City Paper is not for tourists
The Issue: A piece of Margaritaville moved into Georgetown for the new year, before the D.C. Office of Planning caught wind: Giant “Land Shark Lager” billboards were plastered across the windows of a vacant building on M St. In between the billboards is a big-screen TV displaying ads for the island-style house lager made for Jimmy Buffett’s restaurant, reports the Georgetown Metropolitan. The property, owned by EastBanc, Inc., rented out the window space to a media company until Jan. 22. The media company failed to apply for the necessary approvals and permits.
Signature of Approval: Last week the local Advisory Neighborhood Commission notified the Office of Planning of its new neighbors. Ordinarily all signs displayed for more than 60 days must receive approval from the Old Georgetown Board. Temporary signs fall under the jurisdiction of the Historic Preservation Office in the planning office. The office told EastBanc that even temporary billboards require permission. Since it failed to get permission, EastBanc had until Monday to remove the ads—or face a $2,000 fine.
Buffett’s Raging On: It seems Margaritaville doesn’t want to leave its newfound home, even at the cost of a hefty fine. The Land Shark Lager ads were still in place Tuesday, a commenter told GM.
The Party’s Over: After assessing the situation, the Historic Preservation Office will determine the next course of action, says Anita Hairston, chief of staff at the planning office. If a fine is assessed, EastBanc will simply pass the bill to the media company, says Marcie Connolly, a representative for EastBanc. Guess the dream of Jimmy Buffett bringing the party to Georgetown will have to wait. Thank God it’s 5 o’clock somewhere.