CITY OF SOUTH GATE,

LOS ANGELES COUNTY, CALIFORNIA 

AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF SOUTH GATE AMENDING TITLE 9 OF THE SOUTH GATE MUNICIPAL CODE BY AMENDING CHAPTER 9.48 THEREOF, AND BY ADDING THERETO A NEW CHAPTER 9.49 RELATING TO THE ERADICATION OF GRAFFITI 

THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SOUTH GATE DOES ORDAIN AS FOLLOWS: 

Section 1.  Chapter 9.48 of Title 9 of the South Gate Municipal Code is hereby amended by amending subparagraph (n) of Section 9.48.030 thereof to read as follows: 

(n) Graffiti.  The existence of graffiti, as that term is defined in Section 9.49.020, may be used as a basis for determining that a substandard property or substandard building constitutes a criminal violation pursuant to Section 9.48.040 or Section 9.49.050 whenever such graffiti on any property or building has existed for a period of thirty days or longer.  The existence of graffiti may also be used as a basis for enforcing the civil remedy of abatement, or other civil remedies pursuant to this chapter or Chapter 9.49 or by any other lawful means as soon as graffiti appears on the building or property, and all such civil remedies may be instituted immediately.  Such remedies are cumulative.  Selection of one does not bar use of others. 

Section 2.  Title 9 of the South Gate Municipal Code is hereby amended by adding thereto a new Chapter 9.49 which shall read as follows: 

“Chapter 9.49 Graffiti Abatement 

Sections: 

9.49.10                        Purpose

9.49.20                        Definitions

9.49.30                        Regulation of Spray Paint

9.49.40                        Parental Responsibility

9.49.50                        Criminal Penalties

9.49.60                        Nuisance

9.49.70                        Civil Remedy –Nuisance and Abatement

9.49.80                        Civil Penalty-City Removal More Than Once 

9.49.010 Purpose.  This chapter is enacted for the purpose of establishing procedures whereby all privately owned graffiti and providing a system for levy and collection to cover the cost of such removal by the City./  The presence of graffiti on buildings and structures creates a condition of blight resulting in a deterioration of property and business values for adjacent properties, all to the detriment of the City, and therefore the abatement of graffiti is necessary for the protection of the public health, safety and welfare. 

9.49.020 Definitions.  For the purpose of this Chapter, certain terms used shall be defined as provided in this Section: 

A.     “Graffiti” means any unauthorized inscription, word, figure or design which is marked, etched, scratched, drawn or painted on any structural component of any building, structure, or other facility regardless of the nature of the material of that structural component. 

B.     “Lot” means a tract, premises or other parcel of land, improved or unimproved, in the City. 

C.     “Owner” means any person so designated on the last equalized assessment roll and also any person having or claiming to have any legal or equitable interest in the premises. 

D.     “Spray paint” means any pressurized container containing any substance commonly known as paint or dye. 

9.49.030 Regulation of Spray Paint. 

A.     Sale or Purchase.  It is unlawful for any person to sell, exchange, give or loan spray paint, or cause or permit spray paint to be sold, exchanged, given or loaned to anyone under the age of eighteen (18) years unless such person is the parent or legal guardian of said minor.  It is unlawful for anyone under the age of eighteen (18) years to purchase spray paint. 

B.     Possession by minors during certain hours.  Between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., it is unlawful for any person under the age of eighteen (18) to possess spray paint while on any public highway, street, alley, way, park, playground, swimming pool or other public place, whether such person is or is not in any automobile, vehicle or other conveyance.          

C.     Possession in Public Parks an Buildings.  It is unlawful for any person to possess spray paint while in any public park, playground, swimming pool, recreational facility (other than a highway, street, alley or way), unless such person is an authorized employee of the City or is an authorized agent or employee of an individual or entity under contract with the City and such person is authorized by such employment or by such contract to possess spray paint. 

D.     Storage.  Any business or establishment offering spray paint for sale to the public shall store it in a place that is locked and secure or otherwise made unavailable to the public. 

9.49.40                        Parental Responsibility.  Pursuant to Section 1714.1 (b) of the California Civil Code, every parent or legal guardian having custody or control of a minor who defaces property by inscribing graffiti thereon shall be jointly and severally liable with such minor for any resulting damages incurred by the property owner in an amount not to exceed Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000) for each such act of defacement. 

9.49.50                        Criminal Penalties.  Any person who has inscribed graffiti on property or a building; or any person who has sold, possessed or stored spray paint in violation of Section 9.49.030; or any person who owns, operates, leases, or otherwise maintains property or a building with graffiti on it; or any person who has otherwise violated any of the provisions of this Chapter shall be guilty of either (1) an infraction or (2) a misdemeanor as the arresting officer deems appropriate.  Each such person shall be deemed guilty of a separate offense for each and every day or portion thereof during which any violation of any of the provisions of this Chapter is committed, continued, or permitted, and upon conviction thereof shall be punishable to the maximum extent as is permitted by law to be imposed for the commission of an infraction or a misdemeanor, as the case any be. 

9.49.60                        Nuisance.  The existence of graffiti upon any lot is expressly declared to be a public nuisance, and it shall by the duty of both the owner of the lot and any person who may be in possession or who has a right to such possession, to at all times keep such lot clean and free from graffiti. 

9.49.70                        Civil Remedy – Nuisance and Abatement. 

A.     The City shall have the same remedies to abate a nuisance attributable to or caused by graffiti as are set forth in Section 9.48.050, except that the director of building shall include in the Order To Abate a Public Nuisance a requirement pursuant to Section 9.48.050 (b) (4) that the owner remove or obliterate the graffiti within ten (10) days and, if dye or paint is necessary to remove or obliterate the graffiti, that the dye or paint be the same color as the portion of the property or building on which the graffiti appears. 

90.49.080 Civil Penalty-City Removal More Than Once. 

If the City abates graffiti from a lot on more than one occasion, then, for the second and each subsequent occasion, the director of building shall assess a civil penalty based on the following schedule: 

Civil Penalty .  If the City has removed graffiti from a lot within the preceding five years, the civil penalty shall be fifty (50%) percent of the City’s total cost for removal, including processing fees; if the City has removed graffiti from a lot two or more times within the preceding five years, the civil penalty shall be one hundred (100%) percent of the City’s total cost for removal, including processing fees.  The civil penalty only becomes final once the time for judicial review has passed.  The civil penalty constitutes debt to the City of the person charged and is collectible by the City as an obligation or liability created by statute.” 

Section 3.  If any section, subsection, subdivision, paragraph, sentence, clause or phrage of this Ordinance, or any part hereof, is for any reason held to be invalid, such invalidity shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this Ordinance or any part thereof.  The City Council of the City of South Gate hereby declares that it would have passed each section, subsection, subdivision, paragraph, sentence, clause or phrase hereof, irrespective of the fact that any one or more sections, subsections, subdivisions, paragraphs, sentences, clauses or phrases be declared invalid. 

Section 4.  The City Clerk shall certify to the passage and adoption of this Ordinance and shall cause this ordinance to be published or posted as required by law. 

ORDINANCE NO. 915 

CITY OF SOUTH GATE,

LOS ANGELES COUNTY, CALIFORNIA 

AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF SOUTH GATE

AMENDING TITLE 9 OF THE SOUTH GATE MUNICIPAL CODE BY AMENDING CHAPTER 9.49 THEREOF RELATING TO THE ERADICATION OF GRAFFITI 

THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SOUTH GATE DOES ORDAIN AS FOLLOWS: 

Section 1.  Chapter 9.49 of Title 9 of the South Gate Municipal Code is hereby amended by amending Section 9.49.020 thereof to read as follows: 

9.49.020 Definitions.  For the purpose of this Chapter, certain terms used shall be defined as provided in this Section: 

A.     (Broad tipped marker means an indelible marker with a tip that exceeds four millimeters in width. 

B.     “Engraver” means an implement used to cut, scratch, etch, or engrave glass. 

C.     “Graffiti means any unauthorized inscription, word, figure or design which is marked, etched, scratched, drawn or painted on any structural component of any building, structure, or other facility regardless of the nature of the material of that structural component.  (writing, printing, symbol, figure, design, painting, marking, inscription, or other. 

 Section 2. Chapter 9.49 of Title 9 of the South Gate Municipal Code is hereby amended by amending Section 9.49.030 thereof to read as follows: 

9.49.030 Regulation of Spray Paint (Graffiti Implements) 

A.     Sale or Purchase.  It is unlawful for any person to sell, exchange, give or loan spray paint, ( a graffiti implement) or cause or permit spray paint ( a graffiti implement) to be sold, exchanged, given or loaned to anyone under the age of eighteen (18) years unless such person is the parent or legal guardian of said minor.  It is unlawful for anyone under the age of eighteen (18) years to purchase spray paint (a graffiti implement). 

B.     Possession by Minors During Certain Hours.  Between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., it is unlawful for any person under the age of eighteen (18) to possess spray paint (a graffiti implement) while on any public highway, street, alley, way, park, playground, swimming pool or other public place, whether such person is or is not in any automobile, vehicle or other conveyance. 

C. Possession In Public Parks and Buildings.  It is unlawful for any person to possess spray paint (a graffiti implement) while in any public park, playground, swimming pool, committed, continued, or permitted, and upon conviction thereof shall be punishable to the maximum extent as is permitted by law to be imposed for the commission of an infraction or a misdemeaner, as the case may be.”    

Section 4.  If any section, subsection, subdivision, paragraph, sentence, clause or phrase of this Ordinance, or any part hereof, is for any reason held to be invalid, such invalidity shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this Ordinance or any part thereof.  The City Council of the City of South Gate hereby declares that it would have passed each section, subsection, subdivision, paragraph, sentence, clause or phrase hereof, irrespective of the fact that any one or more sections, subsections, subdivisions, paragraphs, sentences, clauses or phrases be declared invalid.