Chapter 9.29
GRAFFITI AND RELATED VANDALISM

Sections:

9.29.010    Purpose and intent – Declaration of public nuisance.

9.29.020    Definitions.

9.29.030    Prohibition of graffiti – Penalty.

9.29.040    Possession of graffiti implements – Penalty.

9.29.050    Parental civil liability.

9.29.060    Civil remedies.

9.29.070    Graffiti removal.

9.29.080    Reward for providing information.

9.29.090    Community service.

9.29.100    Limiting access to graffiti implements – Furnishing to persons under 21 years of age prohibited.

9.29.110    Display for sale – Requirements.

9.29.010 Purpose and intent – Declaration of public nuisance.

It is the purpose and intent of this chapter to prevent graffiti and to promote its eradication, and to prevent related vandalism, as graffiti and related vandalism damages or destroys property, both public and private. It is the further intent of this chapter to fight against blight, to preserve the value of property, both public and private, and to promote the security of the community, all of which are threatened and damaged by graffiti and graffiti-related vandalism. The existence of graffiti on any public property or private property within the City of Sunnyside is expressly found and declared to be a public nuisance. [Ord. 2072-A § 1, 2004; Ord. 2072 § 1, 2004.]

9.29.020 Definitions.

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

A. “Aerosol paint container” means any aerosol container which is adapted or made for the purpose of applying spray painting, or other substance capable of defacing property.

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

C. “Graffiti” means any unauthorized inscription, word, figure, painting or other defacement that is written, marked, etched, scratched, sprayed, drawn, painted, or engraved on or otherwise affixed to or on any surface of City-owned or non-City-owned property within the City of Sunnyside, by or with, but not limited to, any of the following: felt-tip marker, paint stick or graffiti stick, or graffiti implement, to the extent that the same was not authorized in advance by the owner or occupant thereof, or, despite advance authorization, is otherwise deemed by the City Manager or his designee to be a public nuisance.

D. “Graffiti implement” means an aerosol paint container, a felt-tip marker, gum label, paint stick or graffiti stick, etching tool, or any other device capable of scarring or leaving a visible mark on glass, metal, concrete or wood or any other surface.

E. “Paint stick” or “graffiti stick” means any 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, of leaving a mark at least one-eighth of an inch in width. [Ord. 2072-A § 1, 2004; Ord. 2072 § 1, 2004.]

9.29.030 Prohibition of graffiti – Penalty.

It is unlawful for any person to commit any overt act in or attempting to result in application of graffiti on any surface on public property, or private property without the express permission of the owner of such property, including but not limited to, trees, signs, poles, fixtures, utility boxes, walls, paths, streets, bridges, trestles, buildings or any other structure or surface. A separate violation shall be deemed to have occurred for each separate structure or surface marked with graffiti. Violation of this section is a misdemeanor and subject to a fine up to $1,000 for each violation. In addition to such fine, the violator, or the parent or legal guardian of a minor who is convicted of a violation, shall also be responsible for repaying the cost of restoration to the property owner or to such person or entity which incurred costs of restoration and repair. “Cost of restoration” includes costs of materials for restoration and repair, labor, payment of any reward by the City described in SMC 9.29.080, and any other cost or expense incurred deemed reasonable and appropriate by the Court. [Ord. 2072-A § 1, 2004; Ord. 2072 § 1, 2004.]

9.29.040 Possession of graffiti implements – Penalty.

It is unlawful for any person to possess any graffiti implement while on public property, or on private property without the express consent of the owner of such property, in a manner that warrants a justifiable and reasonable alarm or immediate concern for the safety of the property in the vicinity. Among the circumstances which may be considered by the enforcement officer in determining whether such alarm or immediate concern is warranted is the fact that the person takes flight upon appearance of an enforcement officer, refuses to identify himself, or manifestly endeavors to conceal himself or the graffiti implement. Prior to any citation being issued to a person for a violation of this section, such person shall be afforded an opportunity by the enforcement officer to dispel any alarm or immediate concern which could otherwise be warranted by requesting such person to identify himself and explain his presence and conduct. Violation of this section is a misdemeanor and subject to a fine up to $1,000 for each violation. [Ord. 2072-A § 1, 2004; Ord. 2072 § 1, 2004.]

9.29.050 Parental civil liability.

Any act in violation of SMC 9.29.030 committed by a minor under the age of 18 years shall be imputed to that minor’s parent or legal guardian. A parent or legal guardian of such minor who violates SMC 9.29.030 shall be liable for the payment of any civil fine and the cost of restoration as set forth in SMC 9.29.030. [Ord. 2072-A § 1, 2004; Ord. 2072 § 1, 2004.]

9.29.060 Civil remedies.

As an alternative to other penalty provisions of this chapter, any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall be subject to and shall pay to the municipality civil penalties equivalent to and on the same basis as the fines and penalties provided in SMC 9.29.030 and 9.29.040. In addition to any other penalty or remedy described in this chapter, any person, including the City, may seek appropriate injunctive relief for the enforcement of this chapter, its penalties and remedial provisions, including but not limited to actions for abatement, prevention of violations, and enforcement of all remedial and preventative provisions of this chapter. Irrespective of and cumulative to any criminal conviction for an act of graffiti or final adjudication of the Juvenile Court or placement on a supervised program or diversion program by the Juvenile Court, any person, and/or parent or guardian of a minor who violates this chapter, shall be liable in a civil action brought by the City Attorney or his authorized agent for collection of costs of restoration of property damaged by an act or acts of graffiti. [Ord. 2072-A § 1, 2004; Ord. 2072 § 1, 2004.]

9.29.070 Graffiti removal.

A. Removal by Perpetrator. A person, and in the case of a minor, the parent or legal guardian, violating this chapter shall, in addition to all other penalties provided under this chapter, remove or cause removal of the graffiti at their sole expense and at the direction and under the supervision of the property owner. If the person, including a minor and the minor’s parent or legal guardian, fails to remove the graffiti, the property owner may cause the graffiti to be removed and charge the person responsible for doing so for the removal expenses incurred, to include filing a lawsuit or action in a court of competent jurisdiction to recover such expenses.

B. Removal by City. Graffiti on any public or private property visible from any public right-of-way, including but not limited to any street, sidewalk, walkway, alley, or road, may be removed and abated by the City’s enforcement officers, including the Property Maintenance Facilitator. In such cases, the City will notify the owner or occupant of the property, by posting notice on the subject property or by other means, that the graffiti must be removed by the owner or occupant within 72 hours, or such will be removed or painted over by the City, and the cost thereof billed to the owner and/or occupant and assessed as a lien against such property if not paid. The Property Maintenance Facilitator may extend the period of time for the owner or occupant to remove the graffiti in circumstances and for reasons deemed appropriate by the Property Maintenance Facilitator. Notwithstanding the above requirement for prior notification to the property owner or occupant, if the surface of a structure marked with graffiti is immediately adjacent to and visible from any public right-of-way, the Property Maintenance Facilitator may immediately remove or paint over the graffiti and notify the property owner and/or occupant of such action by posting or other appropriate means. [Ord. 2072-A § 1, 2004; Ord. 2072 § 1, 2004.]

9.29.080 Reward for providing information.

Any person who shall provide information which leads to the actual payment of a fine or civil penalty by a violator of SMC 9.29.030 may receive from the City a monetary reward of up to $500.00. The City Manager, or his designee, shall determine the actual amount of any reward and whether a particular reward shall be divided among persons based on the information provided and the number of persons providing the information. In no event shall the total reward relating to a particular violation exceed $500.00. [Ord. 2072-A § 1, 2004; Ord. 2072 § 1, 2004.]

9.29.090 Community service.

Any person violating SMC 9.29.030 or 9.29.040 shall perform community service, including graffiti removal service, of not less than 20 hours, in addition to all other fines, penalties and restoration work. If the violator is a minor, at least one parent or legal guardian shall be present at the community service site for at least one-half of the community service hours required of the minor. [Ord. 2072-A § 1, 2004; Ord. 2072 § 1, 2004.]

9.29.100 Limiting access to graffiti implements – Furnishing to persons under 21 years of age prohibited.

It is unlawful for any person, other than a parent or guardian of a minor, school or employer, as described below, to sell, exchange, give, loan or otherwise furnish or cause to be furnished, to permit to be exchanged, given, loaned, or otherwise furnished, any graffiti implement as defined in SMC 9.29.020(D) to any person under the age of 21 years. This prohibition shall not apply to necessary or appropriate furnishing of such materials by a parent or guardian of a minor child, or a school to a student, or an employer to an employee, provided such implements are intended and used under the direction and/or supervision of such parent, guardian, school or employer, and not for graffiti or other prohibited act. [Ord. 2072-A § 1, 2004; Ord. 2072 § 1, 2004)

9.29.110 Display for sale – Requirements.

A. Every person who owns, conducts, operates or manages a retail commercial establishment selling the following defined graffiti implements shall store or cause aerosol paint containers, aerosol paint brushes and felt-tip markers with a tip, which at its greatest width is one-half inch or greater, to be stored either (1) in the direct line of sight from the cash register working station or any other work station that is normally continuously occupied while the store is open, or (2) in a place not accessible to the public in the regular course of business without employee assistance, pending legal sale or disposition of such marker pens, aerosol paint containers or other graffiti implements.

B. Every person who owns, conducts, operates or manages a retail commercial establishment selling the above-described graffiti implements shall post a sign either at each cash register work station or place where such graffiti implements are displayed, stating that such items will not be sold to anyone under 21 years of age.

C. Violation of this section is an infraction subjecting the violator to a civil penalty in an amount up to $500.00 per violation. [Ord. 2072-A § 1, 2004; Ord. 2072 § 1, 2004.]