Township of Cheltenham, PA
Montgomery County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted 8-20-1985 by Ord. No. 1609; amended in its entirety 6-20-2000 by Ord. No. 1963-00]
The following shall be entitled the "Antigraffiti Code."
It is the intent and purpose of this article to address the problem of graffiti in Cheltenham Township. Graffiti is the ultimate symbol of urban decay and blight on the community. The community is affected by reduced property values and an environment that encourages further acts of vandalism and crime. Graffiti also is responsible for the loss of neighborhood pride and loss of business to commercial enterprises.
A. 
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this article, shall have the following meanings ascribed to them:
BROAD-TIPPED INDELIBLE MARKER
Any felt tipped marker or similar implement which contains a fluid which is not water soluble and which has a flat or angled writing surface one-half inch or greater.
GRAFFITI
Every name, identification, description, announcement, display, illustration or insignia, any symbol (including any letter, word, numeral, emblem, or combination thereof), other than advertising which is otherwise provided for by township ordinances, which is marked, written, drawn, painted, scratched or affixed directly to or upon any object or structure or otherwise placing of a mark upon private or public property with intent to damage or change the appearance of such property.
MINOR
For the purpose of this article, a person who has not yet reached 18 years of age.
OWNER
Any and all persons with legal and/or equitable title to real property in Cheltenham Township as their names and addresses are shown upon the official property records.
PERSON
Includes any individual, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind.
PROPERTY
Includes any real estate, including improvements thereon, and tangible property.
SPRAY PAINT
A container of paint designed to allow direct application to a surface without the necessity for use of a brush, roller or other applicator.
TOWNSHIP
The Township of Cheltenham, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.
B. 
In this article, the singular shall include the plural, the plural shall include the singular and the masculine shall include the feminine and the neuter.
A. 
Making graffiti. No person shall make graffiti of any type on any building, public or private, or any other property owned by any person or public agency without the express permission of the owner or operator of said property.
B. 
Possession of graffiti instruments. No person under the age of 18 shall have in his or her possession any aerosol container of spray paint or broad-tipped indelible marker while on any public property, highway, street, alley, sidewalk or park or while on any private property unless the owner or person in possession of the property knows of the minor's possession of the aerosol container or marker and has consented to the minor's possession while on his or her property.
C. 
Sale to minors prohibited.
(1) 
No person or firm shall sell or cause to be sold to any person under the age of 18 years and no person under the age of 18 years shall buy any aerosol container of spray paint or broad-tipped indelible marker unless said minor is accompanied by a parent or legal guardian at the time of the purchase or transfer.
(2) 
No minor shall, at the time of purchase or transfer of spray paint or indelible marker, knowingly furnish fraudulent evidence of majority, including but not limited to a motor vehicle operator's license, a registration certificate issued under the Federal Selective Service Act, an identification card issued to a member of the armed forces or any other document issued by a federal, state, county or municipal government.
A. 
Display of spray paint and markers. Every person who owns, conducts, operates or manages a retail commercial establishment selling aerosol containers of spray paint or broad-tipped indelible markers shall:
(1) 
Place a sign in clear public view at or near the display of such products stating:
"GRAFFITI IS A CRIME UNDER THE PA. CRIMES CODE SECTION 3304 CRIMINAL MISCHIEF. ANY PERSON DEFACING REAL OR PERSONAL PROPERTY WILL BE SUBJECT TO ARREST AND PROSECUTION."
(2) 
Place a sign in the direct view of such persons responsible for accepting customer payment for aerosol containers of spray paint or broad-tipped indelible markers stating:
"IT IS A VIOLATION OF THE TOWNSHIP ORDINANCE TO SELL AEROSOL CONTAINERS OF SPRAY PAINT OR BROAD-TIPPED INDELIBLE MARKERS TO PERSONS UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE."
No person shall sell or offer for sale, transfer or offer to transfer any spray paint or indelible marker unless such spray paint or indelible marker is held for sale or transfer in an enclosed device which is constructed to prevent removal of the merchandise except by authorized attendants or unless such spray paint or indelible marker is stored, out of sight, in such a manner as to prevent free access to the merchandise by the public.
A. 
Requirement to remove graffiti. Upon written notification by the Township, the owner of property upon which graffiti has been placed shall remove the graffiti within 15 calendar days from the date of the notice. If delivery is not made to the owner, then a written notice of removal of the graffiti shall be posted upon the premises. The Township will supply the property owner with information and methods of removal upon request.
B. 
Remedy. If a property owner fails to remove graffiti within 15 days after notice of violation has been issued, the Township may proceed to remove the graffiti itself, by contract, and the property owner may be responsible for the costs of removal, including all related administrative costs. Notice of this fact shall be provided to the property owner at the same time and in the same manner as the notice of violation was issued. A bill for such costs of removal may be delivered to the property owner, proprietor or other responsible agent, and the Township may file a lien against the property in the amount of such costs. Liability for costs of removal under this section may be in addition to liability for any fine imposed.
C. 
Exigent circumstances. In the interest of public safety, the Township reserves the right to remove any graffiti on private property without the owners permission when such graffiti may constitute the crimes of institutional vandalism or ethnic intimidation.
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any provision of this article shall, upon conviction before any District Justice, be fined not less than $100 nor more than $600; and, furthermore, the person shall pay the cost associated with the prosecution thereof and the cost of the repair and removal of graffiti that they have been found to be responsible for. Each day a violation shall continue after notification shall constitute a separate offense. The fine or penalty imposed by this section shall be in addition to any other penalty imposed by this article or allowed by law. Such courts may also, at their discretion, require community service to offset the costs of removal or cleanup.