By Joyce M. Miles

milesj@gnnewspaper.com

If at first you don’t succeed, try again.

That’s what a representative of Taboo Nite Club will do Monday, when he resubmits the same sign proposal that the city planning board turned down Aug. 6.

The board is holding a special meeting at 5 p.m. Monday at City Hall to revisit the request and pick up where it left off in July trying to pick paint colors for Urban Park Towers.

Taboo Nite Club, set to open in early September at City Centre, 80 Main St., needs planning board approval of its exterior sign. Ulrich Sign Company pitched a proposal for a banner-type sign, shaded aqua with multicolor accents behind white lettering, and lit from the sign arm.

The board split on a 3-2 vote in favor, but because approval requires four votes the request was denied, according to zoning enforcement officer Cindy Hinton. Commissioners Craig Hugill and Howard Luff were absent.

The “no” votes were cast by Darlene Morrison and Kevin Foltz, who said he objected to the sign’s failure to conform with standards that the planning board set previously for all City Centre signage.

Limited shape, size and color choices, plus lighting standards, are set for daytime and nighttime-visible signs, “and the banner didn’t fit with either one of those,” Foltz said.

“It’s a nice sign, but how can we OK a sign that doesn’t fit with the standards? We’ve said ‘no’ to others who didn’t conform,” he said.

Taboo Night Club is owned by City Centre developer David Ulrich, who said he wants a different, eye-catching sign for the business to help attract a younger clientele. He argues an exemption from the City Centre sign standards is warranted on the basis of “hardship,” according to planning board chairman Charlene Seekins-Smith.

“(Ulrich) said there’s a hardship on his part getting the (City Centre) spaces filled and I can understand that. As a landlord, I go through it too,” she said.

Seekins-Smith and planning commissioners Julie Muscato and Brian Bower voted in favor of approving the sign. The vote followed a public argument between Muscato and Foltz over the sign standard and whether enforcing it is consistent or rigid.

“We have set standards, but sometimes you have to make a different decision if it’s warranted,” Seekins-Smith said. “It was a very difficult decision to make, but we want to help downtown business, not stand in the way of it.”

Ulrich, who did not attend the Aug. 6 meeting, said he’ll have the same sign proposal submitted for a re-vote in the hopes he can get four yesses this time. He had no intention of revising the proposal to make it fit the City Centre standard.

“Why change it? It’s not garish. ... It’s different from the other City Centre signs because (Taboo) is a different use. The other (tenants) are restaurant and office space,” he said.

If neither Foltz nor Morrison has had a change of heart, Ulrich will have to count on Luff to attend the meeting and vote in his favor. Hugill has to recuse himself because he’s doing some security installation work at City Centre, Seekins-Smith said.

Also at the special meeting, commissioners will continue reviewing paint samples submitted by the owners of Urban Park Towers. Lawler-Wood Housing Corp. is undertaking exterior renovation of the 12-story public housing complex on Main Street and still requires a final OK from the board on its choice of paint color for the upper portion of the building.

After much back and forth since June, Lawler-Wood agents arranged this week for four samples to be hung on the building — shades of gold, beige, taupe and cream — for the board’s consideration.

In 2006, Lawler-Wood agreed to a major exterior renovation of the aesthetically challenged building in exchange for the City of Lockport signing off on a new tax abatement plan for it.

The company reports it is spending close to $400,000 on facade improvements.

Contact reporter Joyce Miles at 439-9222, ext. 6245.

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