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 ingredients on 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). – READ MORE