Options Available for Graffiti Abatement

The City of Yakima seeks the community’s assistance while working toward a solution to the current graffiti problem.

“There is no question that graffiti, especially gang graffiti, drives violent crime,” said Yakima Police Chief Matthew Murray. “Graffiti is one of the primary forms of communication among rival gangs. It can often predict when the next shooting will take place, and actual shootings have demonstrated this to be true. The most effective means of removing the connection between graffiti and violence is rapid abatement. With the community’s help, we can also reduce graffiti and make our community a safer place.”

Recently, the Yakima City Council passed a revision to Section 11.11 of the Yakima Municipal Code. This will allow residents to use resources in a more efficient and economical manner. It will also provide more incentive for property owners, managers and tenants to abate or cover graffiti.

The City recommends the following measures, in order of preference, to abate graffiti in a timely manner:

  1. Tenant/Owner/Manager Abatement: Abate the graffiti immediately as the owner or tenant of the property that has been victimized. Sherwin-Williams Paint Store #8052 (1230 South 1st Street, Yakima, WA 98901) is offering a community discount coupon on paint if it has been determined you are a victim of graffiti within the city limits of Yakima. Report the graffiti by submitting a Yak Back request to have a Code Compliance Officer verify the graffiti and provide you with a coupon. The coupon availability is subject to a limited quantity and restrictions and exclusions may apply.
    1. City Supplied Paint: If you are unable to obtain paint and/or supplies but would still like to abate graffiti on your property, the City through donations from Walmart will provide a quart of paint and a brush or roller. If this is a feasible option for you, report the graffiti by submitting a Yak Back request and a Code Compliance Officer will contact you.
  2. City Of Yakima Graffiti Abatement Program: Those who are victims of graffiti can request the City’s graffiti abatement program to cover graffiti on their property. However, due to limited supplies and available work force, this is not a guaranteed service and may not be available at the time of request. The Yakima Municipal Code also identifies what areas get priority based on how the property is zoned in Section 11.11.035. A permission slip needs to be completed before the City can abate graffiti on your property.
  3. City Enforcement: If none of the options above are used and graffiti is not abated in a timely manner, Section 11.11.060 of the Yakima Municipal Code states a $25 penalty may be assessed if graffiti is not abated 10 days after a Notice of Intent has been issued. An additional $25 penalty may be added for every additional 5-day period thereafter. Abating graffiti in a timely manner will prevent penalties from accruing.

“Fining graffiti victims is absolutely the last resort,” said Communications and Public Affairs Director Randy Beehler. “The City will do all it can to assist residents and property owners if they are victims of graffiti.”

The preferred method of communication about graffiti is through the City Yak Back program. You can also call the Graffiti Hotline at (509) 575-3550.

Visit: https://www.yakimawa.gov/services/codes/graffiti-abatement-program/ for more about the City’s graffiti abatement program.