City of College Park, MD
Prince George's County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Added 10-28-1997 by Ord. No. 97-O-17]
A. 
Graffiti. Every responsible person of real or personal property located within the City shall keep the exterior of any building located on such real property and the surfaces of all personal property located within public view in a clean condition and free from graffiti.
B. 
Every responsible person of real or personal property located within public view who permits graffiti to be placed or remain upon said property is in violation of this chapter and shall be subject to its remedies.
A. 
Upon determining that there has been a violation of § 132-10 of this chapter, the City shall give notice of the alleged violation to the responsible person, as the case may be, stating the nature and location of the graffiti, describing the problems caused by the continued presence of graffiti, the need for its removal and the resources available to aid in graffiti removal, advising that the failure to remove graffiti is a violation of § 132-10 of the Code of the City of College Park and requiring that the violation be abated within 14 calendar days of the date of the letter. As used in this article, the term "abate" shall mean to remove the graffiti by such means, in such a manner and to such an extent as is necessary to remove the graffiti from public view.
[Amended 10-25-2005 by Ord. No. 05-O-11]
B. 
Any person receiving a notice of an alleged violation who fails to abate the violation as required in Subsection A shall be issued a municipal infraction citation under the provisions of Article 23A, § 3(b)(2), of the Annotated Code of Maryland and shall be subject to a fine as set forth in Chapter 110, Fees and Penalties, of the Code of the City of College Park.
C. 
Within 10 business days of receiving a notice of violation of § 132-10, the recipient may petition the Department of Public Services to extend the time for compliance with the notice. Upon written request in connection with the recipient's petition, the Department of Public Services may grant the recipient an additional 30 days to obtain the necessary services or supplies to abate said violation.
[Amended 10-25-2005 by Ord. No. 05-O-11]
D. 
Each fourteen-day period from the date a citation is issued that a violation has not been abated shall constitute a separate violation. [1]
[Amended 10-25-2005 by Ord. No. 05-O-11]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection E, regarding a person receiving a municipal infraction who wishes to stand trial, which immediately followed this subsection, was repealed 10-25-2005 by Ord. No. 05-O-11. This ordinance also provided for the redesignation of former Subsection F as Subsection E.
E. 
In addition to any other penalty provided for, the City may take such civil action as allowed by law, including but not limited to, seeking injunctive relief, abatement of a nuisance or imposition of a lien for expenses incurred in abating the nuisance.
A. 
In any action to enforce a municipal infraction under § 132-11, the City may seek an order authorizing it to abate the infraction. In the event that an order authorizing the City to abate the infraction is not obtained in a municipal infraction proceeding under § 132-11 and the defendant in such proceeding is ordered to abate that infraction and thereafter fails to do so, the City may initiate a separate proceeding in a court of competent jurisdiction to obtain an order authorizing it to abate the infraction or may initiate a contempt petition against the defendant.
[Amended 12-9-2008 by Ord. No. 08-O-06]
B. 
A violation of § 132-10 shall constitute a public nuisance. In the event that the provisions of § 132-10 have been violated on a commercial property and not corrected within 14 days of the notice required in § 132-11, in addition to any other remedy allowed by law, the City may take action to abate the violation.
[Added 12-9-2008 by Ord. No. 08-O-06[1]]
(1) 
Prior to taking abatement action, the City shall provide the owner of the commercial property with at least 10 days' notice of its intention to enter onto the subject property to remove, dispose of, or eliminate the violation.
(2) 
Unless notified otherwise, the City will assume that the owner(s) is that person or entity listed by the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation as the legal owner of the subject property. Such notice shall be served personally upon the owner or designated agent or by certified United States mail, addressed to the owner at the last known address as shown on the State Department of Assessments and Taxation real property tax records. Service by certified mail shall be deemed given upon proper mailing. The notice shall also be posted on the property.
(3) 
In the event that the owner does not remove, dispose of, or eliminate the violation within the ten-day period, the City is authorized to enter onto the property to abate the nuisance. The cost of such abatement shall be paid by the owner.
(4) 
Any person affected by any notice of abatement issued under this Subsection B may request and shall be granted a hearing on the matter by the Advisory Planning Commission, provided that such person shall, within 10 days after service of a notice or order, file in the office of the Public Services Department a signed written notice of appeal requesting a hearing and setting forth a brief statement of the reasons therefor. Upon receipt of such notice of appeal, the Public Services Department shall forthwith notify the Commission and the Commission shall set a time and place for such hearing and shall give the person appealing and the Code Enforcement Officer involved notice thereof. The Commission shall determine such appeals as promptly as practicable.
(5) 
The Director of Public Works, at the time that a notice of violation is provided to the responsible party, may offer to abate the graffiti violation on commercial property at the cost of the City's time and materials.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also redesignated former Subsection B as Subsection C.
C. 
The cost of abating the graffiti shall be billed to the responsible person and shall be due and payable to the City. Costs include both the cost of City staff time and payments made to third parties, including but not limited to direct and indirect personnel costs, attorneys' fees, administrative overhead; costs incurred in documenting the violation; hauling, storage and disposal expenses; actual expenses and costs of the City in preparing notices, specifications and contracts and in accomplishing or contracting for and inspecting the work; and the cost of any required printing and mailing.
If the charges set forth in this article are not paid, the Finance Director shall include the cost in the tax bill for the property owner. The cost shall be collected as other City taxes are collected, and the charges shall be due and payable by the owner at the time of payment of the tax bill. Any charge imposed by this article shall become a lien upon the subject premises, provided that the property owner has been notified and failed to take corrective action as set forth above.
The provisions of this article are declared to be separate and severable. If any clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section, subsection or portion of this article or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held to be invalid, it shall not affect the validity of the remainder of this article or the validity of its application to other persons or circumstances.