- Associated Press - Sunday, November 27, 2016

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - A code enforcement dispute between City Hall and a Sioux Falls business has officials rethinking a long-standing rule prohibiting murals that double as advertisements.

The city zoning office informed the owners of Elegant Mommy that the mural on the side of its building that depicts what is sold inside of the store violates a city ordinance that restricts the amount of signage private businesses may use, the Argus Leader (https://argusne.ws/2gcSMp4 ) reported.

The ordinance prohibits murals with “words or graphics advertising a business, product, or service.” In other words, said Jeff Schmitt, the city’s chief zoning official: “On the side of Starbucks, they can’t paint a mural that says come drink coffee.”

Elegant Mommy owner Shelly Gaddis said she spoke with zoning officials who had differing interpretations of the ordinance and is now working with city staff and council members to possibly create a more art-friendly signage ordinance.

“Art on a building should not be prohibited just because it tells what we do inside the store. It’s classy and it’s tasteful,” she said. “Hopefully the end goal is that we can leave this up.”

Zach DeBoer, a local art gallery owner and member of the city’s visual arts commission, said he has been in touch with his fellow art commissioners to discuss revisiting the signage ordinance to ensure city rules aren’t doing anything to discourage the use of murals decorate businesses and business districts.

“It’s a matter of defining what is art and what is advertising,” DeBoer said. “With this situation, it makes sense to perhaps paint over the words . but keeping those illustrations and colors that are on that building is a fair compromise.”

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Information from: Argus Leader, https://www.argusleader.com


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