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Consultant reports on progress of new design guidelines for village

East Aurora is ramping up efforts to tweak design guidelines intended to improve the look and feel of the heart of the village.

Pittsford Mayor Robert Corby is wrapping up his design standards for East Aurora -- a subject he has been studying for several months.

"This village is phenomenal in Western New York," said Corby, an architectural consultant hired by the village. "It stands out because it has the most successful downtown business district, with Vidler's 5 & 10 store as an anchor, and the Aurora Theatre. This is a one-street village. The way the street looks and feels makes an impression on people."

"The overall guiding principle is that you want to maintain a continuous character," Corby said.

After meeting recently with village officials to update them on his work, Corby noted that heading west, the village has a mix of buildings.

"The downtown commercial district is there. The job, there, is let's keep it there," Corby said. "It's almost perfect."

The challenge comes in addressing the traffic circle, which Corby called "exciting."

"It needs the most work," he added. "You want to create an inherent harmony for the village."

Given the circle's jumble of different buildings, Corby said trees along the street would help create a single overall look. Even though he praised the state's recent makeover of Main Street as a showcase project, he said the circle has probably the greatest potential for improvement.

"The circle is a hodgepodge. Some new buildings are great, but you need a hybrid strategy there, since there are some suburban buildings like Burger King and McDonald's," he said.

Corby said he expects to have a completed draft of the recommended standards in four to six weeks. The Village Board will then review his draft in mid- to late fall. A final proposal of the standards will be presented at a public meeting, although the board will ultimately give final approval to any new standards.

The village's Mid-Main District contains some beautiful historic buildings that should be preserved, Corby said.

email: krobinson@buffnews.com

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