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Graffiti Control and Regulation

This page provides examples of Washington local government ordinances and programs that control and/or regulate graffiti, including a list of applicable statutes.

Overview

Graffiti on public and private property continues to be a problem in many jurisdictions. The following list of programs and ordinance examples from Washington State reflects the variety of approaches that jurisdictions have taken to control and/or regulate graffiti. Sample ordinance provisions include those that prohibit the sale and possession of aerosol paint and markers to minors, and those that require removal of graffiti within a specified time period. The latter may include removal by the perpetrator if known, or the property owner. Some of the provisions provide detailed notice and hearing procedures.

Statutes

  • RCW 9A.48.090 - Malicious mischief in the third degree - Makes acts of graffiti malicious mischief in the third degree.
  • RCW 9A.48.105 - Criminal street gang tagging and graffiti
  • RCW 4.24.190 - Action against parent for willful injury to person or property by minor - Monetary limitation - Common law liability preserved. - Imposes financial responsibility on the parents of minors involved in acts of graffiti in some circumstances.

Programs and Ordinance Provisions

  • Battle Ground
  • Burien Graffiti Removal - Includes information on a Graffiti Removal Program for Commercial Properties
    • Burien Municipal Code Ch. 8.55 - Graffiti Removal - Prohibits graffiti; provides 5 days to remove graffiti after notice
  • Everett Graffiti Program
  • Kent Graffiti Removal
    • Kent Municipal Code Sec. 9.02.660 - Possession of Graffiti Tools - See also Graffiti under Public Nuisances Ch. 8.01
  • Kirkland Public Works Anti-Graffiti
  • Marysville Municipal Code Ch. 6.25 - Graffiti Nuisance - Includes prohibition on sale or gift of aerosol paint and indelible markers; presence of graffiti is civil infraction ($25/day); requires removal 48 hours after notice; provides notice and abatement procedures; and provides for rewards
  • Monroe Municipal Code Ch. 9.22 - Graffiti - Prohibits possession of graffiti implements near schools by minors; prohibits possession of graffiti implements in public places; prohibits furnishing any aerosol paint container, broad-tipped marker, or paint stick to a minor; regulates display and storage of graffiti implements and requires signage; requires graffiti to be removed within 20 days after notice
  • Pasco Graffiti Abatement Program
  • Renton Wipe Out Graffiti 
  • Seattle Graffiti Prevention & Removal - Seattle Public Utilities
  • Sequim Graffiti
    • Sequim Municipal Code Ch. 8.07- Graffiti Control - Requires removal of graffiti within 10 days after notice, provides abatement procedure including language for notice to remove graffiti, authorizes city to pay reward, passed 07/2007
  • Snohomish Municipal Code Ch. 9.96 - Graffiti Nuisance - Requires removal of graffiti within 48 hours, details abatement procedures, provides for reward
  • Tacoma Graffiti Clean Up - Includes information on the city's Graffiti Rapid Removal Program. The City is partnering with Goodwill on a pilot project basis to provide graffiti removal services along key corridors. in the city at no cost to the property owner.
  • Toppenish Municipal Code Ch. 9.84 - Sale of Aerosol Containers of Paint to Minors - Includes provisions prohibiting possession of aerosol containers of paint by minors in public place
  • Yakima
    • Yakima Paint Out Graffiti, Office of Code Administration -The city has a graffiti paint-out program to assist property owners who have been tagged. A permission slip is required to be signed by the property owner before the graffiti can be painted over. Paint Out Graffiti Property Owner Permission Form
    • Yak Back - A convenient way to help the city find graffiti by filling out a Yak Back Report
    • Yakima Municipal Code Ch. 6.50 - Graffiti - Provides any establishment selling aerosol paint, broad tipped markers, paint sticks or graffiti sticks to have a sign stating that graffiti is against the law; requires perpetrator to remove graffiti within 72 hours after notice; provides for restitution and community service; details notice procedures

Last Modified: July 18, 2016