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Village of Amityville to hold hearing on restrictions on downtown signs

Amityville Village Hall in 2009.

Amityville Village Hall in 2009. Credit: Newsday/Ed Betz

The Village of Amityville on Monday night will hold a hearing on a proposed law that would give the planning board authority to implement restrictions for signs within the village’s downtown.

The proposed law includes new guidelines for businesses on Broadway from the Sunrise Highway overpass to Merrick Road, including the Park Avenue/Ireland Place triangle.

Last March the board of trustees approved changes to its sign code after a committee formed in 2018 evaluated existing signage. The newest proposed law tightens the restrictions in an effort to make downtown signs more uniform and inviting, said planning board chair Mia Jealous-Dank.

"We really want to promote the pedestrian nature of our downtown," she said. "Signs can be both welcoming to pedestrians and can encourage people to come down to shop."

The eight pages of guidelines cover everything from sign placement and lighting to the 24 approved colors that can be used. The Broadway Corridor signage rules differ from the village’s general requirements by eliminating some types of signage and promoting others. Existing businesses will have five years to come into compliance or face fines of up to $350 per day, said Mayor Dennis Siry.

Back-lit box signs and channel-lit wall-mounted, neon and marquee signs would be prohibited under the proposal. Perpendicular signage visible to those walking down the block would be encouraged and signs on the glass areas of storefronts would be limited to promote visibility into shops, Jealous-Dank said.

"We definitely don’t want a cookie-cutter downtown but we do want a little bit of a tighter look so that it’s not quite so jarring to the eye," she said.

Jealous-Dank said the push to regulate signage downtown became more urgent with the opening of the Village by the Bay apartments and the planned AvalonBay apartment/townhouse project.

"We have the advantage of two beautiful new developments that are coming in and it’s really a disservice to our entire village if we don’t make the downtown as appealing as possible," Jealous-Dank said. "We really have a chance now to bring people in, to say here we are."

The hearing will take place on March 22 at 7:30 p.m. via Zoom.

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