Sioux Falls Visual Arts Commission ‘FINALLY’ working on a less restrictive mural ordinance

I think this is way past due, but at least it is moving forward;

A final draft of the mural ordinance will be brought to the whole commission in October, and the city will seek input from local artists, said Shawna Goldammer, a planning projects coordinator for the city. From there, the ordinance will be sent to the city’s legal team for recommendations. After the commission reviews it one more time, an informational meeting with the City Council will be held and then the formal adoption process begins, which Goldammer said can take about three months. 


“It’ll be awhile before this is on the books, but we are definitely very close to at least launching it out into the world,” she said. “We hope that it grows into something that’s gonna really be great for Sioux Falls.”


As you can see, it must go thru many hoops before it gets in front of the city council, but it looks like something could be on the books by next Spring. I’m not sure why, all they basically have to do is cross out a couple of sentences and it would be a done deal. As the ordinances are written now, businesses are NOT allowed to have murals that have words or images that promote the business because that could be construed as advertising.

I guess I look at this two ways, 1) Of course a business would want to have a mural that in some way promotes their business, in an artistic way, otherwise what is the purpose of spending the money, but 2) I have often said that businesses have a right to have a mural due to constitutional free speech rights and property rights. I have encouraged businesses to challenge it based on those constitutional rights. Recently, Northview Bait and Tackle painted a mural on its building that features fish, which technically would be in violation of the current ordinances. Owner, Matt Staab told me he welcomes a challenge to the ordinance. He may not have to worry about it now.



1 comment so far ↓

#1 D@ily Spin on 10.14.20 at 8:50 am

A reference to the business on a mural is fine. An obnoxious stance is not. Some regulation is warranted but the council has no taste. The public is the best reviewer. If something offends, we don’t buy. Advertising your business should not require more expense for council bribes than for the cost of the artwork.