Jersey Shore town to fine homeowners for not removing obscene graffiti from new sidewalks

     Demolition at Third and Market streets drives pedestrians into traffic lanes. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

    Demolition at Third and Market streets drives pedestrians into traffic lanes. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

    Homeowners replacing a sidewalk in one Cape May County community better monitor the drying concrete or else.

    That’s because the Ocean City Council recently adopted an ordinance that prescribes penalties for vandalism on new sidewalks, curbs, and driveways for which homeowners received a permit to install, OCNJ Daily reported. 

    According to the ordinance, drying concrete cannot be defaced or damaged with anything obscene. If that occurs, the homeowner is responsible for repairs within 14 days.

    But if the owner doesn’t complete the work within the required time frame, the city is empowered to repair the damage and issue a bill, which must be paid within 60 days. 

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    If not paid, the city could place a lien on the property and list it for sale.

    But the city will not be going after homeowners who do something innocuous like drawing initials in the drying concrete. Officials say the city’s enforcement department will employ a common sense approach in determining what’s inappropriate, the report said. 

    “We’ll be looking at each situation on a case-by-case basis, using common sense. With so much construction going on, we’ve had instances of obscenities defacing new concrete. That’s what we’re concerned about,” City Solicitor Dorothy McCrosson said at the meeting, according to the Cape May County Herald.

    “Small handprints and initials, we’ve all done that, and as long as it’s on a small portion of the block, that’s OK. We’re looking to prevent anything offensive,” she added.

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