On Thursday at 7:00pm the Greenwich Planning & Zoning Commission and the Architectural Review Committee, which is advisory to P&Z, are holding a public workshop via Zoom on the topic of signage, awnings and exterior lighting.
“We learned from recent public feedback that there are questions and concerns about the town’s signage regulations. Specifically, several businesses have installed or expressed an interest in faux floral facade decor. The displays don’t comply with our current regulations and violation notices have been issued,” said P&Z director Katie DeLuca in a release Monday morning.
“Since then, we have been receiving emails both from individuals concerned the displays could get out of hand and also from those who believe our regulations should be more flexible,” DeLuca added.
“We don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater,” said P&Z chair Margarita Alban. “The goal is to develop regulations that are clear and widely supported so local businesses don’t feel unduly limited or waste their money on displays that don’t comply. At the same time, our research tells us communities similar to Greenwich do tend to have fairly specific and strict standards. Going forward, the best way for us to support our merchants is to ensure the attractiveness of our business districts is protected by fair and consistently applied regulations. “
The public workshop is part of a P&Z and ARC joint project which began in February to update the Building Zone Regulations as they relate to signage, awnings and exterior lighting.
The goal of the project is two-fold. The first is to update the regulations to reflect current technology, trends and law. The second goal is to conduct a comprehensive study and plan for streetscape improvements, focused primarily on signage, to enhance sense of place for the neighborhoods of Byram, Central Greenwich, Cos Cob, Riverside, Old Greenwich, Glenville, Chickahominy, Pemberwick and Banksville.
Neighborhood plans have already been adopted for many of these areas. A common theme expressed for them by residents is to have uniform signage that strengthens sense of place and community feel.
This effort will result in new regulation regarding parameters on size, height, location, and lighting requirements.
Among the topics to be considered are flashing or interior illuminated signs, energy efficient lighting, seasonal building decorations, window signs, fluorescent signs etc.
At the heart of this project is to engage stakeholders throughout Greenwich to provide input on what creates their sense of community identity and preferences for what their neighborhoods should look like*.
Everyone interested in participating is invited to join in a public workshop via Zoom on Thursday, April 14 at 7:00pm to give comments to the joint P&Z and ARC Signage and Lighting Task Force.
The meeting link:
*For reference, the key regulations to be updated are:
Division 14- Lighting Requirements
Division 16- Signs
Division 6-136- Awnings
Section 6-5- Definitions