Friday, November 21, 2014

Wall Murals in Middlefield Limited to Artistic Purposes
October 31, 2013 | No Comments

After removal of five words, Middlefield Village Planning and Zoning Commission voted last Thursday to send the wall mural ordinance to village council for action.The…

After removal of five words, Middlefield Village Planning and Zoning Commission voted last Thursday to send the wall mural ordinance to village council for action.
The five words, “or for business identification purposes” were taken out of the new section of the village zoning code after commission member Dan MacRaild objected to the phrase.
Permitting a business to identify itself in a mural on its wall would nullify the village sign ordinance, he said.
Without the five words, the ordinance definition reads: “Wall Mural Sign or Wall Mural shall mean a sign painted or applied to an exterior wall of a building and used for artistic purposes and which does not contain any advertising of products or services. Wall Mural Signs are permitted only as conditional uses pursuant to Chapters 1135 and 1165 of the Codified Ordinances.”
The commission has been discussing how best to handle murals since last spring, when a 4-H group painted a mural on the west side of the Great Lakes Outdoor Supply archery pro shop owned by Ralph Spidalieri.
The mural includes the 4-H name, “The Shooting Club.”
The only other outside mural in the village is a strictly artistic one at the intersection of Kinsman and North State Avenue, about a block south of the shop.
When the legislation was proposed last Thursday, village solicitor Tom Lee said he had included the phrase “to accommodate what we already have,” but he would be comfortable with leaving it out.
Commission Chairman Scott Klein said the commission will have some control over murals because anyone who wants to create a mural will have to get a conditional use variance for it.
The new section on wall murals and wall signs lists six conditions:
Wall mural signs shall be permitted only in cases where innovative design is demonstrated, as determined by the board;
Materials used for the sign shall be of such a nature as to insure durability and easy repair/maintenance of the wall mural sign;
Wall mural signs shall be permitted only where the sign will serve to improve the aesthetics of the building face on which the sign is located, and of the general area in which the building is located;
The owner of the building on which the wall mural sign is painted or applied shall be responsible for maintaining the appearance of the wall mural sign;
Failure of the building owner to maintain the wall mural sign shall be grounds for revocation of the conditional use permit; and
Any other conditions the board deems to be appropriate consistent with the limited purposes and aesthetic goals of the village in allowing wall mural signs.
In other business, the commission agreed to send a proposed ordinance to streamline the permitting process by eliminating the board of zoning appeals to council for a vote.
Mayor Ben Garlich has been urging the move to make economic development more efficient.
Having to advertise and hold a hearing by the BZA delays projects, he said.
The commission already holds site plan reviews and public hearings on projects.
He asked the commission to approve the legislation contingent on members reading it and raising any concerns with Klein, who is a council member, before the next council meeting.

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