Chapter 8.49


8.49.010    Definitions.

8.49.020    Graffiti prohibited.

8.49.025    Declaration of graffiti as a public nuisance.

8.49.030    Notice to owners or possessors of private property.

8.49.035    Removal.

8.49.040    Hearing prior to abatement – Notice of hearing.

8.49.045    Posting and serving notice of hearing.

8.49.050    Conduct of hearing.

8.49.055    Order of abatement.

8.49.060    Abatement.

8.49.065    Assessment of cost.

8.49.070    Parental responsibility.

8.49.075    Reward.

8.49.080    Remedy cumulative.

8.49.010 Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

“Graffiti” means any unauthorized inscription, word, figure, mark, or design that is written, marked, etched, scratched, drawn, or painted on any real or personal property.

“Notice” means a written communication served in compliance with Cal. Gov. Code § 38773.1. (Ord. 701 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2012; Ord. 537 § 1, 1991)

8.49.020 Graffiti prohibited.

It is unlawful for any person to permit or allow any graffiti or other defacement by paint, other liquids or other means of inscription within public view to remain on any building or structure whether publicly or privately owned upon any lot or parcel of land under his or her ownership, custody or control. (Ord. 701 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2012; Ord. 537 § 1, 1991)

8.49.025 Declaration of graffiti as a public nuisance.

The city council hereby finds and declares that the appearance of graffiti on public and private properties within public view is obnoxious and constitutes a public nuisance, the abatement of which shall be provided as set forth herein. (Ord. 701 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2012)

8.49.030 Notice to owners or possessors of private property.

Whenever the city manager, or his or her designee, determines that graffiti is being maintained upon the premises within the city in violation of this chapter, the city manager, or designee, shall send written notice of the premises of such condition to the owner or possessor and shall require that the graffiti be removed. The notice and order shall be sent to the owner as shown on the most recent equalized assessment roll and a copy shall be posted on the subject property. The notice shall state that the owner must remove the graffiti or consent to its removal by the city within fourteen days from the date the notice was mailed. (Ord. 701 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2012; Ord. 537 § 1, 1991)

8.49.035 Removal.

A. Property Owner’s Consent to Remove. Whenever the city manager, or his or her designee, determines that graffiti is located on public or private property so that graffiti may be viewed by a person using any public right-of-way or other public property, the city manager, or designee, is authorized to provide for and use public funds, if necessary, to remove graffiti upon the following conditions:

1. Public Property. Whenever the city manager or designee determines that graffiti exists upon property owned by the city, it shall be removed as soon as possible. When the property is owned by a public entity other than the city, the removal of the graffiti is authorized after securing written consent of the public agency having jurisdiction over the property.

2. Private Property. Where the subject property is privately owned, the removal of graffiti is authorized after the city manager, or designee, secures the written consent of the owner of the property and the owner executes a release and waiver approved as to form by the city attorney.

B. Removal by City without Consent of Property Owner. The city manager may initiate proceedings to abate any graffiti maintained contrary to the provisions of this chapter only after the following has occurred:

1. The city manager has determined that graffiti within public view exists on particular premises in the city;

2. A notice of such condition has been sent to the property owner pursuant to PVEMC 8.49.030; and

3. The property owner has failed to either remove the graffiti or consent to its removal by the city within the time period specified in the notice. (Ord. 701 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2012)

8.49.040 Hearing prior to abatement – Notice of hearing.

Prior to the city abating graffiti on private property without the consent of the owner, a hearing shall be conducted by the city manager or his or her designee, at which time the property owner shall be given an opportunity to be heard regarding the proposed abatement. A notice of the time, place and subject of the hearing before the city manager or designee shall be sent to the property owner not less than ten days prior to the hearing. (Ord. 701 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2012)

8.49.045 Posting and serving notice of hearing.

A. The city manager shall cause the notice to be served in the same manner as a summons in a civil action in accordance with the California Code of Civil Procedure on the owner as shown on the latest equalized tax assessment roll of the affected premises and shall cause a copy of the notice to be conspicuously posted on the affected premises.

B. The notice shall be posted and served at least ten days before the time fixed for the hearing. Proof of posting and serving such notice shall be made by declaration under penalty of perjury filed with the hearing officer.

C. The failure of any person to receive the notice shall not affect the validity of any proceedings under this chapter. (Ord. 701 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2012)

8.49.050 Conduct of hearing.

The hearing to determine whether a nuisance exists shall be conducted by the city manager or his or her duly authorized representative as the hearing officer. At the hearing, the hearing officer shall receive and consider all relevant evidence. Any interested person shall be given a reasonable opportunity to be heard in conjunction therewith. Based upon the evidence presented, the hearing officer shall determine whether a nuisance within the meaning of this chapter exists and whether an abatement is appropriate. (Ord. 701 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2012)

8.49.055 Order of abatement.

Within ten days after the hearing, the city manager, or his or her designee, shall give written notice of the decision to the owner and to any other person requesting the same personally or by first class United States mail, postage paid. If a nuisance is determined to exist and abatement is determined to be appropriate, the notice shall contain an order of abatement directed to the owner of the affected property or the person in control or charge of the property and shall set forth the nature of the graffiti, its location on the premises and the maximum number of days, time and manner for its abatement. The city manager may impose such conditions as are reasonably necessary to abate the graffiti. The decision of the city manager may be appealed to the city council by the filing of a written request for appeal with the city clerk within ten days after the city manager mails notice of the decision to the owner. (Ord. 701 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2012)

8.49.060 Abatement.

If the city manager’s decision is not appealed and the nuisance is not abated within the time frame set by the order of abatement, the city manager, or his or her designee, is authorized to enter upon the premises and to abate the graffiti nuisance through utilization of labor, equipment and materials as directed by the city manager. The graffiti shall be removed as authorized herein, but the removal shall not involve the painting or repair of a more extensive area than is necessary for such removal. The city manager shall then prepare a statement of the fact of such abatement and of the expense incurred in abatement and shall file the statement with the city clerk. Such statement shall identify the premises including more than one lot or each separate lot, or all of the lots may be set forth in the same statement. (Ord. 701 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2012; Ord. 537 § 1, 1991)

8.49.065 Assessment of cost.

Upon completion of the work required to abate the graffiti, the cost to the city to perform such work shall be assessed against the property owner pursuant to the procedures set forth in PVEMC 8.48.100. (Ord. 701 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2012)

8.49.070 Parental responsibility.

Pursuant to Cal. Civ. Code § 1714.1, and any successor statute thereto, every parent or other legal guardian having custody or control of a minor who defaces property by inscribing graffiti thereon shall be jointly and severally liable with such minor for any resulting damages incurred by the property owner, or any other person, in an amount not to exceed twenty-five thousand dollars for each such act of defacement and for all attorney’s fees and court costs incurred in connection with the civil prosecution for damages. (Ord. 701 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2012)

8.49.075 Reward.

The city may pay to any person who provides information which leads to arrest and conviction of any person who applies graffiti to any public or private property in the city visible to the public a reward as established by city council resolution. The amount of any award paid pursuant to this section may be sought from the person arrested and convicted as restitution in addition to any other restitution associated with the removal of graffiti. (Ord. 701 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2012)

8.49.080 Remedy cumulative.

The remedies provided in this chapter are in addition to other remedies and penalties available under this code and the laws of the state of California. (Ord. 701 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2012; Ord. 537 § 1, 1991)