A bakery owner in Conway, New Hampshire had local art students cover the wall above his front door with a painting of the sun shining over a mountain range made of sprinkle-covered chocolate and strawberry donuts, a blueberry muffin, a cinnamon roll and other pastries. The town zoning board decided that the pastry painting was not so much art as advertising, and so violated the local code because it was about four times larger than the signage provisions allowed. Rather than modify or remove the painting, the bakery owner sued in federal district court, saying the town is violating his freedom of speech rights. You can read the complaint here.
“They said it would be art elsewhere,” the bakery owner told The Associated Press in an interview. “It’s just not art here.”
The Conway code considers a sign to be “any device, fixture, placard, structure or attachment thereto that uses color, form, graphic, illumination, symbol, or writing to advertise, announce the purpose of, or identify the purpose of any person or entity, or to communicate information of any kind to the public, whether commercial or noncommercial.”
What do you think?