Outside the Beltway: Zoning Czars Use Business Permits to Censor Art

Alex Adrianson /

At a time when the economy is slow, you might think government officials would be happy to see new businesses start up. Arlington County Virginia, however, isn’t as welcoming as it could be. Whatever you do, don’t start a business there and decorate the exterior of your establishment with artwork relating to your business. If you do, Arlington’s zoning officials will probably be along to harass you.

Kim Houghton, owner of Wag More Dogs, can tell you all about Arlington’s zoning administrators. With the help of the Institute for Justice, Houghton has filed a lawsuit against the county for demanding that she trade her First Amendment rights in exchange for permission to open a business. (more…)