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Architectural Board of Review Flexes Friendly Authority on Murals


With Santa Barbara’s much vaunted Funk Zone sprouting new outdoor murals on almost a weekly basis, the city’s Architectural Board of Review (ABR) has asserted its regulatory authority, notifying arts organizations promoting murals that city permits are required. Although the ABR is known for its aesthetic fussiness, its members expressed an open attitude toward the muralists, who in recent years converted the side of Red’s and a soon-to-be demolished structure on Mason Street into revolving-door exhibition galleries for up-and-coming artists. City planners said the murals, even if unpermitted, have helped discourage taggers and graffiti artists.

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