Sign Size Considered Again

    Tomorrow’s East Hampton Village board meeting will offer people a chance to air their opinions on the new proposed law limiting the size of real estate and contractor signs, and two other issues.
    For purposes of aesthetics, the village has proposed reducing the allowable size of real estate signs from seven square feet to two and a half square feet, and requiring that those signs be placed parallel to properties for sale or lease rather than perpendicularly. Other municipalities close by — including Shelter Island and Westhampton Beach — have already adopted a similar, or even more restrictive, law.
    Also up for discussion is a change in the way gross floor area is calculated, stipulating that stairwells and interior spaces with a floor-to-ceiling height of more than 15 feet, be counted twice toward floor area. The purpose of enacting this law would be to regulate the mass and size of buildings in the village.
    In addition, the village has proposed to pierce the state’s recently enacted 2-percent cap on property tax levy increases. The board needs a 60-percent majority of its body to allow for the override, which would be the first step toward the construction of a new budget for 2012-13.
    Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach, when reached yesterday, said that the village board is not anticipating the need to go above the 2-percent tax cap, but called tomorrow’s meeting “a pre-emptive hearing,” a necessity prior to entering into budget discussions.
    The mayor expressed his frustration over the new law, although he believes most municipalities support the intent.
    “The state legislature, in its infinite wisdom, made this into law,” he said. “I would like to see Albany adhering itself to the same standards that have been mandated for the rest of us.”
    The public hearings will commence at 11 a.m. in the Emergency Services Building at 1 Cedar Street.
    A public meeting to discuss possible changes to parking requirements and restrictions in the village will be held next Thursday at 7 p.m. in the same location.