Chapter 8.80


8.80.010    Definitions.

8.80.020    Graffiti deemed nuisance—Abatement on city property.

8.80.030    Notice of abatement.

8.80.040    Voluntary correction agreement.

8.80.050    City costs recoverable—Debt—Exception.

8.80.060    Appeal.

8.80.070    Failure to take action in response to notice of abatement.

8.80.010 Definitions.

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

A.    “Abatement” or “abate” indicates all methods and techniques that are reasonably calculated to permanently disguise, cover, or remove graffiti, including but not limited to cleaning, painting, or replacing affected surfaces. Abatement shall not include ineffective or temporary measures such as covering graffiti with an object not designed to be a permanent part of the structure or building.

B.    “Graffiti” means any unauthorized inscription, word, letters, numbers, figure, picture, or design, regardless of content, which is sprayed, marked, posted, pasted, or otherwise affixed, drawn, or painted on any surface of public or private property that is visible from any public right-of-way or public property. Markings made by chalk or other easily washable means shall not be considered graffiti.

C.    “Responsible party” shall mean the property owner, tenant, occupant, or other person who has the right to occupy or control the property.

D.    “Unauthorized” means without the consent of a responsible party. (Ord. 1986-0322 § 1, 2022)

8.80.020 Graffiti deemed nuisance—Abatement on city property.

A.    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 public nuisance.

B.    The city will take immediate measures to abate graffiti on city-owned property. (Ord. 1986-0322 § 1, 2022)

8.80.030 Notice of abatement.

A.    Whenever the code enforcement officer determines that graffiti exists on property not owned by the city, the code enforcement officer may cause a notice of abatement to be issued upon the responsible party to abate such nuisance.

B.    The notice required by this section may be served in one of the following forms:

1.    By personal service on the owner, occupant, manager, or other person responsible for the property;

2.    By regular mail addressed to the owner at the last known address of the owner. If this address is unknown, the notice will be sent to the property address;

3.    By other such reliable means of providing notice, including email, if receipt is verifiable. (Ord. 1986-0322 § 1, 2022)

8.80.040 Voluntary correction agreement.

The responsible party shall be offered a voluntary correction agreement, in which the responsible party can elect to abate the graffiti or allow the city to do the abatement. The voluntary correction agreement shall state that if the responsible party elects to do the abatement but fails to abate the graffiti within twenty calendar days, the city shall be authorized to enter the property to abate the graffiti. The voluntary correction agreement shall require the responsible party to hold the city harmless from any claims arising from the city’s abatement of graffiti by reasonable methods and in accordance with this chapter.

A.    A building or other structure vandalized or otherwise impacted by graffiti three or more times within a sixty-day period shall have one hundred eighty days to abate the nuisance provided:

1.    Each instance of graffiti has been reported to the city of Shelton; and

2.    Each instance of graffiti has been abated within the twenty calendar days required by this section. (Ord. 1986-0322 § 1, 2022)

8.80.050 City costs recoverable—Debt—Exception.

A.    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.

B.    Notwithstanding subsection A of this section, the city may implement a community graffiti removal program that authorizes the city to abate graffiti without debt or recovery of costs. (Ord. 1986-0322 § 1, 2022)

8.80.060 Appeal.

Within fifteen days from the mailing or from personal service of the notice of abatement, the responsible party may appeal the matter to the city manager. Filing of an appeal will stay, during pendency of the appeal, any enforcement actions by the city to abate the graffiti nuisance. The city manager’s order on appeal shall be final. (Ord. 1986-0322 § 1, 2022)

8.80.070 Failure to take action in response to notice of abatement.

Any responsible party who fails to respond or take action in response to service of a notice of abatement shall be guilty of a Class 3 civil infraction under Chapter 7.80 RCW. (Ord. 1986-0322 § 1, 2022)