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Anti-Graffiti Ordinance Amendment Clears Hurdle at Holland City Hall

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HOLLAND, MI (WHTC) - What is one man’s vandalism is apparently another man’s artwork.

That seems to be a factor in the debate by Holland City Council members last night on first reading of an ordinance amendment that would allow some murals on buildings to not be subject to the city’s anti-graffiti regulations. A crackdown on a sign of gang activity began this spring when a new law was put into effect that compelled victimized property owners to clean up the vandalism in five days or pay to have the city do it. When a citizen complained to City Hall about graffiti-type drawings on ESCAPE Ministries’ building off of 32nd Street, officials of the non-profit claimed that the artwork was actually done by at-risk youth in their programs and asked for a waiver, leading to this amendment.

Third Ward Councilman Brian Burch, who is also a spokesman for Grand Rapids’ ArtPrize competition, was joined by Bob Vande Vusse and Todd Whiteman in voting no during last night’s meeting, but six others voted yes, so Council will cast a final ballot on the matter in two weeks.

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