New Hope’s Zoning Hearing Board (ZHB) not only voted down an application from Bucks County Playhouse for more and larger signage in a 3-2 decision Thursday night, but also directed Playhouse representatives to remove a sign painted without proper authorization on the building’s river-facing side in 2013.
As previously reported, New Hope borough officials last summer informed the Playhouse that they were able under the law to amend their pending application before the ZHB to include the unapproved north-facing sign. The Playhouse chose not to take advantage of that generous retroactive loophole at a ZHB meeting Sept. 4, inexplicably withdrawing their signage variances completely. The group had previously been unable to provide an explanation for the sign’s existence at a ZHB meeting Aug. 7.
In their appearance before the ZHB Thursday night, Bucks County Playhouse officials again failed to adequately explain why they should be allowed to keep the area’s only commercial signage viewable from the Delaware River, and also to justify adding additional signage beyond their existing marquee sign and another painted sign.
The north-facing Playhouse sign in question Thursday was not only painted without requisite borough approval, but also appears to violate the spirit of a 2004 Zoning Hearing Board decision denying similar advertising on the Delaware River to the owners of the former Club Zadar, and seeking to keep views of the Delaware River pristine and bucolic.