Wayne property owners would have less time to clean up graffiti under new ordinance

WAYNE — The Township Council is considering a new ordinance that would require property owners to remove graffiti from their premises within a month.

The municipal code now gives property owners up to three months to clean up their defaced buildings.

Mayor Christopher Vergano told the council that the spray-paint vandalism was his latest pet peeve, noting a former auto repair shop on Route 46 west where the issue has become most apparent.

The property owner cleaned up the building within the required time frame, but not long after that, the graffiti was back.

“This gives us much more of a hammer to go after people to get it done,” Vergano said. “Why they’d want to leave it there at all, I don’t know.”

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The council is scheduled to vote on the ordinance when it meets on Aug. 16.

The code enforcer is responsible for notifying a property owner to remove graffiti. If it is not done within the required time frame, the ordinance allows the township to remove it and to charge the owner for the cost of the cleanup.

Other municipalities in Passaic County have longstanding laws in place to control graffiti.

In Paterson, a law that has been on the books since March 1989 requires merchants to maintain logs for sales of spray paint for at least six months. Such records must include the home address and name of the person who made the purchase, as well as a description of the paint, including its brand name and color.

Passaic made it illegal to deface another person’s property with graffiti in May 1982. And according to the city code, anyone who provides information leading to an arrest and conviction of a vandal is due a reward of $500.

Philip DeVencentis is a local reporter for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to the most important news from your local community, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.

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