City council tables murals ordinance

City council tables murals ordinance

With questions and concerns about an ordinance regarding murals on commercial buildings remaining, the city council on Monday tabled the matter until it can be discussed more.

Mayor Kevin Robinson said that though the discussion has been occurring now for months, more recent feedback suggests there still are issued to iron out.

“My recommendation as mayor, at this time, is I would entertain a motion to table this particular item,” Robinson said. “I think the ordinance presented is good, but the feedback I’ve received from community members, as well as some elected officials, I’m not sure that the comfort level is there that the conversations have been thoroughly vetted and understood in the process to be able to vote on it tonight.”

Council member George Moriarty said he agreed with Robinson and moved that the ordinance be tabled. The motion was seconded and approved.

“In reviewing the proposed ordinance, I think it’s a little bit different than what we may have earlier talked about,” council member Steve Bomgaars said. “I think that we need to just, as a council, talk about some of those changes. They’re slight, but I think they’re important. And rather than do it in a council meeting tonight, let’s do it in a committee meeting and then bring those changes, if we see fit, back to the council.”

The proposed ordinance details and requirements include as follows:

  • The ordinance defines murals as a “hand-produced work of visual art” painted on an exterior wall or on a surface attached to an exterior wall of a building.
  • The ordinance would permit murals on the side or rear outside wall of a commercial building, but not the front.
  • As with signs, an application for a permit and a permit fee would be required to paint a mural.
  • Prohibited content would include: obscene, indecent or immoral statements, words or pictures; moving components or attention-getting devices; advertisement of illegal activities; hazards to public safety, health and traffic.
  • Text couldn’t exceed 3 percent of the mural area.
  • There would be no size limitation.
  • Murals on historic buildings would need to be painted on a surface attached to the building, not directly on the building. The Historic
  • Preservation Commission would review – but not deliver approval – murals in historic districts.
  • Murals would need to be “designed and created by a qualified artist with knowledge and experience, using appropriate paint and materials.”
  • Mural applications would be reviewed by SPACE. SPACE would confirm compliance with the ordinance and make recommendations to the applicant.
  • The city would not regulate mural content.
  • Murals are subject to maintenance requirements.

For more details, view notes for the city council agenda item.

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