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AGOURA HILLS : New Law Seeks to Discourage Graffiti

In an effort to help rub out graffiti in the semirural areas northwest of Los Angeles, the Agoura Hills City Council has required merchants to keep spray paint out of customers’ reach.

Under an ordinance passed by the Council last week, spray paint and wide-tipped markers must be kept locked up or behind counters.

The ordinance also authorized the city to offer rewards for information leading to the conviction of graffiti artists, with amounts to be established later.

“For the last couple of years, we’ve had to put graffiti cleanup in our budget, so we’re not immune to the problem,” Councilwoman Darlene McBane said. “We’re trying to keep our neighborhood clean and discourage graffiti from coming out here.”

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The city of Los Angeles, which has a much more obvious graffiti problem, last year adopted a watershed ordinance requiring the lockup of spray paint and wide markers, partly due to reports that most spray paint used for graffiti is stolen.

Since then, cities in the Conejo Valley and west Ventura County area have agreed to consider similar measures. Agoura Hills was among the first to approve such a law.

State law already prohibits the sale of spray paint to minors. The maximum penalty for merchants who violate the law is a $1,000 fine and six months in jail.


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