Friday, January 30, 2004
Ferns discusses parking, signage with Historical Commission Future plans for wrap-around porch and flagpole
Larry Bearfield and Robin Emerson, owners of Ferns Country Store, appeared informally before the Historical Commission on Tuesday, January 27 and impressed the board with their approach to planning for their store.
They came to discuss temporary signage for Ferns, but offered more details about physical changes and their vision for the store. "The intent of Ferns," said Bearfield, "is to give people the feeling that this is a small town, and it's part of that. The store will contribute to the flavor of the town center and to the fabric of the community."
Bearfield and Emerson had previously met with Police Chief David Galvin to discuss parking issues at Ferns. One of the concerns is traffic backing out into Lowell Street, especially into the rotary, and the owners have created several new parking spaces in front of the garage. They are considering using the parking lot in back of the store, making it one-way with the entrance on Lowell Street between the store and the garage and egress onto Bedford Road.
Looking ahead, Bearfield and Emerson hope to add a wrap-around New England porch to the front of the store, and a permanent sign would be part of that construction. Until then, vinyl appliques on the windows would serve as temporary signs, replacing the current paper ones. Bearfield emphasized that many of the estimated 15,000 drivers passing through town every day "need to know that there is a store here."
Historical Commission members, Bearfield and Emerson all agreed to limit the temporary signage to six months. A permanent sign would be part of a larger discussion of the proposed porch, landscaping, lighting, and color of the building. Bearfield added that ultimately he would like to install a flagpole. All these changes would be subject to review by the Historical Commission. Until the permanent sign is prepared, the owners want to keep the Daisy's sign in place.
Asked about plans for the garage adjacent to the store, Bearfield said, "We want to get the store going first, get our inventory in shape and make it successful in the community before we talk about the garage."
From the audience Jack O'Connor, who lives in the historic district, expressed concern over the type face of the Ferns logo, preferring that it be "more traditional, more old-fashioned" than the current script style. Board member Chip Dewing pointed out: "The sign should be well-designed. We are in the historical district, but we're in real time."
The board complimented Bearfield and Emerson for initiating this meeting and informing members about their plans at such an early stage.
© 2004 The