Prince William Circuit Court Judge Wenda Travers found Delia Alvarez, owner of the property at 9500 Liberty Street, guilty of three zoning ordinance violations and fined her $1200. The on-going saga of the various Liberty Street signs goes back to fall of 2007, around the time Prince William County passed a resolution dealing with illegal immigration.
Each sign erected at the Liberty Street property was addressed by the City of Manassas. Thursday’s court case resulted from a sign tied to a tree on October 29, 2009. City inspector James Gillie told the court that he first saw the sign on this date. Ms. Alvarez was sent a letter advising her that the sign was out of compliance with city zoning code regarding signage. She was directed, in writing, to remove the sign by 9 am on November 2. Ms. Alvarez did not respond nor did she take down her sign.
According to Manassas News and Messenger:
The sign was illegal because it was tied to a tree, because it was larger than 32-square feet and because Alvarez did not apply for the proper permits before erecting it, Manassas City Attorney Robert Bendall said.
Gillie said the sign was 99-square feet.
City zoning officials said neither Alvarez, nor anyone else associated with the property applied for a permit to build the sign in October or November.
Travers ordered Alvarez to pay $100 for posting a sign that was larger than 32 -square feet, $100 for tying the sign to a tree and $1,000 for failing to get the proper permits before posting the sign.
Bendall said illegal signs have been a recurring problem on the 9500 Liberty St. property.
The city took Alvarez and property co-owner Gaudencio Fernandez to court over zoning violations for a different sign in September 2008.
In that case, the charges were dropped, but a Prince William General District Court judge told Alvarez and Fernandez to follow the city zoning laws in the future, Bendall said.
Hopefully this will be the end of the Fernandez sign. He has made his point. He made it a long time ago. the City of Manassas has clearly run out of patience and rightfully so. The City also played it smart. They took their time and they went through the process, making sure the i’s were dotted and the t’s were crossed and most importantly, that Ms. Alvarez and Mr. Fernandez got due process.
Hopefully the fine sent a strong message of NO MORE MR. NICE GUY. It is high time for party to be over. It is time for the curtain to close on the case of the misplaced sign.
Alvarez and Fernandez have 10 days to appeal.