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Chris Brown appeals citation and fine for monstrous home murals

UPI News Service, 06/22/2013 

Chris Brown's attorney filed an appeal with the city of Los Angeles over a citation and fine the singer received for large murals on the walls outside his home.

The murals feature 8-foot-tall monsters painted in bright colors. They are done in the style of street art that has long been a Los Angeles feature, although often painted illicitly.

Neighbors in the swanky Hollywood Hills neighborhood have filed complaints about the large paintings, saying they scare children.

"There are lots of babies, lots of children, and they're literally frightened," said Patti Negri, president of the Hollywood Dell Civic Association. "It's like devils on the wall -- big scary eyes and big scary teeth, and just the whole vibe is not what we're used to."

Mark Geragos, Brown's lawyer, said the murals are artistic expression and as such are covered by the First Amendment.

"The murals painted on the exterior of the structure are for the sole purpose of enhancing the architectural and aesthetic features of the residential property," said in the filing.

Brown was cited for "unpermitted and excessive signage" and was fined $376.

Because the murals are art and not signage, Geragos said Brown doesn't require a permit, especially since it's a residential home, not a business.

In the filing, Geragos said the city ordinances governing public murals is unconstitutionally vague.

The city is considering a new ordinance that would legalize street art in certain zones of the city and on certain types of property, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.

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