Graffiti Violations

Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option

Before After

Charlottesville's Code of Ordinancesnew window icon, section 5-146, prohibits the damaging or defacement of any public or private building with graffiti.  Due to research which shows quick removal of graffiti is the best method of preventing re-occurrence, the time period for correction of graffiti is fairly short at five days.

Using the process outlined below, the City will notify the property owner of a violation. If the owner does not abate the violation within the allowed 5-day time period, the City will remove the graffiti or paint over it with the best paint match available, free of charge.


A violation is reported to the City by a citizen or spotted during a neighborhood sweep.

If the violation was received via citizen complaint, the inspector for the area performs an inspection to determine whether a violation exists, and takes a digital photograph of the violating graffiti.

The inspector updates their inspection records.

The inspector sends a notice of violation to the “owner of record” for the property, as determined by the Real Estate Assessor's Office records.  This notice will usually be accompanied by a photo of the violation, and it allows five days for correction.  Also included will be tips on graffiti removal and prevention and a form authorizing the City to remove or cover any future graffiti.

During this five-day period the violation may be appealed if the property owner feels that the notice was issued in error for any reason.

After the five-day period has expired there may be no new appeals, and the inspector performs a re-inspection of the property to determine if the violation has been corrected.

If the violation has been corrected, the investigation is closed and records updated to reflect correction.

If the violation remains uncorrected, the inspector notifies one of the City’s contractors to remove or paint over the offending graffiti – this usually occurs within 3 days of the expiration of the correction period.

Please note that it may take several weeks for the process to play out before the violation is actually abated. During this time, the City is actively pursuing abatement of the violation, and we appreciate your patience.


To report a violation, call Neighborhood Development Services at (434) 970-3182 and provide the address or general location of the violation so that your call may be forwarded to the appropriate inspector for that area.


If you were cited for a violation and would like to speak with an inspector, please call Neighborhood Development Services at (434) 970-3182 and request to speak with the inspector who issued the notice. Our goal is to obtain voluntary compliance, and therefore most reasonable requests for extra time or for referrals for special assistance are granted, whenever possible.