BOSTON INSPECTIONAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT: PROCEDURES FOR THE PROPER ADMINISTRATION OF THE CITY OF BOSTON SHOPPING CART RETENTION ORDINANCE 16-12.8A
Purpose: The purpose of this bulletin is to assist the Department in administering the City of Boston Code ("C.B.C") Ordinance c. 16-12.8A which establishes procedures for retaining shopping carts within the boundaries of certain property occupied by businesses using shopping carts, removal of carts on city streets and penalties for non-compliance.
· The I.S.D. Commissioner can promulgate rules and regulations pursuant to CBC c. 16-12.8A.10
· References to the word Ordinance in this bulletin shall mean the Shopping Cart Retention Ordinance.
· DPW shall refer to the Department of Public Works
· Commissioner shall mean the ISD Commissioner, unless otherwise stated.
· ISD personnel shall refer to any party to whom authority to enforce this ordinance has been delegated, including but not limited to the Code Enforcement Division
The Inspectional Services Department shall in administering the Shopping Cart Retention Ordinance adhere to the following protocols:
Section 1.0 Approval of retention plans not provided for by Ordinance:
4.1 Approval of retention plan ISD shall approve any cart retention plan not expressly provided for as an example in the ordinance. The approval must be in writing. ISD shall complete a review of such plans within 30 days of submission of a complete application. The written approval, denial or request for additional information shall be sent to the address listed on the application for such a plan. Within 90 days of adoption of this bulletin, ISD shall produce an application form for cart retention plan.
1.2 Retention Plan contents: All businesses using shopping carts must submit to I.S.D. on an annual basis, whether or not using a retention plan provided for by the ordinance, on a form provided for by the Department and signed by the owner/store manager:
1. The type of retention plan used referencing the specific exemplar provided in the ordinance.
2. The information posting on permanent identity tags outlined in Section 2.0 below
3. Contact name and information for a liaison with I.S.D. regarding shopping cart issues, including but not limited to, retrieving carts found off the premises
4. A proper address to receive by first class mail warnings, fines, impoundment and other notices issued under the Ordinance.
5. ISD shall maintain a file of all this information for its administration of the ordinance.
6. A party may, at its discretion, file this information with its Site Cleanliness" information.
7. Any changes to the submitted information before the expiration of the year will require the business to file and updated submission within 30 days of the change.
Section 2.0 Identity Tags:
Each shopping cart is required to have some type of identity tag. These identity tags must be permanent and weatherproof. Each store owner/manager shall ensure carts are properly marked with a permanent identity tag and that such tags are restored or replaced if they become worn or loose. A plastic sticker of information or other such permanent attached shall be sufficient under this ordinance so long as the owner maintains such a tag in a legible condition with information on the tags that will provide appropriate notice of ownership and a means for contacting a local party to retrieve carts should they become lost.
2.1 Permanent identity tag violations: The following shall give rise to a violation of the permanent identity tag requirements, which for a the fist offense shall result in a warning, a second offense shall result in a fine.
1. Illegible or worn tags;
2. Tags with incomplete information or a phone number that is outside the 617 area code, or
3. Outdated or invalid information on a identity tag.
3.0 Notice of impoundment:
ISD will conform with the notice requirements of the ordinance by using the personal property embargo form and process set forth by Commissioner's Bulletin 2002-18. One copy of the embargo form shall be mailed first class to the owner at the address filed annually pursuant to Section 1.2 above no later than the third day from the impoundment.(Storage location: Frontage Road, BTD tow lot, basement of 1010 mass Ave or Franklin Field Storage area.)
4.0 Release of Carts:
All fees and fines must be paid before ISD will release any cart to the true owner. The cashier cage shall be the appropriate place for payment of all fees. Fines must be paid directly to the collector treasurer at Boston City Hall or at the cashier cage. A party must present receipts for payment of all fees and fines to the appropriate I.S.D. official before regaining custody of the carts. To the extent necessary, the cashier shall mark the receipt to show fees and or fines for which the receipt has been issued have been paid in full. I.S.D. within 30 days of this bulletin shall establish a protocol with the Collector Treasurer for accepting fine payments at 1010 Massachusetts.
ISD shall establish a specific time on either weekly or daily basis at the discretion of the Commissioner whereby a party may come to retrieve a cart in ISD custody.
Fees for maintaining any carts shall be set forth at C.B.C. c. 16-12.8A.5(b).
5.0 Enforcement and Fines:
ISD personnel shall only conduct enforcement under C.B.C. c. 16-12.8A based upon written complaints regarding a business, observations of carts off a business premises, or observations made during inspections pursuant to 6.1. Fines shall issue for violations only after the protocols set out below have been followed:
5.1 Carts found on the public way
1. Determine ownership and issue a warning ticket, affix the ticket to the cart so as to ensure that it will not be blown off or easily removed.
2. Once the green ticket has been affixed and any information recorded on the ticket, radio to 1010 Mass. Ave the location and time you have observed the cart so staff at 1010 Mass. Ave may enter such information into a log of such calls.
3. Staff at 1010 Mass. Ave. will also make contact with a liaison of cart owner instructing that business to remove the cart or become subject to a fine for continued non-compliance.
4. If the cart remains off-the premises after a 24 hour period has elapsed from the time that the ISD personnel originally observed the cart, the ISD personnel shall issue a ticket with a fine and affix such ticket in similar fashion as a warning and send it to the offender to the address of record through the same process as other ticketed fines issued by ISD personnel pursuant to G.L. c. 40 s. 21D.
5. ISD personnel shall then contact 1010 Mass. Ave. with the location, time and other relevant cart information. Upon receiving such information, staff at 1010 Mass. Ave. shall send an electronic mail message with the relevant information including specific location, owner/description of the cart, time it was observed and any other information to a staff person at DPW selected by the Commissioner of DPW so the cart may be impounded.
6. ISD staff at 1010 Mass. Ave shall also complete an embargo form at this time and mail it to the owner as set out in section 3.0 Notice of Impoundment.
5.2 Carts found without permanent identity tags on the property
1. Upon observing conditions personnel may deem as non-compliant, staff will first ask for the store owner/manager or his designee to discuss the situation.
2. ISD will ensure the business has notice of the ordinance's requirements and instruct them to either check the ISD website or contact Assistant Commissioner of Environmental Services or his designee if there are any questions regarding the ordinance.
3. ISD personnel shall then issue a warning ticket and advise them of a right to appeal such a warning violation to ISD and that continued non-compliance will result in fines, including a fine for each cart not in compliance.
4. ISD personnel shall re-visit only non-compliant businesses for a compliance re-inspection no less than fourteen (14) days from the date of the initial inspection.
5. Upon a re-inspection, ISD personnel shall issue a ticketed fine for each cart without a permanent identity tag.
5.3 Failure to comply with retention plan or otherwise failing to comply with ordinance provisions.
In instances where ISD personnel believe that terms of the ordinance are not being complied with, ISD personnel shall contact 1010 Mass. A business to consult with a supervisor. If the supervisor concurs that there is an instance of non-compliance with a retention plan, the supervisor may direct personnel to inform the business to attend a compliance meeting with staff at 1010 Mass. before issuing any fines.
5.4 Chronic violators:
Any business or party subject to repeated violations in the form of ticket fines aggregating in the following way shall require I.S.D. to forwarded the case with all enforcement information to the legal division for prosecution:
1. More than 5 tickets for carts of the premises in one(1) month for two (2)consecutive months;
2. More than 5 tickets in one (1) month for a period two (2)consecutive months for Failure to adequately provide permanent identity tags on carts;
3. More than 3 violations a month for a period of two (2) consecutive months for failure to conform with the retention plan in place.
Such notice to the legal division shall be in writing and contain as much specific information and documentation as possible. A copy shall be given to the person's immediate supervisor as well.
A chronic failure to comply with the ordinance may also subject a party to actions against any permit or license issued by I.S.D. where such action is provided for in the law.
6.0 Monitoring Compliance:
6.1 Annual review: ISD personnel not less than annually shall conduct spot checks of at least every known business using shopping carts to ensure compliance and understanding of the Shopping Cart Retention Ordinance. The checks may be conducted by neighborhood, ward or at the discretion of the Assistant Commissioner of Environmental Services.
6.2 Industry point of contact: ISD shall work to establish at each business using carts a liaison to serve as a primary contact for instances where carts are found off premises in accordance with Section 5.1 above. Each business as part of its Retention Plan shall include the person's contact information, contact information it has published on the permanent identity tags and the proper address for receiving all warnings and fines issued.
6.3 Sunset provision: ISD together with the DPW shall revisit the protocols set forth in this bulletin to examine their effectiveness, amend them, expand or delete them as the parties may see fit. Otherwise enforcement and administration of this Ordinance shall be done in a manner consistent with this bulletin.
(UNRETRIEVED CARTS: will be sold or destroyed if not claimed within the specified time provided in the ordinance.)
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