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No 30-foot Mohawk Harbor sign, Schenectady board says

No 30-foot Mohawk Harbor sign, Schenectady board says

10-foot one does gets approval
No 30-foot Mohawk Harbor sign, Schenectady board says
The Board of Zoning Appeals approved a proposal to erect a 10-foot tall sign to identify the property as Mohawk Harbor.
Photographer: MARC SCHULTZ

SCHENECTADY — The city's zoning board signed off Wednesday night on one of two signs proposed for the main entryway to the Mohawk Harbor development.

The Board of Zoning Appeals approved a proposal to erect a 10-foot tall sign to identify the property as Mohawk Harbor, but rejected the proposal for a 30-foot tall sign that would identify the tenants at the site. It was not clear Thursday what will happen with the sign plans, as a result of the ruling.

The signs received approval from the Planning Commission in September, but they required zoning variances because they exceed city regulations for height, square footage and setbacks from the road. The Zoning Board reviewed the project Wednesday night.

The board rejected the plan for the 30-foot sign by a vote of 4-2, said Avi Epstein, the city’s zoning officer. The sign would have featured slots to identify Mohawk Harbor tenants and an LED screen to display information about the businesses.

The proposal was denied because the board felt it would cause an undesirable change in the surrounding neighborhood, and that the applicant could achieve the purpose of the signage through another method, City Planner Christine Primiano said.

The six-member board unanimously approved the monument sign, which would simply read “Mohawk Harbor.” That sign is expected to be gray with darker lettering that lights up at night.

The developers can re-apply to install the second sign, but any new proposal must address the board’s reasons for denial, Primiano said. Depending on how any changes affect the sign’s design, a new application could require fresh approval from the Planning Commission, she said.

David Buicko, CEO of the Galesi Group, the developer responsible for Mohawk Harbor, said no decision has been made on how to move forward with the signage.

The signs were planned to go near the intersection of Erie Boulevard and Mohawk Harbor Way, at the main entrance to the harbor development. Apartments, two hotels and a casino have already opened on the riverside property, with townhouses and retail and office space expected to be complete in the coming months.

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