Chapter 8.56


8.56.010    Definitions.

8.56.020    Enforcement authority.

8.56.030    Graffiti deemed nuisance – Findings.

8.56.040    Graffiti prohibited.

8.56.050    Graffiti – Notice of removal.

8.56.060    City costs enforceable – Debt.

8.56.070    Appeal.

8.56.080    Removal by city.

8.56.090    Notice of civil violation.

8.56.010 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the following words shall have the following meanings:

A. “Graffiti” means any unauthorized inscription, word, figure, picture, or design, visible from premises open to the public, which is sprayed, marked, posted, pasted or otherwise affixed, drawn, or painted on any surface of public or private property. “Graffiti” shall not mean a sign as defined in Chapter 15.28 BLMC. Markings made on sidewalks or pavement by chalk or other easily washable means, such as those markings made by children playing hopscotch, shall not be considered as graffiti.

B. “Private contractor” means any person with whom the city has duly contracted to remove graffiti.

C. “Unauthorized” means without the consent of a responsible party. (Ord. 1109 § 1, 2005).

8.56.020 Enforcement authority.

The mayor or designee, code enforcement officer, and any law enforcement officer shall enforce this chapter. (Ord. 1109 § 1, 2005).

8.56.030 Graffiti deemed nuisance – Findings.

Graffiti and other defacement of public and private property, including walls, rocks, bridges, buildings, fences, gates, signage and other structures, trees, and other real and personal property within the city, constitutes a nuisance. (Ord. 1109 § 1, 2005).

8.56.040 Graffiti prohibited.

It shall be unlawful for any person to write, paint or draw upon any wall, rock, bridge, building, fence, gate, signage or other structure, tree or other real or personal property, either publicly or privately owned, any drawing, inscription, figure or mark of the type which is commonly known and referred to as “graffiti” within the city without permission of the owner or operator of the property. (Ord. 1109 § 1, 2005).

8.56.050 Graffiti – Notice of removal.

A. Whenever the code enforcement officer determines that graffiti exists on any public or private buildings, structures, or places which are visible to any person utilizing any public road, parkway, alley, sidewalk or other right-of-way within the city, the code enforcement officer shall cause a notice to be issued to abate such nuisance. The property owner shall have 10 business days after the date of the notice to remove the graffiti or the same will be subject to abatement by the city.

B. The code enforcement officer shall cause a written notice to abate graffiti pursuant to this section to be served upon the owner(s) of the affected premises, as such owner’s name and address appears on the last property tax assessment rolls of Pierce County, Washington. If there is no known address for the owner, the notice shall be sent in care of the property address. The notice required by this section may be served in one of the following forms:

1. By personal service on the owner, occupant or manager of the property;

2. By registered or certified mail addressed to the owner at the last known address of said owner. If this address is unknown, the notice will be sent to the property address. (Ord. 1109 § 1, 2005).

8.56.060 City costs enforceable – Debt.

Any and all costs incurred by the city in the abatement of the graffiti nuisance as provided in this chapter shall constitute a debt owed to the city by the property owner or person in charge or control of the property. The city may take all legal means to enforce the debt. (Ord. 1109 § 1, 2005).

8.56.070 Appeal.

Within 15 days from the mailing or from personal service of the notice of intent to remove graffiti, the owner or person occupying or controlling the premises affected may appeal the matter to the hearing examiner according to the process set forth in BLMC 14.120.020. Filing of an appeal will stay, during pendency of the appeal, any enforcement actions by the city to abate the graffiti nuisance. (Ord. 1109 § 1, 2005).

8.56.080 Removal by city.

A. Upon failure of persons to comply with the notice by the designated date, or such continued date thereafter as the code enforcement officer or hearing examiner approves, the graffiti may be abated by city forces or by private contract, and the city or private contractor is expressly authorized to enter upon the premises for such purposes during regular business hours or at times mutually agreeable with the property owner or occupant. All reasonable efforts to minimize damage from such entry shall be taken by the city. If the city provides for the removal of the graffiti, it shall not authorize nor undertake to provide for the painting or repair of any more extensive area than the area where the graffiti is located. When graffiti is painted over, the city or its private contractor shall attempt to match the paint with the underlying color of the defaced surface. However, no property owner shall have any claim against the city or a private contractor for damage to property necessitated by the property owner’s failure to comply with a notice issued pursuant to this chapter.

B. Property owners in the city of Bonney Lake may consent in writing to city entry onto private property for graffiti removal purposes. (Ord. 1109 § 1, 2005).

8.56.090 Notice of civil violation.

A. Failure to remove graffiti within 10 days of receiving proper notification pursuant to BLMC 8.56.050 shall constitute a civil violation.

B. The penalty for a civil violation shall be $100.00 for each day of violation.

C. The code enforcement officer shall serve a notice of civil violation pursuant to BLMC 14.130.070. The notice of civil violation shall include:

1. The name of the person to whom it is directed;

2. The street address or other identification of the premises where the violation has occurred;

3. A statement that the property is a graffiti nuisance property and a description of the graffiti constituting the graffiti nuisance;

4. A statement describing what must be done to abate the graffiti;

5. A statement of the penalty for violation;

6. If the violation is ongoing, a statement that the notice is a continuing notice and that daily notices shall not be necessary to assess the daily penalty; and

7. A statement that the notice may be appealed to the hearing examiner as provided in BLMC 14.120.020, 14.130.070 and 14.130.080.

D. The code enforcement officer shall serve the notice of civil violation as provided in BLMC 8.56.050(B).

E. Notices of civil violation may be appealed to the hearing examiner in accordance with BLMC 14.120.020, 14.130.070 and 14.130.080.

F. A monetary penalty constitutes a personal obligation of the person to whom the notice of civil violation is directed. Assessed penalties shall be paid to the city clerk within 15 days from the date of mailing of the hearing examiner’s decision or, if the there is no appeal, within 15 days from the expiration of the appeal period. The city may take all legal means to collect penalties, including turning the penalty over to a collection agency. (Ord. 1109 § 1, 2005).