Home » Opinion » Editorials
Killing creativity: An illegal 'sign' in North Hampton
The Beach Plum restaurant sits across the street from North Hampton State Beach. It is a valuable community and state asset - so valuable, in fact, that the State Parks website advertises the restaurant as an amenity available at the state beach. The Board of Adjustment for the Village District of Little Boars Head, in whose jurisdiction the Beach Plum sits, feels differently, however.
The board worries that the Beach Plum's decor might lower property values. To prevent that, the board ruled that the restaurant's two statues of red lobsters holding a huge ice cream cone in each claw are signs. Lo and behold, if they are signs, the board can regulate them. How convenient.
The North Hampton Planning Board had already determined that the lobsters were not signs. "We determined that they were, in fact, not signs at all but works of art," Shep Kroner, Planning Board chairman, told this newspaper. But the village board of adjustment has different artistic judgment. It has ordered the lobsters removed, and so the award-winning restaurant has wound up in court to save its creative crustaceans.
Sign ordinances, no matter how tightly written, usually result in subjective judgments by boards tasked with enforcing the rules. The trick for these boards is to avoid using sign ordinances to stifle creativity by arbitrarily imposing the subjective tastes of a few upon everyone else. Alas, such arbitrary imposition is exactly what the Little Boars Head Board of Adjustment appears to be doing.
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Nashua board agrees on school district sexual harassment policies - 0
- Tuition to go down 5 percent at community colleges - 0
- UPDATE: Supreme Court hears from both sides on education tax credits - 1
- Parents speak out against Jewett Street School proposal - 2
- Citizens Bank offers good citizen scholarships - 0
- Justice returns to North Country alma mater to speak to students - 0
- New program recognizes Colebrook students for volunteering - 0
- Belmont students consider dropping 'offensive' mascot - 44
- At presentation at Manchester firm Dyn, middle schoolers learn STEAM Ahead could lead to cool career - 1
READER COMMENTS: 2
- Two crashes reported on I-93 in Canterbury, Londonderry - 0
- Man killed in Seabrook fire identified - 0
- Student brings knife into Nashua school - 0
- Ex-director jailed for theft from Londonderry nursery school - 1
- UPDATE: Search suspended for Northfield man a second day - 0
- Anonymous email was 'malicious,' says Auburn police commissioner - 0
- Senate votes to ban hand-held cellphone use in cars; bill heads back to House - 10
- Auburn town administrator under fire - 0
- Belmont High likely will keep Red Raider mascot - 3
Manchester mayor: 'It's the tax cap budget'
Derry woman accused of burglaries
Decency displayed: Havenstein's nice start