Positive response by property owners bolsters graffiti cleanup effort

The response of property owners in the City of Asheville to the latest phase of the 123 Graffiti Free cleanup effort has been overwhelmingly positive, with 83% of those notified of tags on their property cleaning or covering the graffiti.

“We want to give a big thanks to all the property owners who have stepped up so far,” said Public Works Director Greg Shuler. “It takes everyone’s help to rid Asheville of graffiti, and this kind of response is really encouraging to see.”

Of 168 notices to remove sent since the beginning of November, 140 property owners have cleaned or covered graffiti within the time frame of the city ordinance. The notices ask property owners to remove tags within seven days.

“This quick action is the best way to discourage vandals,” Shuler said. The city’s Public Works crews continue to address tags on city-owned property, cleaning some 939 cases in January alone.

Meanwhile, the Asheville Police Department moves forward in its enforcement efforts against taggers, announcing on February 9 the arrest of four suspected graffiti vandals and seizure of graffiti supplies during a special operation in the River Arts District. All four suspects have been charged with injury to real property and other related charges.

In April 2014, Asheville City Council passed new civil penalties for graffiti offenders and followed that move with an extension of the cleanup assistance program rolled out in July, 2014.

Graffiti hurts the community, businesses and business growth. It reduces property values and can lead to increased crime activity. Report graffiti vandalism in progress by calling 911. To report graffiti vandalism on city-owned property, call (828) 252-1110 or use the Asheville App (ashevillenc.gov/ashevilleapp.) To report tagging in Buncombe County, call (828) 250-6670.

Find more information about Asheville’s 123 Graffiti Free Initiative on the Projects Page.