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City's Confusing Sign Ordinance Worries Artists

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[Artist Judy Baca's mural in Highland Park via Flickr user waltarrrrr]

A story recently covered by blogger LA Taco, the city's completely confusing sign ordinance policy is profiled in this week's Argonaut, which reports that the Department of Building and Safety code now states "that murals painted on public or private property are required to have a permit or face removal and a possible fine for the property owner." But it's not always clear what's a sign and what's a mural. According to well-known Los Angeles muralist Judy Baca, the rules surrounding the sign/mural debate are based on language: "A mural is less than three percent text and a sign has more text."

But crafty commercial businesses are now reducing the wording in their signs so the signs can be considered art, according to the paper, while city attorney Rocky Delgadillo's office now believes that some "murals" are violating the city's sign ordinance. Artists complain that their murals are being taken down without their consent, and tell the paper they are being denied permits to do more art. Baca believes it's a First Amendment issue; councilman Bill Rosendahl would rather not discuss the issue. Click on the link below to read more and get a nice morning migraine.
· Venice: City law regarding murals and signs sparks debate [The Argonaut]