Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Letter: Graffiti'd by a Rogue Do-Gooder?

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FWG welcomes your thoughts and comments. Email us at or click on the "comments" link at the bottom of any posting. Of course, all postings are moderated to prevent online graffiti.

Graffiti'd by a Rogue Do-Gooder?

We had some very fading graffiti on our private fence in our yard. We had washed it and when the weather turns in a month we were going to pressure wash it and stain our fence. However someone has taken into their own hands without talking to the property owner (us) and painted it with latex paint. We will never be able to get off this paint off therefore if we want our fence to match we will have to replace the two sections costing us over 500.00 instead of just an easy pressure wash and stain. Are you responsible for this? Is the city really going around and painting private property fencing without consulting property owners??

FWG's Response (shorter version emailed directly back to SH):

Dear SH -

FWG in no way connected with the city of Federal Way. I know that about a year ago the city did paint over a bunch of fences (the ones I see regularly are on 336/348) with a beige/putty colored paint but I believe they had prior permission. (FWG, acting as a private citizen, actually has, based on past history of contacting various departments by email with questions - not complaints! - a less than 50% chance of hearing back from the city.)

From what I understand, the city is sending out letters threatening fines when they hear about graffiti, not painting people's fences.

Sorry to say it, but I wonder if it was a neighbor (or your HOA?) who didn't know you were going to eventually pressure wash your fence and thought the work you had done so far was all you were going to do. Sorry to hear of the unplanned expense, I know that would be outside of my budget if that happened to me.

Based on the address you provided (unless I got the wrong house) - would it be cheaper to just paint the rest of the fence to match? Whoever did the cover-up took the time to do a nice job with full-board strokes and good, even coverage. It would look different than the neighbor's fence (how come they haven't been tagged?) but would still look nice and match the house. Also, are there any steps you might take to further graffiti-proof your fence? Lighting, pokey shrubs, a less inviting landscape?


SH responded once more:


Thanks for your quick response on this. I have a call into the city to see if they are heading this up or not. I noticed up and down [nearby major] road the same color and newly painted fences. I want you to know that I really do appreciate what you are trying to accomplish for the city. I was just shocked that someone would paint private property without getting permission first. I know the law in the city is to get a letter first which we never received. I would have been happy to abide to the law and letter if I had received it.

Anyway…good luck with your efforts!

- SH

Maybe the city is not mailing out letters to private citizens, or they were not aware of this graffiti. It seems that spring has sprung, starting to get more reports of graffiti. Will investigate and return photos when I have time. As always, you can email photos. Or contact me for instructions on how to send directly from your phone to mine if you can't do email.



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