New 3-Brushed Approach to Graffiti Abatement in Lomita
The City of Lomita is dedicated to the improvement of our community through measures that combat vandalism while also promoting artistic expression and beauty. Our city features many large, blank walls, or “blank canvases”, that can be enticing to vandals. Visible signs of disorder such as graffiti within a community may perpetuate and exacerbate harmful conduct. More formal covering of “blank canvases” through design strategies such as murals can help to ensure that we are not only ridding our city of graffiti, but also promoting beauty through creative expression. In order to ensure that we are striving towards this mission, we have developed a “3-Brushed” approach to protect your “blank canvas” from graffiti:
- Cover Your Canvas [ideas for property owners to prevent graffiti]
- Graffiti-resistant coating: Various types of coatings chemically designed to protect surfaces from graffiti are available for purchase at hardware stores, home improvement stores, and Amazon.
- Install lighting: Proper lighting can deter graffiti artists as it may be easier to complete a tagging in a poorly lit area.
- Install security cameras: Security cameras may help to identify vandals, which decreases the likelihood of future graffiti.
- Buffer physical access to the canvas with landscaping: Enhance your property with natural beauty such as bushes, hedges, and/or flowers near walls to create a physical buffer that inhibits artist access.
- Plant trees: Planting trees in front of blank walls can make it more difficult to access and tag walls. Trees also limit visibility of any tagging on the walls, making the location less desired by graffiti artists.
- Cover with wall vegetation: Ivy and other similar vegetation can physically prevent graffiti as it creates a natural plant barrier on the surface of the wall while also adding to aesthetic.
- Add lattice or replace with a perforated design: Graffiti artists typically tag flat, seamless surfaces, so consider adding lattice work or a perforated design for enhanced dimension. This may include decorative punch-outs in walls or an additional perforated layer fastened to the wall.
- Repaint with a multicolor pattern or mural: Graffiti is more visible when a wall is painted using one color, so it is best to include patterns with diverse and alternating colors to deter tagging. Murals are permitted and encouraged within Lomita with Planning Commission approval. Look for a few popping up this winter and spring around Downtown Lomita! Please reach out to the Lomita Planning Division for more information at email@example.com or 310-325-7110. Staff is working on a resolution to reduce fees associated with mural approvals to be considered by City Council in early 2024.
- Care For Your Canvas [graffiti-related laws and measures available for its removal]
Lomita Municipal Code maintains measures to protect all properties and prevent future graffiti. You may report the identification of a code violation to firstname.lastname@example.org by phone at 310-325-7110, extension 156.
- Penalty: Any person who writes, sprays, scratches, or otherwise affixes graffiti on any real or personal property not his or her own is guilty of an infraction.
- Graffiti & Minors: No person shall sell or give to a minor any aerosol container that is capable of defacing property.
- No minor shall purchase an aerosol container of paint that is capable of defacing property.
- No minor shall possess an aerosol container for the purpose of defacing property while upon any public place.
- No person, other than a parent or legal guardian, shall furnish a graffiti implement to a minor.
- Required Signage: Businesses offering aerosol paint containers must post a sign stating: “Any person who maliciously defaces real or personal property with paint is guilty of vandalism which is punishable by fine, imprisonment or both.”
- Graffiti-Related Materials: No person shall carry an aerosol container of paint while in any posted public facility.
- Graffiti Removal:
- Owners shall remove graffiti from private property within the amount of days indicated by notice, otherwise Code Enforcement must proceed with citations.
- Permissive Removal: If a property owner consents, the City may remove graffiti on behalf of the property owner subject to a fee. This form will soon be available on this webpage.
- Public Nuisance: If a property owner fails to remove graffiti or elect for Permissive Removal, the site may be declared a Public Nuisance, forcing removal.
- Common Canvas: [education & artistic expression in real life!]
Coming soon! City Staff has partnered with a local muralist to educate our youth regarding graffiti and is conducting a mural competition! The City recognizes that graffiti is often the product of not having a proper creative outlet. Through teaching students about the dangers of graffiti and providing them with the tools to beautify our city, we hope to prevent future vandalism. The mural will be unveiled in a location at Lomita Park as part of the Anti-Gang and Drug Free Walk early this summer.