HDC discusses enforcement of signs
The Historic District Commission (HDC) is concerned that too many businesses across the island are hanging up signs that have not been approved. The commission is also concerned that other businesses are putting too much merchandise outside that crowd the island’s sidewalks.
“I think it’s time we become proactive,” said HDC Chair Bill Penn at an Aug. 19 meeting, at which he showed pictures to commissioners of island businesses that are in violation or have crowded the sidewalks.
“Is this the image of Block Island that we as a community want?” Penn asked.
The HDC has discussed these concerns multiple times in the past. At this meeting, commissioners agreed to send a memo to Town Building Official Marc Tillson, who can enforce the signs that are in violation. Commissioners also considered making a presentation to the Town Council or other island groups, to figure out a way to enforce the crowded sidewalks concern. Currently there are no zoning ordinances that regulate merchandise that is placed on a privately owned sidewalk.
The HDC approved an application to build an outdoor shower at the Darius Inn.
The HDC also gave a preliminary approval to Steve Draper to renovate a guest house at the 1661 Inn.
The HDC approved an application by David Chatowsky for two signs to be installed in front of his new art business. One sign would be an A-frame sign, and the other would be a free standing or hanging “store open” sign. This approval passed 4-1, with commissioner Dennis Riordan opposed.
Also approved was a sign application by the Block Island Conservancy. Commissioners reprimanded the conservancy for already installing the sign before it was approved. However, the approval passed 4-0, with commissioner Martha Ball recused.
Commissioners Doug Gilpin and Claire McQueeny were absent from this meeting.