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Manchester lingerie store owners fed up with signage dispute

MANCHESTER --  Lingerie store owners in Manchester are planning to move their business elsewhere following a disagreement with the town over the store’s sign.

Brother and sister, Antonio and Angela Pascarella, co-own Eleganza Modo, the lingerie store on Main Street in Manchester.  The store opened its doors in June, the same month the store’s signage was denied the necessary permits by the town.

Antonio shared his email exchange with the town’s Zoning Enforcement Officer on the matter with FOX61.  In that exchange it was stated that the permit request was reviewed by the Manchester zoning commission and Gary Anderson, the Director for Planning and Economic Development.

The explanation for the denial stated that the sign the Pascarella’s wanted to use did not line up with the Main Street Architectural Design Guidelines.

FOX61 looked into those guidelines and found that they state, “The information on the sign should be simple and clear.  The type and/or graphic symbol used on the sign should easily convey the business’ name and its main product or service only.”

The town further explained their reason for denying the permit saying that the image the Pascarella’s wanted to use “could be easily misinterpreted and does not clearly convey the nature of the business.”

“Everything is from Italy, I don’t have the sexy shop.  This is a store for women, is elegant,” Angela said, defending the items sold in their store.

“We sell mainly bras and underwear so my image is a bra,” Antonio explained about the image they wanted for their sign. He went on to say, “We wanted to get our sign with our logo. We are 100 percent in compliance with the guidelines.”

The dispute has left the Pascarella’s frustrated and felling unwelcome to keep their business in.

“You are trying to bring business to the town, but you also would like some support from the town,” Antonio explained.  He said moving forward they plant to move their store out of town.

Anderson responded to FOX61’s requests for an interview with the following statement:

“One of the things that makes Manchester special is the number and quality of the local businesses we have here.  This is especially true Downtown where we also have guidelines in place to ensure the historic and unique character of the district is maintained as Downtown continues to thrive.  We are very cognizant of ensuring we continue to be a business-friendly community.  Although the owner chose to install a sign without a permit,  we spoke with him several times in an effort to come up with a solution that meets his needs and satisfies the Downtown Design Guidelines.

"Please note - The Town’s purview here was only over only the signage on this particular downtown building.  The Town does not have, nor do we have any desire to have, purview over any private business’ logo or other marketing materials.”