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Northport Village Board votes 3-2 to reject proposed law change banning business sidewalk signs

An amendment that would have banned sidewalk signs (also known as sandwich boards) for businesses on Main Street, Woodbine Avenue and Scudder Avenue in Northport Village was voted down 3-2 by board members following remarks from local residents and business owners at a public hearing this past Tuesday, November 1.

The public hearing regarding the proposed local law change started with remarks from the board, with all trustees – except Meghan Dolan – and Mayor Donna Koch explaining their positions on the code change. Trustee Dolan stated she’d rather wait until after hearing from the public before discussing the matter.

Trustee Ernest Pucillo argued that while resident concerns are important and valid, he has to look at the businesses’ perspectives, too. “I hate to eliminate something in the law without really researching it,” he said. The trustee focused on the existing code and current sidewalk sign allowances. “We have a lot of good provisions in the law, but our law did not take into account traffic during summer months, difficulty of passengers going into opposite directions and navigating that,” he said.

Trustee Dave Weber said sidewalk signs are no more unsafe than tree roots coming through the concrete and high curbs. He stated that the Village should look at enforcement as a starting point instead of jumping to a total ban. “If we don’t start with enforcement, we are really failing ourselves because we have the safety provisions already built into this code,” he said.

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