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(A) Removal by the perpetrator. Any person applying graffiti on public or private property shall have the duty to remove the graffiti within 24 hours after notice by the town or private owner of the property involved. Such removal shall be done in a manner prescribed by the Chief of Police, the Director of the Department of Public Works, or any additional town department head, as authorized by the Town Council. Any person applying graffiti shall be responsible for the removal or for the payment of the removal. Failure of any person to remove graffiti or pay for the removal shall constitute an additional violation of this chapter. Where graffiti is applied by an unemancipated minor, the parents or legal guardian shall also be responsible for such removal or for the payment for the removal.
(B) Property owner responsibility. If graffiti is not removed by the perpetrator according to division (A) of this section, graffiti shall be removed pursuant to the following provisions. It is unlawful for any person who is the owner or who has primary responsibility for control of property or for repair or maintenance of property in the town to permit property that is defaced with graffiti to remain defaced for a period of ten days after service by first class mail of notice of the defacement. The notice shall contain the following information:
(1) The street address and legal description of the property sufficient for identification of the property;
(2) A statement that the property is a potential graffiti nuisance property with a concise description of the conditions leading to the finding;
(3) A statement that the graffiti must be removed within ten days after receipt of the notice and that if the graffiti is not abated within that time the town will declare the property to be a public nuisance, subject to the abatement procedures in the Town Code; and
(4) An information sheet identifying any graffiti removal assistance programs available through the town and private graffiti removal contractors.
(C) Exceptions to property owner responsibility. The removal requirements above shall not apply if the property owner or responsible party can demonstrate that:
(1) The property owner or responsible party lacks the financial ability to remove the defacing graffiti; or
(2) The property owner or 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 15 days after service by first class mail of notice of the defacement.
(D) Right of town to remove; use of public funds. Whenever the town becomes aware or is notified and determines that graffiti is located on publicly or privately owned property viewable from a public or quasi-public place, the town shall be authorized to use public funds for the removal of the graffiti, or for the painting or repairing of the graffiti, but shall not authorize or undertake to provide for the painting or repair of any more extensive an area than that where the graffiti is located, unless the Town Manager, or the designee of the Town Manager, determines in writing that a more extensive area is required to be repainted or repaired in order to avoid an aesthetic disfigurement to the neighborhood or community, or unless the property owner or responsible party agrees to pay for the costs of repainting or repairing the more extensive area.
(E) Right of entry on private property. Prior to entering upon private property or property owned by a public entity other than the town for the purpose of graffiti removal the town shall attempt to secure the consent of the property owner or responsible party and a release of the town from liability for property damage or personal injury. If the property owner or responsible party fails to remove the offending graffiti within the time specified by this chapter, or if the town has requested consent to remove or paint over the offending graffiti and the property owner or responsible party has refused consent for entry on terms acceptable to the town and consistent with the terms of this section, the town shall commence abatement and cost recovery proceedings for the graffiti removal according to the provisions specified below.
(Ord. 2005-11-04, passed 11-21-05)