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Mural and Body Shop Sign Draw a Surprising Connection

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June 27, 2022—A mural of Andy Griffith and an auto body shop sign have an interesting connection in North Carolina.

According to The Mount Airy News, Frank Fleming of Fleming Body Shop & Collision Repair recently launched a $2 million expansion project from his present location in Mount Airy, North Carolina, to a new spot in the town.

He proposed refurbishing existing signs from a former Winn-Dixie grocery store for use at his new location, but it was discovered that this would be in violation of a municipal sign ordinance which makes it against the rules to have a sign for a new business that exceeds 15 feet. 

Fleming's request to exceed the height limit was denied by The Mount Airy Zoning Board of Adjustment. At a recent board meeting, a commissioner named Jon Cawle brought up the Griffith mural in relation to the Fleming sign situation. 

Cawley mentioned that he appreciated the beauty of the mural, but he found it contradictory that the city was able to jump in and complete the project regardless of the fact that infrastructure work accompanying the mural caused the city to tear up streets and sidewalks in the process. 

Cawley also said that Mount Airy has an ordinance in place that the only people who can tear up streets and sidewalks in that way are commissioners. Cawley claimed that the recent infrastructure work was not voted on, and instead the city manager made the call. 

He went on to share that he is not seeking retributive action for the mural.

“I’m not asking anybody to tear up what’s been done — I’m not,” Cawley said, according to the article. “I’m asking us to give the same leeway to people.”

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