I blogged about the problem of graffiti on downtown buildings back in 2008 and again in 2009 so I was glad to see this item on the tentative agenda for the April 6 City Council meeting: First reading of Ordinance No. 909 – Graffiti ordinance.
As you can see from the photos above that I took this week, graffiti from the 2008 incident is still visible on some buildings. (I’ve removed the password protection on the post with the photo slideshow.)
I could find nothing on the City’s web site about the proposed ordinance (sigh) but a building owner emailed it to me and I’ve converted it to a PDF here.
90% of the proposed ordinance language is oriented towards dealing with the property owners (victims) who don’t remove the graffiti. There’s nothing about prevention or surveillance, nothing about the restrictions for buildings in the historic district, nothing about funds to help building owners with the costs of graffiti removal, etc.
This draft needs reworking, IMHO, so I’m curious how it got this far without the involvement of the Streetscape Task Force (STF) and the Heritage Preservation Commission (HPC). I don’t see anything in recent STF agendas on this issue, even though their mission includes this:
2. Explore the development of a program that may assist downtown property owners with vandalism/graffiti prevention.
Page 71 of the Streetscape Task Force plan says “HPC should develop grant program for removing graffiti from historic buildings – an expensive process.” I don’t see anything in recent HPC agendas on this issue either.