Property owners in Mint Hill who find themselves a victim of graffiti could soon be required by law to clean it up themselves.
On Thursday, March 28, town commissioners asked town staff to research a potential ordinance for graffiti clean-up. Commissioner Mickey Ellington brought up the topic after recent vandalism to the former town hall, The Hill Bar & Grill and a nearby trash bin. Matthews commissioners passed a similar ordinance in May 2011 which sets fines for property owners who do not remove graffiti after five days of being notified by the town.
“It’s something that we don’t want to let get out of hand in the Town of Mint Hill,” Ellington said. Ellington is an owner of the building housing The Hill Bar & Grill. At the time of the meeting, the paint had not been removed.
Police Chief Tim Ledford said he doesn’t believe the graffiti is gang-related, but would like to see it cleaned up quickly to prevent future vandalism. He’ll be working with staff to research the matter. The symbols painted during the recent vandalism don’t match any known gang symbols, according to a national police database, he said.
Police also have seen spray painting on street signs, especially near Nelson Road, Ledford said. The town’s Public Works Department removes damaged street signs as soon as they’re noticed. On March 27, a van at A Parent’s Time Out was spray painted.
“If you don’t do a quick and responsive effort to try to clean it up, the graffiti artists they think ‘They like what I’m doing’ and they’re
going to do some more,” Ledford said. “It just creates an atmosphere for other taggers to come in and say ‘This is a good place for that’ and we don’t want to have that reputation.”