The City of Miami Springs had the First Public Reading of an ordinance that would ban murals in Miami Springs. However, the new ordinance would also require existing murals to come into compliance within one year.  In other words, the UTD will need to remove the mural within one year of the passing of this ordinance in order to come into compliance.

All murals in existence upon the effective date of this section, which are made nonconforming by the provisions of these regulations, shall be removed by June 30, 2023 (the “amortization period”).

Mural at UTD Headquarters on 36th Street violates Miami Springs Code
Mural at UTD Headquarters on 36th Street violates Miami Springs Code

There were no public objections or complaints about this ordinance at the last City Council Meeting.  When it went to a vote, the first reading of the ordinance passed by a 3-1 vote.  Here’s how they voted:

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  • Bob Best:  No
  • Jacky Bravo:  Yes
  • Walter Fajet:  Yes
  • Maria Mitchell: Yes

Councilman Victor Vazquez (who will be resigning in order to run for County Commission) was not in attendance as he is ill with COVID-19.  We wish him a speedy recovery.

OPINION

We are happy to see that the proposed ordinance is fair and equitable.  In other words, if the rest of the City cannot have a mural, then the UTD can’t have one either.

Many residents have expressed interest in allowing “nice” murals.  The problem with murals is that the City cannot control content or regulate “nice” murals and banned murals.  The City can either allow all murals or no murals.  They can legislate the size.  They can legislate where they are located.  But they CANNOT legislate content as it violates the first amendment.

Miami Springs is not Wynwood or the Hialeah Arts District.  That said, I wouldn’t mind if we created an Arts District along the NW 72nd Avenue corridor if we are fortunate enough to finally annex that area.  That would be pretty cool.

However, allowing a free for all on murals where anything goes in Miami Springs is not right.  Furthermore, we appreciate the City’s efforts to make legislation that is fair and equitable for the entire community.  In other words, the UTD will be held to the same standards as the rest of the City.  It’ll just take some more time for it to come to fruition.

Your Thoughts

Let us know what you think.  Share your thoughts in the comments section below or via social media.

Proposed Miami Springs Mural Ordinance


ORDINANCE NO. – 2022

AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF MIAMI SPRINGS, FLORIDA, AMENDING CHAPTER 150, “ZONING CODE,” ARTICLE XIV, “ADDITIONAL REGULATIONS” OF THE CITY’S CODE OF ORDINANCES BY CREATING SECTION 150-46, “MURALS,” TO DEFINE AND PROHIBIT  “MURALS,” AND PROVIDE FOR AMORTIZATION REGULATIONS FOR EXISTING MURAL(S) IN THE CITY; PROVIDING FOR CONFLICTS; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; PROVIDING FOR CODIFICATION; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.

WHEREAS, the City of Miami Springs (the “City”) finds it periodically necessary to amend its Code of Ordinances (the “City Code”) in order to update regulations and procedures to implement municipal goals and objectives; and WHEREAS, on March 30, 2022, the City Council, acting as the Board of Appeals, determined that murals are exempt from the City’s signage regulations in section 150-30 of the City Code; and

WHEREAS, to provide for the orderly, planned future development of the City, enhance the character and aesthetics of the City, and assure traffic safety, the City Council finds that new murals should not be allowed in the City; and WHEREAS, the City Council, sitting as the Local Planning Agency, has reviewed and recommended approval of this Ordinance at a duly noticed public hearing in accordance with law, and determined that it is consistent with the City’s Comprehensive Plan;
and

WHEREAS, the City Council has reviewed this Ordinance at a duly noticed public hearing in accordance with law and determined that it is consistent with the City Code;
and

WHEREAS, it is the intent of the City Council that nonconforming murals be permitted to continue to exist for no longer than one year from the effective date of this Ordinance;
and

WHEREAS, the City Council finds that this proposed Ordinance serves to further enhance the protection of the public health, safety and welfare.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MIAMI SPRINGS, FLORIDA, AS FOLLOWS:

Section 1. Recitals. That the above recitals are confirmed, adopted, and incorporated herein and made a part hereof by reference.

Section 2. Amending Code. That Chapter 150 of the Code of Ordinances of Miami Springs, Florida, is hereby amended by creating Section 150-46, “Murals,” which shall read as follows:

Chapter 150 – ZONING CODE
* * *
ARTICLE XIV. – ADDITIONAL REGULATIONS
* * *
Sec. 150-146. – Murals.

(A) Definitions. For purposes of this section, the following definition(s) shall apply: Mural shall mean a large pictorial representation that is not a sign and which may include, but is not limited to, mosaic, painting, or graphic art or a combination thereof (including collage effects), whether or not it includes text, that is painted on or otherwise applied to the exterior of a building or structure.

(B) Murals.

(1) Prohibition. Murals are prohibited within the city.

(2) Amortization procedure for existing murals in the city. The eventual elimination of existing murals, in as expeditious a manner as is reasonable, bears as much relation to the enhancement of the character and aesthetics and traffic safety interests of the city as the prohibition of new murals. It is the intent of this section to protect private property rights to the extent required by law.

a. Applicability. These mural amortization procedures shall apply to all properties in the city.

b. Amortization Period. All murals in existence upon the effective date of this section, which are made nonconforming by the provisions of these regulations, shall be removed by June 30, 2023 (the “amortization period”).

c. Nonconforming murals.

i. Maintenance. A nonconforming mural may be continued throughout the amortization period, shall be maintained in good condition, and shall not be extended, altered, or enlarged.

ii. Damage. A nonconforming mural which has been damaged by fire, explosions, act of God, or the public enemy, to the extent of more than 50 percent of the surface area or square footage of the mural immediately prior to the damage, may not be restored and the exterior of the building or structure must be painted consistent with the provisions of this code.

iii. Abandonment. If the nonconforming mural is painted over or otherwise obscured from view for more than three months, then it may not be reinstalled.

d. Procedure for enforcement of amortization requirements. The amortization period
may only be enforced against properties that receive an amortization letter. Prior
to the city enforcing the amortization period against any mural owner, it shall be
the responsibility of the city manager or designee to serve notification of the
commencement of amortization regulations on the owners of nonconforming
murals.

e. Extension of the amortization period. An owner of a mural who desires a longer  amortization period shall file an application for extension with the office of the city manager within 30 days of notification of the commencement of amortization regulations. The application shall include a statement setting forth the property address where the mural is located, the cost of the mural, the name of the artist who created the mural, the date the mural was installed, or the cost and date of the most recent renovation. An extension of the amortization period may be granted if the city manager or designee finds that, with regard to the mural at issue, the amortization period provided by this section is unreasonable. The city manager or designee’s decision may be appealed to the city council by the applicant within 30 days of the determination, and may only be overturned for abuse of discretion.

(3) Violations. In the event of a violation of this section, the city may employ all civil penalties and remedies set forth by Article VIII of Chapter 32, as amended. This provision is supplemental to all other remedies and penalties provided by law.

Section 3. Conflicts. All Sections or parts of Sections of the Code of Ordinances, all ordinances or parts of ordinances, and all Resolutions, or parts of Resolutions, in conflict with this Ordinance are repealed to the extent of such conflict.

Section 4. Severability. That the provisions of this Ordinance are declared to be severable and if any section, sentence, clause or phrase of this Ordinance shall for any reason be held to be invalid or unconstitutional, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining sections, sentences, clauses, and phrases of this Ordinance but they shall remain in effect, it being the legislative intent that this Ordinance shall stand notwithstanding the invalidity of any part.

Section 5. Codification. That it is the intention of the City Council and it is hereby ordained that the provisions of this Ordinance shall become and be made a part of the City Code, that the sections of this Ordinance may be renumbered or relettered to accomplish such intentions, and that the word Ordinance shall be changed to Section or other appropriate word.

Section 6. Effective Date. That this Ordinance shall become effective immediately upon adoption on second reading.

 

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