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Planning Commission delays vote on murals till fall

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A disagreement over the placement of murals on residential buildings prompted Los Angeles city planning commissioners to delay a vote today on an ordinance intended to regulate the public art. 

For the past decade, there has been a citywide ban on murals, which were lumped into city regulations alongside billboards. This morning, commissioners listened to about four hours of testimony and debate on a proposal that would legalize murals on private buildings.

The proposed ordinance would require that murals:

  • Not exceed 100 feet
  • Not extend more than six inches from the building façade
  • Not cover windows or doors
  • Remain intact for at least two years

Another proposed requirement would limit murals to residential buildings with five or more units. 

“My feeling is that this limit gives a lot of communities protection and certainty as they move forward,” said Bill Roschen, head of the Planning Commission.

However, other commissions felt the limit would punish the owners of smaller buildings and single-family homes. After failing three times to reach consensus on the issue, commissioners agreed to push the ordinance to their Sept. 13 meeting.

Depending on their size, new murals would cost $60, $80 or $100 in fees, which would go toward the Cultural Affairs Trust Fund, under the proposed ordinance.

If the Planning Commission eventually approves the ordinance, it will then be forwarded to the Los Angeles City Council for a final OK. 

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