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Un-authorized, un-approved, un-permitted and undeniable, graffiti artists splash wild color on

metro walls

See Metro Louisville Graffiti

ordinances bottom of page


Graphitti Gallery from the walls of Louisville

Anasazi graffiti called petroglyphs scratched into

rock walls at the Canyonlands National Park


Kids spray paint girlfriends names on the rocks

along the Cumberland River below Wolfe Creek Dam.

Unusual heat treated pavement graffiti was adhered to the street at 7th and Cedar  intersection, near MSD.

Sampling from the New Albany waterfront area

Stencil artist at work. top: Bardstown Road; below: Skateboard Park

“People shouldn’t fear their government, A government should fear their people.” Sherman Minton bridge New Albany

Bardstown Road; above, Mid City Mall;  below, Wine store on Bardstown Rd.


§ 131.10  DEFINITIONS.

     For the purpose of this subchapter, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.

     BROAD-TIPPED INDELIBLE MARKER.  Any felt-tip marker or similar implement containing a fluid that is not water-soluble and which has a flat or angled writing surface one-fourth inch or greater.

     ETCHING ACID.  Any liquid, cream, paste, or similar chemical substance that can be used to etch, draw, carve, sketch, engrave, or otherwise alter, change, or impair the physical integrity of glass or metal.

     GRAFFITI.  Drawings, inscriptions, or markings, of whatever kind, character, or description, made using aerosol spray paint, etching acid or other etching materials, or broad-tipped indelible markers on a wall or other surface, so as to be seen by the public, placed there by a person other than the lawful owner or occupant of the property, without consent or acceptance of said owner or occupant.

(Lou. Metro Ord. No. 26-2005, approved 3-1-2005)


     Any person selling, or offering to sell aerosol spray paint, broad-tipped indelible markers, or etching acid or other etching materials must keep such items in a place that restricts public access within the retail establishment.

(Lou. Metro Ord. No. 26-2005, approved 3-1-2005)


     (A)     (1)     Unlawful conduct or activities by individuals shall encompass the following:  No person  may possess an aerosol spray paint container, broad-tipped indelible markers, or etching acid or etching materials with the intent to deface, destroy, or damage any property.

          (2)     For purposes of this section, any possession of such items on either public property, or private property without the express consent of the legal owner, shall be prima facie evidence of intent.

     (B)     Unlawful activity with regard to property shall encompass the following:

          (1)     All sidewalks, walls, buildings, fences, signs and other structures or surfaces shall be kept free from graffiti when the graffiti is visible from the street, or from other public or private property.

          (2)     Abatement or removal of graffiti by the property owner, or responsible party (or signature on waiver form as set forth herein) must occur within seven calendar days of issuance of any notice of violation, citation, or order.

     (C)     A person who creates graffiti and commits an act of criminal mischief as set forth in the Kentucky Penal Code, KRS Chapter 512, may be arrested and/or cited for such unlawful activities in addition to the violations set forth herein.

(Lou. Metro Ord. No. 26-2005, approved 3-1-2005)

§ 131.13  ENFORCEMENT.

     (A)     (1)     The provisions of §§ 131.11 and 131.12(A) shall be enforced by any law enforcement officer.

          (2)     The provisions of § 131.12(B) shall be enforced by the Louisville Metro Code Enforcement Division, in accordance with all laws, regulations and ordinances pertaining to public nuisance and/or property maintenance, and shall be considered a civil offense, punishable as set forth in § 131.14.

     (B)     A notice of violation, citation, or order shall be issued to the owner of private property and shall include the following:

          (1)     Identification/location of the property.

          (2)     Location of the graffiti.

          (3)     A general description of the graffiti.

(Lou. Metro Ord. No. 26-2005, approved 3-1-2005)

§ 131.14  ABATEMENT.

     (A)     (1)     Within seven calendar days of issuance of any notice of violation, citation, or order, the property owner or responsible party must:

               (a)     Abate the graffiti according to Metro Government's policies and procedures using materials furnished by Metro Government; or

               (b)     Sign a waiver form that will allow  Metro Government to proceed to abate the graffiti with the cost of abatement done on the part of Metro Government being borne by the owner/responsible party.

          (2)     If a waiver form is not signed within the seven-day period, Metro Government may proceed with the abatement according to its policies and procedures for such abatement, and bill the owner or responsible party for the costs thereof.  In any event, Metro Government shall bill the owner or responsible party for the costs of any work done on the part of Metro Government on such owner or responsible party's property to abate graffiti.  In the event the bill is not paid for work done by the Metro Government to abate graffiti within 90 days of its issuance, a statement of the account shall be certified, and Metro Government may proceed with judicial action to collect the fine, along with interest at the rate established by law.

          (3)     By appropriate order of the Louisville Metro Code Enforcement Board, Metro Government, or its authorized contractor, is expressly authorized to enter private property and abate graffiti thereon, in accordance with this section.  Louisville Metro Police Department may assist in the enforcement of this subchapter.

          (4)     If Metro Government performs the abatement, either upon receipt of waiver form, or by means of seven-day elapse of time without other abatement, the property owner or responsible party is put on notice that abatement shall occur by standard means, which may or may not meet with the subjective standards of said property owner or responsible party.  Metro Government shall not be liable for any damage to the property, or decline in its value by reason of the abatement performed.

(Lou. Metro Ord. No. 26-2005, approved 3-1-2005)

§ 131.15  PENALTIES.

     (A)     Any person violating § 131.12(A) shall be deemed to have committed a misdemeanor, and shall be subject to a fine not to exceed $500 for each offense.

     (B)     A violation of § 131.11 shall be classified as a civil offense and shall be enforced through the Code Enforcement Board ("Board") as provided in §§ 32.275 through 32.290, or as it may be amended.

     (C)     Any person violating § 131.11 shall be fined a minimum civil penalty of $250 or a maximum civil penalty of $500.  Each day that a violation continues after a citation has been issued or notice has been served shall be deemed a separate offense.

     (D)     Any person cited in accordance with subsection (C), directly above, may pay the minimum civil penalty within seven days from the date of issuance or request a hearing regarding such penalty to the Board in accordance with §§ 32.275 through 32.290.  If the person fails to respond to the citation within seven days as referenced above, the person shall be deemed to have waived the right to a hearing.  In this event, the Board shall enter a final order determining that the violation was committed and impose the maximum civil penalty set forth in the citation.
(Lou. Metro Ord. No. 26-2005, approved 3-1-2005)

§ 131.16  APPEALS.

     (A)     Appeals of civil penalties may be made by filing a written notice of appeal with the Board, as provided in §§ 32.275 through 32.290, or as such sections may be amended.

     (B)     Appeals of criminal citations may be made to a court of competent jurisdiction.

(Lou. Metro Ord. No. 26-2005, approved 3-1-2005)


     If any provision of this chapter as now or later amended or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application.

(1994 Jeff. Code, § 10.07)  (Jeff. Ord. 36-1994, adopted and effective 12-20-1994; Lou. Metro Am. Ord. No. 37-2007, approved 3-26-2007)

Above: New Orleans May Day poster

Below: Anarchist poster in Louisville

‘School of Block’

Surprising talent of nocturnal street artists

in Louisville Kentucky

see Urban Surface  HERE

Amazing amounts of paint and energy are invested in strictly illegal and ultimately futile (zero remuneration) tags spayed on everything from rolling railroad cars to 9 story buildings. Above: ever changing facades at the old salvage yard. Left: Stencil art on a New Orleans wall near the 9th Ward levy.  See Graffiti page HERE

Art outside the white cube.