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The Mandan City Commission has imposed a moratorium on mural permit applications to allow the city time to draft a new ordinance to replace the mural guidelines adopted by the commission in August.

The existing guidelines are a product of the Mandan Architectural Review Commission, Community Beautification Committee and city staff.

“After experiencing murals for the past few months, it’s been identified that the guidelines may not be adequate to get us, as a city, going in the direction that the Beautification Committee and MARC had intended,” said John Van Dyke, Mandan's city planner. “This is just pushing the pause button on these murals.

“There’s definitely no shortage of artists that want to see their work displayed in public. Without a doubt, that’s definitely the case,” he added.

Van Dyke said “critical” issues have been identified in the existing guidelines. Commissioner Amber Larson voiced some of the concerns during the Jan. 22 city commission meeting.

“The language we have in place isn’t supporting what we intended this policy to do. We didn’t put, maybe, strong enough parameters around it, so you start to have businesses putting murals where it wasn’t necessarily the intent for us to be putting murals,” she said. “We’ve had several applicants that have painted a mural, then in hindsight came in for approval.”

The moratorium will be in effect for six months. If the new ordinance is adopted sooner, the moratorium will be lifted.

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