The city council has recently passed a new graffiti law-- it goes into effect on March 29th. If you haven't heard about it yet, here are the important details:

- Law affects buildings with more than six units
- Fines up to $300 if landlords don't clean property after written warning
- Landlords have 60 days to respond to warning before fine
- Can't be fined more than once every 6 months
- City will do the cleaning for free if landlord signs liability waiver

The Villager did a nice piece on the law today-- they interviewed landlords (who complained about the fines), residents (who wanted the landlords to clean the buildings), and graffiti artists (who said the new law wouldn't stop them from doing their art.) The best quote, however, comes from a streetart fan:

“Graffiti gives the city character,” said Caroline Aim, who owns the Tomato Store, an organic gourmet food shop on the corner of Canal and Washington Sts. The store has a graffiti mural on its outside wall, which is about 9 feet high and 35 feet wide. She wouldn’t be liable under the new law, because she commissioned the work.

“The mural was actually good for business; we had lots of people stopping in on our store when the kids did the work,” she said. Aim paused and then added in concession, “I guess if the city wants owners to get their property cleaned, though, they probably should.”

For example of graffiti worth considering as legitimate art, check out the 18000+ pictures at Streetsy, or the amazing coverage at Wooster Collective. [Semi-related: check out PlasmaSlug on Gridskipper, and this video of kids catching a fill that we saw on Vimeo.]