6-29-1    Definitions

6-29-2    Unlawful Application Of Graffiti

6-29-3    Unlawful Possession Of Graffiti Implements Or Paraphernalia – Exceptions

6-29-4    Restitution – Community Service

6-29-5    Use Of Public Funds For Graffiti Removal

6-29-6    Action Against Parent For Willful Injury To Property By Minor – Monetary Limitation – Common Law Liability Preserved

6-29-7    Rewards

6-29-8    Severability

6-29-9    Third Party Liability


The definitions set forth in this Section apply throughout this chapter.

A.    “Aerosol paint container” means any aerosol container, regardless of the material from which it is made, which is adapted or made for the purpose of spraying paint, dye, or other substances.

B.    “Felt tip marker” means any indelible marker or similar implement, with a tip at its broadest width greater than one-eighth inch, containing anything other than a solution which can be removed with water after it dries.

C.    “Graffiti” means any unauthorized inscription, word, figure, painting, design, label, marking, symbol, or other defacement that is marked, etched, scratched, engraved, drawn, painted, sprayed, or otherwise affixed on any surface of public or private property, either natural or manmade; to the extent that the graffiti was not authorized in advance by the owner or occupant of the property, or, despite advance authorization, is deemed a public nuisance. The owner or occupant cannot authorize a public nuisance.

D.    “Graffiti stick” or “paint stick” means any device containing a solid form of paint, chalk, wax, epoxy, or other substance capable of being applied to a surface by pressure, and upon application, leaving a mark at least one-sixteenth of an inch in width.

E.    “Gum label” means any sheet of paper, fabric, plastic, or other substance with an adhesive backing which, when placed on a surface, is not immediately removable.

F.    “Graffiti implement or paraphernalia” means any aerosol paint container, felt tip marker, graffiti stick or paint stick, gum label, brush, roller, or etching tool or any other device capable of scarring or marking any surface, including but not limited to glass, metal, concrete, or wood; and any piece, design, or scrapbook or drawings illustrating graffiti marks or signs.

G.    “Owner” means any entity or entities having a legal or equitable interest in real or personal property.

H.    “Occupant” means a tenant, lessee or renter.

I.    “Premises open to the public” means all public spaces, including, but not limited to, streets, alleys, sidewalks, parks, and public open space, as well as private property onto which the public is regularly invited or permitted to enter for any purpose, the doorways and entrances to those buildings or dwellings, and the grounds enclosing them.

J.    “Property” means any real or personal property which is affixed, incidental or appurtenant to real property, including, but not limited to, any structure, fence, wall, sign, or any separate part thereof, whether permanent or not.

K.    “Responsible public agency” means a public owner, the United States of America, the state of Washington, or any other state, and all political subdivisions thereof, a federal, state, or local department or agency, the director or administrator of a federal, state, or local department or agency who has authority over the public property’s maintenance or management. There may be more than one responsible public agency for a particular public property.

L.    “Responsible private party” means a private owner or occupant, an entity, a person acting as an agent for a private owner by agreement, a person or entity who has authority over the private property, or a person or entity responsible for the private property’s maintenance or management. Irrespective of any arrangement to the contrary with any other party, each private owner shall always be a responsible private party for the purposes of this chapter. There may be more than one responsible private party for a particular private property.

M.    “Unauthorized” means without the prior express permission or consent of a responsible public agency or a responsible private party. (Ord. 5429, 12-1-08)


A.    It is unlawful for any person to paint, spray, chalk, etch, draw, mark, or otherwise apply graffiti on any natural or manmade surface on a public or, without written permission of the owner or occupant, privately owned: buildings, signs, walls, fences, permanent structures, property, or places or other surfaces within the City.

B.    Any person who violates the provisions of this Section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and may be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars or by imprisonment not to exceed 90 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment. (Ord. 5429, 12-1-08)


A.    It is unlawful for any person to have in his or her possession any graffiti implement or paraphernalia, in a manner or under circumstances demonstrating his or her intent to paint, spray, chalk, draw, etch, mark, or otherwise apply graffiti, while:

1.    In a public place, or private property without the prior written consent of the responsible private party; or

2.    On any school property, grounds, facilities, buildings, or structures, or in areas immediately adjacent to those specific locations upon public property; or

3.    While in or upon premises open to the public, or while in or upon any public facility, playground, recreational facility, or other public building or structure owned or operated by the City or while in or within fifty feet of an underpass, bridge, overpass, pedestrian crossing, bridge abutment, storm drain, retaining wall, transit shelter, or similar types of infrastructure unless otherwise authorized by the City or responsible public agency.

B.    Exceptions.

1.    The proscriptions of Subsection A2 of this Section shall not apply to the possession of broad-tipped markers or other implements by a student attending and actively enrolled in a class which formally requires use of such markers or implements, while the student is attending class or traveling to or from the school at which the class is being attended. The burden of proof in any prosecution for violation of Subsection B of this Section shall be upon the student to establish the need to possess a broad-tipped marker or other implement.

2.    The proscriptions of Subsection A2 of this Section shall not apply to an authorized school employee, volunteer, contractor, or parent of a student attending class at the school.

3.    The proscriptions of Subsection A3 of this Section shall not apply to an authorized City employee of the City of Renton or agents thereof, or its contractors or employees of other government agencies working with the City of Renton.

C.    Any person who violates the provisions of this Section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and may be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars or by imprisonment not to exceed 90 days or by both such fine and imprisonment. (Ord. 5429, 12-1-08)


A.    In addition to any punishment specified in this chapter, the court may order any violator to make restitution to the victim for damages or loss caused by the violator’s offense in the amount or manner determined by the court. For purposes of this Section, if the City uses its funds and/or other resources to remove graffiti from City-owned property or, in agreement with the owner, from non-city owned property, the City shall be considered a victim for purposes of restitution.

B.    In lieu of, or as part of, the penalties specified in this chapter, a violator may be required to perform community service as described by the court based on the following minimum requirements:

1.    If the Court wishes to impose community service in lieu of other penalties provided herein, the violator shall be ordered to perform at least 30 hours of community service; and

2.    The entire period of community service shall be performed under the supervision of a community service provider approved by the Chief of Police or his designee; and

3.    Reasonable effort shall be made to assign the violator to a type of community service that is reasonably expected to have the most rehabilitative effect on the violator, such as community service that involves graffiti removal. (Ord. 5429, 12-1-08)


Whenever the City becomes aware of or is notified and determines that graffiti is located on publicly or privately owned property visible from premises open to the public, the City is authorized to use public funds for the removal of graffiti, or for the painting or repairing of the graffiti, but shall not authorize or undertake to provide for the painting or repair of any more extensive area than that where the graffiti is located, unless it is determined in writing that a more extensive area is required to be repainted or repaired in order to avoid an aesthetic disfigurement to the neighborhood or community, or unless the property owner or responsible party agrees to pay for the costs of repainting or repairing the more extensive area. All aspects of graffiti removal are at the discretion of the City including, but not limited to, the method of and material used for repair. (Ord. 5429, 12-1-08)


The parent or parents of any minor child under the age of eighteen (18) years who is living with the parent or parents and who shall willfully or maliciously destroy or deface property, real or personal or mixed, shall be liable to the owner of such property in a civil action at law for damages in an amount not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000.00). This section shall in no way limit the amount of recovery against the parent or parents for their own common law negligence. (Ord. 5429, 12-1-08)

6-29-7 REWARDS:

The City may offer a reward not to exceed three hundred dollars ($300.00) for information leading to the identification and apprehension of any person who willfully damages or destroys any public or private property by the use of graffiti. The actual amount awarded (not to exceed $300.00) shall be determined in the discretion of the Chief of Police. In the event of damage to public property, the offender or the parents of any unemancipated minor must reimburse the City for any reward paid. In the event of multiple contributors of information, the reward amount shall be divided by the City in the manner it shall deem appropriate. Claims for rewards under this section shall be filed with the Chief of Police or his/her designee in the manner specified by the Renton Police Department. No claim for a reward shall be allowed unless the City investigates and verifies the accuracy of the claim and determines that the requirements of this section have been satisfied. (Ord. 5429, 12-1-08)


Should any section, subsection, paragraph, sentence, clause or phrase of this chapter or its application to any person or situation be declared unconstitutional or invalid for any reason, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this chapter or its application to any other person or situation. The City Council of the City of Renton hereby declares that it would have adopted this chapter and each section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or portion thereof irrespective of the fact that any one or more sections, subsections, clauses, phrases or portions be declared invalid or unconstitutional. (Ord. 5429, 12-1-08)


It is expressly the purpose of this chapter to provide for and promote the health, safety and welfare of the general public and not to create or otherwise establish or designate any particular class or group of persons who will or should be especially protected or benefited by the terms of this chapter.

It is the specific intent of this chapter that no provision nor any term used in this chapter is intended to impose any duty whatsoever upon the City or any of its officers or employees, for whom the implementation and enforcement of this chapter shall be discretionary and not mandatory.

Nothing contained in this chapter is intended nor shall be construed to create or form the basis of any liability on the party of the City, or its officers, employees or agents, for any injury or damage resulting from any action or inaction on the part of the City related in any manner to the enforcement of this chapter by its officers, employees or agents. (Ord. 5429, 12-1-08)