[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Atlantic Highlands 12-18-2019 by Ord. No. 20-2019. Amendments noted where applicable.]
It is the intent of this chapter to regulate the location, construction and manner of display of murals in the Historic Business District, Light Industrial District and/or the Central Business District in order to preserve the aesthetic appeal of the Borough and to promote appropriate visual expression by defining what constitutes a mural and to provide penalties for violation of the provisions thereof.
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the following meanings:
- Any writing or drawings that have been scribbled, scratched, or painted illicitly on a wall or other public or private surface.
- A painting or illustration applied directly to a wall of an independent structure within the Borough, but shall not include:
- A. Any such painting or illustration requiring a separate foundation or footing;
- B. Any depiction or contents of a commercial, trademarked, copyrighted or other licensed feature;
- C. Any message or advertisement for any individual, group or entity (whether or not commercial); or
- D. Any subject or material of a scandalous, libelous or indecent nature as determined by contemporary community standards.
- Any writing (including letter, word, or numeral), pictorial presentation (including illustration or decoration), emblem (including device, symbol, or trademark), flag (including banner or pennant), or any other figure of similar character, that:
- A. Is a structure or any part thereof, or is attached to, painted on, or in any other manner represented on a building or other structure;
- B. Is used to announce, direct attention to, or advertise and is visible from outside a building;
- C. Shall include writing, representation, or other figures of similar character, within a building, only when illuminated and located in a window.
Murals shall be permitted only in the Central Business District, Light Industrial District and Historic Business District (CBD, LI or HBD), subject to the restrictions as set forth in § 229-7 of this chapter.
Any mural that is not the subject of land use approval to be erected, painted or otherwise installed in the Borough shall not be erected, painted or installed without first obtaining a recommendation from the Atlantic Highlands Design Review Committee and Council approval before a permit from the Municipal Clerk shall be issued. All requirements concerning the establishment, composition and authority of the Design Review Committee are set forth in Chapter 5, Article VI, § 5-26 et seq.
Application for a permit to erect, paint and/or install a mural within the Borough shall be made on a form provided by the Municipal Clerk or, if no such form has been prepared, by a letter, signed by the property owner and the applicant and filed with the Municipal Clerk, containing or enclosing the following information:
The owner of the property where the installation is to be made.
The street address and tax lot and block number of the property in question.
A description of the subject matter of the mural or other feature, if appropriate.
A full-color sketch or other rendering showing the final appearance of the mural or other installation with a "before" photograph of the proposed location of the mural depicting its current state.
A description of the color scheme of the installation.
A general description of the points from which the installation may be viewed, with particular attention to its visibility to motorists and its proximity to intersections.
An application fee in the amount of $50.
Such other information as the Design Review Committee may reasonably request.
Prior to installation of a mural, the property owner or tenant (with written permission of the property owner) shall apply to the Municipal Clerk with a copy to the Zoning Officer. The application shall be reviewed for compliance with this chapter.
Upon the filing of an application, the Municipal Clerk shall cause the application to be forwarded to the Design Review Committee for review and consideration.
Upon receipt of the mural application, the Design Review Committee shall schedule a meeting for the purpose of reviewing said application. The Design Review Committee shall advise the applicant, in writing, of the date, time and place of said meeting.
Upon recommendation of the application by the Committee, and containing any restrictions as may be recommended by the Committee, the application shall then be forward to the Mayor and Council for further review and final permit approval.
Murals shall not contain words (in any language), symbols or representations that are obscene, offensive, of a political nature or are derogatory.
Murals may not be placed on the primary facade of a commercial structure. Exceptions may be applied for, reviewed by the Committee, and approved when the nature of the business is creative, artistic or some other special circumstance is presented.
Murals may only be placed directly on unimproved concrete, concrete block, brick, or metal facades. If the applicant desires to have a mural constructed off site in movable panels to be installed on said facade, the attachment of said panels must comply with applicable building codes, subject to required permits and inspection; must not cover window or door openings unless properly sealed in compliance with applicable building codes; the attachment devices must not compromise the structural integrity of the surface to which the panels are attached; and said panels must be securely attached to prevent failure due to weather conditions, vandalism or age.
Murals shall be maintained in good repair, free from peeling paint or damage due to age, weather, vandalism or the like. Failure to maintain a mural in good repair may result in notification by the Code Enforcement Officer and, if necessary, appropriate enforcement action by the Borough, including recovery of related expenses for enforcement.
Upon recommendation of the Design Review Committee and final approval by the Mayor and Council, the Borough Clerk shall issue a permit, with a notation of any required conditions imposed. A permit shall expire 180 days after the date of issuance. Any approved project not installed within the 180-day time frame shall be required to reapply and obtain a new permit or return the building surface to its original state prior to the approval of the mural permit, at the property owner's expense. An "after" photograph of the completed mural shall be provided to the Committee for its records and future maintenance reviews.
Maintenance of the mural shall be the responsibility of the property owner. However, business owners, artists, sponsors and other interested parties may reach private arrangements regarding maintenance.
All murals shall be maintained by the owner in good condition, free from chips, stains, graffiti, defacing, fading paint and the like. Failure to properly maintain an installation shall subject the property owner to the penalties of this chapter.
Violation of the provisions of this chapter shall be punishable upon conviction, as provided in Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article II, General Penalty, § 1-15, violations and penalties, of this Code. A separate offense shall be deemed committed on each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues.
Nothing in this section shall be interpreted as a waiver, replacement, or substitute for any installation that requires a construction code or land use approval under applicable provisions of any statute, ordinance, rule or regulation.