LANSING | The Village Board approved Tuesday to an ordinance that makes it an offense to sell spray paint or wide-tipped markers to people younger than 18.
The new local edict also requires homeowners to remove any graffiti that is put on their property, or face a fine of up to $750.
Trustees voted 6-0 in favor of the ordinance, which village Attorney Timothy Lapp said was modeled after ordinances in surrounding municipalities. Lapp said that until now, there was no ordinance in Lansing specifically addressing spray paint or graffiti.
Under the ordinance, possession of spray paint or wide-tipped markers by minors is a violation, as is selling those items to people younger than 18.
The ordinance also says owners of property that is hit with graffiti are responsible for removing it. If village officials have to remove it, the village will send both a bill for the cost of removal, along with a ticket for a fine that could range from $100 to $750.
Lapp said Lansing officials had noticed the way surrounding suburbs were dealing with graffiti and decided to adopt a similar measure.
“We all experience similar problems on many issues,” he said. “Our solutions are going to be similar.”
While Lapp said Lansing’s instances of graffiti are “not much of a problem,” Police Chief Dennis Murrin said the village has as much of a problem with graffiti as any south suburban community.
Murrin said it might not be as noticeable because village officials make a priority of covering it up.
“We do a great job of getting rid of it right away,” he said.
He said most people whose property in Lansing gets hit with graffiti are cooperative with village officials in terms of wanting to paint over it.
“Usually, they want our help in getting rid of graffiti,” Murrin said.
When asked if he expected his officers to have to issue many tickets to people who refuse to address graffiti on their property, Murrin said, “Not at all. Not at all.”
In other business, Trustee Mikal Stole said the village will cooperate with the Lansing Chamber of Commerce to sponsor a 15-mile bicycle ride on July 25 that is meant to show off many sites within the village that could be business opportunities.
Stole said the route to be followed by the bike riders will include the Lansing Municipal Airport. The bike ride is expected to start around 8 p.m. and last until about 2 a.m.