ORDINANCE NO. 492-U

 

AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF ARTESIA CONCERNING

GRAFFITI, AMENDING THE ARTESIA MUNICIPAL

CODE AND DECLARING THE URGENCY THEREOF

 

THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF ARTESIA DOES ORDAIN AS FOLLOWS:  

SECTION 1. Chapter 4 of Title 5 of the Artesia Municipal Code is hereby amended in its entirety to read as follows:  

CHAPTER 4  

GRAFFITI  

5‑4.01. Graffiti Prevention, Prohibition and Removal: Purpose and Intent. The purpose of this Section is to help prevent the spread of graffiti and to establish a program for its removal from public and private property. The spread of graffiti on both public and private buildings, structures, or places causes blight within the City which results in a deterioration of property and business values for adjacent and surrounding properties, all to the detriment of the City. The City Council finds and determines that graffiti is obnoxious and a public nuisance which must be abated to avoid the detrimental impact of graffiti on the City and to prevent the further spread of graffiti. The City Council further finds that the application of graffiti, as defined in Section 5‑4.02 is willful misconduct which damages or destroys property. Government Code Section 53069.3 permits the use of City funds to remove graffiti from public or privately-owned permanent structures located on public or privately‑owned real property in the City.  

5‑4.02. Definitions.  

Aerosol Paint Container means any aerosol container, regardless of the material from which it is made, which is adapted or made for the purpose of spraying paint or other substance capable of defacing property.

 

 Felt Tip Marker means any indelible marker or similar implement with a tip, which is greater than one‑eighth (1/8) inch, at its broadest width containing an ink that is not water soluble.  

Graffiti means any unauthorized inscription, work, figure, or design that is marked, etched, scratched, drawn, or painted on any surface of public or private buildings, structures, and places.  

Graffiti Implement means an aerosol paint container, a felt tip marker, or a paint stick or etching tool capable of etching glass, metal, concrete or wood.  

Paint stick or Graffiti stick means any device containing a solid form of paint, chalk, wax, epoxy, or other similar substance that is not water soluble and is capable of being applied to a surface by pressure, and upon application, leaving a mark at least one‑eighth (1/8) inch in width, visible from a distance of 20 feet.  

     5‑4.03. Possession of Graffiti Implements. No person under the age of eighteen years shall have in his or her possession any graffiti implement, not in a sealed container or package, while in any public park, public playground, public swimming pool, or public recreational facility, or in or on any public school or public school grounds, or upon any public right‑of‑way in the city, whether or not such person is in any automobile, vehicle, or other conveyance. This section shall not apply to any such on who is accompanied by a parent or guardian, or while in public school or public school grounds during school hours in the course and scope of supervised school activities. Violation of the Section shall constitute an infraction and be punishable as provided in sections 1-2.01 through 1-2.06 of this Code.

 

5‑4.04. Removal of Graffiti.  Graffiti may be removed by any other following methods:  

(a) Any person applying graffiti within the city shall remove the same within twenty‑lour (24) hours after notice by the City of the public or private owner of the property involved. Failure of any person to so remove graffiti shall constitute a violation of this Section.  

(b) Whenever the City Manager, or his designated representative, determines that graffiti is so located on public or privately‑owned structures on public or privately‑owned real property within this City so as to be capable of being viewed by a person utilizing any public right‑of‑way in this City, the City Manager, or his designated representative, is authorized to provide for the removal of the graffiti solely at the City's expense, without reimbursement from the property owner upon whose property the graffiti has been applied upon the following conditions:  

(1) In removing the graffiti, the painting and/or repair of an area more extensive than where the graffiti is located shall not be authorized, except where the City owns the structure or property and the City Administrator, or his designee, determines that a more extensive area must be repainted and/or repaired, or where the private property owner agrees to pay for the costs of repainting and/or repairing a more extensive area.  

(2) Where a structure is owned by a public entity other than the City, the removal of the graffiti may be authorized only alter securing the public entity's consent and, release of the City from liability.                                                                                                                                                   

(3) When a structure is privately owned, the removal of graffiti by City forces or by a private contractor under the direction of the City may be authorized only alter securing the written consent of the owner and release of the City from liability.  

(c) At the City's option, or if a private property owner's consent cannot be obtained, graffiti which is located on privately‑owned permanent structures on privately‑owned real property within the City and which can be viewed by a person utilizing any public right‑of‑way in the City may be removed by the City at the owner's expense as a public nuisance pursuant to the following provisions:  

(i) The City Manager, or his designated representative, shall cause written notice to be served upon the owner of the affected promises, as such owner's name and address appears on the last equalized assessment roll, by depositing the notice in the U.S. Postal Service enclosed in a sealed envelope with first‑class postage thereon fully prepaid and by recording a notice of abatement against the property. The mailed notice shall be certified and addressed to the owner as stated above, and if there is no known address, then in care of the property

address. Service shall be complete at the time of deposit in the U.S. Postal Service. The failure of any person to receive such notice shall not affect the validity of any proceeding hereunder.  The owner shall. have five (5) days after the date of service of the notice to remove the graffiti or be subject to City removal of the graffiti and assessment of the costs of such removal as a lien on the subject property.  

The notice shall be on City letterhead in substantially the following form:  

NOTICE OF INTENT TO REMOVE GRAFFITI  

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that you are required at your expense to remove or paint over the graffiti located on the property commonly known as California, which is visible to public view, within five (5) days after the date of this notice. The graffiti is visible to public view and, therefore, constitutes a public nuisance. If you fail to comply with this order, City employees, or private City contractors, will enter upon your property and abate the public nuisance by the removal or painting over the graffiti. The cost of the abatement by the City employees, or its private contractors, will be assessed upon your property and such costs will constitute a lien upon the land until paid.  

All persons having any objections to, or interest in, said matters may file within five (5) days from the date of this notice a written appeal to the City Manager stating the reasons the appellant believes that the City should not abate the graffiti.  

Unless an appeal is filed with the City Manager, or the graffiti is otherwise abated, the City will proceed with the abatement of the graffiti on your property at your expense without further notice at the conclusion of this five (5) day period.  

(3) Service of the intent to abate graffiti notice shall be made on the day the notice is dated and by affidavit, the original of which shall be filed with the City Clerk.  

(4) If an appeal is timely filed, the City Manager, or his designee, shall hold a hearing on the objections to the abatement. If the City Manager finds that the graffiti is not visible to persons using the public streets, the City Manager shall grant the appeal: otherwise the City Manager shall deny the appeal. Mailed notice of the City Managers decision shall be given as provided in Subsection (2) for mailed notice of the Notice of Intent to Abate Graffiti. If the City Manager denies the appeal, the property owner shall have five (5) days from the date the City Manager gave notice of the decision to abate the graffiti. The City Managers decision shall be final.  

(5) If no appeal is filed, or if the appeal is denied following hearing, and if the owner fails to remove or fails to cause the graffiti to be removed by the designated date, or such continued date thereafter as the City Manager, or his designated representative, approves, then the City Manager, or is representative, shall cause the graffiti to be abated by City forces or private contract, and the City, or its private contractor, is expressly authorized to enter upon the premises for such purposes after obtaining a warrant authorizing the abatement.  

(6) Should the City be required to abate the graffiti, the City shall thereafter follow the procedures set forth in sections 5‑10.04 through 5‑10.06 regarding recovery costs of abatement. The notice of lien for purposes of this Subsection shall be in substantially the following form:  

NOTICE OF LIEN

(Claim of the City of Artesia)

 

                         Pursuant to Government Code Section 38773 and Section 5‑4.05 of the Artesia Municipal Code, the City of Artesia did on

or about the day of _____________, 19_, cause  the painting over or removal of graffiti at the premises hereinafter described to abate a public nuisance on said real property; and the City did on the _______________ day of ____________, 19___  assess the cost of such abatement upon the real property hereinafter described: and the same has not been paid, nor any part thereof: and that said City of Artesia does hereby claim a

lien for such costs of abatement in the amount of said assessment, to wit: the sum of _________________ dollars: and the sage

shall be a lien upon said real property until the same has been paid in full and discharged of record.  

The real property hereinbefore mentioned, and upon which a lien is claimed, is that certain parcel of land lying and being in the City of Artesia, County of Los Angeles, State of California and particularly as follows:

5‑4.05. Reward. Pursuant to Government Code Section 53069.5, the City Council may, by resolution, establish a reward for information leading to the identification, apprehension, or conviction or any person who places graffiti upon any public or private property in the City. In the event of damage to public property, said resolution may require that the convicted offender reimburse the City for any reward paid, and may place responsibility for reimbursement of such reward upon the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of any person under the age of eighteen years so convicted.  

5‑4.06 Storage and Display of Graffiti Implements. Any person who owns, conducts, operates, manages or carries on any business, company, shop or retail commercial enterprise including, without limitation any swap meet or garage sale, which sells graffiti implements shall cause such graffiti implements to be stored, maintained or displayed in a place or manner which is locked or secured so as not to be accessible to the public except with the assistance of the seller or the seller's employees.  

5‑a.07 Sale or Transfer of Graffiti Implements. No person, firm or corporation shall sell or in any furnish to any person under the age of eighteen years any graffiti implement. This section shell not apply to any potent or legal guardian of such person under age of eighteen, nor to an employee of any bona tide educational institution in connection with school activities.  

SECTION 2.The City of Artesia is experiencing an onslaught of graffiti which is creating a blighted condition throughout the City. Prompt action is required to curb the graffiti and maintain community property values. Unless this ordinance becomes affective immediately, pursuant to Government  Code Section 36834, the City will be unable to promptly stem the tide of graffiti. This Ordinance is, therefore, necessary for the protection of the public health, safety, and welfare and shall take elect immediately upon its adoption.  

PASSED, APPROVED and ADOPTED this 12th day of April, 1993.