[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Collingdale 5-4-2009 by Ord. No. 666. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Unless otherwise expressly stated, the following words shall, for the purpose of this chapter, have the following meanings:
- AEROSOL PAINT CONTAINER
- Any aerosol container that is adapted or made for the purpose of applying spray paint or made for the purpose of applying spray paint or other substances capable of defacing property.
- BROAD-TIPPED MARKER
- Any felt-tipped indelible marker, or similar implement, with a flat and/or angled writing surface that, at its broadest width, is greater than 1/4 of an inch, containing ink or other pigmented liquid that is not water-soluble.
- ETCHING EQUIPMENT
- Any tool, device or substance that can be used to make permanent marks on any natural or man-made surface.
- Any unauthorized inscription, word, figure, painting or other defacement that is written, marked, etched, scratched, sprayed, drawn, painted or engraved on or otherwise affixed to any surface of public or private property, building, structure, facility or other improvements by any graffiti implement, to the extent that the graffiti was not authorized in advance by the owner or occupant of the property or, despite advance authorization, is otherwise deemed a public nuisance by the Borough Council.
- GRAFFITI IMPLEMENT
- An aerosol paint container, a broad-tipped marker, gum label, paint stick or graffiti stick, etching equipment, brush or any other device capable of scarring or leaving a visible mark on any natural or man-made surface.
- GRAFFITI STICK; PAINT STICK
- Any device containing a solid form of paint, chalk, wax, epoxy or other similar substance capable of being applied to a surface by pressure and leaving a mark at least 1/8 inch in width.
- Any person under the age of 18 years.
- Natural persons, firms, partnerships, corporations, associations or other artificial bodies.
- Includes any real estate, private or public, including improvements thereon, and tangible personal property, including but not limited to news boxes, newsstands, utility poles, public telephones, tree planters and other items of street furniture and vehicles located thereon.
No person shall write, draw, paint, print or place with ink, paint, chalk or other substance graffiti or other markings, whether obscene or not, and whether intended to offend or not, on the real or personal property of another, whether such property is publicly or privately owned, unless the owner of said property shall have, prior to the drawing, writing, printing or placing of such markings, specifically consented to the same; nor shall any person willfully or maliciously damage, deface or vandalize the property of another by inscribing or placing graffiti or any other markings on a public or private street or on public or private property, whether real or personal; provided, however, that nothing contained herein shall prohibit the occasional and temporary marking of public streets and sidewalks with chalk for traditional children's games.
It shall be unlawful for any person to possess a spray paint container, liquid paint in cans, a broad-tipped marker or any other pigmented substance in an aerosol or similar spray container in any public building or upon any public facility or private property with the intent to use the same to deface said building, facility or property. A person who possesses a spray paint container, liquid paint in cans, a broad-tipped marker or any other pigmented substance in an aerosol or similar spray container in any public building or upon any public facility or private property, with no legitimate or lawful purpose therefor, shall be presumed to have possessed the same with the intention of using such container, marker, can or paint to deface said building, facility or property, the presumption capable of being rebutted by the possessor by demonstrating a lawful, legitimate use for the container, marker, can or paint.
It shall be unlawful for any parent, legal guardian or other person having custody, or in the presence of, any minor child under the age of 18 years to assist, aid, abet, allow, permit or encourage said minor to violate the provisions of this chapter, either by words, overt act or by failing to act, or by lack of supervision and control over said minor child.
The existence of graffiti on public or private property in violation of this chapter is expressly declared to be a public nuisance and, therefore, is subject to the removal and abatement provisions specified in this chapter.
It is the duty of both the owner of the property to which the graffiti has been applied and any person who may be in possession or who has the right to possess such property to at all times keep the property clear of graffiti.
Removal by perpetrator. Any person who shall have been found to have applied graffiti on public or private property shall have the duty to remove said graffiti within 48 hours after notice to do so by the Borough of Collingdale and/or by the owner of the property involved. Such removal shall be done in a manner prescribed by the Chief of the Police Department of Collingdale Borough or by his/her designee. Any person who shall have so applied graffiti shall be responsible for the removal or for payment of the costs incurred to remove said graffiti. The failure of the responsible person to remove such graffiti or to pay for the costs of its removal shall be deemed to constitute an additional violation of this chapter. Where the perpetrator is an unemancipated minor, the parents, legal guardian or other person having custody of said minor also shall be responsible for the removal of the graffiti or for the payment of costs incurred to effect such removal.
Removal by owner of property. In the event the perpetrator responsible for the application of graffiti cannot be located, or should said perpetrator fail to remove such graffiti as directed, it shall fall to the owner of the premises or to that person who has primary responsibility for the control, repair and maintenance of the property to remove all graffiti from the real and/or personal property within 15 calendar days of receipt of a notice from the Borough to do so. Said notice to contain the following information:
The street address and other information as may be necessary to identify sufficiently the property at issue.
A statement that the property is a potential graffiti nuisance property.
A statement that the graffiti must be removed within 15 calendar days of the receipt of the notice and that, if the graffiti is not removed within the time specified, the Borough of Collingdale will declare the property to be a public nuisance.
An information sheet identifying any graffiti removal assistance programs that may be available through the Borough.
Removal by Borough. Whenever the perpetrator of the application of graffiti cannot be located, or whenever such a perpetrator fails to remove graffiti as required by the terms of this chapter, or when the owner or the person with primary responsibility for a premises cannot or will not remove graffiti, as directed by the Borough in accordance with the terms of this chapter, then and in that instance the Borough is hereby authorized to enter through its own forces or by contractor onto the subject premises and to expend public funds for the limited purposes of removing the graffiti and/or restoring the specific area of the premises that has been defaced. In no instance shall the Borough undertake to repair and restore an area more extensive than the area that has been impaired by the graffiti. All reasonable efforts to minimize damage from entry shall be taken by the Borough and/or its contractors, and all reasonable efforts will be made to cause the repainted, repaired area to blend with other areas of the facade of the building, structure or facility upon which the graffiti existed.
Borough costs enforceable as debt-lien. Any and all costs incurred by the Borough in the abatement and removal of the graffiti nuisance, as provided for in this chapter, shall constitute a debt owed to the Borough by the property owner or person with primary responsibility and control of a premises, and said debt shall be enforceable as a lien against the property upon which the nuisance existed in addition to any and all other legal remedies available for enforcement of debts owed.
Extension. Upon written application by the property owner or occupant showing good cause, the Borough may grant an extension of time for the removal and/or abatement of the graffiti nuisance.
Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter or any resolutions or regulations made in pursuance hereof shall, upon conviction thereof by a Magisterial District Judge, be subject to a fine of not more than $1,000 or such lesser amount as is the maximum penalty prescribed by law, together with the costs of prosecution, for any single violation. Every violator of the provisions hereof shall be deemed guilty of a separate offense for each and every day that such violation shall continue, and he/she shall be subject to the penalties imposed herein for each and every separate offense.