Homeowners would have to clean up graffiti on their property or be fined under an ordinance the Lynnwood City Council is considering.
As it’s currently written, the measure would require a property owner to remove the graffiti within five business days of receiving written notification from the city. If they fail to do so, they would face a fine of $100 for the first offense, $300 for the second offense and $500 for each subsequent offense. Each day counts as a separate violation. The city could extend the deadline under special circumstances.
Councilman Mark Smith said he supports the five day requirement. “Study after study after study has shown that effective remediation of graffiti depends on how fast it’s done.”
Smith said there was a period of time when his neighborhood would get hit every weekend.
The ordinance reads, in part, “graffiti is a visual symbol of disorder that demoralizes and erodes feelings of safety in our neighborhoods, contributes to neighborhood decline by inviting crime and leading to a climate of intimidation in our neighborhoods, lowers property value, commerce, community pride and tax revenues.”
If the graffiti isn’t removed, city workers will do it and bill the property owner for the cost.
The Council is expected to vote on the ordinance on Sept. 13.
The Lynnwood Police Department offers rewards for the arrest of graffiti vandals. The Most Wanted Tagger program pays $50 for tipsters who can identify a tagger and another $50 if they make an arrest.