The city of Toledo has a legal obligation to remove any graffiti, but it’s not always easy to enforce, the city’s former city attorney said Wednesday.
The city is obligated to clean up graffiti if the owner of the property has a court order that prohibits it from being visible, said Mike Cunha, the former city administrator.
The problem is that we don’t have enforcement mechanisms in place to enforce these orders, Cunra told the Toledo Blade.
The former city lawyer said Toledo is facing a “big problem” with graffiti in its downtown area, where the city says the majority of the citywide graffiti problem stems from illegal street art.
Cunha said the city should be able to enforce its own ordinance that requires the removal of graffiti.CUNHA: If you have an order from the court that says you have to do it, that’s a different situation, because if the order says you can’t do it and then you try to enforce it, then you have a different problem.
The graffiti has to go, he said.
Toledo has no authority to enforce the graffiti ordinance, but city councilwoman Marjorie Boudreau told the Blade on Tuesday that she thinks the city would have the legal authority to remove some of the graffiti.
She did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.
If we have a court case that says this is illegal, then we have to enforce that order, said Boud, who represents a downtown area of the downtown area.
It’s not the city of our choice to make that call.
If the city has to do a graffiti removal, the enforcement mechanism is going to be a lot harder because we have no authority there, said Cunna.
Boudreau said she was unaware of any court order to remove the graffiti, and that the city does not have authority to do so.
The Toledo Blade has reported that the Toledo city council passed an ordinance that prohibits illegal street artists from leaving graffiti on the city sidewalks.
The ordinance also requires the city to remove at least 25 percent of the signs and posters that are visible and affixed to the city streets.