Peekskill officials expressed pleasure – with a note of civic pride –
during a review of downtown commercial signs featuring then-and-now photos of a
couple of dozen locations in 1990 and 2011. Common Council members and planning officials praised the improved, more inviting appearances of the sites but
acknowledged that there are still concerns that need attention.
“Signage Review in the Downtown Historic District” was presented during a
City Hall meeting Monday, May 2, by Jean Friedman, city planner, and
Anthony Ruggiero, director of the Planning and Development Department.
Utilizing guidelines in place since 2002 the city has encouraged businesses to replace undesirable banners, signs and posters with more attractive versions, Friedman said. “Historic preservation does make a difference.”
Continuing concerns, which the city plans to address through education of
“Open” signs. Non-flashing lighted signs are being
permitted. Many such signs now use light-emitting diodes instead of
traditional neon gas. Flags and paper signs are alternative tools for
announcing an establishment is open for business.
Paper signs. The city has received complaints
about cluttered appearances, especially when the signs cover more than the
permitted amount of window space.
Sandwich boards. Council members voiced
preferences for a historical look and neat blackboards without
bulletin-board-style clutter. Criticism was directed at white boards and
contemporary plastic boards.
Balloons and pennants, especially near curbs
where they could affect parked or moving vehicles.
Placement of signs on narrow sidewalks so as not
to impede pedestrians.
Cost of bring nonconforming signs into
compliance with city requirements.
Council members voiced a desire not to be overly restrictive and said
improved, attractive signage can bring more customers to a business.
City officials will prepare a bilingual letter (English and Spanish)
about signage to all merchants in the downtown district, followed by staff
visits to discuss compliance and the removal or replacement of nonconforming
signs. Summonses will be issued if necessary.
Friedman will develop guidelines for district signage, along with a
proposed timeline for compliance, and present them to the council for