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posted: 6/11/2019 5:33 AM

Steel panels do in plan for Mundelein mural

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Despite a history of encouraging public art projects, Mundelein officials on Monday rejected a plan for a mural at a local shopping center.

The proposal called for the mural to be painted on steel panels attached to a chain-link fence at 1220-1260 S. Lake St.

The L-shaped center is home to the Music Workshop learning center and recording space and a day-care business called Children's House. Other storefronts are vacant.

The landlords, Hunter and James Prendergast, wanted to commission the mural to make the property more visually appealing, according to village documents.

But the village board spurned the plan by denying requests both for the mural and the installation of the steel panels it would've been painted upon.

Metal panels are not permitted as a fence material in Mundelein.

Last December, village officials learned panels had been attached to the fence without a building permit, and the landlords were told to remove them.

In March, the village's planning and zoning commission recommended denial of both the metal panels and the mural.

Commissioners expressed safety concerns about the fence.

On Monday, trustees unanimously opposed giving the Prendergasts permission to use metal panels on the fence.

They then twice voted 4-2 to deny a special-use permit and a zoning variation for the proposed mural.

Trustees Ray Semple and Dawn Abernathy were in the minority both times.

Abernathy indicated she didn't want to prevent the landlords from proposing a mural on the building. Trustee Erich Schwenk said the landlords still can develop such a proposal.

Mundelein officials have developed or assisted several public arts projects in recent years, including a statue at the police station and the decorative painting of some roadside utility boxes.

Last summer, an Italian artist painted a 66-foot-long mural on the east side of the Area General Store, 18 E. Park St., that features the town's name and images depicting elements of Mundelein.