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L.A. Has Finally Legalized Murals On Homes (In Some Neighborhoods) [UPDATE]

A mural in Echo Park on Glendale Blvd. (Photo by current events via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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A plan allowing murals to be placed on homes in Northeast L.A., Boyle Heights and South L.A. received a 14-1 vote by the City Council today, a hair's breadth away from approval. The plan is seen as another step forward to finally bringing L.A.'s beloved mural culture back to full legality.

The council voted on a "pilot program," or test run, that allows murals to be placed on private residences in the city's 1st, 9th and 14th Districts, City News Service reports. City Councilman Bernard Parks, who represents the 8th District, was the lone dissenting vote. The City Council needs a unanimous vote for the ordinance to take effect, so there will be a second reading and vote at an undetermined date.

In addition to homes, the plan will also allow murals to be displayed on roll-down security doors on commercial and industrial buildings, according to CNS.

The battle over the right to bring murals back to the city has been raging for years, ever since the law banning them was put in place under the premise of deterring commercial advertisements disguised as street art on buildings. The outright ban on murals in the city was overturned in early September, but artists were only allowed to showcase their work on commercial buildings who elected to "opt-in" to the program and pay a $60 fee. Before today's vote, Chris Brown made waves last summer when he painted a bunch of terrifying creatures on his house. The murals angered neighbors and Brown was forced to paint over his creations.

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The ordinance originally only included the 1st and 14th districts, but City Councilman Curren Price, who represents the 9th District, opted to include his neighborhood in the plan after receiving a positive response from residents, CNS reports.

UPDATE 12/10: Looks like Mr. Parks finally came around. The L.A City Council formally approved the program to allow murals to be painted on single-family homes in South L.A., Boyle Heights and Northeast L.A., City News Service reports. As of right now, there's no "opt-in/opt-out" clause like the mural ordinance for commercial buildings, but Venice councilman Mike Bonin requested that it be put in place so other neighborhoods can get involved in the mural program.

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