City of Salem Massachusetts
Public Meeting Minutes
Board or Committee: Design Review Board
Date and Time: Thursday December 30, 2010, at 8:30am, Special Meeting
Meeting Location: Third Floor Conference Room, 120 Washington St.
Members Present: Chairperson Paul Durand, Michael Blier, David Jaquith, Helen Sides, Glenn Kennedy
Members Absent: Ernest DeMaio, Tom Daniel
Others Present: Tom Devine
Recorder: Lindsay Howlett
Chairperson Paul Durand calls the meeting to order.
Urban Renewal Area Projects under Review
- 168 Essex Street (Lakay Island Restaurant): Discussion of proposed signage
The board reviews proposed renderings of the new signage.
Vladimir Lessage and Keith Linares are present on behalf of Lakay Island Restaurant.
Durand suggests putting the sign on the brick wall higher.
Linares responds they may lose the visibility because of the tree lines.
Blier clarifies the bigger sign is on the door and the smaller is on the wall.
Linares responds yes.
Durand does not see a lot of leaves down low in the photos and adds people will be moving along and will never just stand in one spot trying to read the sign.
Linares states it is already 10’ to the bottom of the sign.
Durand adds people will also be far away from the sign and it will always be on the horizon
Kennedy states there is a long path of visibility when the awning is not present coming along the Essex Street. Kennedy adds the signage will be a nice contrast against the brick, underneath there is pre-existing lighting in the space which provides an opportunity to brighten that space by just turning the light on, but fears the proposed sign over the door will close off the light.
Lessage responds they also thought the lighting could provide backlighting to the sign.
Kennedy asks if they have any plans for the windows.
Lessage replies no.
Kennedy states he thinks the good news is the proposal is getting really close.
Kennedy agrees with Durand to move the sign on the brick wall a touch higher and suggests it be offset to the left instead of centered.
Lessage responds the tree drove the sign to be centered.
Sides agrees the sign should be moved up and over.
Lessage responds they have no problem with that.
Linares adds he just wants to make sure it looks intentional.
Durand thinks a centered sign will read better when moving past and wants to think about how it is going to be experienced when walking down the street.
Sides asks how the sign is mounted above the door.
Linares responds it will be mounted directly onto the brick but the palm tree will be 3-D and will stick out.
Durand now agrees the wall sign should move up and over to the left.
Kennedy draws on the plan his proposal for the sign location on the brick wall.
Jaquith asks how the height compares to the other sign around the corner above the door.
Lessage state it will be much higher.
Sides states if the sign above the door were off of the wall a little bit and there were some lighting, it would draw people more to the entrance.
Blier adds if the sign could cast a tiny shadow it would pop more.
Linares states the material would need to be a thicker wood, mounted 2” off of the wall.
Durand states the board should define the height.
Kennedy agrees to visit the site to define the sign’s exact location.
Kennedy asks what the board thinks about the band sign.
Jaquith thinks its good and Durand agrees.
Durand: Motion to approve the band signage as is, to relocate the sign above the door above the storefront on the brick, bottom edge of sign 1’ above top of storefront and centered horizontally and that the side sign be located higher and to the left as determined by Kennedy on site, and the sign above the door will be set off of the building 2”, seconded by Kennedy. Passes 5-0.
- 282 Derby Street (Dunkin Donuts): Discussion of proposed handicap ramp installation.
Jaquith recusses himself
Jaquith is representing the building owner, George Osgood who is on site.
The board reviews a smaller scaled drawing dated December 20th, 2010.
Jaquith states they are going down about an inch at the door and the curb ends up being about 10” high. Jaquith adds the door has to be pushed over as shown on the drawing.
Sides asks if it requires altering the sidewalk.
Jaquith states yes it would need to be altered on both sides. Jaquith adds approximately a 9’ slope on one side and 11’ on the other side.
Blier states the tree is going to be an issue.
Durand thinks the proposed drawings are a pretty good solution and thinks they don’t need to visit the site.
Blier suggests using a ¾” stone to keep the trunk of the tree from rotting.
Sides thinks its sounds great and looks great.
Kennedy is fundamentally opposed to changing the public walkway for an individual space and thinks it is a bad precedent.
Durand responds it is a standard accessibility issue to architects, and thinks this is a minor way to resolve the issue. Durand adds it is a fairly noble cause to provide accessibility and can not always be done in New England in buildings that are built high because of the snow. Durand additionally states it is sometimes best to change the sidewalk.
Durand adds as long as it’s a 1 to 20 slope and is not a ramp, they are only slightly changing the path, among many other sidewalk irregularities around the city.
Durand adds, on the other hand it is a 1200 square foot retail space where an indoor condition will kill the retail. Durand further adds ramps are a different story and is something the board really wants to discourage.
Blier states it is also different because it is a renovation vs. a new building whereas if it were new construction, the entire sidewalk would be ripped up and reconstructed to achieve the same result.
Duran adds the building code is specific and the board really wants to mediate the best decision.
Jaquith states at the last meeting it was thought a great way to resolve this would be to subtly adjust the sidewalk without being drastic and adds the owner is losing some functionality inside the space as well.
Jaquith states he has a limitation at the Cilantro entry.
Durand states there may be a sidewalk expansion joint that could meet up with the slope and additionally thinks a longer slope may be better.
Jaquith shows the board where the expansion joints are on the plans.
Durand responds he would go to the expansion joint on one side and then to the brick on the other end.
Jack Harris is present on behalf of the Commission on Disabilities and agrees with Kennedy.
Harris states although the 1:20 is within code, for people with depth perception it could become a dangerous situation, especially in winter. Harris adds the commission has always looked into maintaining clear and level paths. Harris further adds it is going towards accessibility which is what the commission wants but agrees to some degree it does set a precedent. Harris reiterates the commission would rather have a straight plane than something that goes up and down.
Jaquith responds it is not really an up and down but an up and straight because of the change in elevations.
Harris states for a sidewalk it will be hard to see where it slopes and could cause tripping and asks the board to be aware of that they are creating accessibility but simultaneously may be putting in a little barrier.
Jaquith states over the years he has seen that every situation is individual and should be considered individually and the board can always change their mind.
Blier adds there are other areas where they haven’t allowed it such as the gateway center where they pushed for the ramp to go inside.
Sides agrees this is vastly better than having a handrail.
Harris thinks it is probably the best solution but wants people to be aware of the things he mentioned.
Durand states he thinks the board should try to be consistent with their thinking and processes.
Harris asks where the handicapped parking spot is located and wonders about accessibility to that space.
Jaquith states it is not affected at all as it is beyond the area of work.
Sides: Motion to approve with the expansion of the slope to the brick on one end and the expansion joint at the end of the windows on the opposite side, the cobble on the tree to be lifted to be flushed with the level of the sidewalk and filled with crushed stone, seconded by Blier. The motion passes 3-1, with Sides, Durand, and Blier voting in favor, Kennedy opposed, and Jaquith recused.
Kennedy: Motion to adjourn, seconded by Blier. Passes 5-0.
Meeting is adjourned at 9:24am.