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Digital signs in Lake George Village prompt new scrutiny

LAKE GEORGE - Whether you consider digital signs a convenience or pollution, they're likely to invade Lake George in the near future, village mayor Robert Blais warned his municipal board Dec. 20.

Signs like the Georgian Resort recently installed, which incorporates a digital "reader board" displaying customized messages, will soon be seen all over Lake George, Blais predicted.

Such signs need to be regulated through the village's sign code so the electrified messages don't become distracting or become visual pollution, he said.

"We need to get regulations drawn up and put them out for a public hearing by next month, before we get a flood of applicants," he said.

The Georgian's digital readerboard advertises a particular aspect of the enterprise, and is changed as often as once per day. Signs that flash or change messages repeatedly are already banned in the village.

Blais suggested that such readerboards be limited to 16 square feet for outdoor signs, and 4 square feet for indoor window signs, to be installed in commercial zones only. They should have no animation, no scrolling, no flashing, and employ no white lights, Blais said. Also, digital signs could not identify businesses, but they must merely promote secondary attributes of the business, he said.

He said the board would be working with the village attorney in the next several weeks to draft a local law to add to the existing sign ordinance.

Since the Georgian sign was approved earlier this year by the village planning board, Blais said, Surfside was granted an approval to their request for a similar readerboard. The two would be "grandfathered" under the existing regulations, he added. Two other enterprises in the village have since submitted requests to install the readerboards.

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