Coffee shop owner Lindsey Lee isn't only fighting City Hall. He's looking to raise a little money for charity in the process.
Lee is in a squabble with with city zoning officials over an orange wind sock that's flown atop Cargo Coffee at 1309 S. Park St. since it opened 13 years ago.
The wind sock apparently violates Madison ordinances against any “attention-getting object” designed to “spin, fly, flap or otherwise move in the wind.”
To draw attention to what he sees as excessive city meddling, Lee is now selling T-shirts for $15 featuring "Wendy the Windsock" — a fictional character with her own Facebook page. All proceeds are going to One City Early Learning Centers, a new child care organization founded by Kaleem Caire.
Also, one of Lee's employees — Mike Edwards — has penned a cartoon poking fun at Mayor Paul Soglin, who Lee maintains is wasting city time and resources by having his administration target small business owners over their signage.
The Wendy flap actually started with an anonymous complaint about a Dane Buy Local banner hanging from the side of the Cargo Coffee building. A city inspector visited the site shop and determined the banner was permitted but also took note of the wind sock and wrote Lee up for non-compliance.
Lee is going through a “Comprehensive Design Review” for his signage, which carries a $300 filing fee and requires the OK of a city committee. But he says that other small business owners might not have the time or resources to go through the process.