Published: Dec 22, 2012 07:00 PM
Modified: Dec 22, 2012 03:54 PM
CHAPEL HILL - Two local businessmen acknowledged Wednesday they hung really big posters in a restaurants windows along N.C. 54 without asking for permission.
The Public Arts Commission and town staff will have the final say on whether the posters are signs subject to the towns rules.
On Wednesday, the Community Design Commission, a town advisory board, recommended that the staff and the arts commission decide whether the posters hanging in the Tobacco Road restaurant are appropriate. Another concern was whether other businesses will want the same type of advertising.
The town staff does not consider the posters, which some called murals, to be signs, senior planner Kay Pearlstein said.
All public art, including painter Michael Browns downtown murals, however, must go before the Public Arts Commission.
Ben Perry, a representative of East-West Partners, which owns the East 54 complex where the restaurant is, acknowledged not doing that.
I think its been a learning experience for all of us, he said. I certainly dont think there will be any more going up without coming to you first.
The 12-foot by 22-foot vinyl posters feature iconic shots of former Tar Heels Coach Dean Smith and assistant coach Roy Williams at the 1984 ACC playoffs, and former Tar Heel Michael Jordan at the 1982 NCAA championship game in New Orleans.
They block a view of the kitchen and, if allowed, will be there a long time, owner Brian Amra said.
The towns review started with a Glen Lennox residents letter to the editor.
Amra said that was the only negative response out of more than 90 emails. Williams loves the windows, he said.
Commission member Laura Moore said she remembers approving East 54s architecture.
I dont like or dislike that image up there, she said. What I dont like is the building was approved with a clear glass window, and now this is here, and nobody knows whos supposed to approve it.
Member John Gualtieri said the posters may be inappropriate.
This is really important entrance to the town, and I think Chapel Hill is about a lot more than just these two people that have been built up to be superhuman in this town, he said.