City of Cortland, NY
Cortland County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Cortland 11-19-1996 (Ch. 15, Art. IV, of the 1969 Code of Ordinances). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Property maintenance — See Ch. 220.
150a Auth Form Graffiti Removal 150b Consent and Indemification Form

§ 150-1 Purpose.

It is the intention of the Common Council of the City of Cortland to promote the health, safety and welfare of the residents of the City by adopting this chapter designed to deter the defacing of public and private property through the use of aerosol spray cans, broad tip markers, pens and writing and artistic devices.

§ 150-2 Definitions.

For the purpose of this chapter the words and phrases set forth below shall be defined as follows:
BROAD-TIP MARKER
Any felt-tip marker or similar implement containing a fluid or coloring matter and which has a flat or angled writing surface of greater than 1/4 square inch.
DEFACE
To mark the face or surface, or disfigure, injure or spoil the appearance.
GRAFFITI
Any writing, painting, drawing, staining, carving, etching or other marking, made by the use of chalk, paint, ink, aerosol spray can, knife, pencil or any other marking device and/or material, of any work, name, lettering, inspection, figure, design or other representation made upon a portion of a building and/or structure without the consent of the owner. Signs erected, created and constructed in accordance with the provisions of the City of Cortland Code of Ordinances are not included in the above definition.
PENS
Any instrument or similar implement that contains an ink fluid or similar coloring matter.
WRITING AND ARTISTIC DEVICES
Any crayon, pastels stick, charcoal and paint.

§ 150-3 Elimination of graffiti.

A. 
No person shall write, paint, spray or draw any work, inscription, design, figure or mark of any type on any public or private building or other structure or any other real or personal property owned, operated or maintained by the City or any agency or instrumentality thereof or by any person, firm or corporation unless the express permission of the owner or operator of the property has been obtained.
B. 
No person shall carry an aerosol spray paint can, broad-tipped marker, pens, writing and artistic devices into any public and/or private building or other public and/or private facility with the intent to violate the provisions of Subsection A of this section.

§ 150-4 Parental responsibility; civil liability.

The parent or legal guardian, other than the State or Local Social Services Department or foster parent, of any minor over the age of 10 and under 18 that violates any provision of this chapter shall be held liable for any damages and/or cleanup costs that result from a violation of Subsection A or B of § 150-2 of this chapter.

§ 150-5 Removal of graffiti.

A. 
It shall be the responsibility of every owner and/or occupant of any building and/or structure which has been defaced by graffiti to remove or cover the graffiti and to restore the surface area of the building and/or structure within 20 calendar days of the defacement. The responsibility to remove or cover graffiti and to restore the surface area of a building and/or structure shall lie notwithstanding that the owner and/or occupant may not have created the graffiti. The failure of an owner and/or occupant of any building and/or structure to remove said graffiti within the time prescribed or to contract with the City for such removal as hereinafter provided shall be subject to the penalties set forth in § 150-6B.
B. 
An owner and/or occupant of a building and/or structure may request that the Department of Public Works of the City of Cortland remove such graffiti by executing and delivering an authorization for graffiti removal form and a consent-indemnification form[1] and by paying the charges and fees indicated therein.
[1]
Editor's Note: The authorization for graffiti removal and consent-indemnification forms are included at the end of this chapter.

§ 150-6 Penalties for offenses.

A. 
Any person who violates the provisions of Subsection A or B of § 150-3 of this chapter shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 or imprisonment of not more than one year, or both. The court may consider a conditional discharge upon the condition that, with the consent of the owner, the defendant restore the property so defaced to its original condition by means of the defendant's own labor or on the condition of monetary restitution in an amount not to exceed the cost of said restoration.
B. 
Any person who violates the provisions of § 150-5A of this chapter for a first offense shall be guilty of a violation punishable by a fine of not more than $250, and for a second or subsequent offense shall be guilty of a Class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $500 or three months' imprisonment, or both.

§ 150-7 Enforcement.

The Code Enforcement Office of the City of Cortland and/or any other law enforcement agency are hereby authorized to issue appearance tickets in the enforcement of this chapter pursuant to Article 150 of the Criminal Procedure Law.

§ 150-8 Severability.

If any clause, sentence, paragraph, section or part of any section shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraphs, section or part thereof directly involved in the controversy and in which such judgment shall have been rendered.