HALF MOON BAY GRAFFITI ABATEMENT PROGRAM
The mission of the Graffiti Abatement Program is to beautify the City by preventing and removing graffiti. The program emphasizes a community approach to short term blight removal and graffiti abatement. The involvement by Half Moon Bay residents in the anti-graffiti movement is key to the long term success of the program.
For answers to the most frequently asked questions and a detailed fact sheet on safe removal, please click here
Residents can report and remove graffiti through the Graffiti Abatement Hotline at (650) 712-7310, and press "2" for graffiti, or via email at
To report graffiti vandalism in progress, residents should call 911. If you want to report information about “taggers” anonymously, please call the HMB Sheriff Sub Station at (650) 726-8288.
When reporting graffiti, the following should be included:
- Location: The address, or closest address, of the affected area. If graffiti is located at an intersection, include cross roads and directional clues (NE,SE,SW,NW).
- Type: Include the type of property that received the graffiti, such as a wall, curbside, telephone pole or fence. If graffiti is located on utility poles, boxes and/or phone booths please include the company name (PG&E, Comcast, etc.) and any other identifying information that will help pin-point the location.
- Business Name: Permission must be obtained from the property owner to clean private property.
- Contact Information: Please include your name and phone number in case additional information is needed. Your contact information will not be shared.
- Photos: Photos are instrumental in documenting graffiti and are used as evidence in the event that a tagger is arrested and charged. Photos should be emailed to
- If graffiti is on your property, remove it as soon as you have photographed it and reported it.
- When graffiti is on a painted surface, the best course of action is to cover it with paint. Before painting over the graffiti, make sure it is reported and photographed. First put a primer coat over the graffiti and follow up with a coat of exterior paint.
- The rules to protect water quality must be followed. Updated National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) removal requirements are available in the Graffiti Abatement Frequently Asked Questions
Municipal Code Section 15.26.030 B makes it unlawful for an owner of a lot or parcel to allow graffiti to remain on any structure upon the lot or parcel. Section 15.26.050 of the Municipal Code requires the owner or occupant of the lot or parcel to remove the graffiti within fifteen (15) days after notification by cleaning, painting or other method.
If the graffiti is not removed after 15 days, City staff will remove the graffiti from the property. All costs associated with the removal of graffiti will be charged to the owner of the property per the Half Moon Bay Municipal Code Section 15.26.090.
Community Removal Activities:
To coordinate a volunteer graffiti removal activity in Half Moon Bay, please contact the City of Half Moon Bay at (650)726-8270. Volunteer groups will be provided the following:
- Locations of the high priority graffiti removal locations
- Information on safe and clean removal
- Regulations for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)
There are many things residents and business owners in Half Moon Bay can do to prevent graffiti.
- Report suspicious behavior
- Question teens who try to obtain spray paint
- Teach responsibility and respect
- Teach community pride
- Protect your own property by installing landscaping that covers walls, etc., painting murals (graffiti vandals like clean canvases for their work), and building fences with board gaps or lattices, not flat surfaces
- Plant thorny or thick bushes in front of large walls to make it harder for access
- Cover downspouts and move trash bins away from walls of businesses to make it harder to get access to roofs
- Increase lighting or use motion-activated lights around your property
- Consider applying an anti-graffiti solution (protective coating) over paint
- Organize neighborhood groups to help fight graffiti