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Like the sign, but deny a variance

Amending law could be next option

January 15, 2014

When members of the Crary Art Gallery’s board of directors went before the City of Warren Zoning Hearing Board on Tuesday morning, they heard support for their sign....

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Jan-15-14 7:14 AM

Shouldn't they have gotten permission to put up the sign before they put it up? Kathy Rapp's office is hard to find too. What if she just went ahead and put up a sign the same size? Market Street would look pretty bad if each business had a sign like this. I do agree that it's a nice sign, but rules are usually made for good reason and everybody should follow them and they should also be enforced equally across the board. Looks to me the Zoning Hearing Board did the right thing under the rules they are required to follow.

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Jan-15-14 7:15 AM

File for the zoning amendment. How much is the fee? This is so petty! I had "physically" look for the sign. It's not a*****billboard with bright neon lights! Grant the variance and move on!

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Jan-15-14 8:36 AM

Clark. The could have been allowed an exception. The company is saying the sign is necessary for the successful growth and operation of their business, which probably employs people from Warren. Doesn't Warren have issues with unemployment???

Same old Warren PA. No common sense, just "follow the rules". Stop wondering why Warren has slowly become a city that many people aren't happy living in. Total nonsense. I am very happy far away from the petty drama and would never ever move back.

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Jan-15-14 8:59 AM

I like the Crary and wish them all the success in the world. However, I had to ask myself honestly how I feel about their new sign.

The truth is, it IS a little on the large side, for an art museum, to me. I have to admit it. Art museums should be tasteful, but this sign has just a little bit of a flavor of being too crass or commercial.

It's not overwhelming, but it is slightly over the top in my view. Could be a little more understated, while still functioning as it's purpose of helping direct the public to the museum.

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Jan-15-14 9:02 AM

Come on Warren!It's a nice clean looking sign,and fits the architectural integrity very well. WHY don't you take down those banners that hang in viewing distance from the CRARY sign? They are dirty,cheap looking signs,and what is the square footage of those? Is the same square footage by the Glade bridge allowed?

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Jan-15-14 9:19 AM

This sign looks great and here is the City of Warren throwing a fit about its size. You would think they would support an asset such as this. Usual Warren politics!

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Jan-15-14 9:36 AM

Typical Warren drama, and they wonder why the town is dying.

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Jan-15-14 10:02 AM

I like the sign and think it is classy looking and Warren should figure out a way to let it go. I can't believe before a decision like this was made though that nobody checked into the ordinances first. Just let them keep the sign. It looks good coming into town. Maybe fine them for stupidity though ?

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Jan-15-14 10:22 AM

Tom, it is my understanding that the gallery is run 100% by volunteers. This is what makes this even more nonsensical, particularly when there is another article on here where the city is asking for a dozen seats that need to be filled on their own boards. This sure does not encourage volunteering!

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Jan-15-14 10:36 AM

Someone posted the following on the Crary's Facebook page:

"Could the letters and the art gallery bar be removed from the white backing board and mounted directly to the stone? Would that solve the problem?"

I think that's a fine idea, getting rid of the white backer board would look better imho, and perhaps the City would consider it a reasonable solution/compromise.

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Jan-15-14 10:50 AM

Tell the city where they can stick it!

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Jan-15-14 10:53 AM

Yes the Crary is all staffed and led by volunteers and it's a non-profit organization.

Simply ripping off the letters and mounting them to the wall as several suggested would neither satisfy the ordinance, or be feasible. It's not made of legos - it's a backlit, metal architectural piece specially built as-is at considerable cost to the organization, and the letters alone would fill an area larger than 4 square feet.

As to the ordinance itself - many of us provided feedback back when it was being drafted. I personally don't think it's fair that the ordinance wasn't retroactive. Almost every business sign on Market is over 4 square feet... So what is it accomplishing?

Also - it means that horrid looking signs on older businesses get to stay up as long as that business doesn't need to replace them.

The only way the ordinance accomplishes anything is when new businesses come into town (and that sure happens a lot!) or when a sign needs to be completely replaced.

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Jan-15-14 11:56 AM

You anarchist freeloading wannabees think the rules don't apply to you. Entitlement generation. Guess what? They do. Now, I think the zoning ordinance should be amended, and that costs money and takes time. But there's a right way to do things. Those who say "Fine by me, so just approve it" are the first to whine when the neighbor's dog bites you (and sue the neighbor). Well, there are rules about dogs, and there are rules about signs, and if you don't like it, move the*****outta town and go to Mississippi, where there are few rules and much poverty.

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Jan-15-14 12:03 PM

Dub edit. Hence everyone has moved away! Time for the people to stick together and take this town back from the fools. They have drove this town so far into the ground isn't it time we the people do something about it ? Get this town back on the map!

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Jan-15-14 12:27 PM

Forget the sign and fix the streets!

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Jan-15-14 1:42 PM

Soon as the fix the streets gas or water will dig them up.

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Jan-15-14 1:57 PM

So, Jimmy, are you planning to storm the Bastille, or run for mayor?

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Jan-15-14 2:04 PM

Nope, been on committee and see how it works. They have their minds made up and that's just the way it is going to be. They could care less what the people want! Been there done that don't care to do it again!

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Jan-15-14 2:42 PM

So, what most of you are suggesting is that the rules shouldn't apply to some people or organizations just because of who they are? Yes the sign is nice, but it doesn't comply with the sign regulations. Just because it's the Crary, the Zoning Board should just ignore the law? Like I said this morning, would you have the same opinion if Kathy Rapp erected the same type of sign. Maybe every business on Market Street should put up a large sign. How do you think that would look? Better yet, how about dragging in beat up mobile home across the street from the Crary? I know that's extreme, but the point is that there are rules for a reason. That's why Warren still looks so nice when many towns are falling down and full of junk.

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Jan-15-14 3:20 PM

Warren looks nice? Have you visited a town outside of the area lately? Half of downtown is empty buildings, the roads are a mess, there is a giant blue parking deck in the middle of town, etc... Warrenites complain that young people leave and the unemployment is high yet do next to nothing to encourage growth. Look around, the status quo is not working.

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Jan-15-14 4:30 PM

Yup Cobra, I guess you are correct. Clarendon, Sheffield, Kane, Corry, Bradford are much nicer places than dirty old Warren.

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Jan-15-14 4:52 PM

So much for the old saying that size doesn't matter.

Just a sign of the times, I guess.

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Jan-15-14 5:02 PM

There are 50 states, travelling an hour away from Warren is not leaving the area... As someone who is only in the area two or three times a year since I graduated, and hasn't stayed accustomed to it, yes those towns (Clarendon, Sheffield, Kane, Corry, Bradford) are not much different than Warren when visiting them.

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Jan-15-14 10:53 PM

Let's talk about Obamacare instead!

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Jan-16-14 1:59 PM

I'll bet that if they had gone through proper channels, they would have got the waiver or guidance to get the sign as close to what they wanted as possible. Asking for a variance after the fact didn't get them much, did it?

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