To close out the year, we've asked contributors to choose their favorite stories of 2017.
Meaghan M. Mitchell selected Bayview Nail Salon Forced To Scrap Mural After Neighbors Complain, which ran on September 18th.
"It’s challenging to pick my favorite story from 2017," she said. "There’s been so much growth and development in my neighborhood from new businesses along Third Street, to our first farmer’s market and park renovations."
Mitchell is part of the area's renaissance: earlier this month, we reported that she's working with restaurateur April Spears to open Café Envy, a new eatery that will feature healthy fare and hopes to serve as a model for neighborhood entrepreneurs.
The story she chose looked at a controversy that flared after nail shop owner Richard Washington obtained a grant before working with a designer and Precita Eyes Muralists to install a new awning and mural on the wall of his Third Street salon.
Once completed, however, the artwork drew the ire of the building's homeowners association, which demanded its removal.
”It was interesting to read the comments from both art advocates and those who agreed with the landlord," said Meaghan. "It became such a debate that the story was picked up by other outlets," she noted.
"I believe this story gave me confirmation that I am on the right track with my reporting, and I look forward to telling our readers what 2018 brings for Bayview."
However, earlier this month, Washington received a call from Nancy Zeng, the building's commercial property owner. He was told that he needed to remove the mural and repaint the building to its original color.
“It’s frustrating and confusing," Washington told us. "Upon receiving the grant from the city to do the mural and awning, I went directly to Nancy for permission and she signed off on everything.
"Now I’m being told that everything has to go through the Homeowners Association (HOA), which is made up from the seven condo owners on top of the building," he continued. "This is actually the first time I’ve heard of the HOA, and my lease didn’t say anything about me having to ask their permission to make my business visible. If that was the case. I would have never applied for this grant.”
Continue reading Meaghan's favorite story of 2017, Bayview Nail Salon Forced To Scrap Mural After Neighbors Complain.
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