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Release of New Mural Ordinance Delayed

Those eager to see the latest draft of an ordinance that would allow more murals in Los Angeles will have to wait.

Angelenos who were hoping to this month see the final draft of an ordinance that would once again allow murals on private property will need to keep waiting, said Tanner Blackman of the Los Angeles City Planning Department.

Blackman has been serving a liaison between community members and city hall as Los Angeles has attempted to draft an ordinance that would legalize new murals and decriminalize existing ones.

The city has prohibited the painting of murals on private property since 2002.

After holding several community input meetings throughout the city----the city released the first draft of the ordinance at a ceremony in Boyle Heights.

A 60-day comment period, which closed in February, followed the release of the draft. Blackman said the city is currently in the process of editing the ordinance based on feedback received during the public comment period.

"There will be a number of substantive changes to the December draft, and it can take a while to get everyone to agree," Blackman wrote in an e-mail. "In February 2012, I had anticipated that we would be able to present a draft ordinance and staff report to the City Planning Commission (CPC) in April.  This did not happen.  More recently, the Mural Ordinance was scheduled for the May 10 CPC hearing.  Unfortunately, that date will be postponed, too."

Blackman said he was not happy about the delay, but hoped that a revised draft would be ready for public viewing "very soon."

During the community meeting held in Eagle Rock in November, some members of the Los Angeles muralist community said provisions in the first draft of the ordinance created many "gray areas" that would need to be addressed.

Dave Russell, an artist from the Mobil Mural Lab, told Blackman that the broad guidelines would need to fully vetted by the mural community before they were set in stone.

“I think each bullet point presents a lot of gray area which really needs to be discussed and have the input of the mural community,” he said.

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