Store owner, planning commission agree on changes to paintings
by Nick Rappley | Patterson Irrigator
Sep 19, 2012 | 1693 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Murals painted on the side of the Patterson Food Center grocery store do not meet city codes and may have to be removed.
Lisa James / Patterson Irrigator
Murals painted on the side of the Patterson Food Center grocery store do not meet city codes and may have to be removed. Lisa James / Patterson Irrigator
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The Patterson Planning Commission and Tony Ali, co-owner of Patterson Food Center, have reached an agreement on how to fix five paintings on the outer walls of the store that were deemed illegal advertisements.

The images in question were painted in April without planning commission approval and show several products, including brand names and logos.

“We’re just trying to work out a way to keep at least some of the paintings,” Ali said.

The commissioners and Ali agreed Thursday, Sept. 13, that he would paint over a painting advertising jalapeños from the El Mexicano brand. Brand names of yogurt must be removed from another painting. In the largest painting, facing Highway 33 on the east side of the building, a slogan must be covered over, but the name El Mexicano can remain, commissioners agreed.

That part of the deal is contingent on an opinion from the city attorney in the next week about whether the brand name is OK as long as no specific product is mentioned.

Commissioner K.D. Rookard said the paintings had artistic value.

“The cows look like a mural to me,” she said of the painting along Highway 33. “I’d rather see that than a plain white wall.”

Commissioner David Applegate said he liked the paintings, which he described as almost nostalgic.

“As a mural, they add character,” he said. “They add flavor to our community.”

In August, commissioners ruled that the paintings were advertisements, not murals. They directed city employees to work out a solution that would allow the store to keep the paintings without breaking rules about the size and placement of advertising signs, as they said the murals were too large.

Signs fall under much stricter regulations than murals, which only need approval from the planning commission.

According to city code, the area of an advertisement measured in square feet cannot exceed the length of the side of the building measured in feet. For instance, a building with a 50-foot side cannot bear an ad greater than 50 square feet.

Associate Planner Teresa Rodriguez said in August that the size of the Patterson Food Center building allows for 92 square feet of signs on the each side of the building. The paintings cover 296 square feet, and the name of the store takes up an additional 367 square feet.

Patterson Food Center applied to the planning commission for approval of the paintings in May, after they were completed.

Contact Nick Rappley at 892-6187, ext. 31, or nick@pattersonirrigator.com.

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