Legal: “Dora Council not budging on ‘Starry Night’ mural”

Legal: “Dora Council not budging on ‘Starry Night’ mural”

Photo: Tom Benitez, Daily Commercial

“The clock continues to tick for a Mount Dora homeowner to paint over a massive mural adorning her house after the City Council declined Thursday night to suspend fines until a court sorts out the dispute.

Early this year, Nancy Nemhauser commissioned a stylized representation of Vincent Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’ on a masonry wall outside her home. City code officers initially classified the work as graffiti and ordered it painted over, but the city’s Code Enforcement Department and staff recently reclassified it as an illegal sign. The decision was upheld on Sept. 29 by a city magistrate, who gave Nemhauser 30 days to paint over the mural or face fines.

Undeterred, Nemhauser’s artist, Richard Barrenchea, is extending the mural to cover the entire outside of the house.

On Thursday, Nemhauser’s attorney, James Homich, asked the council to suspend the magistrate’s order while he takes his case to Circuit Court.

He noted that the city did so for Main Street Leasing, which had five large signs on the side of its downtown building that officials deemed illegal.

Homich asked for the same consideration for Nemhauser. The council declined.

He accused the city of ‘selective enforcement…’

City Manager Robin Hayes told the council that she asked for a stay on the sign violations against Main Street Leasing and 13 other cited businesses to give staff and council time to review the ordinance.

But Hayes noted there are different sign regulations for businesses than for residences and reminded council that they will have a chance to review the business sign ordinance at a future workshop. She suggested a separate workshop to review the sign ordinance for residences and for murals… ”

–Roxanne Brown, Daily Commercial

William D. Brinton Celebration and Endowment in Jacksonville

William D. Brinton Celebration and Endowment in Jacksonville

Photo: Leah Powell
Bill Brinton has spent a lifetime as a protector of unspoiled views. He has successfully battled local, state and national forces bent on visual assault caused by installation of outdoor advertising and other unsightly intrusions.

He believes in the power of citizens to take a stand for the irreplaceable resources that matter most. Because of his foresight, you can be part of a mobilized citizenry that ensures our scenic surroundings for generations to come.

Bill chose to mark the 30th anniversary of the successful Jacksonville City Charter Amendment banning new billboards and removing more than 1,400 existing billboards with the creation of the Scenic Jacksonville Endowment to Protect and Enhance Scenic Beauty in Jacksonville.

When fully funded, this endowment will enable Scenic Jacksonville — also celebrating its 30th anniversary — to continue its vital work to preserve the breathtaking views we cherish and provide support for new projects that enhance our much-loved home.

It is Bill’s vision to raise $300,000 for the endowment, which is held at The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida. His dream is to see it provide perpetual funding for the things he holds most dear: civic engagement, advocacy, and education.

He’s eager to involve the next generation by sponsoring photo and essay contests to instil a love of our natural surroundings in young citizens.

There is so much more we can do together if we rally around Bill’s visionary leadership and ultimate victory over unsightly signage.

For more information about the fund, please contact Nina Waters, President, The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida at(904) 356-4483 or

To contribute to the Scenic Jacksonville Endowment to Protect and Enhance Scenic Beauty in Jacksonville, go to and enter Scenic Jacksonville into the Search box.”
Save the Date: May 17 for a Celebration in Jacksonville
Visit the Community Foundation for Northeast Florida

–Scenic Jacksonville