Signage for the Gasparilla Inn Beach and Tennis Club was the featured discussion. Gloria Sajgo, representing Lee County staff, described the signs and recommended approval of all three signs, saying that they were well thought out and met the Secretary of the Interior’s standards, which guide the Historic Board.
As the board discussed the signs, board member Tim Seibert asked if any consideration had been given to integrating the signs into existing landscaping; this in reference to the design commissioned by the Boca Grande Planning Panel and presented five years ago this week.
“We spent $20,000 to hire a landscape architect to come up with a plan, it would be a shame to waste it,” said Seibert.
He suggested postponing the vote for two weeks, until the next Historic Board meeting, so that everyone would have a chance to look at the planning panel’s design and take into consideration how the Inn’s signs might fit into that design.
“The Community Planning Panel is still in existence, it still has funds and there is a landscape plan for Gilchrist, and I think that all of the signage that has been designed should fit that plan,” said Seibert. “This plan was done by a really world famous landscape architect … he was hired at great expense and a great deal off effort went into designing the plan for Gilchrist. I think that we can get this information and consider it over the next two weeks.”
Board president Rebecca Paterson concurred.
“It’s unusual for us to have another meeting planned so soon, but if there is an opportunity to work with the planning board between now and then, and I’m not sure how that would work, but it might be a good idea,” she said.
Paul Eddy asked about the application of the Gasparilla Island Act to signage, and Paterson informed him that staff references the act for all proposals.
The floor was then opened for public comment, and Bob Fletcher of the Gilchrist group took the floor.
“I come before you not to oppose or support the plan,” he said. “We’ve been working for some time on the Gilchrist parking situation and signage is a big part of that. I think that it’s appropriate not to act on this now and let the group that’s been working on this get with the Inn to see if we can come up with reasonable signage. Throughout the plan that Tim (Seibert) mentioned, street-scaping and signage is such a big part of this plan. Bob Green is currently working with the county signs, such as the Community Center and the Crowninshield House signs, because all of those signs were put in at different times and it's a pretty good mess in his opinion. I don't know if the applicant worked with Bob on this so that they could coordinate how the signs look, but I think that if we all work together we can come up with a solution.”
He then displayed a drawing of the design created by architect Rick Lamb years ago for the Boca Grande Community Planning Panel as an example for continuity of signage.
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