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: 2
- Burning rubber: And public dollars - 0
- Hassan was right: 'Bullying' bill goes too far - 11
- Strategery: A war by any other name - 29
- Freeh dumb: Favoritism in Vt.? - 6
- Public be damned: Litchfield latest example - 2
- NH's 9/11 victims: We cannot forget - 0
- Celebrating Stark: And America, in Manchester - 0
- NH's Obamabots: Taking their cues from party bosses - 57
- Spending & voting: MayDay's wasted money - 5
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Charles Arlinghaus: NH's job problem needs more than one fix - 3
- USNH's raw deal: Part deux - 0
- College Sports Roundup: NEC's Locke scores twice in soccer win - 0
- NHIAA Roundup: Campbell, Jutras blank Gilford - 0
- Pirates stay hot, blank Red Sox - 0
- Londonderry police to open station to residents - 0
- Man accused of raping 13-year old in Nashua - 2
- NHIAA Golf: Crusaders teeing up special year - 0
- New Nashua computer curriculum stresses exam, lifetime skills - 0
Man accused of raping 13-year old in Nashua
Alleged accomplice in brutal Bedford home invasion, attack on doctor and wife, says his testimony was coerced
Seabrook mom pleads not guilty by reason of insanity to attempted murder of her two children
Win tickets to see Demi Lovato
Another View -- Sharon Day: The Democrats' claim to be the party for women is just not believable
Another View -- Bill Duncan: What did the NH Supreme Court really say about private school funding?
Every vote counts: Here is the proof