City Makes Graffiti a 'Nuisance,' Bans Sale of Graffiti Implements to Minors

Release Date: 
03/25/2013

The Hermiston City Council tonight voted to make graffiti a nuisance under the city’s existing nuisance codes, and banned the sale of graffiti implements to minors.

Property owners with graffiti on their property will now be subject to the same abatement process as those who have other nuisances like weeds and junk, when the new ordinances take effect April 25.

The existing nuisance code allows property owners 15 days to fix the problem before action is taken by the city.  Under the new code, that time frame has been reduced to seven days.  After the seven day grace-period, the abatement process remains the same as in existing code, where the city may then clean up the nuisance and charge the expense to the property owner.  If the expense isn’t paid within 60 days, the cost will become a lien on the property.  The changes made Monday added in a financial hardship clause for property owners unable to afford the cost of abatement.

The ban on the sale of graffiti implements to minors uses existing code language which defines a graffiti implement as an aerosol paint can, etching device, graffiti stick, or felt tipped marker wider than one quarter of an inch.  The change also prohibits minors from possessing graffiti implements unless given to them by an employer for their job, a parent with permission from the property owner, a school official for a school activity, or a city official for a city activity.

Ordinance #2197, which makes the changes to nuisance code can be viewed here and ordinance #2198, which makes changes to the graffiti code, can be viewed here.

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