[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Crystal Lake 12-5-2006 by Ord. No. 6140 (Art. V, Ch. III, Section V, of the 1993 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
For the purposes of this chapter, the following words shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
- AEROSOL PAINT CONTAINER
- Any aerosol container that is adapted or made for the purpose of applying spray paint or made for the purpose of applying spray paint or other substances capable of defacing property.
- BROAD-TIPPED MARKER
- Any felt-tip indelible marker or similar implement with a flat or angled writing surface that, at its broadest width, is greater than 1/4 of an inch, containing ink or other pigmented liquid that is not water soluble.
- ETCHING EQUIPMENT
- Any tool, device or substance that can be used to make permanent marks on any natural or man-made surface.
- Any unauthorized inscription, word, figure, painting or other defacement that is written, marked, etched, scratched, sprayed, drawn, painted or engraved on or otherwise affixed to any surface of public or private property by any graffiti implement, to the extent that the graffiti was not authorized in advance by the owner or occupant of the property or, despite advance authorization, is otherwise deemed a public nuisance by the City Council.
- GRAFFITI IMPLEMENT
- An aerosol paint container, a broad-tipped marker, gum label, paint stick or graffiti stick, etching equipment, brush or any other device capable of scarring or leaving a visible mark on any natural or man-made surface.
- PAINT STICK or GRAFFITI STICK
- Any device containing a solid form of paint, chalk, wax, epoxy or other similar substance capable of being applied to a surface by pressure and leaving a mark of at least 1/8 of an inch in width.
- Any individual, partnership, cooperative association, private corporation, personal representative, receiver, trustee, assignee or any other legal entity.
Defacement. It shall be unlawful for any person to apply graffiti to any natural or man-made surface on any City-owned property or, without the permission of the owner or occupant, on any non-City-owned property.
Possession of graffiti implements.
By minors at or near school facilities. It shall be unlawful for any person under the age of 18 years to possess any graffiti implement while on any school property, grounds, facilities, buildings or structures or in areas immediately adjacent to those specific locations upon public property or upon private property without the prior written consent of the owner or occupant of such private property. The provisions of this section shall not apply to the possession of broad-tipped markers by a minor attending or traveling to or from a school at which the minor is enrolled if the minor is participating in a class at the school that formally requires the possession of broad-tipped markers. The burden of proof in any prosecution for violation of this section shall be upon the minor student to establish the need to possess a broad-tipped marker.
In designated public places. It shall be unlawful for any person to possess any graffiti implement while in or upon any public facility, park, playground, swimming pool, recreational facility or other public building or structure owned or operated by the City or while in, on or within 50 feet of an underpass, bridge abutment, storm drain or similar types of infrastructure unless otherwise authorized by the City.
The existence of graffiti on public or private property in violation of this chapter is expressly declared to be a public nuisance and, therefore, is subject to the removal and abatement provisions specified in this chapter.
It is the duty of both the owner of the property to which the graffiti has been applied and any person who may be in possession or who has the right to possess such property to at all times keep the property clear of graffiti.
[Amended 6-3-2014 by Ord. No. 7036]
Any person applying graffiti on public or private property shall have the duty to remove the graffiti within 24 hours after notice by the City or private owner of the property involved. Such removal shall be done in a manner prescribed by the Chief of Police, the Director of Community Development or any additional City department head, as authorized by the City Council. Any person applying graffiti shall be responsible for the removal or for the payment of the removal. Failure of any person to remove graffiti or pay for the removal shall constitute an additional violation of this chapter. Where graffiti is applied by an unemancipated minor, the parents or legal guardian shall also be responsible for such removal or for the payment for the removal.
If graffiti is not removed by the perpetrator according to § 286-4, graffiti shall be removed pursuant to the following provisions:
Property owner responsibility. It is unlawful for any person who is the owner or who has primary responsibility for control of property or for repair or maintenance of property in the City to permit property that is defaced with graffiti to remain defaced for a period of 10 days after service by first class mail of notice of the defacement. The notice shall contain the following information:
The street address and legal description of the property sufficient for identification of the property;
A statement that the property is a potential graffiti nuisance property, with a concise description of the conditions leading to the finding;
A statement that the graffiti must be removed within 10 days after receipt of the notice and that if the graffiti is not abated within that time the City will declare the property to be a public nuisance, subject to the abatement procedures in § 286-5; and
An information sheet identifying any graffiti removal assistance programs available through the City and private graffiti removal contractors.
Exceptions to property owner responsibility. The removal requirements of Subsection A shall not apply if the property owner or responsible party can demonstrate that the property owner or responsible party has an active program for the removal of graffiti and has scheduled the removal of the graffiti as part of that program, in which case it shall be unlawful to permit such property to remain defaced with graffiti for a period of 15 days after service by first class mail of notice of the defacement.
Right of City to remove.
Use of public funds. Whenever the City becomes aware or is notified and determines that graffiti is located on publicly or privately owned property viewable from a public or quasi-public place, the City shall be authorized to use public funds for the removal of the graffiti, or for the painting or repairing of the graffiti, but shall not authorize or undertake to provide for the painting or repair of any more extensive an area than that where the graffiti is located, unless the City Manager, or the designee of the City Manager, determines in writing that a more extensive area is required to be repainted or repaired in order to avoid an aesthetic disfigurement to the neighborhood or community, or unless the property owner or responsible party agrees to pay for the costs of repainting or repairing the more extensive area.
Right of entry on private property. Prior to entering upon private property or property owned by a public entity other than the City for the purpose of graffiti removal, the City shall attempt to secure the consent of the property owner or responsible party and a release of the City from liability for property damage or personal injury. If the property owner or responsible party fails to remove the offending graffiti within the time specified by this chapter, or if the City has requested consent to remove or paint over the offending graffiti and the property owner or responsible party has refused consent for entry on terms acceptable to the City and consistent with the terms of this section, the City shall commence abatement and cost recovery proceedings for the graffiti removal according to the provisions specified below.
Abatement and cost recovery proceedings.
Notice of due process hearing. The City Manager, or the designee of the City Manager, serving as the Hearing Officer, shall provide the property owner of record and the party responsible for the maintenance of the property, if a person different than the owner, not less than 48 hours' notice of the City's intent to hold a due process hearing at which the property owner or responsible party shall be entitled to present evidence and argue that the property does not constitute a public nuisance. Notice shall be served in the same manner as a summons in a civil action. If the owner of record cannot be found after a diligent search, the notice may be served by posting a copy thereof in a conspicuous place upon the property for a period of 10 days and publication thereof in a newspaper of general circulation published in the City.
Determination of Hearing Officer. The determination of the Hearing Officer after the due process hearing shall be final and not appealable. If, after the due process hearing, regardless of the attendance of the owner or the responsible party or their respective agents, the Hearing Officer determines that the property contains graffiti viewable from a public or quasi-public place, the Hearing Officer shall give written notice in an eradication order that, unless the graffiti is removed within 10 days, the City shall enter upon the property, cause the removal, painting over (in such color as shall meet with the approval of the Hearing Officer), or such other eradication thereof as the Hearing Officer determines appropriate, and shall provide the owner and the responsible party thereafter with an accounting of the costs of the eradication effort om full cost recovery basis.
Eradication effort. Not sooner than the time specified in the order of the Hearing Officer, the City Manager, or the designee of the City Manager, shall implement the eradication order and shall provide an accounting to the owner and the responsible party of the costs thereof.
Collection. As to such property where the responsible party is the property owner, if all or any portion of the assessed eradication charges remain unpaid after 30 days, the portion thereof that remains unpaid shall be submitted for collection.
Common utility colors and paint type. Any gas, electric, telephone, water, sewer, cable and other utility operating in the City shall paint its above-surface metal fixtures with a uniform paint type and color that meets with the approval of the City Manager or his/her designee.
Development approvals. In approving planned unit developments, conditional use permits, variances or other similar zoning approvals, the City shall consider imposing any or all of the following conditions, or other similar or related conditions, at the public hearing required by law for approval of the planned unit developments, conditional use permit, variance or other similar zoning approvals:
Use of anti-graffiti material. The developer shall apply an anti-graffiti materials of a type and nature that is acceptable to the City Manager, or the designee of the City Manager, to the publicly viewable surfaces on the improvements to be constructed at the site deemed by the City Manager, or his/her designee, to be likely to attract graffiti;
Right of access to remove graffiti. The developer shall grant, prior to resale of any of the parcels that are within the territory of the map, the right of entry over and access to such parcels, upon 48 hours' posting of notice by authorized City employees or agents, to the City for the purpose of removing or painting over graffiti; or
Owner to immediately remove graffiti. The developer shall, either as part of the general conditions, covenants and restrictions, or separate covenants recorded against individual lots, prior to resale of any of the parcels, covenant in a form satisfactory to the City that the owner of the lots shall immediately remove any graffiti placed thereon.
Penalties assessed against violators of this chapter shall be placed in the escrow account fund, along with any monetary donations received from persons wishing to contribute to the fund. The City Manager or his/her designee shall direct the expenditures of monies in the fund. Such expenditures shall be limited to the payment of the cost of graffiti removal, the payment, at the discretion of the City Manager or his/her designee, of rewards for information leading to the conviction of violation of this chapter, the costs of administering this chapter and such other public purposes.