Chapter 6A.07


6A.07.010    Graffiti deemed nuisance.

6A.07.020    Definitions.

6A.07.030    Repealed.

6A.07.035    Possession of graffiti materials prohibited.

6A.07.040    Graffiti (notice of removal).

6A.07.050    Appeal.

6A.07.060    Removal by city.

6A.07.010 Graffiti deemed nuisance.

(1) Graffiti and other defacement of public and private property, including but not limited to walls, rocks, bridges, buildings, fences, gates and other structures, trees, and other real and personal property within the city constitutes a nuisance.

(2) Although it is appropriate, where possible, to request that the courts require people who are convicted of acts of defacement and vandalism involving application of graffiti to public or private property to restore the property so defaced, damaged or destroyed, obtaining convictions for such acts is difficult because the offenses involved can be committed so very quickly and secretively that witnesses to the acts are frequently nonexistent.

(3) Although the public should be encouraged to cooperate in the elimination of graffiti by reporting the same to the proper authorities, and to remove the same from private property, it is also important to eliminate the presence of graffiti from the community so that the product of illegal acts of those involved in application of graffiti is not visible and the property on which the graffiti is located and surrounding properties do not suffer diminution of value. (Ord. 3063 § 1, 1994)

6A.07.020 Definitions.

(1) “Graffiti” means the defacing, damaging or destroying by spraying of paint or marring of ink, chalk, dye or other similar substances on public or private buildings, structures and places.

(2) “Graffiti abatement procedure” means the abatement procedure which identifies graffiti, issues notice to the landowner to abate the graffiti, and cures in absence of response.

(3) “Private contractor” means any person with whom the city shall have duly contracted to remove graffiti. (Ord. 3063 § 2, 1994)

6A.07.030 Graffiti prohibited.

Repealed by Ord. 2009-19. (Ord. 3063 § 3, 1994)

6A.07.035 Possession of graffiti materials prohibited.

(1) It shall be unlawful for any person to possess graffiti materials.

(2) A person possesses graffiti materials when they possess any paint, marking pen, glass-cutting tool, glass-etching tool, materials, instruments, or other article adapted, designed or commonly used for committing or facilitating the commission of an offense involving damaging, defacing, or destroying public or private property, and they possess the item under circumstances evincing an intent to use or employ, or allow the same to be used or employed, in the commission of such an offense, or under circumstances evincing an intent that some other person will use or employ the thing possessed in the commission of such offense.

(3) “Defacing” as used in subsection (2) of this section shall include, but not be limited to, the writing, painting, inscribing, drawing, scratching or scribbling upon any wall or surface owned, operated or maintained by any property owner or the city unless the city or the property owner grants written permission for such writing, painting, inscribing, drawing, scratching or scribbling.

(4) The unlawful possession of graffiti materials is a misdemeanor. (Ord. 2008-01 § 1)

6A.07.040 Graffiti (notice of removal).

(1) The police chief or his designated representative shall cause a notice to be served upon the owner(s) of the affected premises, as such owners’ name and address appears on the last property tax assessment rolls of Chelan County, Washington. If there is no known address, the notice shall be sent in care of the property address. The notice required by this section may be served in any one of the following manners:

(a) By personal service on the owner.

(b) By registered or certified mail addressed to the owner at the last known address of said owner as set forth in the latest property tax assessment rolls of said owner. If this address is unknown, the notice will be sent to the property address.

(2) The notice shall be substantially in the following form:

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that you are required, by ordinance of the city of Wenatchee, at your own expense, to remove or paint over the graffiti located on the property commonly known as (address), Wenatchee, Washington, which is visible to public view, within 15 days after the date of this notice; or, if you fail to do so, the city requires the nuisance to be abated by removal or painting over of the graffiti. The cost of the abatement by the city or private contractors employed by the city to abate the nuisance will be assessed upon your property.

(Ord. 3063 § 4, 1994)

6A.07.050 Appeal.

(1) Within 10 days from the railing or from personal service of the notice of intent to remove graffiti, the owner may appeal the matter to the city commission of the city of Wenatchee or their duly appointed hearing examiner by filing a written notice of appeal with the police chief. Filing of an appeal will stay, during the pendency of the appeal, any enforcement or actions by the city to abate the nuisance.

(2) Appeal Procedure. The city commission or hearing examiner, as the case may be, upon receipt of a notice of appeal, shall set a hearing date not less than 30 days from receipt of the notice of appeal, at which time the appellant may appear and present evidence seeking relief from the notice of removal. The police chief, or his designated representative, may likewise present evidence at such appeal hearing.

(3) Following the hearing, the city commission or hearing examiner, as the case may be, shall render a written decision within 10 days. (Ord. 3063 § 5, 1994)

6A.07.060 Removal by city.

(1) Upon failure of persons to comply with the notice by the designated date, or such continued date thereafter as the police chief or his/her designated representative approves, then the police chief or representative is authorized and directed to cause the graffiti to be abated by city forces or by private contract. The city or its private contractor is expressly authorized to enter upon the premises for such purposes. All reasonable efforts to minimize damage from such entry shall be taken by the city, and any paint used to obliterate or cover graffiti shall be as close as practicable to background color(s). If the police chief provides for the removal of the graffiti, he/she 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.

(2) Property owners in the city of Wenatchee may consent in advance to city entry onto private property for graffiti removal purposes. (Ord. 3063 § 6, 1994)