[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Board of Aldermen of the Town of Dover as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 4-10-2012 by Ord. No. 5-2012]
For the purposes of this section, "graffiti" shall mean any drawing, painting or making of any mark or inscription on public or private real or personal property without the prior written permission of the owner of the property.
It shall be prohibited for a property owner to maintain graffiti on buildings, structures and other exposed surfaces within the Town of Dover.
Order to remove graffiti.
The owner of record of the property that contains graffiti shall be entitled to written notice of an order to remove graffiti and that the notice shall be delivered to the owner by certified and regular mail. The order shall afford the owner the opportunity to remove the graffiti within 90 days from the date that the notice is sent; however, the Department of Transportation shall be afforded 120 days from the date a notice is sent to remove graffiti from property owned by the department. Such notice shall be in writing and have substantially the following form:
NOTICE TO REMOVE GRAFFITI FROM PROPERTY
TO THE OWNER, AGENT OF THE OWNER OR PERSON MANAGING THE PROPERTY HEREINAFTER DESCRIBED
YOUR ATTENTION IS HEREBY DIRECTED TO THE PROVISION OF THE CODE OF THE TOWN OF DOVER ON FILE IN THE OFFICE OF THE TOWN CLERK IN THE MUNICIPAL BUILDING. PURSUANT THERETO, YOU ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED THAT A CERTAIN UNSIGHTLY CONDITION EXISTS ON PREMISES SPECIFICALLY DESCRIBED AS ________________________ WHICH INJURES NEIGHBORING PROPERTY AND THE PUBLIC HEALTH, SAFETY AND WELFARE. YOU ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED TO IMMEDIATELY REMOVE SUCH GRAFFITI FROM THE PROPERTY AND THEREAFTER TO KEEP THE PROPERTY FREE THEREFROM. UPON REMOVAL OF SUCH GRAFFITI, YOU MUST NOTIFY THE UNDERSIGNED IN WRITING, WHICH SHALL INCLUDE A CERTIFICATION THAT THE GRAFFITI HAS BEEN REMOVED. SAID CERTIFICATION SHALL BE UNDER OATH AND SUBJECT TO THE SAME PENALTIES AS PROVIDED BY LAW FOR PERJURY.
IN THE EVENT YOU FAIL TO COMPLETE SUCH WORK, THE UNDERSIGNED SHALL CAUSE THE SAME TO BE REMOVED AND YOU WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE COST OF REMOVAL OF THE CONDITION FROM THE PROPERTY, INCLUDING IMPOSITION OF THE COST AS A MUNICIPAL LIEN UPON THE PROPERTY.
An owner who has been ordered to remove graffiti shall respond to the Town by personal delivery or by certified mail:
An owner who objects to an order to remove graffiti, pursuant to Subsection C(2) of this section, may institute an action challenging the order before a court of competent jurisdiction within 60 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 pursuant to Subsection D of this section, the municipality may remove the graffiti from that property and present the property owner with a detailed itemization of the costs incurred by the municipality, by certified and regular mail, for reimbursement from the property owner.
Whenever a municipality undertakes the removal of graffiti from any building, structure or other exposed surface, the governing body of the municipality, in addition to assessing the cost of removal as a municipal lien against the premises, may enforce the payment of such assessment, together with interest, as a debt of the owner of the property and may authorize the institution of an action at law for the collection thereof. The Superior Court shall have jurisdiction of any such action.