Chapter 9.56


9.56.010    Definitions.

9.56.020    Prohibitions.

9.56.030    Graffiti removal.

9.56.040    Expenditures of public funds.

9.56.050    Provisions nonexclusive.

9.56.060    Severability.

9.56.070    Penalty for violation.

9.56.080    Liability of parent or guardian.

9.56.090    Penalty for etching.

9.56.010 Definitions.

A. “Graffiti” means any paint, chalk, drawing, inscription, scratching, scrawling, etching or other marking by any person on any wall, fence, stucco, plaster or other surface not his or her own, or, done without the permission of the property owner, whether public or private, and written or drawn so as to be capable of being viewed by any person utilizing any public right-of-way in the City, such as a road, parkway, or alley.

B. “Aerosol paint container” means any aerosol container, regardless of the material from which it is made, which is adapted or made for the purpose of spraying paint or other substance capable of defacing property.

C. “Felt tip marker” means any indelible marker or similar implement with a tip which, at its broadest width, is greater than one-eighth inch, containing an ink that is not water-soluble.

D. “Graffiti stick” means a device containing a solid form of paint, chalk, wax, epoxy or other similar substance capable of being applied to a surface by pressure, and upon application, leaving a mark at least one-eighth of an inch in width, visible from a distance of 20 feet, and not water-soluble.

E. “Graffiti implement” means an aerosol paint container, a felt tip marker, a graffiti stick or a glass-etching tool, including glass-etching creams. (Ord. 590 § 1, 2003; Ord. 434 § 1, 1994; Ord. 353 § 1, 1992)

9.56.020 Prohibitions.

A. Graffiti Prohibited. It is unlawful for any person to paint, inscribe, mark or otherwise apply graffiti on any public or private property in the City.

B. Removal Required. It is unlawful for the owner of any private commercial, manufacturing or multifamily residential property to permit graffiti to remain in a manner visible to persons using any public rights-of-way in the City, provided the City has given the owner a written notice to remove the graffiti within 10 days and said period has elapsed. Further, such graffiti is declared to be a public nuisance subject to abatement in accordance with Chapter 8.72 PMC. The written notice required by this section shall be served personally or by certified mail return receipt requested upon the owner of record of the property or upon the agent for service of process of the owner of the property.

C. Possession by Minors. It shall be unlawful for any person under the age of 18 years to have in his or her possession any graffiti implements while upon public property, or upon private property without the consent of the owner of such private property given in advance, and such consent as to the person’s presence shall have been given while such person was in the possession of a graffiti implement. The foregoing provision shall not apply while the person is attending, or traveling to or from a school at which the person is enrolled, if the person is participating in a class at said school which has, as a written requirement of said class, the requirement to use felt tip markers.

D. Possession in Designated Public Places. No person shall have in his or her possession any graffiti implement while in any public park, playground, swimming pool, recreational facility (other than a highway, street, alley or way), except as may be authorized by the City.

E. Wrongful Display or Storage. No person, firm or entity engaged in a commercial enterprise shall store or display for sale, trade or exchange any graffiti implement except in an enclosed area behind a sales or service counter from which the public is precluded from entry, or in a completely enclosed and locked storage device. (Ord. 590 § 1, 2003; Ord. 434 § 2, 1994; Ord. 353 § 1, 1992)

9.56.030 Graffiti removal.

Whenever the City Manager determines that graffiti is located on public or private property within the City in a manner visible to persons using any public rights-of-way, the City Manager is authorized to provide for the removal of the graffiti or, at the Manager’s discretion, furnish or otherwise provide the owner with materials necessary to accomplish such removal as hereinafter set forth.

A. Where a structure is owned by a public entity other than the City, the removal of the graffiti may be authorized only after securing the consent, release, and waiver of the public entity having jurisdiction over the structure, in the form of a fully executed Graffiti Removal Authorization Form, or otherwise.

B. Where a structure is privately owned, the removal of the graffiti may be authorized only after securing the consent, release, and waiver of the owners, in the form of a fully executed Graffiti Removal Authorization Form, or otherwise.

C. Whenever the City determines that graffiti exists and the owner of such property has returned the executed consent form to the City, the City shall be authorized to provide for the removal of the graffiti. The City shall not authorize nor undertake to provide for the painting or repair of any more extensive area than that where the graffiti is located. (Ord. 590 § 1, 2003; Ord. 353 § 1, 1992)

9.56.040 Expenditures of public funds.

The City is authorized to expend City funds to remove graffiti from public or privately owned structures located on public or privately owned real property within the City. Such expenditures shall be limited to the removal of graffiti and not the painting or repair of a more extensive area. Expenditure of City funds to remove graffiti from private property shall be conditioned on the consent of the private property owner to pay the actual, reasonable cost of removal. (Ord. 590 § 1, 2003; Ord. 353 § 1, 1992)

9.56.050 Provisions nonexclusive.

Any provision of this chapter notwithstanding, any act deemed unlawful hereunder may also be punishable under any other appropriate law of the State of California or ordinance of the City. (Ord. 590 § 1, 2003; Ord. 353 § 1, 1992)

9.56.060 Severability.

If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or portion of this chapter is for any reason held to be invalid or unconstitutional by the decision of any court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this chapter. The City Council declares that it would have adopted each section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or portion thereof irrespective of the fact that any one or more sections, subsections, clauses, phrases or portions be declared invalid or unconstitutional. (Ord. 590 § 1, 2003; Ord. 353 § 1, 1992)

9.56.070 Penalty for violation.

A. Any person, firm, or corporation violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to the provisions of Chapters 1.08 and 1.12 PMC.

B. In lieu of, or as a part of, requesting prosecution of a petition to declare a minor to be a ward of the court under Welfare and Institutions Code Section 602, or in lieu of prosecuting a violation of this chapter as a crime against an adult, the City Attorney, upon the recommendation of the City Manager, shall be authorized to offer the minor or adult an option to perform such community service as the City Attorney deems appropriate, but which community service shall, if offered at all, contain the following minimum elements:

1. The minor or adult shall perform community service of a number of hours approximately equal to the cost of repair of damage caused divided by the minimum wage, but in no event less than 30 hours.

2. At least one of the custodial parents, or if none, guardians, shall be in attendance at least 50 percent of the period of assigned community service.

3. The entire period of community service shall be performed under the supervision of a community service provider approved by the City Manager.

4. Reasonable effort shall be made to assign the subject minor or adult to a type of community service that is reasonably expected to have the most rehabilitative effect on the minor or adult. To the extent that the offense giving rise to the offer of community service constitutes a violation of this chapter, reasonable effort shall be made by the City Manager to assign the minor to community service which constitutes in significant part the removal of graffiti. (Ord. 590 § 1, 2003; Ord. 417 § 1, 1993; Ord. 353 § 1, 1993)

9.56.080 Liability of parent or guardian.

Any violation by a minor of PMC 9.56.020(A) which results in damage to property, not in excess of $25,000, shall cause the parent or guardian, having custody and control of the minor, to be jointly and severally liable with the minor for any damages resulting from the wilful misconduct. The City Manager shall have the authority to seek reimbursement for victims of unauthorized graffiti placement pursuant to Civil Code Section 1714.1. (Ord. 590 § 1, 2003; Ord. 442, 1995; Ord. 417 § 2, 1993)

9.56.090 Penalty for etching.

Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary, the violation of PMC 9.56.020(A) by etching shall be prosecuted as a misdemeanor and punished by a fine of at least $500.00 and imprisonment in County jail, or detention at Juvenile Hall, of at least two days. (Ord. 590 § 1, 2003; Ord. 434 § 3, 1994)