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Does our neighborhood have a graffiti problem?

We get a fair number of emails and messages complaining about it and one reader recently asked if anyone in the neighborhood is interested in tackling the problem.

One place that’s been a perennial favorite of taggers for years (as the commenters on this 2013 post attest), is the long-vacant building at 7706 and 7708 Greenwood Avenue. Here’s a picture from earlier this evening that shows a snippet of the graffiti again covering the building:


The owners, Scott Walker and Rene Vaughan, were called before the city Hearing Examiner last June after being cited for failing to clean up the graffiti-covered building in a timely manner.

Walker and Vaughan could have been fined up to $5,000, but the Hearing Examiner waived any fines.

Why? The Hearing Examiner noted in part that it appeared this was the first time they’d been cited for not cleaning up the graffiti:

Mr. Walker did not respond to the removal letter and the second notice sent by SPU. However, at hearing, Mr. Walker was cooperative, acknowledged his responsibilities under the law, and had begun the abatement process, which he completed soon after the hearing. This also appears to be the first Notice of Civil Violation issued to him. In light of these factors, no monetary penalty will be assessed.

If you’re concerned about graffiti, some recommendations from the city for graffiti prevention and removal:

  • If you see someone tagging property, call 911. Graffiti vandals must be caught in action to be prosecuted.
  • You can report graffiti on public or private property through an online form link found on this page, or call the city at (206) 684-7587.
  • If it’s your private property that’s tagged, you can make a police report by calling (206) 625-5011.
  • If your property has been hit, take a picture for insurance purposes, then immediately remove or paint over the graffiti.
  • Another option can be to volunteer to clean up graffiti. Seattle Public Utilities offers free supplies and has a waiver property owners can sign that allows SPU to remove graffiti for the owners at least once a month.

So, is there a problem? And if so, what should be done?