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Orange County Focus

LAGUNA BEACH : Council Urges Tough Anti-Graffiti Laws

April 22, 1993|LESLIE EARNEST

Hoping to stem what police say is a surge of graffiti vandalism in this seaside colony, the City Council has instructed the city staff to draft a tough anti-graffiti ordinance.

Sgt. Don Barney, who works with the Police Department's gang unit, has said graffiti vandalism has been "popping up all over the place" in Laguna Beach. Although some fear that the taggers are associated with gangs, police say the culprits are often local youths with no gang affiliation.

On Tuesday, Deputy Chief Jim Spreine told the council that when gang members do come into Laguna Beach, it's usually for fun, not for "gang-banging activities."

After considering anti-graffiti laws in other Orange County cities, the council asked that the following provisions be included in the Laguna Beach proposal:

* Restrictions on the display and sale of materials used to deface property.

* Making parents responsible for removal of graffiti work by their children.

* Prohibiting the possession of graffiti tools, such as spray paint cans, anywhere in public areas or on private property without the permission of the owner.

* Making private property owners responsible for removing graffiti.

Three of the four council members present Tuesday appeared to support at least some form of an anti-graffiti law.

Last weekend, police said vandals targeted Laguna Beach High School, spraying slogans on bleachers, steps and an outside wall.

A couple of months ago, vandals sprayed graffiti throughout Alta Laguna Park in the Top of the World neighborhood.

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