Los Angeles council approves murals on single family homes

Three months after the Los Angeles City Council lifted a ban on murals, it agreed to further relax the law by permitting large public artworks on single-family homes--but only in limited areas.

On a 14-1 vote Tuesday, the council tentatively approved a pilot program that would permit murals on single-family residences in council districts that take in Eagle Rock, Cypress Park, Boyle Heights, downtown and the eastern end of South Los Angeles.

Murals would still be prohibited on residences in other parts of the city. A final vote on the program is set for next week.

In late August, the council lifted a decade-long ban on public art murals. The new rules allow large paintings on buildings in business and industrial zones, as long as artists register them with the city and pay a $60 application fee.

As part of an effort to exclude advertising, the works cannot contain a commercial message and must remain up for at least two years.


Artists have welcomed the change, saying the city will once again become a mural capital. But some homeowners are concerned about art works they might consider offensive or garish going up at a neighbor’s home.

Terry Marquez, a third-generation Boyle Heights residents, said the change approved Tuesday doesn’t give homeowners enough protection.

“There are some murals that we might not like,” said Marquez, 66. “If it offended me in any way, I would definitely want to go against it. This is not going to give us a chance to do that.”

Two council members, Mike Bonin and Bob Blumenfield, asked for a report on providing an “opt-in” provision that would allow homeowners in other council districts to petition for inclusion in the pilot program.

That report is expected in 45 days.


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