Bengies Drive-In was awarded $838,000 in a lawsuit contending that light from the Royal Farms across Eastern Boulevard was detrimental to his business. This means — unless the verdict is overturned on appeal — that Bengies owner D. Edward Vogel will get to build the massive, 800-foot wall he says he needs to protect the drive-in from the light.
Though Royal Farms is indignant over the idea of funding such a large wall when their property only faces about 70 feet of the Bengies, I’m personally happy to think that the drive-in might be protected against future development in the surrounding area. And I know some people find Vogel’s lawsuit a little drastic, and his complaints a little dramatic. But, man, if I were the steward of a drive-in movie theater in 20-freaking-12 I’d probably feel like I was constantly fighting for my life, too.
To be fair to Royal Farms, it’s at least as much the fault of the Baltimore County zoning board, which granted the convenience store a special exception to build near the outdoor theater, and became ever more lax in its attitude toward the light and signage restrictions.