|Town Council initiated this code amendment on May 15, 2013, which is intended to improve the variety of new public art through updated code provisions, including establishment of a Call For Artists selection process and updated review principles. The draft amendment specifically addresses the following sections:
• Establishes a Call For Artists process for public art budgets over $10,000 in value
• Increases the value of public art threshold from $10,000 to $20,000 for in-lieu fee allowance
• Revises the Conceptual Public Art Design Review Principles
• Modifies the definition of public art to delete the narrow list of examples of "appropriate art"
A review group was assembled consisting of the Vice Mayor, Town Manager and art design members of the Conceptual Design Review Board to review and provide direction on the draft amendment. The amendment was also distributed to art organizations and other interested parties for review and comment. The list of outside reviewers is provided as Attachment 2. Public Art Guidelines, which are intended to be administratively maintained, establish the detailed requirements for the proposed Call For Artists process and are provided as Attachment 3.
The amendment was considered by the Planning and Zoning Commission on December 3, 2013. At the conclusion of the public hearing, the Commission voted to recommend approval of the amendment.
|The Town’s 1% Public Artwork Program was established in 1997. This program requires that non-residential development provide public art in an amount equal to 1% of the building permit valuation. For example, a project valued at $2,000,000 would require the developer to provide 1%, or $20,000, in public art on the subject property.
The Public Artwork provisions were amended in early 2011 to increase the art value threshold for in-lieu fee allowance and allow the use of in-lieu fees for public art maintenance. In mid 2011, the Public Artwork provisions were further amended to provide updated review criteria (Conceptual Public Art Design Review Principles) and to reflect the newly established Conceptual Design Review Board.
The Town Council has initiated this current code amendment with the goal of improving the variety of public art through updated design review principles and modifications to the selection and approval processes for public art. Listed below are discussion and analysis on the areas of amendment.
Call For Artists Process
Review of recent projects shows developers typically select from a narrow list of artists. This has not provided the continued diversity in art desired by the Town. To resolve this issue, the amendment includes a requirement to conduct a Call For Artists process to expand the diversity of artists considered for a project. This change will require the developer to retain a Qualified Agent to conduct the Call For Artists process.
A Qualified Agent is an individual or organization with experience in conducting Call For Artists processes who will assist the developer in managing the artist selection process. It is important to note that this is a developer managed process, not a Town managed process. Upon selection of the artist, the art concept will be designed and submitted to the Town for review.
A Call For Artists process includes advertisement of a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) or possibly a Request for Proposals (RFP) (depending on the desired level of specificity) through art listservs, clearing houses and publications. An artist is then selected for the project from the responding artists. A competitive selection process is intended to improve the variety of art concepts and designs through an expanded pool of artists.
The requirements for a Call For Artists process are based on the art value which is as follows:
Call For Artists Requirement
Less than $10,000
No Call For Artists process is required; artist must reside and work in Southern Arizona
Between $10,000 and $40,000
Regionally advertised Call For Artists process is required
Nationally advertised Call For Artists process is required
The Public Art Guidelines (Attachment 3) outline the basic steps in the Call For Artists process. The Planning and Zoning Commission staff report (Attachment 6) provides additional detailed information relative to the steps in the Call For Artists process.
In-Lieu Fees for Public Art
The current Public Artwork provisions provide the option for an owner/developer to elect to contribute the 1% art funds to the Town of Oro Valley, if the art value is less than $10,000. The amendment proposes to increase the threshold from $10,000 to $20,000 for the in-lieu fee option in order to allow additional smaller scale projects to contribute the 1% to the Town's public art fund instead of funding their own artwork. The Town's public art fund is used to complete needed maintenance of Town-owned public art.
Public Art Design Review Principles
In 2011, the Public Artwork provisions were amended to update the review criteria (Conceptual Public Art Design Review Principles) in conjunction with the establishment of the Conceptual Design Review Board. The review group recommended updated Conceptual Design Review Principles to enhance the review criteria by which public art proposals are assessed. The amended art principles do not attempt to judge the aesthetic qualities of art, but instead focus on originality of the artwork, response to context, integration into development and visibility standards.
Public Art Definition
Comments were received during the review of the draft amendment that the definition of art is too narrow and precludes consideration of a variety of art mediums. The draft amendment modifies the existing definition of "Public Art" to delete references to appropriate examples of art, which may have the indirect effect of limiting art to traditional static sculpture art pieces.
Public Artwork Plaque
The current Code provides that the Town may require a small plaque to be placed on public art identifying the work and artist. This provision has been modified to require a plaque including reference to “Oro Valley 1% for Public Art Program” to promote the Town’s commitment to the arts.
Public Art Guidelines
In conjunction with the amendment to the Zoning Code, Public Art Guidelines have been included to define administrative procedures related to the Call For Artists process. These guidelines, which will be administratively adopted, provide detailed requirements such as the definition of “Qualified Agent," explanation of required information and additional administrative details related to the Call For Artists process.
The proposed amendment was distributed to art organizations and interested parties for review and comment. Comments on the amendment were received from five residents, which are provided in Attachment 4. These comments were evaluated by the public art review group in the formulation of the draft amendment. A member of the public art review group has provided a letter of support for the amendment, including background information on the origins of the Town’s Public Art Program and general information on Call For Artist processes (Attachment 5).
The amendment was considered by the Planning and Zoning Commission (PZC) on December 3, 2013. The PZC staff report includes background information and is included as Attachment 6. Members of the public spoke for and against the proposed Call For Artists process. Additional discussion focused on whether the Southern Arizona Arts & Culture Alliance (SAACA) should be the sole "Qualified Agent," as well as the need to expand the definition of Public Art to encourage other art mediums. At the conclusion of the public hearing, the PZC voted to recommend approval of the amendment. The draft Planning and Zoning Commission minutes are provided as Attachment 7.
SAACA and Additional Resident Input
Outreach efforts on the proposed amendment have been ongoing since August 2013, and include SAACA. Staff met recently with the Executive Director of SAACA who discussed a number of proposed changes to the amendment and guidelines. SAACA also provided a letter outlining additional comments for consideration (Attachment 8). This letter, dated December 18, 2013, requests that the Town consider a contract with SAACA to be the sole "Qualified Agent" for development projects within the Town. The letter proposes that SAACA services be funded by a 5% administration fee from the 1% art budget for each project managed. This concept was introduced through resident comments on the draft amendment. The concept was not supported by the review group or PZC.
The SAACA letter suggests several additional changes to the Public Art Guidelines, including a request that the guidelines be modified to require Qualified Agents to have experience in the development and creation of a Call For Artists process, not merely experience in posting a Call For Artist process. This experience was intended by the original draft and staff has incorporated this change for clarification purposes. SAACA further requests the Town consider a Request For Proposal (RFP) based Call For Artist process, rather than a Request For Qualifications (RFQ) based process. Staff is agreeable to provide the developer the flexibility (at their discretion) to conduct an RFP or RFQ based process.
Additional comments discussed by SAACA focused on suggested improvements to clarify process guides, and checklists to clearly define submittal requirements and steps in the approval process. Staff supports updating administrative documents to address concerns raised.
SAACA has requested clarification with regard to the source used by the Town to determine building valuation, which is then used to establish the 1% art budget. The draft has been amended to clarify that the Building Official is responsible for determining building valuation based on the International Building Code. Staff has included a minor change clarifying that the artwork budget must be increased when the building valuation is increased.
A request by a resident has been incorporated into the Public Art Guidelines to clarify that a RFQ or RFP may include more detailed information relative to the desired art medium and art style, at the applicant's discretion. More detailed information in the RFQ/RFP will ensure that responding artists possess the necessary background and experience in the type and style of art preferred by the applicant.
Lastly, a minor change has been incorporated into the draft amendment deleting the requirement that art be "fixed." This minor change is consistent with the goal of removing any impediments to expanding art mediums available to developers.