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Purple paint marks property lines, under Senate legislation

Law would mimic Texas trespassing laws

BY MARC KOVAC Capital Bureau Chief Published: March 15, 2017 10:03 AM

COLUMBUS -- Property owners could spread purple paint on fence posts or trees to warn people not to trespass, under legislation being considered in the Ohio Senate.

SB 76 is similar to laws in place in Texas and a handful of other states, which have opted to allow purple paint instead of signs marking property lines.

"It is often difficult for landowners, particularly owners who have large pieces of real estate, to maintain and replace their 'No Trespassing' signs on a regular basis," Sen. Bill Coley (R-West Chester), primary sponsor of the bill, told the Senate's Judiciary Committee Tuesday.

The legislation stipulates how the purple paint should be applied -- "a vertical line at least 8 inches long' with the bottom point '3-5 feet from the base of the tree or post upon which it is painted,'" according to an analysis by the state's Legislative Service Commission.

Also, the paint would have to be "readily visible and placed no more than 25 yards from the next paint mark."

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Those caught trespassing on properties with such marks could face misdemeanor charges.

"In 1997, Texas became the first state to allow property owners to use purple paint as a warning to trespassers," Coley said. "The color purple was chosen because it is easily seen in the outdoors."

Marc Kovac covers the Ohio Statehouse for Gatehouse Media. Contact him at mkovac@recordpub.com or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.


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