THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF CLEARLAKE HEREBY ORDAINS AS FOLLOWS:
Section 1. Declaration of Intent
The purpose of this ordinance is to ensure that measures are taken by cart owners to prevent the removal of shopping carts from store premises and parking lots and to facilitate the retrieval of abandoned carts as permitted by State law.
Section 2. Addition of Section 10-8 to the Clearlake Municipal Code
Section 10-8. Shopping Carts, is hereby added to the Clearlake Municipal Code and shall read as set forth below:
Abandoned shopping carts constitute a nuisance, create potential hazards to the public health and safety and interfere with pedestrian and vehicular traffic within the City. Wrecked, dismantled and/or abandoned shopping carts on public or private property create conditions that reduce property values and promote blight and deterioration within the City's neighborhoods.
The purpose of this Section is to ensure that measures are taken by cart owners to prevent the removal of shopping carts from store premises and parking lots and to facilitate the retrieval of abandoned carts as permitted by State law. This Section is based in part on California Business and Professions Code Section 22435 and following.
This Section applies to:
A. This Section shall apply to all businesses within the City of Clearlake that provide five (5) or more shopping carts for customer use at any one business location; and
B. Any person in possession of an off-site shopping cart.
It is unlawful and a violation of this Section for a business owner who provides 5 or more shopping carts to:
A. Fail to affix an identifying sign to each shopping cart;
B. Fail to submit a shopping cart plan in conformance with CMC 10-8.8;
C. Fail to comply with an approved shopping cart plan; or
D. Knowingly allow a shopping cart to be removed from the business premises.
10-8.5 Shopping Cart Identification Signs
The owner of a business providing 5 or more shopping carts shall have a sign permanently affixed to each cart. A business owner providing fewer than 5 shopping carts may affix a sign to each cart, but is not required to under this ordinance. The sign shall include all of the following information:
A. The identity of the owner or business, or both;
B. A valid telephone number for returning the shopping cart;
C. Notice to the public that the unauthorized removal of the cart from the premises of the business establishment, or the unauthorized possession of the shopping cart, is a violation of state laws and a violation of City ordinance.
10-8.6 Unauthorized removal or possession of a shopping cart.
It is unlawful for any person to do any of the following, if a shopping cart has a permanently affixed sign pursuant to CMC 10-8.5:
A. To remove a shopping cart from the premises or parking area of a business establishment with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the owner of its possession.
B. To leave or abandon a shopping cart at a location other than the premises or parking area of the retail establishment, with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the owner or retailer of possession of the cart.
C. 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.
D. To be in possession of any shopping cart while that cart is not located on the premises or parking lot of a business establishment, with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the owner or retailer of possession of the cart.
A violation of this Section shall not apply to carts that are removed for the purposes of repair or maintenance with written consent of the business owner.
Every owner of a business providing 5 or more carts shall implement a shopping cart plan in accordance with this section and shall submit to the City within sixty (60) days of adoption of this ordinance and any time the plan is proposed to be amended. Such plan shall include all the following elements:
A. Identifying Information. Name, address and telephone number of the business, and the name and telephone number of the on-site manager or designated agent.
B. Required Information. The number of on-site shopping carts, and the requirements for sign identification on carts.
C. Public Notices. A description of a customer education process by which the owner will inform customers that the removal or off-site possession of carts is a violation of state laws and this Section. This information may include business signs posted in prominent places, flyers, warnings on shopping bags, direct mail, in-store announcements, or any other form of written notification demonstrated to be effective.
D. Required Signs On Property. Signs shall be placed in prominent places on the business premises that warn customers that cart removal is prohibited and constitutes a violation of state and City law.
E. Employee Training. A description of employee-training program to educate existing and new employees about the shopping cart plan.
F. Loss Prevention Measures. A description of the measures that the owner will implement to prevent the removal of shopping carts from the premises. These measures may include, but are not limited to, devices on shopping carts that automatically disable them if they are removed from the premises, employment of personnel to advise and deter customers from removing shopping carts, installation of obstacles to prevent the removal of shopping carts, collection of security deposits for use of all carts, or the rental or sale of utility carts that can be temporarily or permanently used to transport purchases.
G. Retrieval Measures. Specific measures to retrieve shopping carts that are removed from the owner's premises on a weekly basis and within 72 hours of notice from the City under CMC 10-8.14. Such measures may include, but are not limited to, employment of personnel or contractors to retrieve shopping carts. The City may require retrieval on a more frequent time schedule upon 30 day notification to business owners.
10-8.9 Prevention plan timeline and approval process
A proposed plan for preventing shopping cart removal and/or an evaluation report shall be submitted to the City for approval within 60 days after the adoption of the ordinance codified in this Section. Any establishments that open after the adoption of the ordinance codified in this Section will have 30 days from the filing date on their City business license application to submit a shopping cart removal prevention plan to the City for approval.
If a plan is rejected as incomplete or inadequate, or if additional information is needed, the City shall notify the owner in writing. The owner has 30 days to submit the additional information or a complete or adequate plan.
The City may reject or deny a plan on any of the following grounds:
A. The plan fails to include the information required under this section or fails to adequately address the required elements.
B. The plan is insufficient, in the City's opinion, to prevent removal of carts.
C. Implementation of the plan violates this Section, or state or federal law.
D. The owner knowingly makes a false statement or omits relevant facts in the plan, or in any amendment or attachment or report.
Upon notice to the owner that the City has approved the prevention plan, the owner has 30 days to implement the prevention plan at their establishment.
10-8.10 Plan modification.
The owner may submit a plan modification of any previously approved shopping cart plan to address changed circumstances or to modify ineffective provisions. The City shall review and consider the modification in the same manner set forth in CMC 10-8.8 and 10-8.9.
10-8.11 Revocation of plan.
The City may revoke an existing plan if:
A. A shopping cart has been found on public property on eight or more occasions within the past six-month period where the City has had to notify business owner to pick up impounded cart(s).
B. The owner has failed to comply with a provision of this Section.
C. The owner has knowingly made a false statement or fails to disclose relevant information in an application, an amendment or in a report to the City.
Business owners whose plans have been revoked are subject to penalties as provided in CMC 10-8.12, 10-8.16, and 10-8.19.
10-8.12 Penalties for failing to submit a prevention plan.
Any owner who fails to submit a plan, implement the proposed plan or implement any required modifications to the plan as required by the City, within the time frames specified in this Section, shall incur a $1,000 civil penalty, plus an additional penalty of $50.00 for each day of noncompliance.
10-8.13 Authority to Impound
Pursuant to California Business and Professions Code Section 22435.7, the City may impound any abandoned shopping cart when the shopping cart has a sign affixed as required by CMC 10-8.5. An abandoned cart is defined under Section 22435.7. The City may retrieve and immediately dispose of any abandoned shopping carts that lack the signs required by CMC 10-8.5.
10-8.14 Notification for retrieval of abandoned carts.
When City staff sees an abandoned cart, staff will first call the designated person listed on the theft prevention plan and notify them that they have 24 hours to retrieve the cart. If the cart remains unretrieved after 24 hours, the City shall have the right to impound the cart. Pursuant to Business and Professions Code Section 22435.7, the City shall notify the owner as identified on the signage information permanently affixed to the cart of any abandoned carts owned or used by the business establishment that have been located within the City of Clearlake within 24 hours of impoundment. The City notification shall be documented and provided by telephone to the designated person listed on the theft prevention plan and followed up by written notice.
The owner shall have three business days from the date the notification is given to retrieve carts from the City. The notice will inform the owner of the location where the shopping cart may be claimed.
10-8.15 Authority to store.
The shopping cart shall be stored by the City at a location that is reasonably convenient to the owner of the shopping cart and is normally open for business at least two hours of each day, Monday through Thursday. However, the City shall not be liable by any party for any damage to a stored shopping cart.
10-8.16 Administrative costs and fines.
Pursuant to Business and Professions Code Section 22435.7, any owner that fails to retrieve its abandoned cart(s) within three business days after receiving notice from 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 Section in excess of three times during a specified six-month period shall be subject to a $50.00 fine for each occurrence. An occurrence includes all carts owned by the owner that are impounded by the City in a one-day period.
10-8.17 Disposal of abandoned shopping carts.
Pursuant to state law, any cart not reclaimed from the City within 30 days after notification to the owner shall be sold or otherwise disposed of by the City.
10-8.18 Emergency services.
Pursuant to subdivision (c) of Business and Professions Code, Section 22435.7, any City officer, employee, or agent may immediately retrieve any shopping cart from public or private property if its location impedes emergency services.
Any person who violates the provisions of this Section is subject to any enforcement procedures permitted by law, including but not limited to: prosecution of a misdemeanor or an infraction, civil action for injunction, administrative enforcement procedures, and revocation of a use permit if applicable.
Section 3. Severability
If any section, subsection, clause, sentence, work or phrase of this title is for any reason held to be invalid and/or unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the remaining portions of the title. The City Council declares that it would have passed and adopted this ordinance and each of the provisions thereof irrespective of the fact that any one or more such provisions be declared invalid and/or unconstitutional.
Section 4. Effective Date
This ordinance shall take effect on the 9th day of January, 2016 and before the expiration of fifteen (15) calendar days after its passage it shall be published at least once in a newspaper of general circulation in the City of Clearlake.
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