Monee Picture This … Village brushing up mural policy

This is an example of the kind of murals the village board has decided to allow, superimposed on the west wall of the Village Inn on Main Street, adjacent to the police department. (Photo submitted)
This is an example of the kind of murals the village board has decided to allow, superimposed on the west wall of the Village Inn on Main Street, adjacent to the police department. (Photo submitted)

By Karen Haave

An ordinance approved by the Monee Village Board strictly regulates murals on outside walls on both public and private property or near existing parks.
The ordinance has been under consideration and revisions for the past year. Discussion of murals surfaced when Second Place Church proposed including one on the side of its Oak and Main Street building now being renovated for a coffeehouse and meeting space.
When they first proposed a mural, church officials wanted to have their teens and young adults do the artwork.
Village officials found the idea appealing, but wanted an ordinance that would carefully regulate the process and types of artwork that would be acceptable.
The historical society also commented at that time that any artwork placed on walls should be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan that includes the Historic District where the coffeehouse building is located.
The new ordinance approved prohibits negative images related to religion, politics and other social issues, and only experienced artists will be permitted to do the paintings.
The ordinance defines a mural as any “inscription, drawing, mark or design that is etched, painted or sprayed upon the exterior portion of a building and is visible from the public way.”
It notes that “Illegal graffiti shall not be considered as a mural.”
At the same time, it stipulates that “artists, organizations or individuals who wish to paint or create a mural must obtain written permission from the property owner. Paintings or murals placed on property without the owner’s consent is strictly prohibited and shall be considered illegal.”
Upon obtaining permission from the property owner, the application to paint the mural must be filed with the village and will be processed as defined in the ordinance.
According to the ordinance, murals must be completed by an artist with prior experience, and adjacent property owners must submit a letter of support.
Murals may not be commercial in nature, will not be permitted “where its content is offensive or displays a clear and present danger or breach of peace.” Also, murals “may not be offensive depicting negative images or beliefs relative to religion, political viewpoints, or other social issues.”
After filing an application permit for a mural, along with the proposed mural design, it must reviewed by the village’s Zoning Board of Appeals.
The Zoning Board will review the application and, based upon discussions with the property owner and artist, will then issue an advisory recommendation of support or non- support to the Village Board of Trustees. The Village Board will conduct public hearings, if necessary. seeking input from the residents.
After a review of the application and public comments, the Village Board will either approve or deny the request.
The property owner will be responsible for maintaining the mural in good condition, and the village will not be responsible for the creation, upkeep or repair of the artwork.
If for any reason the mural is removed, the property owner is responsible for restoring the property to its original condition, and if vandalism or graffiti to the mural occurs, it will be the property owner’s responsibility to remove it within 48 hours after notification.
If the graffiti is not removed in a timely fashion, village staff can remove the graffiti using standard removal materials.
Karen Haave is a freelance reporter.







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