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Lakeville Estates residents want more help getting rid of graffiti

Homeowners and businesses in several towns are responsible

Homeowners and businesses in several towns are responsible for removing graffiti painted on their fences or other property. Credit: Bill Cutrone

A civic association in New Hyde Park wants the Town of North Hempstead to do more to help clean up graffiti on homeowners’ property.

The Lakeville Estates Civic Association said there has been a recent spate of graffiti tagging along Marcus Avenue and that homeowners don’t always remove the markings. Residents who don’t cover it or wash it off are ruining the aesthetics of the neighborhood, said Bill Cutrone, the association’s president.

“Some people have taken it off right away, only to have it tagged again, and some homeowners have done nothing,” Cutrone said. “That graffiti is inviting [people to spray] even more graffiti.”

Putting graffiti on commercial or residential properties without the owner’s consent is prohibited in North Hempstead and Hempstead and Oyster Bay towns, officials from those towns said last week. However, even if an offender is found and fined, the property owner is still responsible for removing the graffiti.

Cutrone said New Hyde Park homeowners who remove graffiti sometimes cover it with a different color shade than the original paint, which he said “looks just as bad as the graffiti.” Cutrone said the civic association is pushing for a law that would remedy that issue.

North Hempstead Town officials said they are aware of the graffiti problem and are considering ways to fix it. Supervisor Judi Bosworth told the civic association in August that the town’s legal department would consider the matter.

“The town is looking into possible legislation that would require any graffiti on a homeowner’s property to be covered up in such a way that conforms with the existing paint or required that the entire area could be repainted,” spokeswoman Carole Trottere said recently. “No legislation has been introduced.”

Cutrone said that cleaning is an unnecessary burden on homeowners and that the town should help them remove it.

“A lot of these people are elderly,” Cutrone said. “If the town had a rapid response team, then graffiti artists would get tired of tagging it.”

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