June 27, 2012
Beginning July 1, the city of Phoenix Neighborhood Services Department (NSD) will launch the “Graffiti Free Phoenix” pilot program. The program involves the area located from 43rd to 59th avenues between McDowell and Camelback roads and includes properties on major thoroughfares. This area was chosen because of the high volume of graffiti removals in the past year.
"Graffiti is a crime that impacts every resident of Phoenix, and we must all be part of the solution," said Councilman Daniel Valenzuela, chairman of the City Council Neighborhoods, Planning and Development, Housing and Homeless Subcommittee. "I advocated for this pilot program because it will engage business owners and residents in the city's anti-graffiti efforts and help us revitalize our neighborhoods."
The program is simple. The city’s team of Graffiti Busters and Neighborhood Preservation inspectors will work together to remove and track the first three graffiti removals at no charge. Each time the business owner/operator will receive educational materials and free color-matched paint for self-removal. Once the fourth graffiti incident occurs, the enforcement process will begin.
Owner/operators that receive a Notice of Violation (NOV) for graffiti will have five days to remove the graffiti. Citations will be issued if the graffiti isn’t removed within the five days. At this point, the city’s Graffiti Busters will remove the graffiti and the case will continue through the regular code enforcement court process.
Last month, city staff conducted a “knock and talk” with businesses and homes in the focus area. The response was overwhelmingly positive and owners/operators were receptive to the program.
The Graffiti Free Phoenix pilot program was a recommendation of the city’s Anti-Graffiti Task Force, which was formed in March 2011 and co-chaired by City Councilmembers Michael Nowakowski and Tom Simplot. City staff and several active community leaders served on the task force and contributed ideas to meet its goals of developing additional methods to fight graffiti, exploring outreach methods to attract more businesses and residents to join existing anti-graffiti efforts, and identifying opportunities to educate residents on the impact of graffiti. The pilot program and other recommendations were approved by the Mayor and City Council in April.
In support of the pilot program, NSD will help mobilize hundreds of residents across Phoenix in a combined effort to wipe out graffiti in their communities. Volunteers are needed for Graffiti Free Phoenix: Wipe It Out! Day from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Nov. 3. To volunteer, visit myvolunteerphoenix.org and type “Graffiti Free Phoenix” in the search bar.
To learn about more about the Graffiti Free Phoenix pilot program, call 602-534-4444, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit phoenix.gov/NSD.
|Stephanie Ribodal Romero