed signage and outdoor dining area.
Dan Ricciarelli and Shane Andruskiewicz are present on behalf of The Great Escape. The board reviews the plans dated July 20, 2010.
Ricciarelli describes the location of the restaurant within the Old Salem Jail site. Ricciarelli states the traffic will really need to see the signage from Bridge Street to be able to find the restaurant. Ricciarelli describes the sign would scale from the bottom of the window sill on the third level to the lintel on the second level. Ricciarelli adds there will be two signs at 90 degrees to assist in being able to see the sign from various vantage points.
Ricciarelli describes how the National Park Service had issues with putting the sign on the front of the building which is what drove this proposal. Ricciarelli states the sign is 12’x 18”.
Daniel states the National Park Service has to review the signs on this site due to the use of federal historic tax credits. Daniel adds that vertical signs of this nature are a departure from our sign guidelines, and that he and Lynn Duncan think this is an appropriate design given the facts, location, and circumstances at this site.
Durand states he thinks it won’t be enough, and agrees it is a hard situation. Durand understands why they don’t want to see free standing signs, but as a development authority they want the restaurant to be successful.
Jaquith asks how the sign is lit.
Andruskiewicz describes there will be spot lights shining upward from the landscaping.
Kennedy states that he met with the applicant a few weeks ago and looked at the options and the visibility capabilities, and adds they would get some visibility from each direction as the signs are proposed here. Kennedy adds the only concern is if they are far enough back from each other to not block each other.
Andruskiewicz responds they are set at 6” apart.
Kennedy replies that he thinks you will need more distance, maybe 10” or so to get the blade affect off of the corner.
Kennedy adds the notoriety of the location and experience will give a lot more traffic than either sign will.
Jaquith wonders if there will be enough light.
Andruskiewicz states they have to be careful with that and be sensitive with their location and the residents.
Jaquith states he has no problem with the sign.
Durand asks how it is going to be attached to the building.
Andruskiewicz states there will be at least three brackets, bolted directly and the sign will attach through channels that are attached to the bracket. Andruskiewicz adds the sign will be made of brushed aluminum.
Durand suggests two brackets with a bar on the inside edge of the sign to give the sign more rigidity. Durand also suggests the signs to project of the building farther.
Durand summarizes the sign should be 10” from the corner of the building and 2 ½” - 3” off of the building. Durand states that stencil lettering doesn’t really work.
Ricciarelli asks Daniel if a square bollard at the end of the drive with the restaurant font on it would be considered a freestanding sign.
Durand responds if a place ever needed a free standing sign it would be this.
Daniel adds directional signage or access signage as opposed to primary tenant signage could be considered. Daniel states the point of the accessory signage is to inform people that the driveway is the place to go. Daniel adds signage on the wall and/or the building does not help to communicate the route of passage.
Jaquith: Motion to approve proposed signage as proposed with notes 10” from each other, 3” off of the building, and two brackets with a supporting rod as previously described, seconded by Kennedy. Passes 4-0.
Outdoor Seating Area
Andruskiewicz describes the seating layout and references the plans earlier submitted.
Blier asks if the site plan was approved.
Daniel states the terrace was redesigned to appease the resident’s concerns and was constructed before it was able to be reviewed.
Blier states it is too bad that it did not get reviewed because everything else was carefully considered with this project and this terrace feels a little underwhelming.
Daniel adds there will be plain solid black umbrellas as part of the proposal.
Jaquith agrees with Blier that the landscaping should have come back to the DRB. Jaquith has no problems with the tables otherwise.
Durand asks if there should be additional two person tables as the seating provided seems a little light.
Andruskiewicz states they have thought about it but want to leave it a little more spacious.
Jaquith adds deuces work well in a restaurant anyway.
Daniel reminds them to review their allowance of their liquor license for the number of outdoor seating they are allowed.
Andruskiewicz states he thinks it is around 60.
Durand adds a little density will help and it will assist in communicating to the traffic that this is a restaurant.
Jaquith adds the umbrellas will help to appear denser.
Jaquith asks how they are going to light the tables.
Andruskiewicz responds that there are site lights in the plans.
Jaquith states the tables will likely need their own lighting.
Blier states lighting like this should have been part of the lighting package that was already approved for the site. Blier additionally states the lighting should be considered as a whole with the building vs. accommodating just the restaurant. Blier adds he is not saying it is good or bad but particularly in light of the terrace design not being reviewed, the board should see the lighting package. Blier states that he does not mean to give them a hard time.
Ricciarelli states they have an approved lighting package the board can look at that which would give a good idea to tie the outdoor seating area lighting together with the building.
Jaquith states the site plan should still go before the board as it is just a surface and thinks it needs some sort of edge.
Blier feels like the horses are out of the barn a little bit and asks how they can mitigate the issue. Blier states that he feels this is one of the best new projects in Salem and feels like the terrace did not get thought of as much as the building or the landscape and therefore is a little disappointing.
Andruskiewicz states the barriers were created to keep the people on the terraces.
Jaquith adds the statement is correct but the execution is bothersome. Jaquith states he has no problem with the tables and chairs.
Durand states he is fine with the plans but if they can get 60 seats, they should go for 60, add a few deuces and bring a connection back to the restaurant.
Kennedy notes there will be no signage allowed on the umbrellas with marketing on them. Kennedy adds there are a few new businesses that have umbrellas with marketing and they all say they were not aware of the policy so we need to make it very clear.
Andruskiewicz asks if they could put their logo on the umbrellas.
Kennedy and Jaquith agree the umbrellas alone will be enough to speak to the restaurant.
Durand: Motion to approve tables, chairs, umbrellas and up lights as presented with an encouragement to add more seating with what is approved by the licensing board, seconded by Jaquith. Passes 4-0.
Durand: Motion for the DRB to review the landscaping and lighting plan though the terrace was already constructed, seconded by Kennedy. Passes 4-0.
Daniel asks if the board would be willing to meet in August to discuss the lighting and landscaping though there was no meeting scheduled. The board members present state they have no problem holding a special meeting.
- 209 R Essex Street (Digital Imaging): Discussion of proposed signage.
Board reviews signage package dated July 19, 2010.
Durand recuses himself from the discussion.
The applicant is not present so Daniel explains the proposal. Daniel states they have put up signage without a permit. Daniel adds they have three simple signs mounted above their windows. Daniel adds they are 21 ½” x 36” with the exception of one being 44” wide.
Blier asks why they need three signs.
Daniel states there is no sign band on the storefront and additionally there is ventilation above the door.
Jaquith states he likes the sign but not the location as it appears temporary.
Daniel states the images in the proposal are different from the signs he saw when he last visited.
Daniel adds there is a bracket on the corner of the building where there used to be a children’s museum banner however it relates to an awning which is for a different business.
Daniel adds the company does not want to spend any money for a blade sign. Daniel states the signage they produced is what they can make with their own equipment.
Daniel further states the board has an option of requesting their presence at the meeting in August.
Kennedy states the signs do not work the way they are now. Kennedy understands the visibility but thinks it doesn’t look like it is handled like a business that’s there and is going to be there. Kennedy feels strongly as a business they need a sign.
Kennedy: Motion to continue, seconded by Blier. Passes 3-0.
Approval of the minutes from the June 23, 2010, regular meeting.
Jaquith states that on page nine his name was misspelled.
Kennedy: Motion to approve minutes with Jaquith’s name corrected on page 9, seconded by Durand. Passes 4-0.
Kennedy: Motion to adjourn, seconded by Jaquith. Passes 3-0.
Meeting is adjourned.