Chapter 9.30
GRAFFITI

Sections:

9.30.010    Definitions.

9.30.020    Prohibited graffiti.

9.30.030    Graffiti nuisance property.

9.30.040    Notice procedure.

9.30.050    Abatement procedure.

9.30.060    Remedies of the city.

9.30.070    Abatement by the city.

9.30.080    Violation – Penalty.

9.30.010 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the following definitions apply:

(1) “Graffiti” means any inscriptions, words, figures or designs that are marked, etched, scratched, drawn, painted, pasted or otherwise affixed to the surface of property.

(2) “Graffiti nuisance property” means property to which graffiti has been applied, if the graffiti is visible from any public right-of-way, any other public or private property or from any premises open to the public, and if the graffiti has not been abated with the time required by this chapter.

(3) “Owner” means the legal owner of property or a person in charge of property.

(4) “Person in charge of property” means an agent, occupant, lessee, contract purchaser or other person having possession or control of the property or supervision of a construction project.

(5) “Property” means any real or personal property and that which is affixed, incident or appurtenant to real property, including but not limited to any premises, house, building, fence, structure or any separate part thereof, whether permanent or not. (Ord. 257-2002)

9.30.020 Prohibited graffiti.

It shall be unlawful for any person to apply graffiti. (Ord. 257-2002)

9.30.030 Graffiti nuisance property.

(1) It is hereby found and declared that graffiti creates a visual blight and property damage. When graffiti is allowed to remain on property and not promptly removed, it invites additional graffiti, gang activity, criminal activity, and constitutes a nuisance.

(2) Any property within the city which becomes graffiti nuisance property is a violation of this chapter.

(3) Any owner of property who permits said property to be a graffiti nuisance property is in violation of this chapter. (Ord. 257-2002)

9.30.040 Notice procedure.

(1) When the chief of police believes in good faith that property within the city is a potential graffiti nuisance property, the chief of police shall notify the owner in writing that the property is a potential graffiti nuisance property. The notice shall contain the following information:

(a) The street address or description sufficient for identification of the property.

(b) That the chief of police has found the property to be a potential graffiti nuisance property with a concise description of the conditions leading to this finding.

(c) A direction to abate the graffiti, or show good cause to the chief of police why the owner cannot abate the graffiti within 10 business days from service of the notice.

(d) That if the graffiti is not abated and good cause for failure to abate is not shown, the city council may order abatement, with appropriate conditions. The city council may also employ any other remedy deemed by it to be appropriate to abate the nuisance, including but not limited to authorizing a civil complaint to be filed in a court of competent jurisdiction.

(e) The notice shall contain the violation and penalty of this chapter.

(f) That the above remedies are in addition to those otherwise provided by law.

(2) Service of the notice is completed by personal service or upon mailing the notice by first class mail, postage prepaid, addressed to the owner at the owner’s last known address.

(3) A copy of the notice shall be served on occupants of the property, if different from the owner.

(4) The failure of any person or owner to receive actual notice of the determination by the chief of police shall not invalidate or otherwise affect the proceedings under this chapter. (Ord. 257-2002)

9.30.050 Abatement procedure.

(1) Within 10 business days of the personal service or mailing of the notice the owner shall abate the graffiti or show good cause why the owner cannot abate the graffiti within that time period.

(2) Upon good cause shown, the chief of police may grant an extension not to exceed 10 additional business days.

(3) If the owner does not comply with the provisions of this chapter, the chief of police may refer the matter to the city council for hearing as a part of its regular agenda at the next succeeding meeting. The city recorder shall give notice of the hearing to the owner and occupants, if the occupants are different from the owner.

(4) At the time set for a hearing, the owner and occupants may appear and be heard by the city council.

(5) The city council shall determine whether the property is graffiti nuisance property and whether the owner has complied with this chapter.

(6) The city has the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that the property is graffiti nuisance property.

(7) The owner has the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that there is good cause for failure to abate the nuisance within 10 city business days of the personal service or mailing of the notice. (Ord. 257-2002)

9.30.060 Remedies of the city.

(1) In the event that the city council determines that the property is graffiti nuisance property, the city council may order the nuisance be abated. This order may include conditions under which abatement is to occur.

(2) The city council may also employ any other legal remedy deemed by it to be appropriate to abate the nuisance, including but not limited to authorizing the filing of a civil complaint in a court of competent jurisdiction.

(3) The remedies provided in this chapter are in addition to those otherwise provided by law. (Ord. 257-2002)

9.30.070 Abatement by the city.

If the owner fails to abate the nuisance as ordered by the city council, the city may cause the nuisance to be abated as provided in Chapter 8.15 HMC, Nuisances. (Ord. 257-2002)

9.30.080 Violation – Penalty.

Violation of a provision of this chapter is punishable by a fine not to exceed $500.00. However, if a violation of a provision is identical to a state statute with a lesser penalty, punishment shall be limited to the lesser penalty prescribed in state law. (Ord. 257-2002)