Public Hearing – Introduction and First Reading of Ordinance No. ___, an Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Livingston Amending Livingston Municipal Code Section Title 4, Chapter 2, Sign Regulations; Adding New Section 4-2-8, Related to Murals; Adding Definitions to Section 4-2-3, “Definitions”, and Making Minor Numbering Changes.

Meeting Date: March 18, 2014

Agenda Item #6. Public Hearing – Introduction and First Reading of Ordinance No. ___, an Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Livingston Amending Livingston Municipal Code Section Title 4, Chapter 2, Sign Regulations; Adding New Section 4-2-8, Related to Murals; Adding Definitions to Section 4-2-3, “Definitions”, and Making Minor Numbering Changes.

Note from TheGardeningSnail: Parts of this page may have been prepared by running a PDF file through a program that converts Image to Print. So there may be a few textual Gremlins that have slipped in. I may also have broken up some of the longer paragraphs, for easier reading.

STAFF REPORT

AGENDA ITEM: Public Hearing -Introduce and Waive the First Reading of Ordinance No. _ of the City Council of the City of Livingston Amending Livingston Municipal Code Section Title 4, Chapter 2, Sign Regulations; Adding New Section 4-2-8, Related to Murals; Adding Definitions to Section 4-2-3, "Definitions", And Making Minor Numbering Changes.

MEETING DATE: March 18, 2014

PREPARED BY: Holly R. Owen, Contract Associate Planner

REVIEWED BY: Jose Antonio Ramirez, City Manager

RECOMMENDATION:

Introduce and waive the first reading of Ordinance No. _ of the City Council of the City of Livingston amending Livingston Municipal Code section Title 4, Chapter 2, Sign Regulations; adding new section 4-2-8, related to murals; adding definitions to section 4-2-3, "Definitions", and making minor numbering changes.

BACKGROUND AND DISCUSSION:

This Municipal Code Text Amendments, (heretofore referred to as "Text Amendments") are being brought before City Council as a continuation of Planning Commission actions and recommendations provided by Planning Commission Resolution No. 2014-04 to consider changes in the Livingston Municipal Code.

In 2013, Livingston hosted several visiting experts to gain advice and ideas for revitalization of the community, especially in light of the unavailability of state funds for redevelopment. The visits of both these groups (American Institute of Architects’ Communities by Design Group and Congress for New Urbanism), with input from interested citizens of the City, produced a number of suggestions for the City to consider.

The two groups reached similar conclusions in a number of areas regarding improvements that the City could make. These text amendments support this in allowing for one aspect of their vision, the creation of murals. Murals are a type of public art that, at best, reflects the local community character, beautifies the often bland wall faces in commercial areas, and is lower in cost than other types of public art.

Planning Staff has reviewed other cities’ Municipal Codes to determine helpful and clear content to use in our own Municipal Code and to create the process of evaluation and approval of murals, and Staff has reviewed this with the City Attorney.

Changes, updates and corrections to the Livingston Municipal Code are part of maintaining a consistent and accurate set of rules and guidelines for the City and its citizens to rely on. This process is always ongoing and an expected investment in time and research for Staff, the Planning Commission and City Council.

The Planning Commission, at its February 25, 2014 regular meeting, adopted Resolutions No. 2014-04 in an effort to address this need. Approval of these changes by Council will not only allow interested parties to go forward with their applications for murals, but will set forth an approval and appeal process in the Livingston Municipal Code.

Approval of this ordinance will give the guidance applicants need to create the public art that was recommended by the advisory groups from the American Institute of Architects as well as the Congress for New Urbanism.

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PROPOSED TEXT AMENDMENTS:

The proposed text amendments to Livingston Municipal Code Title 4, Chapter 2, Sign Regulations, appear below. New text is identified with underlined italics.

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