City To Carry Out Thorough Review Of Sign Ordinance In Wake Of "Flying Donuts" Controversy

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

City officials said they will be carrying out a full review of the city sign ordinance following controversy over a donut mural on the Southside.

Wade Hinton, city attorney, assured City Council members on Tuesday that no action is pending against the owners of Koch's Bakery, who paid $11,000 to have the "Flying Donuts" mural erected nearby on the side of a building on 20th Street.

He said no citation has been issued in that case.

Council members seemed sympathetic to letting the mural stay.

Councilman Moses Freeman said in the past judges had ruled in favor of the businesses and against the city on similar instances. He said one was Summitt Pianos on Lee Highway. 

One council member said, "They (bakery owners) should not be taking a bucket of paint out there."

At the same time, Councilman Moses Freeman said other business owners should not be rushing out and having similar murals painted near their business with hopes of being "grandfathered in."

He said, "A flower shop should not be putting up a flower mural."

City inspectors said the Koch's Bakery mural technically violates the current city ordinance related to advertising materials.

One councilman said it appears to be okay under two sections of the ordinance, but runs afoul of a third.

City Attorney Hinton said he will be going over the ordinance with his top assistants "trying to highlight parts that don't seem reasonable."

He said his staff may also take a look at similar ordinances in other cities.


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