Compliance with Requirements for Private Development Art

stained glassOrdinance & Policies for Private Development Art

In 1990, the city passed the Art in Public Places Program through a percent of art ordinance. The law cemented a growth practice by the city and its many corporate residents who included significant piece of art and statements about art in their public spaces. See this page for examples of existing Private Development Art.

The ordinance, as amended requires the following:


Any new development with either $300,000 in building cost or 20 units of residential must pay a fee or install on-site public art of equal value as follows:

  • Private developers of non-residential buildings with building cost in excess of $300,000 allocate 1% of their building cost for public art.
  • Private developers of residential projects over 20 units allocate .5% of their building construction cost for public art.

The city must allocate 1.5% of building costs for municipal developments. Developers can choose to install public art on-site or donate the fee to the city's Art in Public Places fund.

More Information

The Emeryville Municipal Code Chapter 2, Article 4 sets forth the requirements of the Art in Public Places Program in Emeryville Municipal Code Article 4 (PDF) 


Guidelines for administration of the program are detailed in Resolution 90-115A (PDF).

Installing Art On-Site

Should a developer choice to install art on-site in lieu of paying the fee, a Developers' Public Art Application Form is required with mandatory attachments and proof of contract with a qualifying artist. These submittals will be used to coordinate with the Building Department in order to issue a Certificate of Occupancy. 

You can submit the form online here or request a PDF from the Art Coordinator. Should you need assistance complying with the ordinance with an onsite project please contact Amber Evans at 510-596-4382 or Upon submitting your project to Planning and Building you should have a plan for paying the fee or contracting for on-site art before you submit your fees.

Guide for Best Practices for Integrated Public Art Collection

See this guide for City of Emeryville best practices for public art.

Guide for Consultants

Click here to view a guide of consultants available for private developers.