Arlington Zoning Administrator Melinda Artman is resigning from her post in August to study for the Episcopalian priesthood at the Virginia Theological Seminary.

Artman was named zoning administrator in June 2008. Prior to that, she was Loudoun County’s zoning administrator.

She also was recently named as a defendant in the federal appeal filed Monday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th District by Wag More Dogs owner Kim Houghton and her lawyers.

The suit claims the county’s zoning official violated Houghton’s first amendment rights by covering up her $4,000 mural of dogs, bones and paw prints.

The mural violated the county’s sign ordinance, officials said.

"Melinda is a dedicated and talented public servant," said Robert Brosnan, director of the County's Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development, in a statement. "She brought a high level of professionalism and a strong sense of fairness to her work. She arrived in Arlington at a time when the Zoning Office was beginning a transformation into a higher performing organization and she has helped shape the office and the work of the staff in a very positive way. We thank her for her service to Arlington County, and wish her the very best as she embarks on this new challenge."

 An acting zoning administrator will be named soon, Brosnan said.

Artman has worked for 37 years. Of those, 25 have been in Northern Virginia.