LED-sign approvals should be suspended

To the Editor:

Yes — 24-hour LED-lit monument directory signs, changing every 15 seconds were approved for 20 Mall and Town Centre Plaza at the Guilderland Zoning Board meeting on March 4.

This sign issue was addressed, in depth, at the Oct. 16, 2019 zoning board meeting. After much public comment and discussion, the members of the zoning board voted to send the issue of “electronic” message boards and the multiple possible variables, to the town board for handling.

As our elected officials, the town board would then have to hold public hearings and subsequently determine whether or not electronic signs, LED [light-emitting diode] signs, electronic messages boards and any other new technology options, (not currently specifically addressed in the legal town code) would be permitted in all of the areas covered by Guilderland.

Understandably, this a very thorny issue. These types of signs are not allowed in Bethlehem but are allowed in Colonie — compare for yourself which option you prefer for your town.

However, on March 4, with no notice to the public, two large, 24-hour LED-lit monument directory signs were put through as a simple “sign” request and approved by a vote of three non-elected appointees.

Please note that both of these proposals were denied as variance requests in the recent past.

With minimal public comment permitted, the Town Center 48-square-foot electronic message board and  Hamilton Square 48-square-foot electronic message board were approved. Discussion among zoning board members decided these digital signs can change every 15 seconds and can be lit while business is open, 24 hours in both cases.

If this concerns you, please contact Supervisor Peter Barber and attend the next town board meeting on March 17. The citizens of Guilderland need to request that these sign approvals be suspended and a moratorium on any form of electronic signs be put in place immediately.

With public input, the town board can then address concerns and issues, hopefully leading to updated sign provisions, that define the future of electronic signs in our town.

Bette Shields


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