Mount Dora's Starry Night Home Stays

The mayor of Mount Dora, Nick Girone, said at a Wednesday news conference that a house known as "The Starry Night Home" will be permitted to stay as it is, and he also gave a public apology to homeowners Nancy Nemhauser and Lubomir Jastrzebski.

When Nancy and Lubomir painted their house in the likeness of Vincent van Gogh's "Starry Night," they say they didn't expect to become a national story, or a major fight with city hall. 

But city officials cited the paint job as a code violation, and the couple began racking up fines and penalties.

Records show that the case was headed to court, and Mount Dora was facing the potential of a protracted legal battle.

The homeowners  had been represented free of charge by Pacific Legal Foundation, which was contesting the city's stance on the grounds that it constituted a First Amendment violation.

The Mount Dora City Council voted unanimously this week to settle the lawsuit, allowing the couple to keep their mural.

As part of the settlement, Mayor Girone said the city would establish a board to review the codes and see what needed to be changed, if anything.

Nancy Nemhauser was invited by the mayor to join the panel.

Mayor Girone said that, regardless of the panel's decision, the Starry Night home would be permitted to stay as is. 

He noted that the homeowners would be required to meet certain responsibilities, such as maintaining the home and the mural.


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