City of Los Angeles Mural Ordinance Delayed
The City Planning Commission today delayed voting on the proposed Los Angeles City Mural Ordinance put before it by the Planning Department. Community members, including muralists and representatives from mural organizations, provided public comment during the Planning Commission meeting. Most speakers spoke in opposition to the ordinance, citing significant changes made without public input to an earlier un-offical draft version of the ordinance they had reviewed.
The Commission will hear the ordinance again on September 13. failure to recommend the ordinance at that time will automatically move the ordinance as-is to the Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee, Chaired by Councilman Ed Reyes. If the PLUM Committee passes the ordinance, it will then go to the full City Council for adoption.
The Planning Commission was unable to reach consensus on the ordinance’s prohibition of murals on residential structures with fewer than five dwelling units.
Public disagreement centered on the residential limit, inclusion of digitally printed images in the definition of an original art mural, lack of language for the maintenance of existing murals, the fees associated with registering murals, and the ability of new owners of a property with an existing mural to deregister the mural and whitewash it in possible violation of VARA and CAPA rights.
The proposed ordinance charges the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) with overseeing the process of applying for a permit that will allow for the creation, protection, and maintenance of original art murals. DCA stressed existing murals will not be subject to a permit fee for registration and that fees for new mural permits will be used to offset administrative costs. In regards to possible VARA and CAPA violations, the Commission noted the ordinance will not supersede artists' federal and state rights.