For months, the L.A. Department of City Planning has been teasing street artists with announcements of a new ordinance that would lift the current ban on all pre-approved murals on private property in Los Angeles.
And it's about time: Our urban sprawl was once considered by many — including local celebrity Saber — to be the “mural capital of the world.”
So where on Earth is this thing?
After more than a decade of scratching their heads over how to keep the billboard companies from suing, city officials finally have a draft ready for public review (full text below).
The revived effort has been led by Tanner Blackman, City Planning employee and self-described Shepard Fairey fanboy. A few members of the L.A. City Council have also attached their names to the clever new ordinance, which separates the mural-approving process from that of billboards, by way of new time-place-manner restrictions.
Namely, Councilman Jose Huizar, who proudly unveiled the draft alongside Blackman at a press conference in the Boyle Heights Arts District this morning.
Of course, city politicians are arguably the ones who got us into this ads-versus-art mess in the first place — by buddying up with profitable advertisers to create the billboard wasteland that Los Angeles has become. And when City Attorney Carmen Trutanich cracked down on the rogue industry, he wiped out street art as a side-casualty.
Anyway, to the good news: All that red tape could finally be cleared. Here's the new ordinance draft in full, courtesy of JetSet Graffiti.
Huizar and Blackman will host another meeting at 6 p.m. today, this time at Self Help Graphics and Art. And the final day to submit suggestions is February 8, 2012. (Also signaling the wait is still far from over. Sigh.)