The 32-square-foot illuminated sign outside the Greenport Fire Department’s firehouse on Third Street will remain lit indefinitely now that the Village Zoning Board approved three variances to bring the sign into compliance with village code.
An extensive public hearing was held late last month to discuss the sign, which was installed last year despite the fire department having not yet filed an application with Greenport’s building department.
“I think we set a record for the length of the minutes,” ZBA chair Douglas Moore said of the lengthy hearing.
Conditions set for the sign include that it operate only from dawn until dusk, except in the case of an emergency, and that a protocol be established between the fire department and village offices so the sign displays events important to both entities.
ZBA member Denise Rathbun said the sign’s ability to remind citizens about public meetings could boost meeting attendance and, as someone who sees the sign from her kitchen window, she appreciates the daily display of the temperature.
The sign sparked a minor controversy in December when Mayor David Nyce asked the department to shut it off until it obtains village permits.