After two weeks of review by the arts community and the general public, the City Planning Commission will now hear the recommendations report for a new City of Los Angeles mural ordinance at a a public hearing Thursday.
The proposed mural ordinance will amend the Los Angeles Municipal and Administrative code “to allow for the creation and preservation of Original Art Murals and Public Art Installations on private property,” according to the report by the Department of City Planning.
The ordinance establishes a new definition for “Original Art Mural” that replaces the existing “mural sign” definition that regulated murals as “signs,” subjugating murals to various prohibitions and conditions. It also adds a new definition for “Public Art Installation” as to not overlap with the City’s regulations on commercial signage.
The new mural ordinance charges The Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) with the process of applying for permits that will allow for the creation, protection and maintenance of Original Art Murals. Permit fees are set to top at $100.
According to the report, the ordinance “will remove unnecessary barriers for artists commissioned to express themselves and their work on private property. These new opportunities for art citywide will contribute to livable, aesthetically pleasing and pedestrian friendly streetscapes in accordance with the goals and objectives of the City’s General Plan.”
The City has been under a mural moratorium since 2002, after requirements by City ordinances only allowed murals to be created on public property. As a result, a number of murals in Boyle Heights and across the city have been removed, affecting artists, private property owners and the public.
The Department of City Planning Recommendation Report hearing will be held Thursday, July 12 at City Hall in Room 350 starting at 8:30 a.m. The report recommends the Planning Commission to approve the proposed ordinance to then move to the Planning and Land Use committee for consideration before adoption by the City Council.
A version of this story was published on ArtsforLA.org
Abe Flores is a Boyle Heights resident and Advocacy Field Manager for Arts for LA, an arts education advocacy organization, where he leads advocacy workshops to create networks of arts advocates in L.A. County.