ORDINANCE NO. 468

AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE

CITY OF LA MIRADA TITLE 9 OF THE

LA MIRADA MUNICIPAL CODE BY REPEALING CHAPTER 9.90

ADDING A NEW CHAPTER 9.90 REGULATING,

GRAFFITI WITHIN THE CITY

The City Council of the City of La Mirada does ordain as follows:

Section 1.

Title 9 of the La Mirada Municipal Code is amended by repealing Chapter 9.90 and

adding a new Chapter 9.90 to read, in words and figures, as follows: 

"Chapter 9.90

"Graffiti

"Sections:

 "9.90.010 Purpose and intent

 "9.90.020 Definitions

 "9.90.030 Unlawful to apply graffiti

 "9.90.040 Possession of graffiti implements by minors prohibited

 "9.90.050 Possession of graffiti implements prohibited in designated public places

"9.90.060 Accessibility to graffiti implements

"9.90.070 Removal provisions

"9.90.080 Rewards for information

"9.90.090 Reimbursement of cellular phone costs

"9.90.100 Penalties and civil liability of parents

"9. 90.010  Purpose and intent. 

"The City Council of the City of La Mirada hereby finds that graffiti on public or private property is a blighting factor which not only depreciates the value of property which has been the target of such vandalism but also depreciates the value of the adjacent and surrounding properties so as to create a negative impact upon the entire City.

"Graffiti has also been found to be a means of identification utilized by gangs and its presence may encourage further gang‑related activities. The power of graffiti to create fear within the community and blight upon the landscape, devaluing property and detracting from a sense of community enjoyed by the residents of La Mirada goes beyond. the cost of cleanup or removal. Not only is graffiti vandalism of property a crime, but a social crime upon the quality of life and freedom from intimidation citizens desire in their neighborhoods.

"California Government Code Section 53069.3 authorizes the City, under certain circumstances, to provide for the removal of graffiti and other inscribed materials from private as well as public property. The Council finds and determines that graffiti is obnoxious and a public nuisance and unless the City causes it to be removed from public and private property, it tends to remain. Other properties then become the target of graffiti with the result that entire neighborhoods are affected and become less desirable places in which to be.

"It is the purpose and intent of the City Council of the City of La Mirada, through the adoption of this chapter, to provide additional enforcement tools to protect public and private property from acts of vandalism and defacement, including the application of graffiti on privately and publicly owned walls and structures. Such acts are destructive of the rights and values of private property owners as well as the entire community. It is the further intent of the City Council, through the adoption of this Chapter, to provide to all of those who disregard the property rights of others, that the law enforcement agencies of the City, Sheriffs Department, and the District Attorney's Office, will strictly enforce the law and vigorously prosecute those persons engaging in the defacement of public and private properties. 

"9.90.020 Definitions. 

For the purposes of this title, the following words shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them in this section:

"ADHESIVE LABEL means any so called "bumpersticker", sheet of paper, fabric, or plastic, or other substance with an adhesive backing.

"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.

"FELT TIP MARKER means any marker or similar implement with a tip which, at its broadest width, is greater than one‑eighth (1/8th) of an inch, containing ink or other pigmented liquid.

"GRAFFITI means any unauthorized inscription, word, figure, or design that is marked, etched, scratched, drawn, or painted on or otherwise affixed to or on any surface, regardless of the nature of the material to the extent that the same was not authorized in advance by the owner thereof, or, despite advance authorization, is otherwise deemed by the City Council to be a public nuisance.

"GRAFFITI IMPLEMENT means an aerosol paint container, a felt tip marker, gum label, paint stick, etching tool, adhesive label, or any other device capable of being used to leave a visible mark at least one‑eighth (1/8th) of an inch in width upon any surface of any material.

"PAINT STICK OR GRAFFITI STICK means a device containing a solid form of paint, chalk, wax, epoxy, or similar substance capable of being applied to a surface by pressure, and upon application, leaving a mark at least one‑eighth (1/8th) of an inch in width. 

"9.90.030 Unlawful to apply graffiti. 

It shall be unlawful for any person to apply graffiti to any trees or structures including, but not limited to, buildings, walls, fences, poles, and signs, ("structures" hereinafter in the Chapter) located within the City. It shall also be unlawful for any person to apply or affix any adhesive backed label, sticker, "bumpersticker" or similar item, to any tree or structure not owned or lawfully possessed by such person. 

"9.90. 040  Possession of graffiti implements by minors prohibited. 

It shall be unlawful for any person under the age of eighteen (I8) years to have in his or her possession any graffiti implement while upon public property, or upon private property without the prior written consent of the owner of such property. The provisions of this Section shall not apply to the possession of felt tip markers by minors attending, or travelling to or from school at which the minor is enrolled, if the minor is participating in a class at said school which formally requires the possession of felt tip markers. The burden of proof in any prosecution for violation of this Section shall be upon the minor student to establish the need to possess a felt tip marker. 

`           9. 90.050 possession of graffiti implements prohibited in designated public places.

 

No person shall have in his or her possession any graffiti implement while in or upon any public park, playground, swimming pool, recreational facility, or while in or within ten (10) feet of an underpass, bridge abutment, storm drain, or similar types of infrastructure not normally‑ used by the public, except as may be authorized by the City.

"9.90.060 Accessibility to graffiti implements. 

"A. Furnishing to minors prohibited. It shall be unlawful for any person, other than a parent or legal guardian, to sell, exchange, give, loan, or otherwise furnish, or cause or permit to be exchanged, given, loaned, or otherwise furnish, any graffiti implement to any minor without the consent of the parent or other lawfully designated guardian which consent shall be given in advance in writing.

"B. Display requirements. No person or business engaged in commercial enterprise shall display for sale, trade or exchange, any graffiti implement except in an area from which the public shall be securely precluded without employee assistance. Two such acceptable methods for displaying graffiti implements for sale shall be by containment in (1) a completely enclosed cabinet or other storage device which shall be permanently affixed to a building or structure, and which shall, at all times except during access by authorized representatives, remain securely locked; or (2) in an enclosed area behind a sales or service counter from which the public is precluded from entry. Nothing herein shall relieve such persons or business entity from, at all times, complying with the requirements of the California Penal Code Section 594.1 (c) by posting signs as described therein. 

"C. Storage requirements. No person or business engaged in the business of selling, providing or trading graffiti implements shall store any graffiti implement except in either (1) a completely enclosed room which shall, at all times except during access or actual occupancy by the owner or authorized adult representative of the owner, remain securely locked; or (2) in a completely enclosed cabinet or other storage device which shall be permanently affixed to a building or building structure, and which shall at all times except during access by the owner or an adult representative of the owner, remain securely locked. For purposes of this Section, an owner or authorized representative of the owner, shall be deemed to actually occupy a room even during brief periods of absence if the room is contained within a larger structure which is occupied by the owner. 

"D. Civil responsibility for damages for wrongful display or storage. Any person who displays or stores or permits the display or storage, of any graffiti implement in violation of the provisions of this Section shall be personally liable for any and all costs, including attorneys fees and court costs, incurred by any party in connection with the removal of graffiti, the repair of any property containing graffiti, or such party's prosecution of a civil claim for reimbursement or damages resulting from such graffiti removal or property repair, arising from the use by any person of such wrongfully displayed or stored graffiti implement in violation of the provisions of any of the California Penal Code Sections, set forth in Section A.1. hereof, or Section 9.90.030 of this Chapter.

"9 .90.70  Removal provisions. 

"A. Right of City to require removal. It is unlawful for any person who is the owner, or who has primary responsibility for control, of property or who has primary responsibility for the repair or maintenance of property ("Responsible Party" hereinafter in this Section), to permit said property which is defaced with graffiti to remain so defaced for a period of seven (7) days after service by City by first class mail of notice of same, unless (1) said person shall demonstrate by a preponderance of evidence that he or she does not have the financial ability to remove the defacing graffiti; or (2) it can be demonstrated that the Responsible Party has an active program for the removal of graffiti and has scheduled the removal of the graffiti as part of that program, in which case it shall be unlawful to permit such property to remain defaced with graffiti for a period of fifteen (15) days after service by first class mail of notice of same.

"B. Declaration of nuisance. .

"1. Graffiti as a nuisance. The City Council hereby declares and finds graffiti to be a nuisance subject to abatement according to the provisions and procedures herein contained.

"2. Graffiti attracting surface as a nuisance. The existence of any surface of a structure on any privately owned parcel of land which has been defaced with graffiti after removal more than five (5) times in twelve (12) months is hereby deemed to be a nuisance, and may be abated by City's requiring modifications thereto, or to the immediate area surrounding same, according to the provisions and procedures set forth in Chapter 21.55 of this Code. Such modifications may include, but are not limited to: Retrofitting of such surfaces at the expense of the property owner(s) of said lot, not to exceed a total cost of $500, or at the cost of the City at the City's option, with such features or qualities as may be established by the City as necessary to reduce the attractiveness of the surface for graffiti, or as necessary to permit more: convenient, expedient or efficient removal of graffiti therefrom. "C. Right of City to remove.

" 1. Use of public funds. Whenever the City becomes aware, or is notified and determines that graffiti is so located on public or privately owned property viewable from a public or quasi‑public place within the City, the City shall be authorized to use public funds for the removal of same, or for the painting or repairing of same, but shall not authorize or undertake to provide for the painting or repair of any more extensive area than that where the graffiti is located, unless the City Manager, or his designee, determines in writing that a more extensive area is required to be repainted or repaired in order to avoid aesthetic disfigurement to the neighborhood or community, or  less the Responsible Party agrees to pay for the costs of repainting or repairing the more extensive area.

"2. Right of entry on private property.

"a. Securing owner consent. Prior to entering upon private property or property owned by a public entity other than the City, for purposes of removal of graffiti, the City shall attempt to secure the consent of the Responsible Party, and a release of the City from liability for private or public property damage.

"b. Failure to obtain owner consent. If a Responsible Party fails to remove the offending graffiti within the time herein specified, or if the City shall have requested consent to remove or paint over the offending graffiti and the Responsible Party shall have refused consent for entry on terms acceptable to the City consistent with the terms of this Section, the City may commence abatement and cost recovery proceedings for the removal of the graffiti pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 21.55 of this Code, which procedures authorize the recovery of all costs incurred by the City in abating graffiti including the recordation of alien as to affected property.

"D. Ease of removal provisions.

"1. Common utility colors and paint‑type.

"Any gas, telephone, water, sewer, cable, telephone and other utility operating in the City, other than an electric utility, shall paint their above‑surface metal fixtures which are installed after the effective date of this Chapter, with a uniform paint type and color as directed by the City Manager.

"2. Conditions on encroachment permits.

"Encroachment permits issued by the City may, among other things, be conditioned on (1) the permittee applying an anti‑graffiti material to the encroaching object or structure of a type and nature that is acceptable to the City Manager, or his or her designee; (2) the immediate removal by the permittee of any graffiti; (3) the right of the City to remove graffiti or to paint the encroaching object or structure; (4) the permittee providing City with sufficient matching paint and/or anti‑graffiti material on demand for use in the painting of the encroaching object or structure containing graffiti.

"3. Conditions on discretionary approvals.

"In imposing conditions upon conditional use permits, variances, building permits to the extent permitted by this Code, or other similar land use entitlement or development or design applications, the City may impose any or all of the following conditions, or other similar or related conditions: 

"a. Use of anti‑graffiti material. Applicant shall apply an antigraffiti material of a type and nature that is acceptable to the City Manager, or his or her designee, to such of the publicly‑viewable surfaces to be constructed on the site deemed by the City Manager, or designee, to be likely to attract graffiti ("Graffiti Attracting Surfaces");

"b. Right of access to remove graffiti. Applicant shall grant in writing, the right of entry over and access to such parcels, upon 48 hours posted notice, by authorized City employees or agents, for the purpose of removing or "Painting over" graffiti on Graffiti Attracting Surfaces previously designated by the Director. Such grant shall be made and express condition of approval and shall be deemed to run with the. land;

"c. Supply City with graffiti‑removal material. Applicant, and any and all successors in interest, shall, for a period of two (2) years after approval, provide the City with sufficient matching paint and/or anti‑graffiti material on demand for use in the painting over or removal of designated Graffiti Attracting Surfaces;

"d. Owner to immediately remove graffiti. Persons applying for subdivision maps shall, as part of any conditions, covenants and restrictions, covenant, which covenant shall run with the land in a form satisfactory to the City, that the owners of the lots shall immediately remove any graffiti placed on publicly viewable trees and structures 'thereon to City's satisfaction,

" .  Rewards for information.

"A. Pursuant to Section 53059.5 of the Government code, the City does hereby offer a reward in an amount to be established by resolution of the City Council, for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any person for violation, within the City, of California Penal Code Section 594 or 594.3 by the use of graffiti, Penal Code Section 640, 640.5, 640.6, or Section 9.90.030, 9.90.040, or 9.90.050 of this Chapter. In the event of multiple contributors of information, the reward amount shall be divided by the City in the manner it shall deem appropriate. For the purposes of this Section, diversion of the offending violator to a community service program, or a plea bargain to a lesser offense, shall constitute a conviction.

"B. Claims for rewards under the Section shall be filed with the City. Each claim shall:

" 1. Specifically identify the date, location and kind of property damaged or destroyed.

"2. Identify by name the person who was convicted.

"3. Identify the court and the date upon which the conviction occurred.

"C. No claim for a reward shall be allowed by the City Council unless the City investigates and verifies the accuracy of the claim and determines that the requirements of this section have been satisfied. The investigation must determine that the claimant's information was relevant and directly responsible for the arrest and conviction of the suspect.

"D. The person committing the graffiti vandalism, and if an unemancipated minor, then the parent or lawful guardian of said minor, shall be civilly liable for any reward paid pursuant to this Section pursuant to the provisions of the California Government Code Section 53069.5. 

" 9. 90.090 Reimbursement of celluar phone costs. 

The City shall reimburse to any person reporting by means of a cellular phone an act of graffiti vandalism or existence of graffiti within the City, the amount of the actual phone charges exclusive of taxes, incurred by said person.

9.90.100 Penalities and civil liability of parents 

"A. Criminal penalties. Any violation of this Chapter shall be a misdemeanor punishable by either six (6) months in jail, a One Thousand Dollar ($1,000) fine, or by such fine and imprisonment, and by the performance of community service in the form of graffiti clean‑up to the maximum extent permitted by California Penal Code Section 594 and/or any other provision of law. Each such person, firm, corporation, or partnership shall be deemed guilty of a separate offense for each and every day or any portion thereof during which any violation of the provisions of this code is committed, continued, or permitted by such person, firm, corporation, or partnership, and shall be deemed punishable thereof as provided in this Section.

"B. Additional penalties available. Whenever deemed appropriate, it is the City's intent to petition a sentencing court to impose the following additional penalties upon conviction:

"1. Litter or graffiti clean‑up pursuant to California Vehicle Code Section 42001.7, upon conviction of violation of California Vehicle Code Sections 23111, 23112, or 23113 (a).

' "2. Suspension or delay in issuance of driver's

license pursuant to California Vehicle Code Section 13202.6 upon a graffiti vandalism conviction.

"3. Performance of community' service, including graffiti removal service by any minor determined to be a ward of the court as a result of committing an act of vandalism in the City of La Mirada, as provided in California Welfare and Institutions Code Section 728.

"4. Performance of community service, including graffiti removal service of up to 100 hours by any minor determined to be a ward of the court as a result of committing a drug related offense in the City of La Mirada, as provided in California Welfare and Institutions Code Section 729.8.

"C. It is the City's further intent that pursuant to California Penal Code Section 640.6(a), all acts of graffiti vandalism occurring within the City shall be prosecuted as misdemeanors pursuant to California Penal Code Section 594, et seq., or this Chapter.

"D. Any parent or legal guardian whose minor child possesses a graffiti implement, shall be personally liable for any and all costs to any person or business incurred in connection with the removal of graffiti caused by said child, or by said graffiti implement, and for all attorney's fees and court costs incurred in connection with the civil prosecution of any claim for damages or reimbursement."

Section 2  Civil remedies available,

A violation of any of the provisions of this Chapter shall constitute a nuisance and may ,be abated by the City through civil process by means of a restraining order, preliminary or permanent injunction, or in any manner provided by law for the abatement of such nuisance.

Section 3. Severability.

If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase, or portion of this Ordinance is for any reason deemed or held to be invalid by the decision of any court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portion of this Ordinance. The City Council of the City of La Mirada hereby declares that it would have adopted this Ordinance and each section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase, or portion therefore, irrespective of the fact that any one or more of the sections, subsections, phrases, clauses, phrases, or portions might, subsequently be declared invalid or unconstitutional.