A mural set up along the protest encampment site at LA City Hall during the Occupy LA movement.
Los Angeles was once considered a mecca for mural artists, but in the last few decades the city has lost a great deal of its public art. Poor regulatory laws over the years led to countless expensive lawsuits from outdoor advertising companies, who argued that they deserved the same rights as muralists, and in response the city enacted laws that heavily restricted murals.
There’s been little success in trying to rectify those laws in recent years, but 14th District City Councilman Jose Huizar is spearheading a new proposal to change all that. The proposal calls to lift the ban on private property murals and to create a registration system for new murals. Though many in the city would like to see an ordinance passed, Huizar’s proposal has been met with resistance from those concerned with including single-family (R1 zone) structures in the legislation.
Should people be able to paint murals on their own homes? Should the city regulate it, or should it be left to individual homeowners and their neighborhood councils? And how can the new legislation be written to keep future advertising companies from rigging the system?
Barbara Broide, President of the Westwood South of Santa Monica Blvd. Home Owners Association
Kent Twitchell, prominent LA muralist