Eagle Pass, TX
ARTICLE VI. SHOPPING CARTS*
*Editor's note: Ord. No. 98-40, § 1, adopted 11-10-98, added a new article VI, entitled "Garage Sales" to chapter 19. To avoid a duplication of article VI, the sections added by Ord. No. 98-40 have been redesignated at the discretion of the editor as article VIII, sections 19-131--19-142.
Sec. 19-85. 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. 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 the chapter is to insure that measures are taken by store owners to prevent the removal of shopping carts from store premises and parking lots and to make said removal of shopping carts a violation of this Code.
(Ord. No. 98-32, § 1, 7-28-98)
Sec. 19-86. Definitions.
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 seventy-two (72) hours. This provision shall not apply to carts that are removed for purposes of repair or maintenance.
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.
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 manager or designated agent that provides the carts for use by its customers.
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.
(Ord. No. 98-32, § 2, 7-28-98)
Sec. 19-87. Required signs on carts.
Every cart owned or provided by any business establishment in the city must have a sign permanently affixed to it that contains the following information:
(1) Identifies the owner of the cart or the name of the business establishment, or both;
(2) Lists a telephone number to contact to report the location of the abandoned cart; and
(3) Lists an address for returning the cart to the owner or business establishment.
(Ord. No. 98-32, § 3, 7-28-98)
Sec. 19-88. Prohibiting removal or possession of abandoned cart.
(a) It shall be unlawful to remove a cart from the premises or parking area of a business establishment with intent to temporarily or permanently deprive its owner of possession of the cart.
(b) It shall be unlawful to remove a cart from the premises or parking area of a business establishment without written authorization from the owner of the cart.
(c) 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 without written authorization from the owner of the cart.
(d) It shall be unlawful to remove, obliterate, or alter a serial number, name, or mark affixed to a cart.
(e) This section shall not apply to carts that are removed for purposes of repair or maintenance.
(f) A person who violates this section of the article commits an offense. An offense under this section of the article is a class C misdemeanor punishable by fine in the municipal court of the city. Each violation constitutes a separate offense.
(Ord. No. 98-32, § 4, 11-10-98)
Sec. 19-89. 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:
(1) 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 (section 17.31, Tex. Bus. & Com. Code) and local (this article) 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.
(2) 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 (section 17.31, Tex. Bus. & Com. Code) and local (this article) law.
(3) 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, boards, post and/or 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 transportof purchased items.
(Ord. No. 98-32, § 5, 7-28-98)
Sec. 19-90. Prevention plan/evaluation report, timeliness and approval process.
The proposed plan for preventing cart removal and the evaluation report shall be submitted for approval to the city within sixty (60) days after adoption of this article 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 approval is given by the city's administrative staff. 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 notifies the owner of the needed modifications.
(Ord. No. 98-32, § 6, 7-28-98)
Sec. 19-91. 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 19-90 by July 1st of each year or fails to place a disabling device on all carts,if applicable, shall be subject to an initial five hundred dollar ($500.00) civil penalty, plus an additional penalty of fifty dollars ($50.00) for each day of non-compliance.
(Ord. No. 98-32, § 7, 7-28-98)
Sec. 19-92. Notification for retrieval of abandoned carts.
The city shall notify the owner of any abandoned carts owned or used by the business establishment that have been located within the city. The owner shall have three (3) days from the date the notification is given, to retrieve the carts from the city.
(Ord. No. 98-32, § 8, 7-28-98)
Sec. 19-93. Administrative costs and fines.
Any owner that fails to retrieve its abandoned cart(s) within three (3) days after receiving the notice by the city, as referenced immediately above, 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 civil penalty for each occurrence. An occurrence includes all carts owned by the owner that are impounded by the city in a one-day period.
(Ord. No. 98-32, § 9, 7-28-98)
Sec. 19-94. Disposition of carts after sixty days.
Any cart not reclaimed from the city within sixty (60) days after notification to the owner shall be sold or otherwise disposed of by the city.
(Ord. No. 98-32, § 10, 7-28-98)
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