Norm Machelor took over the reins of the Village of Lewiston Historic Preservation Commission/Planning Board Monday, and his first meeting was noticeably quiet. Board members quickly approved a series of sign applications and hosted a discussion on the future of the former Fairchild Manor Nursing Home with little fuss or muss.
To start the meeting, Machelor thanked former chairman Ken Slaugenhoupt, who decided it was time to depart the board, and David Giusiana, who opted to resign following Mayor Terry Collesano's June 17 re-election. He said both men should be commended for the time and effort they put into their years on the board -- especially noting their commitment to streamlining the village code and sign regulations.
Machelor was appointed chairman at the Village Board's reorganizational meeting July 7, but said this week that wasn't technically permitted. He said it's up to the Planning Board to vote for its chairman.
Returning member Ernie Krell nominated Machelor for the chairman position. That recommendation was seconded by new member Joseph Sorce, and carried by a 3-0 vote.
Board member Loretta Frankovitch was not in attendance. Machelor said Kristin Savard had agreed to serve as the commission's alternate and liaison to the Village Board. A fifth member has yet to be found, as Richard Ries, also appointed July 7, declined to serve on the board.
When it came time to take action on agenda items, the three Planning Board members approved sign applications from Center Street businesses Vita Bella, Hurtin' for Curtains, Bailey O'Riley's, Grandpaws Pet Emporium (pending a size amendment by the Zoning Board of Appeals) and Ever After (also pending a size amendment by the ZBA). Fresh Start, the new café in development on South Fourth Street, also received sign approval.
Some sign applications were approved without the presence of a business owner. In the past, the Planning Board tabled agenda items when an applicant failed to show up for a meeting. Machelor changed that policy Monday, in his first meeting as board chairman.
"I don't want to hold up anybody's business for another month," he said.