[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Burlington Ord. No. 8-1997 (Ch. 8.16 of the 1996 Municipal Code); amended in its entirety at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I). Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any drawing, painting or making of any mark or inscription on public or private real or personal property without the permission of the owner.
No person shall place graffiti by any means on any building or structure located in the City of Burlington.
The owner of any building or structure located in the City upon which graffiti has been placed shall remove such graffiti immediately from the building or structure.
If the property owner of the building or structure upon which graffiti has been placed fails to remove the graffiti from the building or structure, the City shall notify the property owner by certified and regular mail that such graffiti shall be removed from the building or structure by the property owner within 90 days of the date of the notice from the City. Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.59, the State Department of Transportation shall be afforded 120 days from the date a notice is sent to remove graffiti from property owned by the Department. The notice to remove graffiti shall contain a form to be utilized by the property owner to inform the municipality that the graffiti has been removed. The form shall contain a provision stating that by affixing a signature to the form, indicating that graffiti has been removed, the owner is certifying that the facts set forth therein are true and that the certification shall be considered as if made under oath and subject to the same penalties as provided by law for perjury.
An owner who has been ordered to remove graffiti shall respond to the municipality by personal delivery or by certified mail:
Of any objection to the order, within 30 days of the date of the order, an owner who objects to an order to remove graffiti, pursuant to § 181-4 of this chapter, may institute an action challenging the order before a court of competent jurisdiction within 60 days of the date of the order.
Of notice that the graffiti has been removed, within 90 days of the date of the order, or in the case of the Department of Transportation, within 120 days of the date of the order.
If a property owner does not undertake the removal of graffiti within 90 days of the date of the order, or in the case of the Department of Transportation, within 120 days of the date of the order, unless an action challenging the order to remove graffiti is still pending, the municipality may remove the graffiti from that property and present the property owner, via certified and regular mail, with a detailed itemization of the costs incurred by the municipality, by certified and regular mail, for reimbursement from the property owner. If no payment of such reimbursement is received within 30 days of the date of mailing of the itemized cost of removal, the City may recoup the costs of removal as follows:
The municipal officer of the City in charge of the removal of said graffiti shall certify the cost thereof to the Mayor and City Council. Upon receipt and review of the certification of cost, the Mayor and City Council shall cause the cost as shown thereon to be charged against the property from which said graffiti was removed.
In addition to assessing the cost of such removal as a municipal lien against the premises, the City may enforce the payment of such assessment, together with interest, as a debt of the owner of the premises and may authorize the institution of an action at law for the collection thereof in the Superior Court in accordance with N.J.S.A. 40:48-1.
Any person violating or failing to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be punishable by a fine of not more than $2,000, by imprisonment for a term not to exceed 90 days or by community service of not more than 90 days, or any combination of fine, imprisonment and community service as determined in the discretion of the Municipal Court Judge. The continuation of such violation for each successive day shall constitute a separate offense, and the person or persons allowing or permitting the continuation of the violation may be punished as provided above for each separate offense.
The violation of any provision of this chapter shall be subject to abatement summarily by a restraining order or injunction issued by a court of competent jurisdiction.