Graffiti Ordinance

photo of graffit removal

The Larimer County Board of County Commissioners adopted ordinance number 12042006001-An Ordinance Relating to the Control and Prevention of Graffiti in the Unincorporated Territory of Larimer County ("Graffiti Ordinance") effective January 15, 2007. The ordinance was adopted in response to increasing problems with graffiti, and disturbances and vandalism associated with the placement of graffiti in the County.

Did you know the term graffiti comes from the Greek word "graphein" meaning "to write?" According to the Bureau of Justice, graffiti is the most common type of property vandalism. As stated by G. Raymond Empson, President of Keep America Beautiful: "Wherever it occurs, graffiti vandalism sends an unspoken message that a community is in decline. . . . By eradicating existing graffiti, and preventing new attacks, communities can reduce crime, raise property values, and significantly improve local quality-of-life."

Larimer County needs the help of property owners to remove graffiti as soon as possible so it does not attract more criminal activity. Pursuant to the Graffiti Ordinance, when graffiti is reported to the Larimer County Code Compliance Section, a Notice to Remove Graffiti will be served on the "property caretaker" (a person owning, leasing, occupying or having control or possession of the property), together with an informational handout . The graffiti must be removed within ten (10) days from the date of the Notice. (The property caretaker also has the option of filing an objection to the Notice which will result in a hearing before the Board of County Commissioners).

If the graffiti is not removed within ten (10) days and the property caretaker has not filed an objection, the County will automatically remove the graffiti and a bill will be sent to the property caretaker for the costs of the graffiti removal and a County administrative fee not to exceed $200.00 which must be paid within 30 days.

Although it is the responsibility of the property caretaker to remove graffiti, the County recognizes the property caretaker is the victim of graffiti vandalism and investigates all reported sightings of graffiti. If the property owner wants a Sheriff's report to be taken or to provide any information relevant to the vandalism, the owner may call the Sheriff's Office at the following numbers:

(970) 498-5100, Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
(970) 416-1985, after hours

If the person or people who applied the graffiti are caught, they will be prosecuted through the criminal court system by the Larimer County District Attorney's Office.

For more information about graffiti, we recommend you visit the Graffiti Hurts website.