“Basic Batch” Mural Causes Upset in University Park

Two anonymous calls to the University Park Community Development department about a playful mural painted on the side of the newly-opened Biscuit Bar near SMU has resulted in a notice of code violation and a potential loss of about $6,000 for the owners.

In an attempt to attract nearby college students to the eatery, co-owner Janie Burkett said she paid an Austin artist $6,000 to paint two murals on the property.

Courtesy: Instagram

One, inside their covered patio, says, “Don’t Worry. Be Tappy” and facing the street, another reads “Don’t be a basic batch.”

The latter drew the attention of passerby and city officials who gave the care owners until Aug. 19 to address the issue.

According to the city’s sign ordinance, which includes murals, “signs located on the side of the building other than where its main entrance or address is located shall not exceed two square feet for each one linear foot.”

Steve Mace, UP communication director, said businesses have a specific amount of space they can use for signage. Biscuit Bar, he said opened with two signs, and when they added the murals, they exceeded allowable space.

“Please note, the owners did not check with the city concerning possible restrictions before they put the murals up,” he added. 

Mace said the owners have talked with the city’s community development department.

“They advised the owners that they can request approval of a Special Sign District,” he said.  

Approval of a Special Sign District would establish different signage requirements for the property than what the ordinance allows. Their request would be heard by the City’s Zoning and Development Advisory Committee. 

That committee would then forward a recommendation to City Council.

The next ZADAC meeting is Oct. 16. 

The owners will need to request by Sept. 16 to be on the Oct. 16 committee agenda. 

There are several Special Sign Districts in University Park.  Among them: the SMU campus, Preston Center Plaza, Park Cities Family YMCA, Hilltop Plaza, Highland Park High School, Park Cities Baptist Church, and Highland Park Presbyterian Church.

Bianca R. Montes

Bianca Montes is an award-winning journalist and former Managing Editor of Park Cities People. She currently serves as a Senior Editor with D Magazine's D CEO publication. You can reach her by email at [email protected] or follow her on Instagram @Bianca_TBD. For the latest news, click here to sign up for our newsletter.

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