City Council does not pass graffiti ordinance

The Lynnwood City Council was split on an ordinance that would require citizens to remove graffiti on their property or be fined.

The ordinance required a majority vote of the Council to pass. At last night’s meeting, three councilmembers voted yes and three voted no. The seventh vote would have come from Stephanie Wright, who left the City Council last month to serve on the Snohomish County Council.

Under the ordinance, property owners could be fined if they failed to remove graffiti within five business days. A first offense would be $50, a second would be $100 and each subsequent offense would be $250. (Those fines were lowered from the original ordinance.)

Councilmember Kerri Lonergan said the measure unfairly penalizes crime victims. “I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect the victim to get out and get rid of graffiti in a five-day time frame,” she said before the vote. “There is an approach that’s currently working. The police force is doing an excellent job with graffiti. I’ve noticed that within in the past couple of years the frequency of graffiti in Lynnwood has dropped dramatically.”

Councilmember Jim Smith agreed. “It just isn’t fair to start victimizing those that have been preyed upon by these hoodlums that are doing this. It’s an intrusion of private property rights as far as I’m concerned.”

Councilmember Kimberly Cole spoke in favor of the ordinance. “As a property owner right off of Highway 99, we have graffiti that occurs quite often… and it is something that we take care of ourselves. Much like if a neighborhood child were to toss a rock through my window, I think that I would have to take responsibility for making sure that got fixed.”

Council President Ted Hikel argued, “I look at this as an opportunity for us to call on our citizens to participate in the upkeep of our city. I think it’s a reasonable ordinance as long as it’s applied reasonably.”

Councilmembers Ted Hikel, Mark Smith and Kimberly Cole voted in favor of the ordinance. Councilmembers Kerri Lonergan, Loren Simmons and Jim Smith voted against it.

  1. Strangely enough, the way that ridiculous money-grab, I mean “ordinance” was written, you could make the argument that because you allowed it, it doesn't meet the definition of graffiti.

    This town can't shake you down for cash often enough or hard enough. What's next? Fining people for not getting their garbage can off the curb within a specific time frame?

    I probably shouldn't have said that. It'll give them ideas!

  2. Kim Cole must be on crack. If a child threw a rock through my window, I would find that child's parent(s) and I would make sure that they paid to fix it! I doubt if Mrs. Cole would have the same view, if the same child threw a rock through the same window on a weekly basis, and she had to fix it within five days each time!

  3. Mr Hikel, I've been to your home, I need say no more!!!! Been to the Mayor's home, I need say no more about that either!! Have you heard about cleaning your own home first before going to your neighbors?

  4. Correct. And beyond that… where is the compelling need for this ordinance? Council needs to get back to basics and stop trying to micromanage the daylights out of people's private lives like a bunch of puritanical blue-haired busybodies. If I wanted to live in a goddamned home-owners association I wouldn't be living in Lynnwood.

  5. Lynnwood is such a hole, the only people who could possibly like it here in Lynnwood have either lived in crap holes like Grays Harbor or Everett.

  6. tom, you are a troll, if you dont like lynnwood dont live there, end of story. why do you participate in a regional online forum that you dont like?

  7. I think the law should read as such:
    if the grafitti is in viewable from the street or sidewalk then it should be the responsibility of the owner to remove it or cover it. if after (a specified time, 10 days should be reasonable) the owner has not responded then it should be legal for a neigbor to remove it. lynnwood also has a great volunteer group that has the tools to remove grafitti but are not allowed to do so on private property, only public property such as public utility boxes or dumpsters. the legality of 3rd party removal should also be extended to law enforcement, the volunteer groups in lynnwood would be more than happy to do this under the supervision of law enforcement.

  8. I'm sorry you are so unhappy Tom. It seems that anywhere you live is not acceptable. Do 'ya think it might be you???

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Real first and last names — as well as city of residence — are required for all commenters.
This is so we can verify your identity before approving your comment.