Virginia City That Gave Millions To Amazon Now Hassling Restaurant Over Mural

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like if a city or county government were more like a Home Owner’s Association, look no further than Arlington, VA. Apparently, it’s okay for a city to give hundreds of millions of dollars to a giant corporation and give them cover in case anyone goes snooping into their affairs, but God forbid a restaurant in that city paint a mural on its wall.
Goody’s pizzeria in Clarendon (which is part of Arlington County), tried to attract new customers to its humble storefront by painting images of food and ingredientson its outside walls. But the restaurant didn’t get the necessary county approval before painting the mural, and was issued a warning by Arlington’s Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development.
A spokeswoman for the Department, Helen Duong, told Arlington news outlet ARLnow that zoning inspectors “concluded that the artwork is considered a sign under Arlington County’s zoning ordinance because the artwork relates to the advertisement of a business and its services.”
This means, according to ARLnow, that Goody’s had to get a permit before painting the mural. Duong told the outlet that the restaurant “did not receive prior approvals from the county.” She also said the County has so far only issued the restaurant a “courtesy notice” about the mural, which included how Goody’s could square itself with Arlington officials (which no doubt include some form of payment to the County).
Arlnow spoke to Glenda Alvarez, who owns Goody’s. Alvarez says, as of Nov. 20, that she had not sought county approval for the mural yet and did not know she needed a permit before adding the mural. She said she commissioned the painting because the outside of her restaurant “was not attractive enough.”
“We just wanted to get a little more attention from people walking by,” she said.
Arlington has previously gone after Wag More Dogs, a dog daycare that painted a mural of puppies chasing bones on the side of its wall back in 2010. As with Goody’s, Wag More Dogs was found to have violated Arlington’s onerous “sign” requirements because the dogs were considered an advertisement for the business. A self-service dog wash across the street was allowed to keep commissioned graffiti on its walls because it did not contain any references to dogs.
At the time, ARLnow reported that the board responsible for the rules had taken steps to loosen the sign restrictions. Eight years later, it appears those steps led to nothing.
All of this over some paintings. You may recall the Virginia government recently promised online retail giant Amazon $573 million (including $23 million raised through increased taxes in Arlington) and promised to alert the company if someone filed a Freedom of Information Act request over its business practices to give it time to file a protective order to stop that information from being obtained.
Maybe the city won’t be so kind to Amazon if it paints pictures of household products on its outside walls without a permit.
Virginia City That Gave Millions To Amazon Now Hassling Restaurant Over Mural Virginia City That Gave Millions To Amazon Now Hassling Restaurant Over Mural Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 07:22 Rating: 5

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