Art or ad? NKY frozen yogurt shop mural in question - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Art or ad? NKY frozen yogurt shop mural in question

A local high school student spent more than 60 hours painting the frozen yogurt-wielding monkey. But, not everybody's happy about it (Photo: FOX19 NOW/Ben Katko) A local high school student spent more than 60 hours painting the frozen yogurt-wielding monkey. But, not everybody's happy about it (Photo: FOX19 NOW/Ben Katko)
FORT MITCHELL, KY (FOX19) - A mural painted on the side of a Northern Kentucky frozen yogurt shop is whipping up some debate these days.
 
The mural depicts a smiling monkey holding frozen yogurt and a surfboard.  City leaders have asked the county's planning and development services to take a closer look at the colorful painting on the side of Kocanut Joe's in Fort Mitchell.
 
"It was really something great for the community just to get something out there for everyone to see, add some color, add some character
to a new strip that we've been trying to liven up,” said Austin Smith, general manager of Kocanut Joe's.
 
A local high school student spent more than 60 hours painting the frozen yogurt-wielding monkey. But, not everybody's happy about it.
 
"It might be against some zoning laws or something like that, and that we might have to paint over it,” Smith said.
 
No one has asked to cover it up, but no one knows what the future holds for it, either.  To show support, nearly 600 people have signed
an online petition.
 
"The zoning defines what is a sign and if something is a sign it needs to meet certain rules. One of those rules is it has to have a
zoning permit,” said Martin Scribner, director of planning and zoning for Planning and Development Services of Kenton County.
 
That's what the city of Fort Mitchell has contacted PDS about.
 
"They had a concern that this was a sign that had been put up without a permit.  They asked us to go out and take a look and determine
whether it was a sign, and whether it met the rules and regulations for signs in that zone in Fort Mitchell,” Scribner said.
 
But, those running the business on Dixie Highway don't see it as a sign for the business that needed a permit, but rather, a taste of
art for the community to enjoy.
 
"We don't want to cause anything big.  We just really want to keep this amazing piece of art where it is in Fort Mitchell for everyone
to see,” Smith said.
 
“I think there will end up being a couple of different options.  But, if there is a way to work through the rules the way they are, and
allow them to keep the sign, that's what we'll be aiming for,” Scribner said.
 
The mayor of Fort Mitchell, Jude Hehman says that the painting needed a permit like any other business would, calling it “good
business.”  

Hehman said that they business has not been asked to take the mural down. He said he likes the mural, but it needs a permit, something the shop's general manager says they'll start the process of on Monday.
 
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