“Ormond Beach to allow murals downtown”

“Ormond Beach to allow murals downtown”

Photo: City of Ormond Beach
“Art will soon be taking center stage here, as murals will now be allowed downtown, a move that has been two years in the making.

‘When you pass by small cities, they look the same,’ said Julia Truilo, executive director of Ormond Mainstreet. ‘We want to keep enhancing the way our town looks and how people identify us.’

In response to the new ordinance that was approved in May, the Ormond Beach Mainstreet Arts District formed a committee to match artists with businesses and approve mural proposals. So far six artists have signed up and there are already a few projects in the works…

Previously, murals were considered signs under city ordinances. In order to allow murals, city officials created a new ordinance that clarified the rules for murals and where they could be painted.

The reason for the two-year delay, according to City Commissioner Troy Kent, was to make sure officials got everything right…

The City Commission and the Mainstreet Arts District wanted to make sure the murals were not perceived as advertisements, but rather works of art with the potential to draw visitors, much like the murals in downtown DeLand…”

— Nikki Ross, Daytona Beach News-Journal

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700 hundred new trees planned: “The new St. Pete Pier is now getting trees”

700 hundred new trees planned: “The new St. Pete Pier is now getting trees”

Photo: From article in FLAPOL

“The new St. Pete Pier is getting its first touches of nature this week. The city began planting the first of 700 trees throughout the district…

The first round of tree planting is happening in the marketplace area of the new pier district. That area is in front of the St. Petersburg Museum of History and north to about Spa Beach.

When completed, it will include several stalls for vendors including both food and retail as well as tables and chairs and shaded tent areas.

The palm trees will line the corridor, creating a tropical feel.

‘You’ll feel like you’re on vacation walking through the Pier District,’ the city wrote in a post accompanying the video…

— Janelle Irwin Taylor,FLAPOL

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Florida Scenic Highways: “District Five Byways Workshop”

Florida Scenic Highways: “District Five Byways Workshop”

Photo: Florida Scenic Highways

“Volunteer recruitment and retention was the theme for the day at the third annual District Five Byway Workshop held at the Florida Department of Transportation/District Five offices in Deland on March 28th.

This day-long workshop served as an opportunity for byway organizations and others involved with the Florida Scenic Highways Program to engage, learn and have fun.

Claudia Calzaretta, the District Scenic Highways Coordinator welcomed the 30+ participants with a review of the many accomplishments that the District’s byways have completed over the last 18 months. She then reviewed her DSHC work plan for the upcoming year and finished her general session with a review of the exciting findings of the Scenic Sumter Economic Impact study.

Much of the remainder of the morning was spent listening to guest speakers that touched on the day’s theme of ‘volunteerism’, including Nancy Heller with the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) who discussed a partnering opportunity that can place retired people with not-for-profit organizations to train and provide paid volunteer support to the byway organizations…

For further information on this Workshop, to get a copy of these presentation materials, or anything else associated with District Five Byways, please contact Claudia Calzaretta.”

— Florida Scenic Highways

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Legal: Potential impact on FL’s city sign codes; Restrictions on the number of signs per yard at risk

Legal: Potential impact on FL’s city sign codes; Restrictions on the number of signs per yard at risk

Photo:  Will Warasila, New Yorker

“The small city of Bel-Nor, Missouri is at least temporarily blocked from enforcing a local law that restricts homeowners from displaying more than one sign at a time on their property, under a federal appeals court ruling issued on Monday.

Lawrence Willson, who owns and lives in a single-family home in Bel-Nor, sued the city in January 2018, alleging the ordinance trammeled his free speech rights and other constitutional protections. The city cited him because he had three signs in his yard.

One said ‘Black Lives Matter,’ another ‘Clinton Kaine’ and the third ‘Jason Kander U.S. Senate.’ Each of the signs is about 18 by 24 inches, according to Tony Rothert, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri, who is representing Willson.

“In our view, a one-sign restriction is too restrictive of speech,’ Rothert said by phone on Monday.

He went on to describe yard signs as an important form of speech with a ‘communicative value that is unmatched’ in other mediums.

‘It’s different than buying a billboard, or taking out an ad in the paper, or even writing a letter to the editor, to put what you believe in front of your home,’ Rothert said.

The city has argued that its ordinance is ‘content-neutral’ and regulates all sorts of signs in the same way, and is therefore not subject to heightened legal scrutiny. It has cited traffic safety, especially preventing distractions for drivers, as a main consideration with the sign restrictions…

A federal district court last March denied Willson’s motion for a preliminary injunction, which would have prevented Bel-Nor from enforcing the law, at least while the court case played out.

But a three-judge panel for the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has now reversed that decision.

In an 11-page ruling, the court said Willson is likely to succeed on the merits of his free speech challenge under the First Amendment against the local government ordinance and sent the case back to the lower court for further proceedings.

A Bel-Nor police officer in June 2017 left Willson a written warning that by displaying his three signs he was violating part of the city code, according to the complaint Willson filed in federal district court.

The code, at that time, limited residential property to one ‘political advertising’ sign and said ‘political signs’ had to be removed within 15 days after an election.”

— Bill Lucia, Route Fifty

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Read article in New Yorker about art installation in photo above.

“Central Florida City Moves to Crack Down on Snipe Signs”

“Central Florida City Moves to Crack Down on Snipe Signs”

Photo: Dave DeJohn, Spectrum News

“The street advertisements known as snipe signs can be found littering many major roadways, and officials in Tavares are moving to crack down.

The city has won several beautification awards, and officials don’t want the signs ruining that.

Tavares spokesman Mark O’Keefe said the city’s Code Enforcement officers remove the signs, only to see them go right back up again. At a meeting recently, City Administrator John Drury and City Council members discussed the issue with police officials and decided to step up enforcement by citing chronic offenders.

‘Snipe signs scattered throughout your whole community are not very attractive, and so we’re looking at bringing the enforcement up to the next level to curtail the number of snipe signs that are rampant throughout Tavares,’ Drury said then.

So now they are having police issue $100 fines to repeat offenders.

‘The citizens of Tavares and the public administration have noticed an ever increasing litter problem created by these items called snipe signs,’ O’Keefe said.

Antwan Brown, who owns a lawn care business, has seen his share of roadside debris, including plenty of snipe signs.

‘Sometimes the paper comes off of them, and then you’re stuck with the metal piece in the ground or (they) wind up laying down on the ground. Then when you’re not paying attention, trying to get the job done real fast, the metal part ends up shooting out into traffic and now you got a problem,’ Brown said…”

— Dave DeJohn, Spectrum News

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