NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. – Walking down New Smyrna Beach’s main strips, you’ll see large, bright-colored murals on almost every block, but city leaders are looking to put some regulations on murals and wall art around the city.
The city commission was slated to discuss a proposed ordinance at its meeting Tuesday evening, but Mayor Russ Owens pulled the item from the agenda. It’s not known when the topic will be next be discussed.
There currently are no regulations in place in the city, but local artists and business owners are concerned about the drafted ordinance.
“It’s such a talking point. People love to see them, they love to take pictures in front of them,” said Missy McCormick, owner of Swanky Salon.
McCormick has a large mural, with “feeling swanky” painted across the side of her building off Canal Street, along with a tribute to the late owner.
“It’s something we find very special about our business,” she said.
According to the drafted ordinance going to the commission for a first reading Tuesday, it would have to go. The proposal would limit the size, where they can be on the building, and they would not be allowed to include words, arrows, or lights.
McCormick was one of hundreds of people to take to social media to oppose the proposal.
“If there’s something that they need to change so that they can ensure that everything stays tasteful, then absolutely. We’re not opposed to that,” she said.
Owens told News 6 he understands their concerns.
“I have issues with it as it’s drafted. I didn’t draft it. It was drafted by staff,” he said.
Owens said the city has studied other Central Florida cities, like DeLand, adding that the point is to create some limitations to make sure the work does not create controversy.
“This is a difficult conversation we have to have as a community, and I would rather have it proactively versus reactively when we have something that is dividing the community,” he said. “It was a good first draft, if you will. Now, they’ll bring it to the commission. We’re going to beat it up a little bit (and) give them some feedback from ourselves, from the community.”