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Draft Plan For Legalizing LA Murals Released

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After being stuck in joint-committee purgatory for months, LA's Mural Ordinance finally emerges today--city officials gathered at a press conference this morning to announce the release of a bona fide draft ordinance that will legalize murals throughout the city. Murals on private property have been banned since 2002, when they got tied up with the city's rules for billboards. The draft Mural Ordinance separates murals from billboards. It would protect existing murals via a "vintage art murals" permitting system and allow new "original art murals" on private property, also with a permit. Murals are considered "an original work of visual art produced by hand that is tiled, painted directly upon, or affixed directly to an exterior wall of a structure."

As currently drafted, the ordinance requires murals to be in place "without alteration" for five years. They can't be taller than the wall their own or extend more than six inches from the sides. Property owners will not be able to profit from installing art on their walls (although they can be compensated for the costs for creation or maintenance). According to KCET, "This will help stem the fines levied against property owners, caught in between rules that had them fined for having an illegal sign, or in some cases, accused of allowing vandals to write on their walls, a common occurrence in the last several years prompting this revision." Property owners will also be able to control the mural's content. The draft ordinance also suggests a "neighborhood involvement requirement," which would require anyone applying for a new mural to hold a community meeting.

The draft released today is technically a "discussion draft," which means it has been created as a starting point for public input. The first chance to give that input is right around the corner, at a public hearing scheduled for January 10 at 1 pm in City Hall. Illustration via KCET
· City Working on Bringing Murals Back to LA's Walls [Curbed LA]
· Mural Ordinance Discussion Draft + Hearing Notice [Slideshare]
· Legalizing L.A.'s Murals: Draft Ordinance Introduced, Here are the Details [KCET]