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Village wants to eliminate pole signs on Delaware Ave.

The white business sign outside D. Lawrence Ginnane Funeral Home on Delaware Avenue does the job for the owner -- it's nicely designed and guides visitors to the funeral home.

But with proposed legislation, Ginnane's backlighted pole sign would be incompatible -- and illegal -- under Kenmore's new vision of a quaint Delaware Avenue.

The proposal aims to beautify Kenmore's commercial areas and prohibit pole and backlighted signs. Ginnane's pole sign on Delaware has company: The northern end of the street is dotted with pole signs of all varieties.

"I don't want to change my sign," Larry Ginnane recently told the Village Board. "I don't think it's obtrusive or in bad taste."

But Mayor John W. Beaumont said the goal of the changes is to create a uniform and quaint village look.

"The continuity makes it unique and stylish opposed to hodgepodge," Beaumont said. He added that if the sign law amendments are adopted, business owners will be given seven years to come into compliance.

Additional time can be bought if owners appeal to the Zoning Board of Appeals and prove hardship in recouping the money invested in the sign.

"We are not trying to do something that will drive people out," he said. "I think we are doing the right thing, giving people time to adjust. And in 10 to 15 years, the entire strip will look the same."

Ginnane, who's been in business since 1977, said his 15-year-old sign is easy for motorists to see and helps sustain his business.

"If pole signs are eliminated, then my business will be dead," he said. Before the pole sign was erected, Ginnane had the business name lettered on the side of the building, but he said it was ineffective.

"People would call and say, 'I can't find it,' or, 'I didn't know where you were,' " he said.

The sign law is one of four being proposed. The remainder deal with beautification and establishing a restricted district on Delaware Avenue and general business districts on Kenmore and Elmwood avenues.

A public hearing was held last week, but the board won't vote on the changes until the new districts and boundaries are outlined and approved on a map.

Ginnane's said he's not in favor of the changes but added, "I'll conform."


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