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City Working on Bringing Murals Back to LA's Walls

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It seems that skywriting and sticker bombing will get you everywhere these days. The city's proposed Mural Ordinance got a public hearing yesterday, when a joint committee of the Planning and Land Use Management and Arts, Parks & Neighborhoods committees of the City Council met to discuss the possibilities. The ordinance has been in the works for years, but has been delayed by all the billboard lawsuits that have been flying around--the definition of a "mural" is currently the same as the definition of "sign," meaning art has been all mixed up in commerce's fight.

Planner Tanner Blackman, who heads the Planning Department's Mural Task Force, tells the Daily News that the two policy goals of the mural ordinance are: "To preserve and protect existing murals, and create an environment for new ones."

The methods by which the city hopes to achieve those goals, however, are still up in the air. The city is considering three approaches for the Mural Ordinance. One possibility is an Art Easement program, in which a private building owner could give the city an easement on her wall, making the city the "patron" of the wall. According to the LADN, "The city wouldn't own the wall, but would have input on what type of content went up on it."

The second possibility is an Original Art Mural program, in which the city would give permits for "original art murals." To qualify for both programs, the mural would have to stay up for five years, so that owners don't switch murals for advertisements while no one is watching.

Under a third option, the city would create special mural districts, similar to the city's sign districts.

The Planning Department also made a presentation on the Mural Ordinance to the City Planning Commission this morning, but that hearing was informational, so no vote was taken.
· L.A. looking to Oregon for new ordinance on murals [Daily News]
· Why Did Shepard Fairey Sticker Bomb the LA Planning Dept.? [Curbed LA]

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