LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The City Council voted Wednesday to once again allow murals on private property in Los Angeles, lifting a decade-long prohibition on paintings displayed on privately owned buildings.
The ordinance was tentatively approved by the ordinance last week, but Wednesday’s 12-3 vote finalized the measure, which has been sent to the desk of Mayor Eric Garcetti for his signature.
Council members Bernard Parks, Paul Koretz and Bob Blumenfield dissented on the vote.
“The city of Los Angeles was known as a place where we supported the arts, where we had free expression on our walls,” Councilman Jose Huizar said.
The Eastside councilman suggests that he represents communities long known to embrace mural art.
Councilman Huizar says the murals, often depicting cultural and historical figures not often taught in schools, gave him an informal education growing up.
As chairman of the council’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee, Huizar said that lifting the ban would re-establish Los Angeles as the “mural capital of the world.”
The ban had originally been put in place amid litigation over commercial advertising.
The measure, however, still restricts murals on single-family residences, reflecting a compromise between muralists who urged a universal lifting of the moratorium and others who were concerned that objectionable content would be shown on a neighbor’s wall without their approval.
A process will also be established by the ordinance for registering new murals, setting fees starting at $60 per mural while imposing restrictions on the size and location of the art. Flashing or changing lights, as well as other moving images on the murals, are also to be restricted.
Mural regulations in the city will be refined as council members continue to meet over the following weeks and months. The establishment of a process for communities to “opt-in” to allow murals on single-family homes is also proposed.
Huizar has started a motion, requesting a pilot program that would exempt his own 14th District and the First District, represented by Councilman Gil Cedillo, from the single-family home mural restriction.
A motion was also introduced by Hollywood-area Councilman Mitch O’Farrell that would require anti-graffiti coating on all murals, in order to make it easier to wash away defacement or vandalism.
The issue of murals made headlines earlier this year after singer Chris Brown was cited for having cartoon-like fanged monsters painted on his Hollywood Hills home. The mural, which was 8-feet tall and prompted complaints from neighbors, was eventually painted over.
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