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Graffiti Abatement Program

General Information about Code Enforcement



Roanoke's graffiti ordinance (Chapter 21, Article I, of the Code of the City of Roanoke) prohibits, on private property, the unauthorized painting or marking of a building or other structure (fences, walls, etc.), without the property owner’s authorization.

THE PROCESS
  1. A code enforcement inspector receives a complaint, or while canvassing in the field happens to see graffiti on a structure.
  2. The inspector makes a determination as to whether it is on private property, the public right of way, or on a device or structure belonging to a utility. Photographs are taken. If the graffiti is not on “private property”, and therefore not within the scope of the City’s ordinance, the agency best equipped to handle the complaint will be contacted.
  3. If graffiti is on privately-owned structure the inspector determines who owns or controls the property and sends a citation letter requiring the graffiti to be removed or otherwise “abated” (usually painted over) within 15 days. The inspector may also contact the owner directly by phone or e-mail.
  4. Included with the graffiti letter is a questionaire which the owner may fill out and return to Code Enforcement. This form allows the owner to “authorize” the graffiti if it was applied by permission, to request that the City remove the graffiti, or to note that it will be removed voluntarily.
  5. If it appears that the graffiti is gang related, the Police Department will be notified.
  6. If the graffiti isn’t voluntarily removed, or Code Enforcement does not hear from or receive the questionaire form from the owner within 15 days (or a reasonable time afterward, given the specific circumstance), the graffiti will be abated by volunteers from the Code Enforcement department. This is usually done free of charge. However, if the graffiti was found on a vacant structure the City may bill the property owner for the removal.

TO REPORT A VIOLATION

IF YOU WERE CITED...
    If you were cited for a violation and would like to speak with an inspector, please call the Code Enforcement Office at 540-853-2344. Our goal is to obtain voluntary compliance. Most reasonable requests for extra time or for referrals for special assistance are granted, whenever possible.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON GRAFFITI
    If you have graffiti issues in your neighborhood there are things you can do. For community-based graffiti prevention resources, the website, Graffiti Hurts, is available for your convenience.

FOR GRAFFITI NOT ON PRIVATE PROPERTY IN THE CITY

Please contact Code Enforcement at the number above and we will forward your complaint to the correct authority.