A restaurant owner in Corpus Christi, Texas is furious after city officials threatened him with a $2,000 fine for using a garden hose to wash away bird droppings on the sidewalk in front of his business.
“They told me I can’t wash it off because I’m polluting,” said John Webb, general manager of Crawdaddy’s, a family-owned restaurant in downtown. “It’s like they want me to go out of business.”
Webb told Fox News that his troubles began a few days ago when a city official showed up and demanded he stop washing away the bird droppings. The restaurant is just a few blocks from the waterfront on a dead-end street.
“For the last 18 years we’ve just been washing it off with a water hose,” he said. “But a guy from the city came out here and told me if I washed my sidewalk off again I was going to get a fine.”
“He said ‘Well, you can’t wash it off because you’re polluting,’” he recalled.
The city official reportedly told Webb that he had two options – he could either hire a professional cleaning crew to remove the bird poop – or he could just let the rain wash it away. Webb said he was dumbfounded.
“So the rain can wash it off and that’s a natural occurrence but if I wash it off with my garden hose I’m polluting?” he said. “I asked him if that made much sense.”
City officials sent a statement to Fox News defending what they called the “need for sanitary sidewalks.”
“The recent incident regarding cleaning sidewalks in Corpus Christi has brought a very important issue to light in regard to bacteria entering our bays through what seems to be common sense activities,” the statement read. “ However, we also realize the need for sanitary sidewalks. The City of Corpus Christi values the health and safety of our residents and visitors. At this point we will re-evaluate our ordinances and make changes as necessary in accordance with state and federal regulations.”
Webb said he was told that civilians cannot wash away bird droppings because it was “against city, state and federal law – I was polluting the bay.”
The restaurant, which specializes in Louisiana cuisine, is now in something of a pickle.
“We have excellent food and we pride ourselves on how clean our place is inside – and used to be – outside,” Webb said. “Now I can’t wash the sidewalk off so people are going to get a bad first impression.”
And he doesn’t have the money to hire a professional cleaning crew.
“How much is this going to cost me to have somebody clean the bird poop off my sidewalks?” he wondered. “I’m not going to pay to do that. That’s foolish.”
Instead of risking a big fine,Webb is going to take the city’s advice and let nature take its course and allow the rain to wash it away.
“We keep this place sparkling clean,” he said. “But it’s real ugly in the front of my building, sir.”