published Friday, June 20th, 2014

Chattanooga City Attorney's office asks to halt enforcement on doughnut mural

  • photo
    Mural artist Joseph Giri, of Nances Creek, Ala., climbs down from his lift last week with Koch's Bakery doughnut sketches in hand. He is painting this 15- by 70-foot wall facing West 20th Street.
    Photo by Tim Barber
Is the Chattanooga doughnut mural an illegal sign?

After public backlash over a city inspector's demand to paint over a flying doughnut mural, the city attorney's office has asked inspectors to delay action until the ordinance can be fully vetted.

"I would recommend delaying any additional action against the owner of the business referenced above until this office has completed its review and City Council has an opportunity to consider potential clarifications of the ordinance," wrote City Attorney Wade Hinton to the mayor's office.

On Tuesday, a city inspector told Koch's Bakery owner Barbara Davis that the flying doughnuts she paid $11,000 to have painted on a dilapidated building constitute an illegal advertisement and must go.

She said the inspector told her that because she has sold doughnuts for 31 years, the mural is advertising her business and therefore is treated as a sign in city code. Per the code, it doesn't matter that there is no actual writing on the wall.

A group of local artists then started a local petition and the City Council asked the City Attorney's office to take a closer look at the ordinance.

Previous news report:

about Joy Lukachick Smith...

Joy Lukachick Smith is the city government reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Since 2009, she's covered crime and court systems in North Georgia and rural Tennessee, landed an exclusive in-prison interview with a former cop convicted of killing his wife, exposed impropriety in an FBI-led, child-sex online sting and exposed corruption in government agencies. Earlier this year, Smith won the Malcolm Law Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting. She also won first place in ...

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