The owners of Automotive Service Solutions in Macungie, PA, paid $18,000 to have a mural of the inside of a repair shop painted on the outside of their business. Now the bourough’s zoning board is threatening to have the artwork painted over because the repair shop did not obtain the proper permits prior to having the painting completed.
Below is the article as it appeared on The Morning Call website.
In Macungie, is it a sign or is it art?
Business owner Tim Romig has $18,000 riding on that question
September 27, 2010|
By Patrick Lester, THE MORNING CALL
For a guy who makes his living as a mechanic, Tim Romig took an unconventional leap when he offered his nondescript Macungie automotive repair business up as an artist’s canvas.
Now that a "nostalgic" 1950s repair shop painting is covering a side of his Race Street building, few would deny its landscape-altering effect on the 1-square-mile borough.
"People drive in just to tell us how nice it is," Romig said of the 20-foot-by-44 foot creation. "Everybody loves it."
But here’s the nagging $18,000 question: Precisely, what is it?
Romig and his wife Jackie say it’s a mural that has spiced up a town that has few noticeable landmarks.
Borough Manager Chris Boehm says it’s a sign that requires a permit that the Romigs don’t have.
The dispute between adversaries with a history of butting heads has set up a showdown before the borough’s Zoning Hearing Board and what one borough councilman fears could become a costly court battle.
"It’s a really big deal," council President Guy Ramsey said.
The Romigs, who paid nearly $18,000 for the art work at their Automotive Service Solutions, stand to lose the most. After being awarded a nearly $3,500 grant from the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber Foundation for the project that money has been withheld pending a decision in the case they fear they may have to eat the entire cost for a mural they may be forced to paint over.
To read the entire article, visit The Morning Call website at http://articles.mcall.com/2010-09-27/news/mc-macungie-mural-controversy-20100927_1_zoning-officer-sign-ordinance-mural.