Chapter 8.42


8.42.010    Purpose and intent.

8.42.020    Definitions.

8.42.030    Graffiti regulations.

8.42.035    Removal of graffiti – Violations, penalties and enforcement.

8.42.040    Violation.

8.42.010 Purpose and intent.

The purpose and intent of this chapter is to help prevent the spread of graffiti vandalism and to establish a program for the removal of graffiti from public and private property. Graffiti is a public nuisance and destructive to the rights and values of property owners as well as the entire community. It is appropriate to require people convicted of defacement to restore the property. However, defacement is typically committed quickly and secretively and witnesses to the defacement typically do not exist, so it is rare that property subjected to defacement is restored by those persons who cause the defacement. Unless the city acts to remove graffiti from public and private property, the graffiti tends to remain. Other properties then become the target of graffiti, and entire neighborhoods are affected and become less desirable places in which to be, all to the detriment of the city and its citizens. This chapter intends to provide additional enforcement tools to protect public and private property from acts of graffiti vandalism and defacement. The purpose and intent of this chapter is to help prevent the spread of graffiti vandalism and to establish a program for the removal of graffiti from public and private property by an offender. (Ord. 1371 § 1 (part), 2008).

8.42.020 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms are defined in this section:

“Aerosol paint container” means any aerosol container that is adapted or made for the purpose of applying spray paint or other substances capable of defacing property.

“Broad-tipped marker” means any felt tip indelible marker or similar implement with a flat or angled writing surface that at its broadest width is greater than one-eighth of an inch, containing ink or other pigmented liquid that is not water soluble.

“Etching equipment” means any tool, device, or substance that can be used to make permanent marks on any natural or manmade surface.

“Graffiti” means the unauthorized defacing, damaging or destroying by spraying paint or marking of ink, chalk, dye or other similar substances, or scratching or etching, on public or private buildings, structures and places.

“Graffiti implement” means an aerosol paint container, a broad-tipped marker, gum label, paint stick or graffiti stick, etching equipment, brush or any other device capable of scarring or leaving a visible mark on any natural or manmade surface.

“Graffiti nuisance property” means property upon which graffiti has not been removed as required by a notice to remove graffiti.

“Notice to remove graffiti” means the notice described in Section 8.42.035(A).

“Owner” means any entity or entities having a legal or equitable interest in real or personal property, including but not limited to the interest of a tenant or lessee.

“Paint stick” or “graffiti stick” means any device containing a solid form of paint, chalk, wax, epoxy, shoe polish or other similar substance capable of being applied to a surface by pressure and leaving a mark of at least one-eighth inch in width.

“Property” means any real or personal property and that which is affixed, incidental or appurtenant to real property, including but not limited to any structure, fence, wall, sign, vehicle, or any separate part thereof, whether permanent or not.

“Responsible party” means the legal owner of property according to the records of Chelan County, or an entity or person acting as an agent for an owner by agreement, who has authority over the property or is responsible for the property’s maintenance or management. Irrespective of any arrangement to the contrary with any other party, each owner shall always be a responsible party for purposes of this chapter. There may be more than one responsible party for a particular property. (Ord. 1371 § 1 (part), 2008).

8.42.030 Graffiti regulations.

A. Defacement. No person may apply graffiti to any natural or man-made surface on any city-owned property or, without the permission of the owner or occupant, on any non-city-owned property.

B. Possession of Graffiti Implements. Every person who shall possess a graffiti implement under circumstances evincing an intent to use or employ, or who allows the same to be used or employed, to deface property as set out in subsection (A) of this section, or knowing that the same is intended to be so used or employed, shall be guilty of the crime of possession of graffiti implements.

C. Graffiti Nuisance Property. A responsible party shall not allow a property to become a graffiti nuisance property. (Ord. 1371 § 1 (part), 2008).

8.42.035 Removal of graffiti – Violations, penalties and enforcement.

The existence of graffiti on property constitutes an imminent or immediate danger to the health or safety of persons or property. Graffiti shall be removed from property by the responsible party within three days of the service of a notice of removal on a responsible party, based on and according to the processes set out in Section 2.80.120(D)(1)(a) or 2.80.120(D)(2). It shall be a violation of this chapter for property to become graffiti nuisance property. (Ord. 1502 § 4 (Exh. D), 2015: Ord. 1371 § 1 (part), 2008).

8.42.040 Violation.

Any person found to be in violation of Section 8.42.030(A) or (B) is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be subject to the penalties provided for in Chapter 1.24 of this code. (Ord. 1371 § 1 (part), 2008).