The Cornerstone sign saga remains uncompleted, but it took a new turn on Monday night’s Planning Board meeting as the proposed signs were presented with a new look.
Withdrawing an earlier “square” version of the sign, the new look offered a mix of lighting methods and style features, including a recessed brick façade and a circular floral planter that ends with a fluted decorative landscaping cylinder at each of the signs’ further points from the street.
“We’ve created a variety of surfaces, it’s not a flat panel anymore,” said Cornerstone attorney Douglas Deschenes. “We think this addresses a lot of the concerns about scaling in relation to the signs by providing different shapes and contours.”
Several members of the Planning Board were appreciative of the style changes, with Kevin Borselli leading the way, calling the move “a step in the right direction.” However, the size of the signs still remained a concern, with Texas Road resident Chris Kuntz providing context that the proposed sign would reach from the floor to beyond the ceiling of the room that the meeting was being held in while almost filling the room lengthwise as well.
Cornerstone developer Robert Walker believed that the size claims weren’t approp due to the context of buildings near the freestanding signs as well as contour changes that would threaten the three signs’ effectiveness if reduced much further.
“If you try to squash these signs down, they’ll look totally out of character with the rest of the development,” said Walker.
New additions to the stand alone signs at the development’s three entrances also included an 8”4 by 7”0 side area for smaller tenant signs and removing individual tenant signs altogether on the side of the Boston Road entrance sign facing away from I-495 since drivers would only be able to use that entrance coming in from 495.
Westford Police safety officer Michael Croteau indicated that the signs did not give vehicles blind spots to other vehicles while leaving the development on Littleton Road, and the 50 foot buffer between the sign and the street at the Boston Road entrance appeared to be adequate, although chairman Michael Green disputed the claim that three cars would be able to see clearly up Boston Road.
Concerns of exiting vehicles not being able to see pedestrians at the northern Littleton Road entrance were also rectified by a "pedestrian refuge", cutting the crosswalk in half by expanding the grassy area where the sign would be located to alert pedestrians that they have to stop.
Croteau’s main safety concern with the signs came from worries about light intensity, fearing that motorists heading down Littleton and Boston Road may be districted if the signs are lit too brightly.
Numerous topics ranging from which tenants will be on which signs, styles of fonts on the signs and other overarching topics such as sign size and location still remain to be determined, with discussion continuing on June 18.
CORRECTION - 10:24 a.m., 6/5/12 -- The resident's name is Chris Kuntz, and the sign would be 15" high, slightly above where the ceiling was in the room the meeting was held in at Town Hall.