Graffiti Removal Program


The County has examined rates of graffiti cases in unincorporated communities and found a disproportionate number of cases in certain communities.  Graffiti is typically a code violation that a property owner does not initiate or want on their property.  It can contribute to blight, crime, and impact community character.  To help address this impact in communities, the County of San Diego is developing a program where the County could remove graffiti on private properties at no cost to the property owner. 


Project Background

The County of San Diego conducted a Community Needs Assessment to examine how some code violations are more prevalent in some communities than others, and how these violations can disproportionately impact communities.  Planning & Development Services (PDS) Code Compliance division analyzed five years of case data and determined that graffiti violations are more common in several communities. Presently, it is the responsibility of a property owner to remove violations, including graffiti, and if the property owner does not remove the violation the cost of abatement falls on the victim of a graffiti violation.  To help reduce the impact of graffiti on communities that are disproportionately impacted by it, staff is proposing a project to have the County remove graffiti at no cost to a property owner versus requiring private property owners to remove the violation themselves. The changes can remove the graffiti and associated impacts faster, reduce costs to property owners, and improve quality of life and public safety in communities.  To implement the program, staff will need to amend the County abatement procedure to allow the option not to recover County costs associated with the abatement.   


Public Engagements

Planning & Development Services held several virtual public meetings to discuss the program and receive stakeholders' input. These webinars covered project background and objectives and provided an interactive forum to answer questions and gather public input. They were held at the following dates and times:

Tuesday, June 28, 6:00pm-7:00pm  

Thursday, June 30, 12:00pm-1:00pm 

Wednesday, July 6, 6:00pm-7:00pm 

Monday, November 7, 6:00pm-7:00pm

Wednesday, November 9, 6:00pm-7:00pm


Board of Supervisors Approval

On January 11, 2023, PDS introduced an ordinance to the Board of Supervisors that would allow public funds to be used for the graffiti removal program. On January 25, 2023, the Board of Supervisors approved this ordinance, to be effective on February 17, 2023. The program is expected to be implemented by late Spring 2023.


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Kenneth Melton | Email:    | Phone: (858) 761-8993