Opinion » Letters

Expression will make for a healthy city

Atascadero

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Recently I read an article about the wall mural on the side of the ARTery building in downtown Atascadero (“Vibrant mural irks Atascadero,” June 27). The article itself was one that I would not doubt would make news in our town. It has the meat to get the juices flowing of the old-time residents and also the new residents to our town. As for me, I have lived in this town since 1988 and am thankful to have moved my family away from the L.A. area. Although at times I miss the city and its many fine cultural and entertainment venues, I sincerely love living on the Central Coast.

The article started to tell about the mural and the fact that the Atascadero Design Review Committee voted 4-1 to deny a permit for the mural. It also stated the city received an e-mail from someone who stated the mural looked like graffiti in downtown L.A. To have someone paint such a mural would have cost a pretty penny, but the owner of the ARTery was able to get the painter to do it for nothing. Sounds like an opportunity to me.

As a citizen of this town for nearly 25 years, I welcome the creative ideas and expression of many individuals. It is sad to see the DRC vote 4-1 to deny the permit. This mural, as well as the one that is on the side of the bike shop at the corner of Santa Rosa Road and El Camino Real, give character to our city.

It is time we as a city, county, and country start making it easier for businesses to make a living rather than regulate them so much they are forced to close their doors. Have any of you counted how many businesses we have had in this town that have had to shut their doors in the last 25 years?

I, for one, think the mural is a welcome relief to our city, and the fees should be waived for the application and permit as you all voted in 2010. Let the businesses express themselves, and maybe we can have some healthy, striving businesses in the downtown area—and the citizens will not have to go to Paso Robles or SLO to find the things they are looking for.

Just my own thoughts.

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