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L.A. requires anti-graffiti materials on all new single-family homes

September 29, 2009 |  3:07 pm


Opening a new front in the city's efforts to reduce tagging, the Los Angeles City Council today approved an ordinance requiring that new homes built in the city include some type of finish that is resistant to graffiti spray paint.

The new law is an extension of rules that already exist in the Los Angeles Municipal Code that commercial buildings and apartments must be finished with a hard, smooth, impermeable surface, such as ceramic tile or baked enamel.

Previously, single-family homes and duplexes were exempt.

“The bottom line is we spend a lot of money on graffiti removal,” said council member Bill Rosendahl. “Wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t have to spend this much money?”

The ordinance, which was unanimously approved, offers an exemption to owners who sign an agreement with the city to remove any graffiti that appears on their property within seven days. 

Architects and developers had complained that the anti-graffiti measure limits their choice of construction materials.

City officials acknowledge that not all construction materials are compatible with approved finishes. Some types of coatings also cause discoloration to a building’s surface.

The rules require that the first nine feet of the exterior walls and doors be covered by anti-graffiti materials.

Officials have tried many things over the year to reduce graffiti, including high-tech camera systems and programs to charge parents for their children's vandalism.

--Alexandra Zavis at L.A. City Hall.

Photo: Los Angeles Times file

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