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
- Ignoring Lyme: What are state, towns doing? - 2
- Sentence fragment: Coco's cuckoo release - 2
- Ban fireworks? Get serious - 12
- Praising freedom: While curtailing it - 16
- Fergus Cullen: No politics buffer zone - some want issue unsettled - 7
- The perfect winner: Mrs. Craig gives when she receives - 0
- A sacred rite denied: Partial justice in Marriott murder - 0
- Casino tax breaks: Bad news for Gov. Hassan - 4
- A medal well earned: Ryan M. Pitts is a hero - 3
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Two vehicle crash in Milton ends with one driver sustaining fatal injuries - 0
- Portland Sea Dogs get past NH Fisher Cats in righty’s first AA start of season - 0
- Keene Swamp Bats edge Sanford in NECBL action - 0
- Manchester's Hanover St. block party kicks off block party season - 0
- Little, MacDonald 1-2 in wild K&N 100 in Loudon - 0
- Kyle Busch focused leading up to Camping World RV Sales 301 - 0
- Somersworth man charged in three incidents - 0
- Hosts hoping for extended Little League district final - 0
- Assisted living facility proposed for Londonderry - 0
Coco is back in jail, but maybe not for long
Outrageous waste: You overpaid by how much?
Another View -- Tiler Eaton: The Northern Pass project would help, not hurt, NH's economy
Bikers say under-30 generation isn't interested, and can't afford many of the top motorcycles