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House with Emojis

Post Date:08/07/2019 3:45 PM

Press Release:  Manhattan Beach House with Emojis


Bruce Moe, City Manager
City of Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach House with Emojis

Manhattan Beach, CA (August 7, 2019) – The City has received a number of inquiries regarding a residential structure that has “emojis” painted on its external walls. Currently, the City’s Municipal Code does not prohibit paintings, murals, graphic displays, etc. on residential structures. In general, the United States Supreme Court has held that, subject to certain exceptions (e.g., obscenity), the First Amendment requires that regulations that may proscribe speech or expressive content must be content neutral or narrowly tailored to serve a compelling public interest.

At a public hearing on July 10, 2019, the City’s Planning Commission considered a proposal to amend the City’s sign ordinance to address murals. During the hearing, several people expressed their concerns about the emojis. The Commission continued the item to provide an opportunity for additional public input and directed staff to evaluate regulation options and provide more information regarding First Amendment rights with respect to paintings, murals, graphic displays, etc. The Planning Commission will be revisiting this issue on August 28.

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