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WTVC NewsChannel 9 :: News - Top Stories - Chattanooga Sign Police Say Donut Mural is in Violation
Updated:
Thursday, June 19 2014, 08:32 AM EDT
Chattanooga Sign Police Say Donut Mural is in Violation
What began as an effort to brighten up a city corner has put Koch's Bakery at odds with the city sign ordinance.

"It's art, it's not signage for me," said Barbara Davis, the owner of Koch's Bakery.

There is now a splash of color at the corner of Broad and 20th street.

"I've been in this area for 31 years and I thought it would be something better than the old building," said Davis.

"I had no idea I was causing any kind of problems. That was not my intention," she continued.

In the last week,  an $11,000 mural of donuts flying through the air was painted on a storage building facing 20th street. The entrance and signage for Koch's Bakery is on Broad Street. 

"I've had nothing but positive feedback from customers and people in general," said Davis.

"It's fabulous, it's artwork, it's artwork," said Kim Campbell, who works across the street from the mural.

"I rode out here on my bicycle this morning, early, just to look at it, just in case someone is going to make it go away," said Marybeth Anderson, a resident in South side Chattanooga.

But the city sees the artwork a bit differently.

"The sign ordinance was adopted by the city in 1986," said Gary Hilbert.

Hilbert is the Director of Land Development for Chattanooga, which enforces the signage code.

He says a mural is fine, "as long as it doesn't advertise a product you are selling."

The ordinance also stipulates that a painted ad can only cover  20% of the facade, which again begs the art or advertisement question. 

"There's no sign on it that says anything about my name," said Davis, "there is not an arrow on it that points to my bakery or anything. "

Davis says she was told to either must paint over the mural or condense it to 20% of the building.

"I just thought it was a happy, beautiful sign for the South side," said Davis. 

Hilbert says his office will take a few days to investigate and  will work with Davis to come to a resolution.

To read the city's signage code, CLICK HEREChattanooga Sign Police Say Donut Mural is in Violation

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