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Standards aim to enliven look of Main Street

The Village of Hamburg's business district has been described by some as looking "tired" and new design standards are aimed at breathing some life into it, residents attending a public hearing were told Monday night.

The Village Board took no action and the hearing was only one step in the process, said Daniel S. O'Connell, deputy mayor filling in for the absent Mayor Curt S. Herrmann.

Major changes from the current standards include encouraging cloth awnings and perpendicular signs.

"We're trying for the quaint village look," O'Connell said after the meeting.

During the hearing, William Villepigue, a candidate for the Village Board, said the standards would impose a burden on business owners by mandating such things as types of windows and siding at a time when the village is struggling to keep businesses.

But Trustee Laura Hackathorn said the standards would apply to new work only.

O'Connell said business owners have been involved in formulating the standards and like them. No business owners spoke.

Hackathorn said the project is part of seeking a state Main Street grant. Officials were told the business district lacks a "cohesive look" and looks "tired;" the design standards aim to remedy that.

Resident Francis Igoe said the 41-page proposal contains contradictions.

"I don't think it was planned out well at all," he said.

It remains a work in progress, O'Connell said.

The board observed a moment of silence in memory of George "Doc" Sidford, a dentist and chairman of the Civic Beautification Committee, who died Thursday.


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