Graffiti Abatement Program
Graffiti negatively affects the visual aesthetics of our community as well as the property values. Graffiti takes away from the community and gives the false impression that it is unsafe and that crime is a problem. Graffiti is a public nuisance.
Currently, the Public Works Department receives requests for graffiti removal from time to time. If the graffiti is on infrastructure in the public right of way, then, through various means determined by what material the graffiti was placed on, the graffiti is removed or abated. If the graffiti is on private property, Public Works staff will not remove or abate.
Rise in TaggingOver the past year and half a resurgence of graffiti in Missouri City led the Missouri City Police Department to recognize a problematic scenario instructed to make a report of each incident observed. Graffiti is classified as a criminal mischief, and one can be prosecuted if caught or charged. However most taggers, persons doing the graffiti, do not get caught and the crime goes unsolved.
Policy AmendmentsThe need for a code addressing graffiti or tagging abatement was discussed by staff from Police, Public Works, Code Enforcement, and Legal. Legal drafted an amendment to Article II Chapter 30, Section 30-52 that states: In cases where the graffiti was authorized by the property owner, a public officer shall determine whether the graffiti is a neighborhood blight or public nuisance. If the resident fails to remove or appeal within 10 days of the notification, the city may abate and charge back or access the property owner.
Legal also drafted a new Section 30-55, which outlines abatement hardship requirements. The city may provide a program to single family residential property owners if one of two criteria are meet:
- Property is occupied as a homestead and graffiti cannot be abated due to age, physical disability, dependent care obligations, or other limitations beyond their reasonable control
- Property owner demonstrates property has been tagged on two prior incidents within the last 180 days and graffiti was abated as required by code on each account
To report graffiti on private property, please contact the Code Enforcement Division at 281.403.8560.