Boo freakin' hoo. Art galleries are being told they have to conform to the same zoning rules as other businesses (“Fanning the Flames,” News & Features, Oct. 21). Has anyone stopped to consider that these laws have to do with the health and safety of their patrons? What will a gallery owner say if they're allowed to exceed their occupancy limits (and floor loads) and the party suddenly moves to the basement? How about if some candles set an oil painting on fire and there aren't sufficient exits?
If these businesses want to have crowds, even occasionally, then they should move to facilities designed to hold those crowds. They were granted occupancy permits based on the situations under which they opened. Now they want a pass to become something else entirely. Are we to believe that everyone is equal under the law, except that some people are more equal than others? If you want to play, you gotta pay.
Alan Davis, Richmond