News

How long is too long for graffiti to linger?

This Chronicle archive photo shows Creswell’s Old Schoolhouse after it was hit by graffiti last September. CHRONICLE ARCHIVES

City council again revisited the idea of implementing a graffiti removal ordinance at April’s work session, after it was realized that there is no requirement to remove graffiti in the current code.
The core of the discussion revolved around how much time property owners should be given to clean up their graffitied property.
Last month, City Economic Coordinator Michael DeHart suggested that the council consider creating specific language to address the public nuisance of the continued existence of graffiti, by requiring that property owners remove graffiti within 10 days after receiving a notice from the City.
This month, concerned community member Lyn Cole suggested that the timeframe be shorter than 10 days and noted she would like to see a real discussion about creating an ordinance with more teeth. Cole said that the longer graffiti stays on the walls, the more inviting it is for others to do the same.
In response, council discussed the idea of not piggybacking off of an already-created ordinance by another city such as Cottage Grove, but instead tailoring a new ordinance specific to Creswell’s needs.
Council discussed creating different abatement timelines for residential, commercial, industrial and abandoned properties. Council President Richard Zettervall agreed with Cole, and suggested that commercial property owners be given three days, and residential owners be given five days to clean up their vandalised property.
Additionally, council asked that the ordinance lay out the citation and abatement process from violation through council approved abatement.
A draft ordinance will be presented at the next city council work session on May 21.
The City encourages its citizens to voice their wants and their concerns about graffiti removal to City Hall.
Residents are welcome to call City Hall at 541-895-2531, stop in at 13 S. 1st St. to discuss concerns, or email Mayor Dave Stram at [email protected] with your thoughts.
The next city council meeting will be held on Monday, May 7 at 7 p.m. in City Hall. The next work session is slated for Monday, May 21 at 6 p.m. in the same location. Both meetings are open to the public.