Design Review Advises UPS on Sign Requirements


The Design Review Commission met shortly after 7 pm, via Zoom, on Tuesday, May 24, under the acting chair (vice chair) Sam Williams.

Only one hearing was on the agenda. Applicant United Parcel Services (UPS) sought to install multiple signs at their 206 Grove Street location. The applicant at the meeting was Andrew Serrato of Serrato Signs, based in Worcester.

Williams noted that more signs are being proposed than are normally allowed but said that some of that is obviated by the fact that two separate but adjacent properties are involved. Heh also noted that the sign bylaw discourages logos on directional signs (currently proposed by the applicant).

With a number of questions to be resolved regarding the application, William suggested “tabling” the matter until the next meeting in June.

Serrato asked for clarifications before coming back, specifically whether the proposed pylon and ground signs were likely to be acceptable. He got an affirmative on that.

When he asked about setback from the roadway, he was told the requirement is 10 feet, not necessarily from the property line. However, in answering, Williams suggested consulting with the building inspector, noting that his standards are sometimes stricter than the commission’s.

Following a vote to table UPS until June 14, prior meeting minutes were approved.

Williams then talked about some of the broader issues around town. In particular, he called out the remains of the Boston Sports Club sign at the intersection of King and Union. He said he planned to discuss the matter with Chair, Jim Barto, and explore with the building inspector, some kind of determination that the sign has been abandoned, and therefore should be removed.

Williams said he has also looked at sign bylaws in other communities, specifically Sharon, MA and York, ME, to see how they handled various matters. He said those communities did a better job of defining sign types and suggested their language might be worth looking at int he future.

He also noted an interesting feature in Sharon where there are eight sign “requirements” – applications who meet at least five of them are granted additional flexibility on sign size.

Shortly after, the meeting was adjourned.

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