HDC cracks down on illegal signs
The Historic District Commission (HDC) has identified 10 island businesses that are in violation of town zoning ordinances for hanging illegal signage and banners on their properties, which are all located in the town’s historic district.
The HDC sent a memo to Building Official Marc Tillson, Town Manager Nancy Dodge and the Planning Board, and asked for the enforcement of the violations. Tillson has the authority to enforce the zoning ordinances.
At the HDC’s Monday, Sept. 16, meeting, members discussed the notice and Tillson’s proposed plan to enforce the violations, which is to issue a ticket to the businesses, according to HDC clerk Terri Chmiel. In the past, the process for enforcing the violations has involved a timeline of various notices of violation. By the time issues were resolved, the summer season had past, noted HDC members.
“We need to have a sit-down meeting where we discuss this with the Town Council and the Building Official,” said commissioner Claire McQueeny.
According to the HDC memo dated Sept. 9, the businesses in violation are: Papa’s Pizzeria (prohibited banners), Poor People’s Pub (prohibited banners), Ben & Jerry’s (prohibited banners and “window signs exceeding more than ten (10) percent of the total window space”), Old Harbor View Takeout (prohibited banners), Cool to be Kind (prohibited banner), Captain Nick’s (prohibited banners and illegal sandwich boards), Clayhead Salon (illegal sandwich board and commercial flag), Temporary Airbrush Tattoos (prohibited banners), Airbrush Tattoos (prohibited banners), and the Inn at Old Harbor & Rags (illegal signs and banner).
Also, the commission voted to have Tillson enforce a violation by the Surf Hotel, which had an awning installed without HDC permission and a cooler moved to a different location than approved by the HDC.
The HDC voted to defer action on its final review of Steve Draper’s application to renovate a guest house at the 1661 Inn. Draper explained that he had to modify his plans because of a Rhode Island Fire Marshal ruling.
The HDC voted to approve a conceptual design by Joe Brennan, who has a proposal to construct planters, arbors and fences at Aldo’s Bakery on Weldon’s Way. The HDC asked for more detailed plans, including what materials will be used for the different elements of the plan, before approving the final construction.
Also, the HDC voted to defer action on its review of the Early Learning Center’s (ELC) application to install a new storage shed and a new fence on its property. Commissioners spent some time discussing what material (wood or plastic) the shed should be made of. The application was deferred because the ELC is currently before the Planning Board with an application for the siting, or location, of the shed.
The above votes were unanimous, 6-0.