Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Graffiti Still Not Removed From Bike Shop At NE 45th Street And Sand Point Way

Several months ago, vandals tagged the upstairs of the Bicycle Center (4529 Sand Point Way NE) with graffiti.

According to the Graffiti Nuisance Ordinance SMC 10.07.030, businesses  are required to  remove graffiti in a timely manner.  

The bike shop owner, John Marxer, who has been there since 1969, nor the landlord have removed the graffiti and many residents are asking why, as the graffiti only adds to the dilapidated look of the building, as many neighbors describe it.

The Laurelhurst Blog emailed the address shown on the store website inquiring about when the graffiti would be removed and didn't receive a response.

in 2005 the upstairs sustained about $75,000 in damage after an arson fire supposedly started by an employee who wasn't paid. No repairs were ever done following the fire to the deck, siding or the two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment, leaving it completely fire damaged.

Two years ago, a volunteer group from University Presbyterian Churchpainted the neglected, visibly blackened smoke-damaged building a bright turquoise color and covered the broken windows with plastic, spray painted in bright green as well. 

A few weeks later, the plastic started to fall away from the windows and flap around in the wind, showing the broken windows and neglected upstairs area.

The Laurelhurst Blog reported the issue to the City which generated a report.  Kim, a Graffiti Intake Specialist, with Seattle Public Utilities said: 
A letter to the property owner was generated and sent from our office on February 4, 2015.Since the graffiti is on private property, notification and follow-up with the property owner can take between 20-45 days, according to the Private Property Enforcement Process Timeline, before the graffiti is removed.   
The timeline reflects the average time it takes to manage private property complaints in which SPU is able to locate the property owner and send a letter.
SPU allows 10 calendar days for the property owner to remove the graffiti.  Failure to remove the graffiti is a violation of the Graffiti Nuisance Code and can result in monetary penalties.   
A site inspection of the property is made 14 days after the mailing of the initial letter to determine if the graffiti has been removed.  If the graffiti is still present, a second letter is sent to the property owner via certified mail notifying them that their property is a graffiti nuisance and in violation of the Seattle Municipal Code.   
The letter is also posted at the site of the property.  Once a property has been determined to be in violation of the Seattle Municipal Code, the property is re-inspected 10 days following the posting of the 2nd letter.   
Property owners who fail to remove the graffiti within this timeframe are referred to the Seattle Law Department who schedules a hearing before the Seattle Hearing Examiner.  Fines up to $100 per day and a maximum of $5,000 are imposed if the Hearing Examiner finds the property owner has failed to respond to the notifications.  
More than 80% of private property owners remove the graffiti within receipt of the first letter.  The remaining 20% receive a 2nd letter and only 3% of private properties are scheduled for a hearing.     
The timeline is not applicable to those properties in which SPU is unable to locate the property owner which incidences whereby the letters are returned by the U.S. Postal Service.  The weather also impacts the timeline in that property owners are unable to paint in temperatures below 40 degrees or on wet surfaces.  Extensions are granted under these circumstances. 

 For more information about graffiti prevention and reporting go here


No comments: