RE: Application No. AS-09-17, Sign Exception , Five Point Development
Dear Ms. Lamendola,
I am writing in regards to application number AS-09-17 submitted by Five Point Development. As an Upstate New York native and urban planner I strongly oppose a waiver for the projecting sign with LED sign. The design does not coincide with the pedestrian oriented design of Eastwood; it’s distracting for drivers and therefore dangerous. Further waivers to the James Street Overlay will weaken the ability to enforce guidelines in the future.
Too many waivers have been given for this development. Allowing further exceptions to the James Street Overlay weakens the ability to enforce quality design in the future, while decreasing predictability of the neighborhood environment for current and future residents and businesses. Research has shown lack of neighborhood predictability decreases the likelihood of investment in the area. Comprehensive plans, zoning, and overlays provide a level of confidence to business owners and residents reassuring them that there is some consistency of urban design.
Good architectural design incorporates the surrounding environment and users—a 17 foot high projecting sign, with LED lighting does not support a pedestrian oriented urban neighborhood. Eastwood has been branded by residents and visitors as ‘Walkable’. This is a source of pride for residents and they’re trying to preserve this characteristic.
Denial in this case of the projecting sign will help ensure some level of confidence in the James Street Overlay and the predictability of development in Eastwood.
City and Regional Planning, M.A.