Atlantic Highlands business forced to cover up murals

Several colorful murals painted on boarded-up windows on a building in Atlantic Highlands have been covered up due apparently violating the borough’s sign ordinance.

An Atlantic Highlands business was forced to cover up murals for violating a town sign ordinance.

An Atlantic Highlands business was forced to cover up murals for violating a town sign ordinance. (10/13/16)

ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS - Several colorful murals painted on boarded-up windows on a building in Atlantic Highlands have been covered up apparently due to violating the borough’s sign ordinance.

The Atlantic Highlands Art Council painted the pictures on a building owned by Teresa D’Aguanno. D’Aguanno says she agreed to have the murals in order to attract people to the area and boost downtown business.

“Both of these walls are so bland, so the idea was to just ‘artsy’ it up a little bit,” she says.

But D’Aguanno was issued summonses by the borough’s code enforcement department for violating a sign ordinance. D’Aguanno was told she could face up to $2,000 fines per painting. The Art Council decided to cover up the paintings.

“But now the cardboard looks worse it makes the alley look so much worse,” D’Aguanno says. “People are in an uproar where I just thought I was doing a good deed is now turned into a major headache."

The Atlantic Highlands business administrator says D’Aguanno can appeal to the planning board in order to keep the murals. Other building owners were apparently interested in getting their own murals, but those plans are on hold.

The administrator tells News 12 New Jersey that the planning board intends to revisit the sign ordinance in the near future to be more flexible.

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