Urban Art

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Promoting a Diverse and Stimulating Cultural Environment

Urban Art Program

Glendale Public Art Utility BoxThe Urban Art Program seeks to promote a diverse and stimulating cultural environment to enrich the quality of life for residents and visitors. The Program encourages the creative interaction of artists, developers, designers, city officials and community members during the design of development projects, in order to develop public art that is meaningful to the site and to the community. The Program anticipates a diverse range of art experiences throughout the city’s commercial districts, enlivening the public space available during the everyday routines of walking to work, eating at a sidewalk café, or shopping.

The Urban Art Program was initiated in 2006 with the adoption of the Downtown Specific Plan (DSP). On December 14, 2010, Glendale City Council adopted ordinances to expand the program city-wide.


 What projects are subject to the Urban Art Program?

urban art program

The Program applies to new buildings and structures, or to the alteration or repair of buildings or structures valued at $500,000 or more as determined by the Building Official. Projects located in the commercial and mixed-use zones (specifically the DSP, IMU, IMU-R, SFMU, C1, C2, C3, CR, and CPD zoning districts) are subject to the Program. The requirement does not apply to Industrial or Residential zones. Development applications which have not received a building permit prior to January 14, 2010 shall be subject to the rules and regulations of this ordinance.

What is the requirement?

The Program provides the option to install the art on-site, or to make an in-lieu payment:

  • On-site art equals 2 percent (2%) of the project value, or
  • In-lieu payment equals 1 percent (1%) of the project value.

When is the on-site art requirement met?

Urban Art Plans for the project site and buildings or structures are subject to approval by the applicable Design Review authority, upon recommendation from the Arts and Culture Commission or other body designated by City Council. Urban Art Plans must be approved before building permits can be issued, and shall provide for the installation of public art with a value of at least two percent of the project valuation as determined by the Building Official. The on-site art shall be installed in compliance with the Urban Art Plan before issuance of final certificate of occupancy.

When is the in-lieu fee paid?

Before the issuance of final building permits. If the valuation of the project changes during construction, the fee shall be adjusted accordingly. The balance of the fee, if any, shall be paid prior to final building inspection.

Are there exemptions to this requirement?

Yes, Urban Art requirements do not apply to the following:

  • Projects financed with public funds,
  • Small and/or affordable residential buildings and structures,
  • Residential buildings or structures of 1 or 2 units, or residential buildings or structures serving those units with more than 25 percent of the units available to low- or moderate- income households 
  • Projects financed with development in-lieu fees,
  • Capital Improvement projects,
  • Projects involving Designated Historic Resources,
  • Project involving nonprofit service providers (defined as 501(c)(3) under the IRS code), and
  • Vehicle dealerships. 

Useful Links

For more information about the Urban Art Fund and Programs, or the Arts and Culture Commission please contact Chuck Wike at 818-548-2042.  For more information about the Zoning Code, please ask to speak to planner at 818-548-2115.

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