UPDATE: The City of Orlando has postponed the hearing to May. 

The West Art District is a 45,000 SF campus comprised of a group of colorful buildings, located in Parramore, at the corner of Central Boulevard and Westmoreland Drive.

The former auto shop/car parts warehouse is planned to house a series of pop-up shops, cafes, juice bars and retail uses in the near future, but in the interim was serving as a canvas for local taggers and street artists. More on the background of the project can be found HERE, in a special report by Jon Busdeker.

You can also view a video of their recent Open House, HERE.

It has since come to the attention of Bungalower, that the Code Enforcement Board has put West Art District (Facebook) on notice for an “uncorrected violation” of the Code of the City of Orlando.

The violation cited was Section 3CA.36(D) – “All storefronts and walls exposed to view shall be kept in good repair and shall be maintained.” The corrective action required by the City’s Code Enforcement division was to “remove or paint over graffiti and restore store with same or similar paint color/material.”

The City of Orlando also has an ordinance that regulates public murals, which was launched in 2015. Under the purview of this new ordinance, any mural not meeting specific requirements would require a sign permit to be installed.

  • Mural must be located in a non-residential area designated an activity center or mixed-use corridor inside a Main Street or Market Street, that isn’t a historic district, or be adjacent to a LYMMO or SunRail station.
  • Mural bust be on either the sides or rear of the building.
  • Mural can only take up a certain percentage of the wall, depending on the height. No mural can be more than 60 feet tall.
  • Sponsor text or logo cannot take up more than 5 percent of the mural.
  • If a mural is defaced, peels, or fades, it must be repaired or re-painted within 30 days.

Code Enforcement grandfathered in a number of murals that had been installed previous to the new restrictions, that would be allowed to remain unmolested by City staff. You can see that list HERE, complete with Google Map links and photos.

According to the notice, shown below, the owners of West Art District were given notice of their violations on January 5, 2017. They were given the month of February to comply, and paint over all surfaces of the West Art District compound. There will be a Public Hearing held before the Code Enforcement Board on April 12, 2017 at 9 a.m. where the Board will receive testimony and evidence before the incident moves on to Council Chambers.

Cassandra Lafser, Press Secretary for the Office of the Mayor, sent us the following:

The City of Orlando is extremely supportive of public art, including murals, and the unique impact they have in our community, helping to create vibrant districts and supporting placemaking [efforts] in our Main Streets.

In 2015, we created a new, streamlined process to approve artistic murals and allow for this creative expression to expand in our City.
In this specific instance, our Code Enforcement Division was contacted by a neighbor who expressed concern over the murals and their noncompliance with the City’s mural policy.
Code Enforcement responded to the citizen complaint and inspected the situation and found that these businesses were in violation of City code.  
Because the City values what murals can bring to our community, we have proactively tried to make contact with the property owner multiple times since the discovery of this issue with the goal of discussing opportunities and options that will allow for art to remain on these buildings.
It’s important to note that at this time, there has been no enforcement or penalties assessed to this property.  
We are hopeful that in partnership with the property owner, we will be able to work towards a solution.”

 

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