Spencer City Council approves 1st filing of commercial building murals ordinance

Spencer City Council approves 1st filing of commercial building murals ordinance

Commercial building owners in Spencer could soon be allowed to have murals commissioned for their buildings.

On Monday, the Spencer City Council unanimously approved the first filing of an ordinance that would allow murals to be placed on the side or back outside walls of commercial buildings.

Murals wouldn’t be allowed on the building’s primary facade.

City council member Leann Jacobsen, one a primary proponent of the mural idea, after the meeting said she was happy the ordinance was approved.

“It has been a long path, but it is really, really exciting,” she said. “Murals are a big part of public art and public art is so effective when it comes to economic development.”

The ordinance must be filed a second and third time before taking effect.

Discussions about murals have been taking place over the past few months. Other cities’ mural policies were researched.

The city council and staff received input from community members and organizations about the idea, some not always in favor.

The resulting ordinance reflects the various input received. It includes the following rules:

  • Murals may be placed on the side or rear exterior wall of a commercial building, but not on the primary facade.
  • A mural shall not contain more than 3 percent text.
  • A permit is required for each mural.
  • Murals to be placed on designated historic buildings or contributing buildings within the historic district shall be presented to the Historic Preservation Commission for review, comment and suggestions prior to the issuance of a sign permit.
  • Murals to be placed on designated historic or contributing buildings shall be created on a surface that can be attached to the wall of said building and later removed without significant damage to the building.
  • The paint used shall be appropriate for an outdoor location and shall not be neon or fluorescent.

Jacobsen said she’s happy with the rules that ended up in the city code amendment.

“It’s really nice to have had the community input, the staff input to come up with just the right amount of structure,” Jacobsen said.

City council member Ron Hanson said he was happy to vote in favor of the ordinance.

“Looks like it’s a win-win for everybody,” Hanson said. “Hopefully it goes well.”


Clarification: This story has been updated to clarify that the city council approved the first filing of the mural ordinance. It must be filed a third and second time before taking effect.

Get the news sent to you!

Don't miss out on what's happening in Spencer. Subscribe to the Signal's free, weekly newsletter.

Thank you! You have successfully subscribed.