The inflatable eagle that used to stand tall at a car dealership is now grounded

Inflatable eagle at Xenia dealership is grounded

Until a couple months ago, the 25-foot eagle was up about 10 days a month outside Alan Besco Car and Truck Superstore, 62 Dayton Ave., in Xenia.

Dealership co-owner Melanie Atley said “Annie the Eagle” left a big impression on the community.

“Kids love it, and parents love it. They got their picture taken,” she said.

The business has had inflatables about 20 years. 

City Planner Brian Forschner said in 2016, the city’s policy changed, before the dealership bought the eagle they said cost about $10,000.

“They talked to us and we discussed the city’s sign regulations with them and we informed them in 2016 that they would not be able to have a balloon sign as large as what they wanted,” he said.

But Atley disagreed.

“We never got a direct answer so we went ahead and bought her, and we’ve been using her all this time,” she said.

More recently, the city said that won’t fly, and the business applied for an exception to the rule. But their hopes were deflated after it was denied on Wednesday.

“This is Annie,” Atley said of the bird in the bag. “She’s been here for two months, just waiting to go up.

The city is defending its decision.

“It has to do with aesthetics, public safety and traffic safety,” Forschner said.

But Atley just wants to put Annie the Eagle back on her perch.

“We want to keep doing what we’ve been doing for 20 years,” she said.

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