Cart Ordinances

San Mateo, CA

San Mateo, CA
FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.
Abandoned shopping carts constitute a nuisance, create potential hazards to the health and safety of the public, and interfere with pedestrian and vehicular traffic within the City of San Mateo. The accumulation of wrecked, dismantled and abandoned shopping carts on public or private property also tends to create conditions that reduce property values, promoting blight and deterioration in the City. The intent of this Chapter is to insure that measures are taken by store owners to prevent the removal of shopping carts from store premises and parking lots, to make the removal of shopping carts a violation of this Code, and to facilitate the retrieval of abandoned carts as permitted by State law. (Ord. 1997-14, § 1, 1997).



17.29.020 DEFINITIONS.
a. Cart. Cart shall mean a basket which is mounted on wheels or a similar device provided by a business establishment for use by a customer for the purpose of transporting goods of any kind, including, but not limited to grocery store shopping carts. #9;
b. Owner. Owner shall mean any person or entity, who in connection with the conduct of a business, owns, possesses, or makes any cart available to customers or the public. For purposes of this chapter, owner shall also include the Owner's on-site or designated Agent that provides the carts for use by its customers.
c. Premises. Premises shall mean the entire area owned and utilized by the business establishment that provides carts for use by customers, including any parking lot or other property provided by the owner for customer parking.
d. Abandoned cart. Any cart that has been removed without written permission of the Owner or on-duty manager from the premises of the business establishment, regardless of whether it has been left on either private or public property. Written permission shall be valid for a period not to exceed 72 hours. This provision shall not apply to carts that are removed for purposes of repair or maintenance. (Ord. 1997-14, § 1, 1997).



17.29.030 REQUIRED SIGNS ON CARTS.
Every cart owned or provided by any business establishment in the City of San Mateo must have a sign permanently affixed to it that contains the following information:
(a) Identifies the owner of the cart or the name of the business establishment, or both;
(b) Notifies the public of the procedure to be utilized for authorized removal of the cart from the business premises;
(c) Notifies the public that the unauthorized removal of the cart from the premises or parking area of the business establishment is a violation of State and City of San Mateo law;
(d) Lists a telephone number to contact to report the location of the abandoned cart; and
(e) Lists an address for returning the cart to the owner or business establishment.
(f) Lists an identification number for the cart. (Ord. 1997-21, § 1, 1997; Ord. 1997-14, § 1, 1997).



17.29.040 PROHIBITING REMOVAL OR POSSESSION OF ABANDONED CART.
(a) It shall be unlawful to either temporarily or permanently remove a cart from the premises or parking area of a business establishment without the express prior written approval of the owner or on-duty manager of the business establishment. Written permission shall be valid for a period not to exceed 72 hours.
(b) It shall be unlawful to be in possession of a cart that has been removed from the premises or parking area of a business establishment unless it is in the process of being immediately returned to the owner or business establishment.
(c) This section shall not apply to carts that are removed for the purposes of repair or maintenance. (Ord. 1997-14, § 1, 1997).



17.29.050 MANDATORY PLAN TO PREVENT CART REMOVAL/
EVALUATION REPORT. Every Owner shall develop and implement a specific plan to prevent customers from removing carts from the business premises. The plan must include the following elements:
(a) Notice to Customers. Written notification shall be provided to customers that removal of carts from the premises and parking lots are prohibited and a violation of state and local law. This notice may be provided in the form of flyers, warnings on shopping bags, or any other form of written notification that will effectively notify customers of the prohibition.
(b) Signs. Signs shall be placed in pertinent places near door exits and near parking lot exits that warn customers that cart removal is prohibited and constitute a violation of state and local law.
Physical Measures. Specific physical measures shall be implemented to prevent cart removal from the business premises. These measures may include, but are not limited to, disabling devices on all carts, posting of a security guard to deter and stop customers who attempt to remove carts from the business premises, bolards and chains around business premises to prevent cart removal, security deposits required for use of all carts, or the rental or sale of carts that can be temporarily or permanently used for transport of purchases.
(d) Evaluation Report. If a prevention plan was in place the previous year, a report shall be submitted to the City evaluating the measures that were used and approved in the prior year. The report shall include, but not be limited to, the inventory of carts owned/used by the business establishment and the number of carts that had to be replaced due to loss, theft or abandonment. (Ord. 1997-21, § 2, 1997; Ord. 1997-14, § 1, 1997).



17.29.060 PREVENTION PLAN/EVALUATION REPORT TIMELINES AND APPROVAL PROCESS. The proposed plan for preventing cart removal and the evaluation report shall be submitted for approval to the City within 60 days after adoption of this ordinance and by July 1st of each year thereafter. If a new plan is submitted, the proposed measures shall be implemented by no later than thirty (30) days after City approval is given. If the proposed plan is the same as the previous year, the prevention measures shall be continued until and unless the City indicates that a measure(s) needs to be modified. Unless otherwise agreed, any modifications to the plan imposed by the City shall be implemented within thirty days after the City notifies the Owner of the needed modifications. (Ord. 1998-8, § 1, 1998; Ord. 1997-14, § 1, 1997).



17.29.070 PENALTIES FOR FAILING TO SUBMIT A PREVENTION PLAN OR EVALUATION REPORT OR TO IMPLEMENT PREVENTION MEASURES.
Any Owner that fails to submit a plan, implement the proposed plan measures, or implement any required modifications to the plan by the City within the time frames specified in this Chapter shall be required to place disabling devices on all carts owned/leased/used by the business to prevent removal of carts from the business premises and parking lots. Any Owner that fails to submit an evaluation report as outlined in Section 17.29.050(d) by July 1st of each year or fails to place a disabling device on all carts, if applicable, shall be subject to a $1,000.00 civil penalty, plus an additional penalty of $50.00 for each day of non-compliance. (Ord. 1997-14, § 1, 1997).



17.29.080 NOTIFICATION FOR RETRIEVAL OF ABANDONED CARTS.
Pursuant to Business and Professions Code Section 22435.7, the City shall notify the Owner of any abandoned carts owned or used by the business establishment that have been located within the City of San Mateo. The Owner shall have three (3) days from the date the notification is given, to retrieve the carts from the City. (Ord. 1997-14, § 1, 1997).



17.29.090 ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS AND FINES. Pursuant to Business and Professions Code Section 22435.7, any Owner that fails to retrieve its abandoned cart(s) after receiving the three-day notice by the City, shall pay the City's administrative costs for retrieving the cart(s) and providing the notification to the Owner. Any Owner who fails to retrieve abandoned carts in accordance with this Chapter in excess of three times during a specified six-month period, shall be subject to a $50.00 for each occurrence. An occurrence includes all carts owned by the Owner that are impounded by the City in a one-day period. (Ord. 1997-14, § 1, 1997).



17.29.100 DISPOSITION OF CARTS AFTER THIRTY DAYS.
According to State Law, any cart not reclaimed from the City within thirty (30) days after notification to the Owner shall be sold or otherwise disposed of by the City. (Ord. 1997-14, § 1, 1997).



17.29.110 EXEMPTION. Any Owner that has a contract with the City to provide for retrieval of abandoned carts or is part of a consortium of businesses that have entered into a retrieval contract that is approved by the City, shall be exempt from the Sections 17.29.050 through 17.29.070 of this Chapter. This exemption is valid only if the other provisions of this Chapter are complied with by Owner. (Ord. 1997-21, § 2, 1997; Ord. 1997-14, § 1, 1997).



17.29.120 SEVERABILITY AND VALIDITY. If any section, subsection paragraph or sentence of this ordinance, or any part thereof, is for any reason found to be unconstitutional, invalid or beyond the authority of the City of San Mateo by a court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity or effectiveness of the remaining portions of this ordinance. (Ord. 1997-14, § 1, 1997)

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