Business owner sues to get 'wavers' back

Feb. 25, 2013 at 1:47 PM

AVON, Ind., Feb. 25 (UPI) -- The owner of two Liberty Tax Service franchises in Avon, Ind., is challenging a zoning law that restricts the use of "costumed wavers."

Victor Ruthig said he filed a civil lawsuit challenging the law, The Indianapolis Star reported Monday.

Ruthig opposes the law that bans businesses from putting costumed workers at the side of the road to wave at cars and attract customers.

"We want to have the ability to use those wavers because it's part of our business model," Ruthig said. "Our costumed wavers are like the golden arches to McDonald's. It's an icon during tax season that equates to getting your taxes done."

The lawsuit alleges the zoning law violates the First Amendment right to free commercial speech. The suit says the city's concerns about the wavers being distracting to drivers are unfounded.

Joe Smoker, assistant planner in Avon, said he could not comment on the pending litigation. He said the corner where one of Ruthig's Liberty Tax centers is located is a high-traffic area where crashes are common.

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