At Friday’s East Hampton Village Board work session, the mayor and board members put their heads together to try and come up with a definitive new law that would limit the size, position, and look of real estate and contractor signs in the village.
A hearing in mid-January was held open to invite more public comments prior to the work session, but “nothing was sent in,” said Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach Jr. “The next point is to come up with an appropriate size.”
The original law as first proposed shrank the seven square feet currently allowed for real estate signs to one and a half square feet, but the board reconsidered that size, “which we all agreed was too small,” the mayor said. The board settled on a square, 18-by-18-inch uniform size for all signs, including contractor and builder signs.
The next question was whether signs would be displayed as they currently are most of the time: a two-sided sign hanging, usually from a white wooden post, perpendicular to the house it fronts. The mayor wants real estate signs to run parallel to the property’s front, which would mean that only a single side would be seen from the street.
“There will be a hearing on this,” Mayor Rickenbach said. “And everyone will have a chance to speak on this. It’s a process.”
There was also discussion on whether all real estate and contractor signs should be allowed to display colors or be a consistent black and white. “If they’re uniform, then anyone will know what it is when they see it,” said Barbara Borsack, a board member and the deputy mayor.
“We would not be the first municipality to have a color code,” the mayor added.
The proposed law will also affect the commercial district in the village, which has been derided recently for its ghost town feel, due in part to the large for-sale and for-rent signs in many of the windows on Main Street and Newtown Lane.
Posts — wooden or metal, white or black — and their height were next on the agenda, but language will be refined before the next public hearing.
“We’re 99 percent there,” Ms. Borsack said.
The hearing will continue at the village board meeting on Friday, Feb. 17, at the Emergency Services Center, but another draft of the law and another hearing are likely before any of the discussed changes are adopted.