San Clemente : Anti-Graffiti Ordinance to Be Introduced Today

Would-be artists and social critics who use spray paint to publicly express themselves may find their handiwork disappearing from walls and fences a little faster, should a proposed graffiti-control ordinance win City Council approval.

The ordinance, which tonight will be introduced for a preliminary vote, would make it illegal for minors to purchase spray paint and would prohibit anyone from possessing spray paint while at public parks, playgrounds or other recreational facilities.

Bob McDonnell, acting police chief, said Tuesday that while graffiti is not a big problem in San Clemente, officials there want to control its spread “so graffiti doesn’t breed more graffiti.”

Under the proposed ordinance, residents whose property sports graffiti would be required to eradicate it or foot the bill for the city doing it for them. Graffiti artists caught in the act would be forced to clean up after themselves.

If the ordinance is approved tonight, it will return for a second reading and final vote Sept. 18. If approved then, it would become law 30 days later.