Current zoning ordinances define different types of murals and art displays equal and all types require a Special Permit under Title 184.108.40.206 I understand that Zoning Code is created to protect the city and its residents. Many of the codes are sufficient but the current definition of an art display as a sign, or more specific “mural” definition in general, is currently inadequate. The City of Quincy's permitting costs and procedures to lawfully permit a painted sign, including murals, currently discourage their creation on the large and small scale. We support positive, urban redevelopment, art, and proper use of space. The signers of this petition believe changes should be made.
Listen, you may not want McDonald's to paint a wall with a giant Ronald McDonald and Hamburglar munching on french fries necessarily, but what about a local, homegrown business or community organization painting a wall to “beautify” the street corner to give our city character, culture and class? Laws should protect us AND assist us. Sometimes, like this mural issue, you simply need reform. There is currently no line drawn to help distinguish between painted walls or signs. They are lumped together.
As far as cost, an application for a Special Permit costs between $500-2,000 but also includes, unknown to many city officials, an additional $200-600 in extra fees. These fees include an abutter’s list and legal ads in a newspaper. To those that don’t know, an abutter’s list invites people who live around the area to attend a hearing at city hall and notify people about the project. Makes sense. The legal ad does the same thing. Technically, lawfully, it may cover the City’s butt by as paper readership declines, it could be wasting money.
With billion dollar renovations coming to Quincy within the next decade, we should snip this issue in the butt to support art, local business and to protect our city from spending too much money and time fighting a painted wall.
IF YOU WANT TO CONTACT THE CITY
1. Call the Mayor's Office or your Ward Councilor. Tell them you think the process of permitting a mural should be improved and that the zoning code should changed to distinguish between an "art display" versus a "political/business sign with logos, etc". Or, of course, tell them anything you'd like.....
Permitting signs, including murals, deal with Title 5.3 of the City of Quincy zoning code.