City of Salem Massachusetts
Public Meeting Minutes
Board or Committee: Design Review Board, Special Meeting
Date and Time: Thursday August 5, 2010, at 7:00 pm
Meeting Location: Third Floor Conference Room, 120 Washington St.
Members Present: Glenn Kennedy, Michael Blier, David Jaquith, Ernest DeMaio
Members Absent: Chairperson Paul Durand, Helen Sides
Others Present: Economic Development Manager Tom Daniel
Recorder: Lindsay Howlett
Board Member Michael Blier calls the meeting to order.
Daniel states this is a special meeting for The Great Escape to review revisions that were to be made after the last meeting. Daniel adds Digital Imaging was confused about the last meeting and did not know they were supposed to be present and the Custom House Rotisserie Chicken is a new project.
- 282 Derby Street Unit 2 (Custom House Rotisserie): Discussion of proposed signage
Jeff Gregorio is present on behalf of Custom House Rotisserie Chicken. The board reviews plans dated July 30, 2010.
Daniel states Gregorio called this afternoon to state the design of the sign had changed per the business owner’s request. Gregorio passes out the revised design. Gregorio states they will be using the existing sign bracket and adds the have revised the design completely from the previous submittal. Gregorio states the owner wanted to make it look like an oven and adds that a lot of the chef jackets, logos and merchandise have already been pre-purchased to match this design.
Gregorio adds the previous design was on the fly to get the sign approved for their opening at the beginning of September.
Daniel asks if the image is a stock image as labeled.
Gregorio explains he would be able to purchase it if it were approved tonight.
Kennedy asks if this will be a screen image.
Gregorio replies it will be digitally printed with a laminate as well as the entire sign will be digitally printed and custom cut on a pvc board.
DeMaio asks if the font and style of the text proposed, is used on the business’ pre-existing logos.
Gregorio states no they do not have any pre-existing font or style of text for the business logo.
Daniel states it is within the authority of the DRB to discuss and provide feedback but not to take an action tonight if the board feels like more time or work is needed.
Gregorio adds that he has mentioned to the owner that he could always post a temporary sign on the door until they lock down a permanent design.
Kennedy asks what is happening with the existing awning.
Gregorio states he has no idea only knows that it got hit by a UPS truck, was fixed and reinstalled.
Kennedy states that he wants more information—the sign, the awning the lighting—more information and thought.
Blier states in some cases elevations of the building drawn to show the different pieces coming together, like the awning have been part of the proposal package.
Kennedy states he feels like it doesn’t quite seem to fit.
Gregorio states that this design is the owner’s vision and is what he has been stuck on since day one. Gregorio adds he warned the owner that the chicken may not go over too well.
Daniel states the earlier sketch was a cartoon-esque chicken with drumsticks, then switched to a new design/package but has now gone back to the chicken on a spoke idea.
Gregorio states a three dimensional sign would be more eye appealing.
Blier states the actual photo reads like a super market or menu image.
Kennedy adds it feels like what would be a window poster and not a blade sign. Kennedy states for all the work the DRB does to ensure there are good signs around the city, every now and then there is one that we push back on and adds that he feels like this sign needs another pass on it. Kennedy further adds the DRB usually provides pretty good and specific feedback but this one he’s not quite sure where to begin. Kennedy states he feels the chicken and the shape of the oven is right but other than that it does not work well with the bracket and the awning. Kennedy also states the type face feels like it is trying to be something else as well, does not hold the sign together and is semi hard to read. Kennedy adds he is happy to work with them if need be so that they will not have to wait until October.
DeMaio states that he thinks the sign is very big at 50”, is much larger than most approved and is big for its proximity to the sidewalk. DeMaio also states he is a little concerned with the design and is not sure a sign with a photographic image has ever been approved. DeMaio adds maybe n window decals but even then very reluctantly. DeMaio further states they tend to want the signs to be less literal or less like a poster.
Kennedy responds even then the design would have had to have something tremendously unique about it.
DeMaio states he does not necessarily have a problem with the dimension of the overhang as much as he does with the sign. DeMaio adds the sign can stick out further if there is a belief that it will achieve better visibility. DeMaio further states he does not feel the curve shape works well with the existing bracket and also feels it is important to see the blade sign with the storefront and the awning to see everything together as one full design. DeMaio adds knowing that the text is not part of their branding; the board would not want to see one style of text on the awning, the window and a different text on the blade sign. DeMaio further adds there is also more text on the blade sign that is needed.
Kennedy: Motion to continue with the understanding that Kennedy will review the proposed signage next week, seconded by DeMaio. Passes 3-0.
- 209 R Essex Street (Digital Imaging): Discussion of proposed signage
Michael Epstein is present on behalf of Digital Imaging. The board reviews signage package dated July 19, 2010.
Daniel describes the location of the business. Daniel states this was discussed in the absence of representative of the business at the last meeting which is why they are discussing the issue again tonight.
Epstein states the signs are located on the outside of building where there is existing sheet metal.
Blier asks what the strategy is of having the three signs.
Epstein responds the problem is that their old customers are having trouble finding their new location. Epstein adds people can walk right by the shop and not see it so they figured if they had the three signs they would improve the chances of being seen. Epstein further adds that people do not come in shopping for type setting and they are not trying to attract everyday pedestrians but rather provide a way for their specific customers to find them.
DeMaio asks if there is a possibility of having a blade sign that projects out from the building.
Epstein states there are existing brackets that used to hold a big banner for the Children’s Museum. Epstein adds they share the 209R Essex Street address with another company that accesses their space with the staircase seen in the photo. Epstein reiterates that they are not really trying to attract customers to the shop.
DeMaio states the visibility of the signs cannot be seen and therefore his knee jerk reaction is to install a blade sign extending out from the building to be eye catching.
Epstein responds that they usually give people good instructions to find the shop and do not want people just visiting. Epstein adds if they could they would put the signs in the windows but it is way too low. Epstein further adds if someone is really lost they will put out a temporary sign to act as a locator.
Epstein states there are three because there are three existing panels. Epstein adds they can take two of them down.
DeMaio suggests if there were three signs maybe there was a color that carried across to tie them together instead of having the same text repeated.
Kennedy adds there needs to be a solution so that people can find them when they are looking but understands the company does not want to attract people too much. Kennedy states they have to accommodate for a business down in that space in regards to where a sign should go, if it should be a blade sign on the wall and/or signage on the door.
Daniel states a different tenant accesses their space from the door seen in the photos with the 209R awning and that they do not need signage.
DeMaio states that intuitively he would like to put a blade sign in the middle of their façade but otherwise has no issue with the graphic design.
Kennedy states he is not sure why the sign needs a box within the rectangle.
Epstein responds that is their logo.
Kennedy reiterates that it feels like a print out but for a sign it would not need to have a box within a box.
DeMaio asks Daniel if the board can recommend adding a sign that the business is not proposing.
Daniel responds they can reject the proposal with a suggestion to propose a blade sign.
Epstein states they are not ready to go through any type of sign cost because they are not trying to attract the public. Epstein adds the effort, time and money, for a year or two, is not something they want to do.
DeMaio states the company needs to refrain from bringing the sign too high but agrees it does need to be higher than the railing. DeMaio adds there does not seem to be a happy place for a blade sign but states the company also does not have a real desire nor compelling case for having three.
Daniel states a company is typically allowed one sign plus a blade sign and adds if the three could read as one then that would be okay.
Kennedy states he is compelled to do a single sign above the door space and make it feel like a sign for a business but does not feel like it’s the right thing. Kennedy states the sign needs to be on a board and mounted with a simple channel or ‘L’ shaped bracket. Kennedy adds it just needs to feel like it’s a sign.
Blier asks if that is something the business would be interested in doing.
Epstein responds if that is what’s required then yes.
Kennedy states he does not think the company has to change the size at all and thinks the graphics are pretty simple and basic. Kennedy adds they could also do a decal on the door as well.
Blier states there seems to be no compelling reason to fast track the sign.
Epstein states they are fine without a sign.
DeMaio states there needs to be more of a sign, not the same text repeated three times and that he would rather see something on the wall if the company is willing to do that.
Blier states they will encourage the business to come back before the board.
Kennedy states he can take a look at the package prior, to make sure everything is on the right track before the next meeting.
Kennedy: Motion to continue, proposal to be reviewed before the next meeting by Kennedy but will be resubmitted at the next DRB meeting in September, seconded by Jaquith. Passes 4-0.
- 50 St. Peter Street (The Great Escape): Discussion of proposed lighting and landscaping plan for outdoor dining area
Shane Andruskiewicz is present on behalf of The Great Escape. The board reviews plans dated August 1, 2010.
Daniel states at the last DRB meeting, the tables, chairs, umbrellas and up-lighting were approved, but there was a need to review the landscaping plan. Daniel adds the board felt improvements could be made by looking at the lighting and landscaping as a package.
Blier states they were all surprised to see photos of the patio already built without being reviewed by the board.
Andruskiewicz states they have hired a landscape architect who has drawn up plans of the patio area. Andruskiewicz adds she recommended moving the rigid forms of the jail blocks throughout the landscaped area and various plantings were recommended.
Andruskiewicz states there were old relics found in the jail that have been painted and will be incorporated into the landscape. No one knows what the metal objects were used for prior.
Blier asks to see photos of the existing lighting
Andruskiewicz distributes the photos of the previously approved lighting package to the board.
Blier states the plan and plant types look pretty good.
Andruskiewicz responds rather than throwing out all of the junipers already purchased, the landscape architect recommended moving them.
Blier asks what the logic was behind the juniper note on the plans.
Andruskiewicz states the landscape architect felt they may become too overgrown in the next few years and that they will not look right if trimmed. Andruskiewicz adds the landscape architect suggested removing and replacing them with something else.
Blier states moving the stone away from the exterior is very helpful.
Jaquith asks where the tall lights are located.
Andruskiewicz indicates the locations on the site plans.
Blier confirms if the up-lighting for the sign and was previously approved.
Daniel indicates yes.
Blier states the plan seems like there is reasonable spacing for the plants and overall thinks it is pretty good.
DeMaio asks how visible the patio will be from the street.
Jaquith states there will not be much visibility because it is above the street but you will be able to see the umbrellas.
Blier states he is amazed at how packed the Tavern in the Square is almost every night and adds it is great that The Great Escape has a great green place.
Kennedy states he is happy with the changes. Kennedy asks if the proposed lighting mimic the existing lighting.
Andruskiewicz replies they will have same head, but a shorter post. Andruskiewicz adds that they will have the same style post.
Jaquith thinks it may need more light but thinks it should get open and then be assessed.
Andruskiewicz states a lot of the light will wash in from the street lights.
Andruskiewicz states the patio has to close by 10PM as directed by the landlord.
Jaquith: Motion to approve the drawings as presented, with comments of shortening the posts to 6’ and using the same head, seconded by Kennedy. Passes 4-0.
Jaquith: Motion to adjourn, seconded by Kennedy. Passes 4-0.
Meeting is adjourned at 8:01 pm.