ARB - January 24 2013

Jan 24, 2013

The Architectural Review Board met in regular session on Thurs, Jan 24, 2013 at 7:35 p.m. at the Mayfield Village Civic Center, Main Conf Room. Chairman Dinardo presided.

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Mr. Ron Dinardo, Chairman
Mr. Joshua Klein, Chairman Pro-Tem
Mrs. Mary Ann Wervey


Mr. Ivo Tombazzi
Mr. Carmen Miozzi

Also Present:

Mr. John Marrelli, Building Commissioner
Ms. Deborah Garbo, Secretary
Mr. Ted Esborn, Economic Development Director

Mrs. Wervey, seconded by Mr. Klein made a motion to approve the minutes of Jan 10, 2013.


Ayes:    All                  
Nays:   None                 
Motion Carried. Minutes Approved As Written.


  1. Sign-A-Rama
    Building Signage
    731 Beta Dr. Unit C
    Panzica Realty Company
    *Note: Proposal Tabled @ ARB Mtg 1/10/13



Chairman Dinardo called the meeting to order. We have one item on the agenda for building signage at 731 Beta Drive. We tabled this at our last meeting on Jan 10th. The applicant is back.

Sam Costiuc, Owner Sign-A-Rama presents changes. Our primary design is an Aluminum Lightbox with push through Acrylic letters, so only the letters would light up. The face would be flat and have a metallic gray look to it to give it more an upscale look. We can either go with the current design which is an arched convex face to get away from the traditional light box.  This would give it a more upscale look. Or if we went flat, honestly from a distance you won’t be able to tell. It could be done one way or the other. It adds a little more cost to the tenants to do the convex. The benefit of this is everyone will have the same size, same look. Only difference would be their company name.

We propose allowing us to do our corporate colors, second option for the Board to consider is a black and white look which could be uniform throughout and then allowing tenants if there’s any creativity in their logo, to allow their logo next to their name.

It was voiced at the last meeting of what happens when there’s a vacancy. With this option, they’re all the same size. You put a new one up, if there’s any fading on the building due to a sign being there, a lot of times if you have channel letters or other types of signs, once those are removed especially if they’ve been there for several years, you’ll see a ghost image of the original sign. This would prevent that from happening. They’re all uniform size. They will stay there and just the faces get replaced depending on who pays for the sign and what their intent is after they leave. The benefit is it’s going to give a uniform look to the building at all times.

Chairman Dinardo said at the last meeting we asked for you to come back with several ideas if you could share those with the Board.

Nanci Ferrante, Asset Manager representing Panzica Realty said the concept is to limit multiple holes on the buildings. 

Sam Costiuc passes out first option of an all black & white look, same lightbox concept, either flat or convex face, same size, same look. 

Sam notes all these options are more centered, which was a concern at the last mtg. Initially we were at 15’ and these are at 13’. I have visibility concerns if we go too much lower than this because of that large berm in the front. If you’re standing up on the hill taking a picture, you’ll see it much higher, but if you’re driving a car, you’re sitting lower. You want the sign to be seen.

Chairman Dinardo asked if the Members drove to the site to get perspective.

Mr. Klein said at one point when I drove past there was 8” of snow. The view was definitely different when I drove past a couple days later after the snow melted. When the snow was there, it seemed like it needed to be a lot higher. When the snow was gone, I got a pretty good view of even the awning on that part of the building. 

Sam Costiuc prefers the 15’.

Chairman Dinardo thinks it needs to go lower. I was there, spent quite a bit of time thinking where things should be. Even with the consideration of the mound in front, I think it should be slightly lower than the 13’ that you’re showing. If it gets too high it looks awkward aesthetically with the proportions on the façade. 

Mr. Klein thinks the 13’ looks better. I like the even spacing.

Chairman Dinardo was thinking more of an 11’ range right at the top of the 1st soldier course to keep it less conspicuous. You can then leave those lights that are existing along the façade.  

Sam Costiuc shows option with multicolor channel letters. It’s harder to limit channel letters to a certain size. Another option is the black & white on a raceway. This would also be channel letters on a raceway with the actual existing tenants. The thing with channel letters is they will not all be the same height.

Chairman asked, the only connection point on this design is the bar?

Sam Costiuc replied for our sign, my initial intent was to have the bottom portion be the raceway and have the letters mounted on top. The other option shows you what it would look like if the raceway were behind the letters then we’d just have another bar underneath. From a distance it’d have a similar look. Certain companies may not want the black bar, so then we’d have to put the raceway somewhere else. You can get creative with it, but ultimately you don’t want the raceway to be seen from a distance, you want it to blend into the building.

Nanci Ferrante said other tenants in there that you would never imagine would want a sign all want a sign now and every potential tenant that’s looked at that front building in the last 6 months have all asked about a sign. Tony can’t lease space if you can’t allow people signage.

Mrs. Wervey said we’re not opposed to signs.

Chairman agreed. We’re just trying to get some uniformity because we know he is setting precedence in approving this. I think Tony would want a clean look.

Nanci Ferrante said Tony is fine with the multicolor because people spend so much money on branding. The younger generation is all about the image, the logo, and the color. They know things quickly by that. If he can keep a uniform size and limit the number of holes in his building, that’s what he’s going to look for, a nice clean simple look. He’s nervous about the channel letters because it’ll become a variable size depending on their logo and lettering. Technically they can use the full width of their frontage.

Mr. Marrelli said the whole idea for having you guys here is that we settle on a size. Everybody gets the same size, height, same style of letters and then you write your leases to that.

Nanci Ferrante agreed, but the channel letters are harder because of what you’re trying to do in keeping uniformity, and we have tenants that might want to put two different entities on a sign and when you do the box, whether concave or convex, it’s easier to place. If you do channel letters with two entities, it’ll look pretty crowded. Sam came up with the convex box which looks nice and something Tony would be comfortable with. The height, the big issue is when it snows. You have to find the location so we have to be careful how low we make it go. Tony doesn’t care about the awnings on the front of this building. He could take them off if we’re worried about placement, even if we have to reposition the lights if someone else incurred the cost because they want their sign in a certain place. There’re a lot of options if we have enough flexibility. We have to not get boxed in too tight.

Mr. Marrelli said if you tell someone your address is 731 Beta, that’s pretty hard to miss.

Nanci Ferrante said you’d be surprised. The code says it needs to be safe for people driving. If it were more visible, that would make it a lot easier.

Mr. Marrelli asked how many empties are in the front building now.

Nanci Ferrante said 3 spaces which could be divided into more. The smallest space is 2400 sq ft, next is 3732 sq ft, next is almost 5500 sq. ft.

Mr. Marrelli asked Nanci what she’s doing in the areas on the end with the boulders.

Nanci Ferrante can accommodate that.

Board Members Preferred Options

Mr. Klein said I think we all like the idea of the black & white. You don’t get seven different colors flashing, looking busy. The buildings aren’t busy, they look nice, they look professional, they look classy. You go with the black & white and you still can have some individuality in your logo. I like the convex feature.

Chairman refers to the all black box with white letters option and no text below the Sign-A-Rama name.

Sam Costiuc said these are going to be a little more difficult to swap out than a traditional sign face because they’re actually routed with push through letters. They’re a little more costly. Honestly, we’re probably going to go with the printed ones with the lettering underneath, option #2, custom convex lightbox with dark metallic gray face, like a charcoal. Sometimes black looks a little cheesy when it’s just black, so we’d like to go with a dark charcoal metallic look. It looks really sharp when you have push through letters and only the letters light up.

Discussion ensued on additional copy below the main tenant name. They’d lose their larger letters of the main name of their business. Limit the box to 30” x 114”.

Nanci Ferrante asked if they’d be able to put their logo somewhere in that sign. People spend so much money that if they don’t get to have their logo, why get the sign.

Mr. Marrelli asked, are you going to go ahead and mount boxes on the whole building?

Nanci Ferrante replied no. This is tenant driven. If they want it, we’ll have sign requirements.

Chairman Dinardo reminds that whatever we do here with this Board tonight is all contingent upon what happens at Planning Commission on Feb 4th with his Conditional Use.

Mr. Marrelli asked what if Sam wasn’t in the picture.

Nanci Ferrante replied we still need signage.

Sam Costiuc said we’re actually looking at the 3700 sq. ft larger space next to the original space we looked at, but we’re still going with the same size original sign.

Mr. Marrelli said consider this as the building owner making a request for a ‘Sign Program’.

Chairman said that’s why we tabled this first time around. We couldn’t make those decisions without the building owner’s representative. I’m going to request that any future sign that comes before the Board, that the applicant show existing signage, so if a new tenant comes in 6 months, we want to see the consistency, that they’re following the requirements.

Alex Russo, Kowit & Passov Real Estate Group said we’ll put sign requirements in the lease.

Mrs. Wervey requests the landlord give us a written design sign criteria at a minimum. The minimum things we’re concerned with, i.e. size, type, color, materials & placement.

Sam Costiuc offers to create a schematic.

Alex Russo asked for confirmation that this will be a blanket approval for all the properties and we don’t have to come back for approval for each tenant.

Mr. Marrelli said next go around you might have 4 tenant proposals, bring them in at once.

Mrs. Wervey clarifies to Mr. Russo that procedurally each tenant will need to be brought in for a rubber stamp approval.

Wall Sign Design Criteria Discussion


All wall signs shall be limited to letters designating the store name or type of store only and shall not contain advertising devices, slogans, symbols or marks unless they are part of the company’s logo or trademark. The manufacturer or installer may not install any promotional decals or labels that are visible to the public.


Each building unit or tenant shall be permitted one (1) front elevation wall sign. 

Discussion ensued on whether or not to allow two (2) separate signs for two tenants renting one space. Mr. Marrelli thinks one sign cabinet with both their names on. The frontage will dictate how many feet of signage they get. If it’s a 6,000 sq ft tenant, and their frontage is 50’, they could have 50 sq. ft of signage. Yes, I guess they could have two (2) 25 sq ft signs.

Chairman suggests quantity should be left up to Bldg Commissioner and Law Dept.

Mr. Marrelli said we can’t re-write the zoning code.

Mrs. Wervey interjects. We’re not re-writing the zoning code. We shouldn’t be doing this. We should tell Panzica we want him to come up with a ‘Sign Program’ that works for him and these are the items we’re interested in. We can’t do it for him. Understand, we’re happy with this sign, but you get the picture.

Mr. Marrelli said your limits are only the length of the suite. Everything else could be the same, the same height of the box, same style, same colors. If you have two tenants, you can put two boxes if their length allows it. 

Mr. Klein said if they’re the owner, ultimately all these signs even though somebody else is paying for them belong to them. Isn’t it the entire length of the building that we’re really talking about as the owner coming in?

Mr. Marrelli said I think we agree we’d rather have two signs vs. one big long one. It’ll look goofy with the certain sizes and then a big one. 

Alex Russo said even if the zoning code reads somebody could do that, the owners criteria will supersede that. The sign criteria we put in the lease will mirror what we’re discussing now.

Sam Costiuc describes lighting. HO Lighting which is the long lamps, it’s fluorescent high output lighting or LED if the customer wants it. You’re not going to be able to tell the difference unless you open up the sign, it’s lit from the inside. White lighting, we have a standard lamp. If it were done in LED we try to match the same light. LED is a little more expensive but it’s only 12 volts, in runs on a lot less power. Chairman asked about the payback on that. Sam said if it’s not running through the night, you’re better off going with an HO.

Mr. Marrelli said at the Musca Plaza, all the lights are black during the day and turn on at the same time to white at night.


Chairman Dinardo said in addition to the existing ordinance, the following criteria is noted:

  1. Letters 18” high max within sign cabinet for copy.
  2. Only size allowed for sign cabinet is 30” x 114”.
  3. Sign Cabinet to be 15” deep max with convex front. Straight fronts not accepted.
  4. All signs have to shut off by 11:00 p.m.
  5. Logo allowed within sign cabinet in multiple color.
  6. Sign cabinet to be dark metallic gray with white copy.
  7. Interior lighting to be of white color. Could be high output fluorescent or LED lighting. It will be internally lit.
  8. Bottom of sign cabinet placement to be at top of 2nd soldier course.

*Note: Sam will make a canvas mock up (a banner) and hang it at the exact measurement. When it gets hung, Nanci will notify the Board to do a drive by.

Chairman Dinardo said the applicant to submit to the Building Department a ‘Design Criteria Sheet’ with above items for record. Any other applicant will present what’s been installed on the building for consistency.

Ted Esborn asked for clarification. It sounds like the Board is o.k. with color for logos that are not text. What happens if a tenant comes in and says their whole thing is a logo? I understand if they are alphabetical letters they are white. If it’s a logo with a symbol, that can be color.

Chairman Dinardo said correct. You are right, I can see a business saying their whole thing is their logo, there’s that gray area.

Sam Costiuc summarizes to be clear. The owner will do the design criteria. I’ll do a mechanical drawing (schematic) of what every sign needs to look like minus whatever message. On that schematic will be listed the lighting, mounting and specifics of the design. Lastly, I will do a mock up banner and hang it at the exact measurement for the Board to view placement.


Mr. Klein, seconded by Mrs. Wervey made a motion to approve Sign-A-Rama signage at 731 Beta Drive as discussed and noted.


Ayes:   Mr. Dinardo, Mr. Klein, Mrs. Wervey                 
Nays:   None                 
Motion Carried. OPT 2 Drawing Approved & Signed As Noted.


There being no further business, Mrs. Wervey, seconded by Mr. Klein made a motion to adjourn the meeting.


Ayes:   All                 
Nays:   None                 
Motion Carried. Meeting adjourned at 8:45 p.m.