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Taylorsville considers graffiti-tool ordinance

TAYLORSVILLE — This city has gone back to the drawing board in the war against graffiti and has returned with a proposal meant to disarm the enemy.

The Taylorsville City Council will consider an ordinance Wednesday that would make it illegal to possess any "graffiti implement" — such as spray paint and broad-tipped markers — inside city parks or within 50 feet of public property such as overpasses, bridges and road signs.

The proposal is the most recent call to arms in a fight that came to a head about a year ago when Taylorsville sued the older brother of a teen who vandalized the Jordan River Bridge and other public property.

That brother, the legal guardian of his "graffiti punk" brother, is now making payments to the city, said Taylorsville Mayor Russ Wall.

If the proposed ordinance is passed, it would beef up the section of code naming graffiti a nuisance, Wall said. But the mayor was quick to point out that lawsuits and other efforts have been successful in slowing incidents of graffiti.

Provo passed a similar ordinance in March 2008. Other cities, including West Valley City, have taken to using video cameras and graffiti-fighting trucks to stem incidences of graffiti. If the council adopts the new rules, city personnel will be tasked with cleaning up graffiti within 48 hours of it being reported. As written, the proposal calls for shops that sell "graffiti implements" to post signs declaring graffiti illegal and warning of possible sentences of jail time and fines. The proposal was birthed in the city's ordinance advisory committee, the mayor said. That committee reviews all city rules regularly and makes recommendations to elected officials.

The council will be discussing the issue during its 6:30 p.m. meeting at City Hall, 2600 W. Taylorsville Blvd.

e-mail: rpalmer@desnews.com