Although the punishments for those who apply graffiti would remain intact, the impact of a proposed new anti-graffiti ordinance on property owners would be lessened under a revised version of the law. The original version of the proposed anti-graffiti ordinance was approved by council at its first reading at the Dec. 15 city council meeting, which advanced it along in the usual process to a public hearing and second reading, scheduled for council’s Jan. 20 meeting.
Since that December meeting, sponsors of the new ordinance (which include councilmembers Margie Teall, Carsten Hohnke, Leigh Greden, and Christopher Taylor) have met with various business owners, the Ann Arbor Area Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Development Authority, and city staff, which resulted in changes to the proposed ordinance.
Whereas the version approved at first reading called for a fine on property owners who did not remove graffiti in a timely fashion, and categorized violation by property owners as a civil infraction, the revised version to be heard at second reading eliminates the fine and explicitly states that violation is not a civil infraction or a misdemeanor. Further, the time frame for required removal of graffiti has been extended from 2 days if notice is given to the property owner directly or 4 days if notice is mailed, to 7 days and 9 days, respectively.
Because the revision involves a loosening of the proposal rather than a tightening of it, according to the city attorney’s office the ordinance will not be required to repeat a first reading.