Cart Ordinances

Westminster, CA

Westminster, CA
.78.010 Purpose—Declaration of public nuisance.
Many retail establishments provide shopping carts for the convenience of customers while shopping on the premises of such businesses. However, shopping carts removed from the premises of such businesses and left abandoned on public or private property throughout the city constitute a public nuisance and a potential hazard to the health and safety of the public. The proliferation of lost, stolen or abandoned shopping carts on public and private property causes blighting conditions in the community, results in the obstruction of free access to public and private sidewalks, streets, parking lots and other ways, interferes with pedestrian and vehicular traffic on public and private streets, and impedes emergency services. For the aforesaid reasons, such lost, stolen or abandoned shopping carts are declared to be a public nuisance which shall be subject to abatement in the manner set forth in this chapter or in any other manner provided by law. The purpose of this chapter is to set forth regulations to ensure that reasonable measures are taken by the owners and operators of businesses which provide ten or more shopping carts for the convenience of customers to either prevent the removal of shopping carts from business premises and parking lots, or provide for the prompt retrieval of lost, stolen or abandoned shopping carts, to complement and supplement provisions of state law, and to adopt local regulations to the extent not otherwise preempted by state statute. (Ord. 2405 § 1 (part), 2006)
8.78.020 Definitions.
Except as otherwise expressly set forth herein, the following words and terms as used in this chapter shall have the following meanings:
“City” means the city of Westminster, California or its designated representative.
“Code enforcement manager” means the code enforcement manager of the city.
“Enforcement personnel” means any police officer or code enforcement officer employed by the city of Westminster.
“Laundry cart” means a basket which is mounted on wheels and used in a coin-operated laundry or dry-cleaning retail establishment by a customer or an attendant for the purpose of transporting fabrics and the supplies necessary to process them.
“Lost, stolen or abandoned shopping cart” means a shopping cart which is either (1) removed from the premises of a retail establishment by any person without the written permission or consent of the owner of the shopping cart or the retailer otherwise entitled to possession of such cart, or (2) left unattended, discarded or abandoned upon any public or private property other than the premises of the retail establishment from which the shopping cart was removed, regardless of whether such shopping cart was removed from the premises with the permission of the owner. For purposes of this chapter, any shopping cart located on any public or private property other than the premises of the retail establishment from which such shopping cart was removed shall be presumed lost, stolen or abandoned, even if in the possession of any person, unless such person in possession thereof either (1) is the owner, or an employee or authorized agent of the owner, entitled to possession of the shopping cart, (2) is an officer, employee or agent of a cart retrieval service hired by the owner to retrieve such carts, (3) is an enforcement officer retrieving, storing or disposing of said cart pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 8.74 of this code, or (4) has written permission or consent to be in possession of the shopping cart from the owner entitled to possession of the shopping cart.
“Owner” means any owner, manager, or operator of any retail establishment.
“Parking area” means a parking lot or other property provided by a retail establishment for the use of customers of said retail establishment for parking of customer vehicles. The parking area of a retail establishment located in a multistore complex or shopping center shall include the entire parking area used by the multistore complex or shopping center.
“Premises” means any building, property or other area upon which any retail establishment business is conducted or operated in the city of Westminster, including the parking area provided for customers of such retail establishment.
“Retail establishment” means any business located in the city of Westminster which offers or provides shopping carts for the use of the customers of such business regardless of whether such business is advertised or operated as a retail or wholesale business, and regardless of whether such business is open to the general public, or is a private club or business, or is a membership store.
“Shopping cart” or “cart” means a basket that is mounted on wheels or a similar device generally used in a retail establishment by a customer for the purpose of transporting goods of any kind. The term “shopping cart” or “cart” includes a laundry cart. (Ord. 2405 § 1 (part), 2006)
8.78.030 Cart containment plan.
Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, every owner who provides ten or more shopping carts to customers for use on the premises of any retail establishment shall develop, implement and comply with the provisions of a written plan submitted to the code enforcement manager, and approved thereof by the city, to prevent customers from removing shopping carts from the premises of such business without authorization of the owner (the cart containment plan). The cart containment plan, at a minimum, shall include the following elements:
A. Signs Affixed to Carts. Every shopping cart made available for use by customers shall have a sign permanently affixed to it that identifies the owner of the cart or the retailer or both; 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 of the business, 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 to the owner or retailer.
B. Notice to Customers. Written notice shall be provided to customers, in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese that removal of shopping carts from the premises is prohibited by state law. Such notice may be provided in the form of flyers distributed on the premises, warnings printed on shopping bags, direct mail, website notices or any other means demonstrated to be effective. The cart containment 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 and throughout the premises, including the parking area, warning customers that removal of shopping carts from the premises is prohibited by state law.
C. Physical Measures. Specific physical measures shall be implemented and maintained by the owner to prevent, deter or impede the removal of shopping carts from the premises. Such physical measures shall be specifically identified in the cart containment plan and may include, but are not limited to, the following: disabling devices installed and maintained on carts, maintaining one or more security guards assigned the responsibility to deter or stop customers from removing shopping carts from the premises, preventing any shopping carts to be taken outside the confines of building exits unless accompanied by an employee of the business, bollards and chains in locations between the business exits and the parking area which effectively prevent transporting shopping carts into the parking area or off the premises, requiring security deposits by customers for cart use, or rental or sale of carts to customers.
D. Daily Cart Confinement. All shopping carts located on the premises of the retail establishment (other than an establishment open for business twenty-four hours per day) shall be collected at the end of each business day by employees of the retail establishment and shall be collectively confined in a secure manner at the cart confinement area on the premises as designated in the cart containment plan until the commencement of the next business day. All shopping carts located on the premises of any retail establishment open for business twenty-four hours per day, other than carts then currently in use by a customer or patron, shall be collected by employees of the retail establishment and returned to the cart confinement area on the premises as designated in the cart containment plan at least once per calendar day between the hours of nine p.m. and twelve midnight on each day the retail establishment is open for business. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to any shopping carts located within an enclosed building.
E. Employee Training. The owner of the retail establishment shall implement and maintain a periodic training program for its new and existing employees designed to educate such employees concerning the requirements of the cart containment plan and the provisions of state law prohibiting the unauthorized removal of shopping carts from the premises of the retail establishment. The cart containment plan shall expressly describe the employee training program.
F. Collaboration with Other Businesses. 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 plan.
G. Exemptions. The requirements of this section shall not apply to any retail establishment which complies with the requirements of Section 8.78.040 of this chapter. (Ord. 2405 § 1 (part), 2006)
8.78.035 Incentives for containment plan compliance.
A. Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary, any retail establishment with a cart containment plan approved pursuant to this chapter, which establishment is operating in compliance with the provisions of the plan, shall be exempt from the payment of any fees otherwise due pursuant to Chapter 8.74 of this code for the retrieval of any shopping carts impounded by the city.

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