Cathedral City, CA
Chapter 13.160 SHOPPING CARTS
13.160.010 Purpose and declaration of public nuisance.
A. The city council hereby finds that the proliferation of wrecked, dismantled and abandoned shopping carts, or parts thereof, on public or private property are a visual blight, reduce property values, interfere with pedestrian and vehicular traffic, impede emergency services, and are injurious to the health, safety and general welfare. Therefore, wrecked, dismantled and abandoned shopping carts are declared to be public nuisances and may be abated pursuant to the provisions of this chapter or in any other manner provided by law.
B. The purpose of the regulations set forth in this chapter is to ensure that owners and operators of retail businesses that provide shopping carts take reasonable measures to prevent the removal of shopping carts and to provide for prompt retrieval of any removed or abandoned carts. (Ord. 768 § 2, 2015)
A. The city manager or designee shall administer and enforce the provisions of this chapter. The city manager or designees may enter public property and private property, with consent of the owner or occupant or with a warrant authorizing entry, to examine shopping carts or parts thereof, to ascertain the identity of the owner of the carts, and to abate and remove shopping carts pursuant to this chapter. The city manager or designee may use contractors for cart retrieval purposes.
B. The city manager or designee may enforce the provisions of this chapter by use of administrative citations pursuant to Chapters 13.58 and 13.60.
13.160.040 Prohibited conduct.
It is unlawful for any person to do any of the following acts:
A. To remove a shopping cart from the premises of a retail establishment with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the owner or retailer of possession of the cart.
B. To be in possession of any shopping cart that has been removed from the premises of a retail establishment, with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the owner or retailer of possession of the cart.
C. To be in possession of any shopping cart with serial numbers removed, obliterated, or altered, with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the owner or retailer of possession of the cart.
D. To leave or abandon a shopping cart at a location other than the premises of the retail establishment with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the owner or retailer of possession of the cart.
E. To alter, convert, or tamper with a shopping cart, or to remove any part or portion thereof or to remove, obliterate or alter serial numbers on a cart, with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the owner or retailer of possession of the cart.
F. To be in possession of any shopping cart while that cart is not located on the premises of a retail establishment, with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the owner or retailer of possession of the cart.
G. Notwithstanding any other section in this chapter, it is unlawful and a public nuisance for any owner or retail establishment to allow one or more of that retail establishment’s carts to be abandoned or remain unattended on any private property, city street, alley, sidewalk or other public right-of-way for any period of time.
13.160.050 Shopping cart abatement.
A. Impoundment of Shopping Carts with Signs Affixed.
1. Pursuant to Business and Professions Code Section 22435.7(b), the city manager or designee may provide actual notice to the owner of any abandoned or removed carts that has been located within the city. The notification shall be documented and provided by telephone or written notice. If three business days after such notice is given the cart has not been retrieved by the owner or his or her agent, the cart may be impounded. The city may recover the actual costs of retrieving the cart and fines against the owner. A cart impounded pursuant to this subsection that is not reclaimed within thirty days of the owner’s receipt of the notice provided for herein shall be sold or otherwise disposed of by the city.
2. Pursuant to Business and Professions Code Section 22435.7(i), the city manager or designee may immediately impound any abandoned or removed shopping cart located within the city, and give the owner of the cart actual notice that the cart has been impounded within twenty-four hours of the impoundment. The notification shall be documented and provided by telephone or written notice. Any shopping cart impounded pursuant to this subsection that is reclaimed within three business days following the date of actual notice to the owner shall be released and surrendered to the owner or his or her agent at no charge whatsoever. Any cart reclaimed within the three business day period shall not be deemed an occurrence for the purposes of subsection (A)(3). Where an owner fails to reclaim a cart, the city may recover the actual costs of retrieving the cart and fines against the owner commencing on the fourth business day following the date of the notice. Any cart not reclaimed within thirty days of the actual notice provided to the owner of the cart shall be sold or otherwise disposed of by the city.
3. Fines. Pursuant to Business and Professions Code Section 22435.7(f), a fine in the amount of fifty dollars is hereby imposed upon each owner of a shopping cart for each occurrence in excess of three during a specified six-month period for failure to retrieve shopping carts in accordance with subsection A. An occurrence includes all shopping carts impounded in accordance with this chapter in a one-day period. This subsection does not apply to and does not limit or prohibit any other fee, fine or penalty that the city may charge for violation of this chapter.
B. Impoundment of Shopping Carts without Affixed Signs. An abandoned or removed shopping cart that does not have an affixed sign identifying the owner may be impounded immediately. Carts impounded pursuant to this subsection may be disposed of immediately. The city does not waive its right to recover any fines and fees under these circumstances.
C. Record Keeping. The city manager or designee shall keep records identifying the date, time and location from where the shopping cart was impounded.
D. Emergency Removal. Notwithstanding any provisions of this chapter, shopping carts may be impounded immediately from public or private property where such shopping carts impede emergency services.
13.160.060 Mandatory shopping cart containment and retrieval plan.
A. Every owner which provides more than ten shopping carts shall develop, implement and maintain a plan to prevent the removal of shopping carts from the premises and to provide for the retrieval of removed and abandoned carts. The plan shall involve the following elements:
1. Every cart owned or provided by an owner shall have a permanently affixed sign which identifies the owner; notifies the public of the procedure to be utilized for authorized removal of the cart from the premises; notifies the public that the unauthorized removal of the cart from the premises or parking area of the business establishment, or the unauthorized possession of the cart, is a violation of state law; and lists a valid telephone number or address for returning the cart removed from the premises or parking area to the owner or retailer.
2. Written notice shall be provided to customers, in both English and Spanish, that removal of shopping carts from the premises is prohibited by state law. The plan shall identify the specific measures to be implemented to comply with this notice requirement. In addition, conspicuous signs shall be placed and maintained on the premises near all customer entrances and exits throughout the premises, including the cart storage areas, warning customers that removal of shopping carts from the premises is prohibited by state law.
3. Specific measures to prevent the removal of shopping carts from the premises. These measures may include, but are not limited to, the electronic or other disabling devices, physical barriers, security guards to deter the unauthorized removal of carts, or other effective measures that are satisfactory to the city.
4. All shopping carts located at the business premises shall be collected at the end of each business day and shall be collectively confined in a cart containment area until the commencement of the next business day. Businesses that are open twenty-four hours a day shall collect and confine all shopping carts, other than those in current use by customers, in a cart containment area between the hours of nine p.m. and twelve a.m. each calendar day.
5. The owner shall establish and maintain a cart retrieval program. In addition, upon notification by city personnel, the owner shall cause the retrieval of the cart within twenty-four hours. The notification shall be documented and provided either by telephone or written notice. If the owner contracts with a cart retrieval service, the service must be approved by the city.
6. Employees of each retail establishment shall be trained on an ongoing basis concerning the requirements of this chapter and the provisions of state law prohibiting the unauthorized removal of shopping carts from the premises of the retail establishment.
7. Two or more retail establishments located within the same shopping or retail center or sharing a common parking area may collaborate and submit a single cart containment and retrieval plan.
B. Cart Containment Plan Approval Process.
1. New or Relocated Businesses. A new or relocated retail establishment shall, at the time of applying for a business license or certificate of occupancy, submit a cart containment plan described in subsection A. A retail establishment applying for a renewed license or certificate, but which did not previously submit a cart containment plan, shall submit such plan upon application for renewal. The fee amount for submitting a plan may be set by resolution of the city council. No plan will be accepted without payment of the fee.
2. Existing Businesses. Owners of existing retail establishments shall, within sixty days of adoption of the ordinance codified in this chapter, submit the cart containment plan described in subsection A. The fee amount for submitting this plan may be set by resolution of the city council. No plan will be accepted without payment of the fee.
3. Plan Review. The city manager or designee shall review each submitted plan and within thirty days approve, deny, or revise the plan.
a. If the plan is approved, the owner shall implement the plan within thirty days.
b. If the plan is denied, the city manager or designee shall state in writing the reasons for the denial. The owner may appeal the denial pursuant to Section 13.160.070.
c. If the plan must be modified, the city manager or designee shall state in writing the required modifications. The owner shall have fifteen days to resubmit a modified plan for approval.
4. Plan Amendments. An owner may submit to the city manager or designee any amendments of a previously approved plan. Such amendments shall be reviewed in accordance with subsection (B)(3).
C. Penalties. The failure of an owner to establish or maintain a cart containment plan shall be subject to a civil fine of up to one thousand dollars, plus an additional penalty of fifty dollars for each day of noncompliance.
Owners may appeal the denial of a proposed cart containment plan pursuant to the procedures under Chapter 13.150. Proposed cart containment plans shall be treated the same as permits and licenses for purposes of appeal.
A. Violation of any provision of this chapter is a misdemeanor, and each day a violation is continued shall constitute a new and separate misdemeanor.
B. Violation of any provision of this chapter shall constitute a public nuisance and may be abated according to the provisions of this chapter or by any other means provided by law.
13.160.090 Cumulative remedies.
The remedies set forth in this chapter shall be cumulative and in addition to any and all other remedies, civil, equitable or criminal, afforded to the city under the law. (Ord. 768 § 2, 2015)
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