City targets 7-year-old flamingo sculpture

Oct. 13, 2009 at 3:36 PM   |   Comments

HAMPDEN, Md., Oct. 13 (UPI) -- A Maryland restaurant owner said a city inspector told her the pink flamingo sculpture she put up seven years ago is subject to an annual fee.

Denise Whiting, owner of the Cafe Hon in Hampden, Md., said the flamingo, which is made from chicken wire and a bed sheet, has stood on the corner of 36th Street and Roland Avenue since 2002, but the city's Department of General Services sent her a letter recently saying an inspector had determined the sculpture needs a license to remain in place, the Baltimore Sun reported Tuesday.

The city said the sculpture projects "into the public right of way," making it subject to a "minor privilege permit" involving an annual fee. The amount of the fee was unclear Tuesday.

"It's like, now that we've made our mark, the city is saying, 'Let's pick on them,'" Whiting said. "I've done a lot of things that draw attention to this community. This is just one of them."

City officials did not say why the flamingo was being targeted after seven years without incident, but they said such matters are usually driven by complaints from the public.

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