School signs get planning board hearing

The signs for four Hyde Park school buildings were the subject of an ongoing public hearing at the Hyde Park Planning Board’s Sept. 3 meeting.

At issue are proposed directional signs for Ralph R. Smith Elementary School and North Park Elementary School, and full signs for Hyde Park Elementary School and the district’s administrative building at 11 Boice Road.

Board member Ed Cigna and Superintendent of Schools Greer Rychcik both pointed out that the proposed signs are needed for safety reasons and to establish the location of schools/offices so that visitors can easily find the buildings.

However, Rychcik noted that the Hyde Park Elementary sign was being removed from the agenda because the district was not going forward with plans for a new sign there.

Planning Board Chair Michael Dupree, meanwhile, announced that no action could be taken on the signs because of an error involving the required legal notice.

Dupree also highlighted that all the signs comply with Hyde Park code in every area except dimension: Ralph R. Smith’s sign area is 40 sq. ft., where 30 sq. ft. is the maximum; North Park Elementary’s sign is 8 sq. ft., where 2 sq. ft. is allowed, and the Administrative sign is 33 sq. ft., where 30 sq. ft. is allowed.

Despite the signs exceeding the code’s maximum size, Dupree said that Zoning Administrator Kathleen Moss told him that excluding the top triangle design element from the measurements would make all but one sign code compliant.

“I don’t want to lead the board, but just in looking at the 9 criteria or factors [of the Monroe balancing test], one of the things I think we should consider throughout is that the signs were basically designed to be code compliant,” Dupree said.

Both Dupree and board member Robert Groeninger were concerned about the Ralph R. Smith directional sign, because its location is still not clear and therefore a safe view of Rte. 9G is in question.

Further discussion of the signs will take place when the public hearing continues at the Sept. 17 meeting at 7pm.

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