Planning board: Don't box the bank

Allen said his firm "tried to adhere to the hamlet guidelines," and create a two-story appearance even though the structure's roof varied greatly from each section of the building.

Board member Nicholas Behuniak said he appreciated the bank attempting to screen its waste receptacles and suggested that the walkways around the bench area could be constructed of brick or stamped concrete instead of regular concrete sidewalks.

Michael Morelli, the town's assistant director of economic development and planning, said, "Dead flat roofs are inconsistent and should generally be avoided."

"We try to avoid just a plain vanilla box," Morelli said, "and I think the applicant is trying to do that. I don't think we would be having this discussion if this was a brand-new site, but this is an existing site."

The board's acting chairman, Howard Engel, said, "I personally like the overall outside aesthetic appearance to the plans," but later he asked if more could be done to spruce up the "bland design."

Another architect representing the project, Pete Gillies, said there were other design possibilities but financial constraints had come into play.

"There's a scheme that does this that we simply cannot afford," Gillies said, to which Engel said he understood considering the current economic climate.

The board came to a consensus with the architects by the end of the presentation to come back with a design that keeps the current one-story roofline and incorporate the other proposed changes. Gillies and Allen said they would change the roofing materials used and that they would submit new buildings plans as quickly as possible.

The board unanimously voted to table the project and it is expected to come back to the planning board within two to four weeks.""

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