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A. Definitions. For the purpose of this section the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.
GRAFFITI. Includes any inscription, word, figure or design that is marked, etched, scratched, drawn, painted, pasted, or otherwise affixed to or on any public or private building, structure or surface without the express permission of the owner of the building, structure, or surface.
GRAFFITI INSTRUMENTS. Includes any tool, instrument, aerosol spray paint container, broad tip marker, article, substance, solution, or other compound designed or commonly used to make graffiti.
1. No person shall make graffiti of any type on any building, public or private, or any other property real or personal, owned by any person, corporation, association, partnership, or any public agency or instrumentality without the expressed permission of the owner, manager, tenant, or other person responsible for the property.
2. No person shall possess graffiti instruments in such a manner as to give rise to an inference of intent to make graffiti; and, no person shall possess an aerosol paint container in any public place, including any building, park, facility or alley or on any private property where that person has no right to be, unless possession is authorized or required as part of a legitimate business or activity.
C. Limiting access to graffiti implements.
1. No person who owns, conducts, operates, or manages a business where aerosol spray paint containers are sold, nor any person who sells or offers for sale aerosol spray paint containers shall store or display, or cause to be stored or displayed, the aerosol spray paint containers in an area that is accessible to the public without employee assistance in the regular course of business pending legal sale or other disposition.
2. Nothing herein shall preclude the storage or display of aerosol spray paint containers in an area viewable by the public so long as the items are not accessible to the public without employee assistance.
3. No person who owns, conducts, operates or manages a business where aerosol spray paint containers are sold, nor any person who sells or offers for sell aerosol spray paint containers shall sell or offer to sell aerosol spray paint containers to any person under the age of 18 years of age. A sign shall be erected in a conspicuous place and shall read, "The sale of aerosol spray paint containers to any person under the age of 18 is prohibited by the Somerton City Code."
D. Penalty. Any person who violates any provision of this article upon first conviction shall be considered guilty of a petty offense and upon subsequent convictions shall be guilty of a class one misdemeanor punishable as set forth in this code and state law.
E. Removal of graffiti by the city. The city having determined that graffiti constitutes both vandalism and filth and debris does hereby compel the owner, lessee or occupant of buildings, grounds or lots to remove graffiti on basis that its presence constitutes a hazard to public health and safety. The removal of the graffiti shall be accomplished according to the following provisions.
1. Upon determining that graffiti has been applied to any building or structure, whether public or private, within the city limits, the city shall cause a written notice to be sent to the owner, occupant or lessee. The written notice shall give five days for compliance by removal of the graffiti from the building or structure.
2. Notice shall be by either personal service or certified or registered mail, and if the owner does not occupy the building or premises, then the notice shall be provided to the owner as indicated on the Yuma County tax rolls.
3. If after five days from actual notice the owner or occupant or lessee has failed to remove the graffiti, the city may cause the graffiti to be removed and assess the costs of removal against the owner of the real property upon which the building or structure is located.
4. Notice of intent to go upon private property and to remove or abate the graffiti shall be given in the same manner as notice set forth in division A. of this section. The notice of intent to go upon private property and remove graffiti shall also include the city's estimate as to the cost for the removal or abatement of the graffiti and that the actual amount of the cost shall be certified by the city and recorded in the office of the County Recorder as a lien against the real property. Any owner, occupant or lessee who receives written notice to remove or abate the graffiti or written notice that the city intends to enter upon private property to remove or abate the graffiti may appeal to the City Council for a hearing on either the notice or the amount of the assessment. The appeal must be in writing and act as a stay of all proceedings until such time as the Council schedules a time, place and date certain for the hearing.
5. A prior assessment or lien for the purpose provided in this section shall not be a bar to a subsequent assessment or assessments for that purpose and any number of liens on the same lot or tract of land may be enforced in the same option.
6. The lien upon real property authorized herein shall be subject and inferior to the lien for general taxes and to all prior recorded mortgages, liens, and encumbrances of record. A sale of the property to satisfy a lien obtained under the provisions of the articles shall be made upon judgment of foreclosure and order of sale. The city reserves the right to bring an action to enforce the lien in Superior Court in the county in which the property is located at any time after the recording of the assessment, but failure to enforce the lien by legal action shall not affect its validity.
7. The recorded assessment and lien shall be prima facie evidence of the truth of all of the matters recited therein and of the regularity of all proceedings prior to the recording thereof.
8. However, if a property owner, occupant, or lessee signs a consent form that allows city employees to enter his or her private property to remove or abate the graffiti the city will not assess a cost to the property owner, occupant, or lessee for the removal or abatement of the graffiti.
(Res. 916, passed 8-16-2005; Ord. 297, passed 9-6-2005)