ORDINANCE NO. 953 

AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF VERNON AMENDING THE CODE OF THE CITY OF VERNON, CALIFORNIA 1959 BY AMENDING SECTION 12A.2 AND ADDING SECTIONS 12A.3 TO 12A.19 TO CHAPTER 12A OF SAID CODE RELATING TO GRAFFITI AND REPEALING ALL ORDINANCES OR PARTS OF ORDINANCES IN CONFLICT THEREWITH, SPECIFICALLY ORDINANCE NO. 896 

WHEREAS, graffiti on public and private property has increased within the city limits of the City of Vernon; and  

WHEREAS, said graffiti is and has been visible to people utilizing the public right of way; and 

WHEREAS, citizens of the City of Vernon have complained that the graffiti and other inscribed material is and was obnoxious and constitutes a public nuisance. 

NOW, THEREFORE, THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF VERNON DOES ORDAIN AS FOLLOWS: 

SECTION 1. That the City Council of the City of Vernon hereby finds and determines that the recitals contained hereinabove are true and correct. 

SECTION 2. The City Council of the City of Vernon hereby amends Section 12A.2 and adds Sections 12A.3 to 12A.19 to Chapter 12A of the Code of the City of Vernon, California 1959 to read as follows: 

Sec. 12A.2 Nuisance Declared. 

A building, or structure, or sign that is marked or defaced with spray, paint, dye, or like substance, or other inscribed material in a manner commonly described as graffiti on public or private property as to be capable of being viewed by a person utilizing any public right of way in this city, be this road, parkway, alley, or otherwise, for a period of time longer than ten (10) days, is hereby declared to be a nuisance. 

Sec. 12A.3 Party concerned. 

As used in this Chapter, “party concerned” means the person, if any, in real or apparent charge and control of the premises involved, the record owner, the holder of any mortgage, trust deed or other lien or encumbrance of record, the owner or holder of any lease of record, the record holder of any other estate or interest in or to the building or structure, or the land upon which it is located.  As used in this section, all reference to “record” means matters of record in the Department of Registrar-Recorder of Los Angeles County which definitely and specifically describes the premises involved.

Sec. 12A.4 Graffiti Appeals Board. 

In order to hear appeals provided for in this chapter, there shall be and is hereby created a Graffiti Appeals Board.  The City Council shall be the Graffiti Appeals Board. 

Sec. 12A.5. Determination by Director of Community Services. 

Whenever the Director of Community Services determines by inspection that graffiti or other inscribed material is so located on public or private as to be capable of being viewed by a person utilizing any public right of way in this City, be this road, parkway, alley, or otherwise, the Director of Community Services shall order the abatement of the nuisance by removal of the graffiti or other inscribed material in accordance with the following procedures unless the owner of the property consents to the removal by the City of the graffiti or other inscribed material and executes such document as the City may provide relative to the removal of the graffiti or other inscribed material, then the Director of Community Services is authorized to provide for the removal of the graffiti or the inscribed material.  If the Director of Community Services provides for the removal of the graffiti or other inscribed material, he shall not authorize nor undertake to provide for the painting or repair of any more extensive area than that where the graffiti or other inscribed material is located. 

Sec. 12A.6 Informal notice. 

The Director of Community  Services, in addition to any other notices hereafter required by this chapter, may give to the occupants of the public or private property, and to any other person whom he deems should be notified, information concerning the provisions of this chapter, any violation thereof, how the person notified may comply with, and any other information as he deems expedient. 

Sec. 12A.7 Written consent. 

The Director of Community Services or his/her designated representatives, including personnel designated by the City to remove graffiti, shall make reasonable efforts to obtain written consent of property owner or legal occupant of the property prior to entering upon private property to remove said graffiti. 

Sec. 12A.8 Notice of Removal of Graffiti. 

If, in the opinion of the Director of Community Services, any public or private property is found to have any graffiti or other inscribed material on it as defined in this chapter, the Director of Community Services shall give to the party concerned written notice in the event that designated personnel from the City are unable to obtain written consent from an owner or occupant granting permission for the City of Vernon employees to enter upon their property for the sole purpose of graffiti removal. 

Sec. 12A.9 Notice format. 

The Notice shall be in the following format: 

NOTICE OF INTENT TO REMOVE GRAFFITI FROM PREMISES 

OFFICIAL NOTICE is hereby given that you are required by the City of Vernon to remove or paint over the graffiti located on the property located at ___________________ Vernon, California, at the owners expense.  If graffiti, which is visible to the public view, is not removed within fifteen (15) days after date of delivery or mailed notification, City employees will enter upon the said property and abate the said graffiti which is stated to be a public nuisance by the removal or painting over of the said nuisance.  This abatement will be at City expense; however, your complete cooperation will be requested. 

Sec. 12A.10. Service of notice. 

Proper service of the notice provided for in Section 12A.8. shall be by personal service, or by registered, or certified mail upon every party concerned and by posting on the private or public property a copy of the notice.  It shall be deemed a reasonable effort has been made to serve such notice when registered or certified letters have been mailed to the address of the party concerned as shown on the official record.  When an address is not so listed or contact cannot be made at the listed address, the service shall be by posting on the said property a copy of the notice. 

The designated period within which the owner or persons in charge is required to comply with such notice shall begins as of the date he receives such notice by personal service or registered or certified mail.  If such notice is by posting only, the designated period shall begin fifteen (15) days following the date of posting. 

Failure of any owner, party concerned, or other person, to receive such notice shall not affect the validity of any proceedings taken hereunder if the proceedings taken hereunder if the procedure for service of notice has been followed. 

Sec. 12A.11 Right of hearing. 

Any party concerned, or the Director of Community Services, may request a hearing regarding the removal of graffiti or other inscribed material after the property is posted.  A request by any person other than the Director of Community Services shall be made in writing to the Graffiti Appeals Board within ten (10) days after the property is posted or receipt of notice.  All persons who desire to be heard may appear before the Graffiti Appeals Board to show that the property does or does not have graffiti or other inscribed materials, or to show cause why the graffiti or other inscribed materials should not be ordered removed. 

Sec. 12A.12. Hearing not requested. 

If neither the Director of Community Services nor any concerned party requests a hearing and the condition as set forth in the Notice of Intent to Remove Graffiti From Premises is not corrected within the time specified in such notice, the Director of Community Services or his/her designated representative may enter upon such private or public property in order to remove the graffiti or other inscribed materials, or may cause such other work to be done to the extent necessary to abate the public nuisance and other conditions which have been found to exist. 

Sec. 12A.13. Notice of hearing. 

If either the Director of Community Services, or any party concerned, requests a hearing within the proper time as provided in Section 12A.11, the Graffiti Appeals Board shall hold a noticed hearing.  No less than ten (10) days prior to the hearing, the Director of Community Services shall serve, or cause to be served, either in the manner required by law for the service of summons or by first class mail, postage prepaid, a copy of the notice of hearing upon every person whom this chapter requires that the Notice of Intent to Remove Graffiti From Premises be served. 

Sec. 12A.14. Form and contents of notice. 

The notice of hearing shall state: 

A.     The street address and a legal description, sufficient for identification of the public or private property upon which the graffiti or other inscribed material is located;  

B.     The conditions because of which the Director of Community Services believes that the property is a public nuisance. 

C.     The date, hour and place of the hearing. 

Sec. 12A.15. Posting of Notice. 

The Director of Community Services shall post one copy of the notice of hearing in a conspicuous place on the public or private property involved, not less than ten (10) days prior to the hearing. 

Sec. 12A.16. Hearing by Graffiti Appeals Board. 

The Graffiti Appeals Board shall hold a hearing and consider all competent evidence offered by any person pertaining to the matters set forth in the report of the Director of Community Services. 

The Graffiti Appeals Board shall make written findings of fact as to whether or not the removal of graffiti or other inscribed material on public or private property as defined in this chapter is necessary. 

Sec. 12A.17. Order 

When the Graffiti Appeals Board finds that the removal of graffiti or other inscribed material on public or private property is necessary, it is declared a public nuisance and based upon its findings, the Board shall order the abatement of this nuisance by removal of said graffiti or other inscribed material. 

Sec. 12A.18. Work by City. 

If any order of the Graffiti Appeals Board made pursuant to Section 12A.17 and not superseded is not complied with within the period designated by the Board, the Director of Community Services or his/her designated representative, may then enter upon such private or public property in order to remove the graffiti or other inscribed materials, or may cause such other work to be done to the extent necessary to remove the graffiti and other inscribed materials determined to exist by the Graffiti Appeals Board. 

Sec. 12A.19. Costs. 

The costs involved in the removal or other work by the Director of Community Services, shall be paid by the City. 

SECTION 3: If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or work of this ordinance is for any reason held to be void or unconstitutional, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this ordinance; it being the intention of the City Council of the City of Vernon to adopt and pass this ordinance and each section, subsection, sentence, clause or phrase thereof irrespective of the fact that one or more of the sections, subsections, clauses, sentences, or phrases thereof may be declared void or unconstitutional. 

SECTION 4: That any ordinance or parts of ordinances in conflict with this ordinance are hereby repealed, specifically Ordinance No. 896. 

SECTION 5: There being no newspaper printed, published or circulated in the City of Vernon, the City Clerk is hereby directed to certify to the passage of this ordinance and shall post the same, or cause the same to be posted, in three (3) or the most public places in the City of Vernon, to wit: the northwest corner of 38th Street and Santa Fe Avenue, the northeast corner of Leonis Boulevard and Pacific Boulevard and on the bulletin board in the lobby of the City Hall of said City located at 4305 Santa Fe Avenue, all in the City of Vernon, County of Los Angeles, State of California; that this ordinance shall be in full force and effect thirty (30) days from and after the final passage of the same.