[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Norristown 11-1-1994 as Ord. No. 94-23. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Loitering — See Ch. 204.
Peace and good order — See Ch. 229.
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 278.
Editor's Note: This ordinance superseded former Ch. 176, Graffiti, adopted 8-5-1986 as Ord. No. 86-15, as amended.
The use of broad-tipped pens, paint spray cans, pencils, pens, crayons or other marking devices to write or place graffiti on the walls or other available spaces on public or private buildings, vehicles, areas or facilities causes serious defacement of such buildings, vehicles and areas, public and private, and contributes to the deterioration of property values, as well as offending the public's right, public and private, not to have unsightly and unlawful graffiti on, with defacement of, public and private property, and it constitutes a deleterious practice contrary to the public health and welfare. In addition, such contempt for the property rights of private citizens, as well as public facilities, contributes to the erosion of law and order and contributes to the deterioration in the quality of life of the community and must be opposed and punished.
For the purposes of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply:
- Includes any and all unsightly, offensive or defacing writings, drawings, markings or other written or pictorial matter by any method or device and of any content which contributes to the defacement of the real or personal property involved and which contributes to the ugliness and unsightliness of the object, space, area or community and which is detrimental to the beauty, neatness and good order of the area and community. This chapter shall not be construed to prohibit easily removable chalk markings on the public sidewalks and streets used in connection with traditional children's games.
- Any person under the age of eighteen (18) years.
- Includes associations, clubs, corporations, firms, partnerships and bodies politic, as well as all individuals.
- Any public or private property in the Borough of Norristown.
No person shall write, print or place with ink, paint, chalk or other substances graffiti on the real or personal property of another, whether said personal or real property be publicly or privately owned.
It shall be unlawful for any parent, legal guardian or other person having custody and care of any minor child under the age of eighteen (18) years to knowingly assist, aid, abet, allow, permit or encourage said minor to violate the provisions of this chapter, as herein defined, either by words, overt act or by failing to act.
All persons directly or indirectly involved shall be equally responsible and guilty, not alone the individual who may personally deface the object or area; but others in a group who knowingly make available the tools, writing material, ladders, lookout, materials or assistance or who knowingly supply funds to acquire such materials for such purposes shall be equally guilty and liable to punishment under this chapter.
Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be fined not less than one hundred dollars ($100.) nor more than three hundred dollars ($300.) or imprisoned for not more than ninety (90) days, or both.
Any person who violated either §§ 176-3, 176-4 or 176-5 of this chapter shall also be responsible for the cost of cleaning, repairing, painting or otherwise restoring the property which he/she damaged, defaced or vandalized so as to bring the property to the condition it was in prior to the application of the graffiti.
If said violator was under the age of eighteen (18) years old at the time of committing said offense, the District Justice shall order the person having care and custody of said violator to pay the prescribed fine and make restitution to said real or personal property owner.
Property owners shall be liable for removal of graffiti in the event that the person responsible for defacing the property cannot be determined. Upon proper notice by the duly authorized borough official, the property owner shall remove or cause to be removed any and all such graffiti within sixty (60) days. Failure to comply with this section shall result in the imposition of a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100.) nor more than three hundred dollars ($300.). In the event that the borough shall cause to have the graffiti removed because the owner has not complied with an order to do so, the borough may recover the costs of the same from the property owner.