[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of Latrobe 1-13-1997 by Ord. No. 1997-1. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Disorderly conduct — See Ch. 194.
It has become apparent that the use of pens, writing and artistic devices and spray can and marking devices used in connection with the writing of graffiti on walls and other places of structures and property has reached such significant levels and proportions that immediate local attention should be given this matter by this municipality. The unabated proliferation of graffiti is a physical blight upon the landscape of Latrobe and costs taxpayers, merchants and homeowners substantial moneys to remove and repair. The defacing of such property and the use of foul language in many of the writings is harmful to the general public and violative of the good and welfare of the citizens, residents and people of Latrobe. It is the further intent of this legislation that any person guilty of writing graffiti on buildings and property shall be punished so that the punishment shall fit the offense.
No person shall write, paint or draw any inscription, figure or mark of any type on any structure, public or private, or any other property, real or personal, owned, operated or maintained by any public benefit corporation, Latrobe or by any person, firm or corporation, or any agency or instrumentality thereof, without the express written permission of the owner of the property or his agent.
No person shall possess any aerosol spray paint can or broad-tipped indelible marker or any tool, instrument, article, substance, solution or other compound designed or commonly used to etch, paint, cover, draw upon or otherwise place a mark upon any public or private property. Any person in the proximity of any defacement, in possession of the items mentioned herein, without the prior express written consent of the owner or operator of the property having been obtained, shall create a rebuttable presumption that such person did deface public or private property in violation of this chapter.
A person is guilty of possession of a graffiti instrument(s) when he is situate upon any real property, public or private, without the express permission of the owner thereof, while in possession of any aerosol spray paint can or broad-tipped indelible marker or tool, instrument, article, substance, solution or other compound designed or commonly used to etch, paint, cover, draw upon or otherwise place a mark upon a piece of property which that person has no permission or authority to etch, paint, cover, draw upon or otherwise place a mark upon.
It is the responsibility of the owner, or his agent, of the building or structure which has been defaced without the owner's, or his agent's, prior written permission by a writing, painting or drawing of any inscription, figure or mark to completely remove said graffiti from the building or structure within 30 days of receipt of written notice of the defacement by the Chief of Police of his designee, said notice having been served personally or as otherwise permitted by law.
Failure of the owner of the building or structure to remove the graffiti within the time allowed after written notice may subject the owner to a fine of not more than $250 for the first offense. Each thirty-day period thereafter shall be deemed a separate offense and shall subject the owner to additional fines not to exceed $250 for each offense.
If said graffiti condition is not removed, cured or corrected within 30 days after receipt of written notice from Latrobe, then Latrobe shall have the right to enter the premises to remove the graffiti and/or repaint the premises as set forth above, and the cost of the removal of the graffiti and/or repainting shall be at the sole, joint and several cost and expense of the occupant, lessee, sublessee, agent or landlord of said building or structure. The actual cost of the removal of the graffiti and/or repainting, plus the cost of the inspection of said graffiti and/or repainting and other costs incidental to such removal, shall thereupon become a lien upon the real property upon which the graffiti was found to exist and not remedied under this subsection, and the same shall be collected and enforced in the same manner as any other municipal claim. This remedy shall be in addition to any other remedy for fine or civil penalty.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- BROAD-TIPPED INDELIBLE MARKER
- Any felt-tipped marker or similar marker containing fluid.
Should any provision of this chapter be subsequently determined to be invalid or unconstitutional, then and in that event, the provision of this chapter so determined to be invalid or unconstitutional shall be stricken and, to the greatest extent possible, the remaining provisions in this chapter shall remain in full force and effect.
In this chapter, the singular shall include the plural and vice-versa, and any reference to either gender shall also be implied to include the other gender as well.