The Dunwoody City Council wants to gather more information from other municipalities before deciding whether and how it wants to regulate spray-painted utility markings on streets and sidewalks.

At the Aug. 12 council meeting, members agreed to wait to vote on the proposed ordinance until Aug. 26. Factors included that state law outlines how utilities must be marked before digging takes place for a construction project, and that Dunwoody would be one of the only cities in the state trying to restrict utility markings.

Councilmember Lynn Deutsch said taking action at the state level may be the best route to try to regulate what she called “utility graffiti.” The markings are used by construction crews to know what is underneath an area before they start digging.

Mayor Denis Shortal introduced the ordinance last month to require crews to be able to only use spray paint to mark utilities in a zoned-off area where digging for a construction project is to occur rather than on long stretches of sidewalks or roads. He also wants crews to forcibly remove any spray paint used to mark the utilities after a project is completed rather than letting it fade away.

Shortal said he wants to do so because the spray-paint markings make local streets ugly and take away from the city’s tidy aesthetic.

But state law regulates utility markings and any local enforcement on spray-painted markings would cost the city more money to hire additional personnel, according to Public Works Director Michael Smith.

 

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