Chapter 12.28


12.28.010    Purpose.

12.28.020    Graffiti declared a public nuisance.

12.28.030    Graffiti defined.

12.28.040    Graffiti prohibited.

12.28.050    Graffiti prevention.

12.28.060    Removal of graffiti.

12.28.070    Objections to removal of graffiti by city.

12.28.080    Unoccupied property and utility structures.

12.28.090    Abatement process after an objection.

12.28.100    Abatement procedures and costs—No objection filed.

12.28.110    Violations—Penalties.

12.28.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to provide regulations designed to prevent and control the spread of graffiti in the city and to provide a program for removal of graffiti from walls and structures on both public and private property in a timely manner. The city council adopts this chapter pursuant to Government Code Section 53069.3 which authorizes cities to use public funds to remove graffiti from public and private property. (Ord. 94-8 § 1 (part), 1994)

12.28.020 Graffiti declared a public nuisance.

A.    Graffiti on public or private property is a blighting factor which both depreciates the value of the property which has been the target of such vandalism and also depreciates the value of adjacent and surrounding properties. In so doing, graffiti has a negative impact upon the entire community.

B.    Further, the existence of graffiti tends to encourage other acts of malicious vandalism and may breed community discontent leading to other forms of criminal activity. The council finds and determines the graffiti is obnoxious and a public nuisance and that unless it is removed expeditiously from public and private property, it tends to remain. Other properties then become the target of graffiti with the result that entire neighborhoods are affected and the entire community depreciates in value and becomes a less desirable place to live. (Ord. 94-8 § 1 (part), 1994)

12.28.030 Graffiti defined.

As used in this chapter, “graffiti” means any unauthorized form of painting, scratching, writing or inscription, regardless of the content or nature of the material used, which is placed upon any private or public structure, fixture, sign or sidewalk in any location where it can be viewed from any public street, walkway, building, park or facility, or upon any public structure, fixture, sign or sidewalk, and which is without the authorization of the owner or the other person in control of the property. (Ord. 94-8 § 1 (part), 1994)

12.28.040 Graffiti prohibited.

A.    It is unlawful for any person to apply graffiti on any public or privately owned buildings, fixtures or structures or vehicles located on public or privately owned real property within the city.

B.    It is unlawful for the owner or manager or person in control of a lot or parcel to (1) permit graffiti to remain upon a structure upon such lot or parcel of land, or (2) maintain any structure affixed to such lot or parcel of land with graffiti on such structure for a period in excess of those prescribed in this chapter. (Ord. 94-8 § 1 (part), 1994)

12.28.050 Graffiti prevention.

A.    It is unlawful for any person to sell or give to any individual under the age of eighteen years who is not accompanied by a responsible adult any aerosol container of paint or other liquid substance capable of defacing property.

B.    Any person engaged in the retail sale of aerosol containers of paint and liquid substances capable of defacing property shall display at the location of such retail sales a sign clearly visible and legible to employees and customers which states as follows:

It is unlawful for any person to sell or give any individual under the age of 18 years, who is not accompanied by a responsible adult, any aerosol container of paint or other liquid substance capable of defacing property.

C.    It is unlawful for any individual under the age of eighteen years, who is in a public place or upon private property without the consent of the owner or tenant thereof, to possess an aerosol container of paint or other liquid substance capable of defacing property. (Ord. 94-8 § 1 (part), 1994)

12.28.060 Removal of graffiti.

A.    Whenever graffiti is located on public or privately owned structures or fixtures, or on public or privately owned real property within the city, which is open to view from any public or private property, the city manager, or his designee, is authorized to provide for the removal of the graffiti in accordance with state law and this chapter.

B.    Graffiti found on property owned by a public entity other than the city may be removed after securing consent from the public agency having jurisdiction over the structure or real property on which the graffiti is located.

C.    Prior to removal of graffiti from private property, written notice shall be personally delivered to and posted on the property. The notice shall include the following:

1.    That the graffiti exists and that, within five calendar days the owner or occupant must abate the graffiti or the city will enter the property and abate the graffiti by cleaning, painting or otherwise removing the graffiti;

2.    That if the owner or occupant objects to the city entering the property and removing the graffiti, the owner or occupant must notify the city of that objection within seventy-two hours of the posting of the notice but that such notification does not relieve the owner or occupant of the responsibility for removing the graffiti;

3.    The procedure for filing an objection and a copy of this section;

4.    That if the graffiti is not removed and no objection is filed in a timely manner, it shall be conclusively presumed that the owner’s and occupant’s consent to enter the property and remove the graffiti has been given;

5.    That if the graffiti is not removed and no objection is filed, the city may enter the property and remove the graffiti;

6.    That if the property is occupied by other than the owner of record, the occupant of the premises posted shall immediately notify the owner and forward the posted notice to the owner.

D.    Any owner of public or private property may consent to removal of graffiti by the city as and when graffiti may appear on said property by filing a letter with the city giving such consent. (Ord. 94-8 § 1 (part), 1994)

12.28.070 Objections to removal of graffiti by city.

A.    Any objection to the graffiti being removed by the city shall be filed with the city manager or his or her designee. Upon receipt of such an objection, the city manager shall notify the appropriate staff of the objection and the fact that the city is not to commence removal except as provided in Section 12.28.090 of this chapter.

B.    The city manager shall review the objection and schedule a meeting with the owner or occupant to determine the validity of the objection. Upon completion of that meeting the city manager shall announce his decision and set the time for removal of the graffiti. (Ord. 94-8 § 1 (part), 1994)

12.28.080 Unoccupied property and utility structures.

A.    In the event the real property upon which the graffiti is located is unoccupied or is upon a public street, sidewalk or right-of-way, or consists of a structure, pole or object owned by a private or public utility company, the same graffiti removal procedures as set forth in Section 12.28.060 of this chapter shall apply except that the removal notice will be sent by registered mail to the property owner and the removal period will be ten calendar days from the date of the mailed notice.

B.    If the graffiti is not removed as required, no further notification will be required and removal will occur as set forth in this chapter. (Ord. 94-8 § 1 (part), 1994)

12.28.090 Abatement process after an objection.

In the event the property owner, occupant, manager or other person in control of the property fails to remove graffiti within the period set by the city manager pursuant to Section 12.28.070 of this chapter, the city may proceed to abate the graffiti as a public nuisance at private expense as provided in Chapter 1.10 of this code. (Ord. 94-8 § 1 (part), 1994)

12.28.100 Abatement procedures and costs—No objection filed.

Upon failure of persons notified to comply with a notice to remove graffiti, within the time limits specified in this chapter, city personnel or volunteers working at the city’s direction, may cause the graffiti to be removed or painted over and the costs thereof recovered as follows:

A.    Upon completion of the work, the city manager shall file a report with the city council advising that the removal was required and has been done, the cost of doing such work and the name of the owner(s) of the property upon which the work was required and from whom the cost of the work is to be recovered.

B.    The city council shall conduct a hearing upon the report for the purpose of hearing all protests and objections to same, the work done thereunder and the costs contained therein. At least ten days in advance of such hearing, the city clerk shall notify the persons owning property upon which work was performed of the date, time and place of such hearing and the total cost to be charged against such person and property, which total cost shall include such charges as the city council, by resolution, has determined for administrative expenses connected with the removal and the collection of costs therefor.

C.    At the public hearing, the city council shall hear and determine all protests and objections to the report and the work done thereunder and costs contained therein, and shall, by resolution, confirm, amend or reject the report, either in whole or in part.

D.    The council shall, after such hearing, forward its confirmed report to the director of finance, with instructions to collect the total costs of the work of removal by billing the property owner(s). If such costs are not paid within thirty days, the director of finance shall have the costs entered upon the assessment roll, to be collected at the same time and in the same manner as ordinary municipal taxes are collected, and shall be subject to the same penalties and the same procedure under foreclosure for sale and in case of delinquency as provided for in ordinary municipal taxes. (Ord. 94-8 § 1 (part), 1994)

12.28.110 Violations—Penalties.

A.    Any person knowingly and wilfully violating the provisions of Section 12.28.040A shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished in accordance with Chapter 1.08 of this code.

B.    Except as provided in subsection A of this section, any person violating, or causing or permitting the violation of, this chapter shall be deemed guilty of an infraction and shall be punished by a fine in accordance with Chapter 1.08 of this code; provided, however, that any offense which would otherwise be an infraction shall be a misdemeanor if a defendant has been convicted of three or more violations of this chapter within the twelve-month period preceding the commission of the offense alleged in the accusatory pleading.

C.    Any individual found guilty of a violation of this chapter shall reimburse the city or the property owner, as appropriate, for any and all costs incurred in removing the graffiti. Such reimbursement shall be in addition to any other penalties imposed by the court pursuant to this section. If the violator is a minor, the parent or guardian shall also be responsible for such reimbursement. For this purpose, a bail forfeiture shall be deemed to be a conviction of the offense charged.

D.    If a minor is personally unable to pay any fine, levied for violation of this chapter, or reimbursement of costs incurred in removal, the parent or legal guardian of the minor shall be liable for payment of the fine or costs. In lieu of any such payment, the minor may be ordered to participate in community service in the form of removal of graffiti within the city.

E.    In addition to any other available remedies and penalties, any violation(s) shall also be subject to the remedies and penalties provided in Chapter 1.10 of this code. (Ord. 94-8 § 1 (part), 1994)