CHAPTER 9.64 - SHOPPING CART CONTROL
The purpose of this Chapter is to prevent the unlawful removal of shopping carts from the premises of businesses and to provide for the prompt retrieval of lost, stolen, or abandoned shopping carts to promote public health, safety, and welfare.
9.64.020 Removal of Shopping Cart Violation and Penalties
A. It is a Class 3 civil infraction as defined in RCW 7.80.120 for a person without written permission of the owner or person entitled to possession to abandon or to be in possession of a shopping cart that is the property of another more than 100 feet away from the parking area of the retail establishment or shopping cart containment area of the owner of the shopping cart.
B. This section shall apply only if: (1) the shopping cart has a sign permanently affixed to it that identifies the owner of the cart or the retailer, or both, (2) the retail establishment posts notification to the public of the procedure to be used for authorized removal of the cart from the premises and notifies the public that the unauthorized removal of the cart from the premises or parking area of the retail establishment, or the unauthorized abandonment of the cart, is unlawful, and lists a telephone number or address for returning carts;
9.64.030 Shopping Cart Identification Signs and Notice Required
A. Every shopping cart made available for use by customers shall have the following: (a) a sign permanently affixed to it that identifies the owner of the cart or the retailer, or both; (b) notifies the public of the procedure to be utilized for authorized removal of the cart from the premises; (c) notifies the public that the unauthorized removal of the cart from the premises or parking area of the retail establishment, or the unauthorized possession of the cart, is unlawful; and (d) lists a telephone number or address for returning carts removed from the premises or parking area to the owner or retailer.
B. Every retail establishment providing shopping carts shall post in a conspicuous location on the retail establishment property a notification to the public that unauthorized removal of shopping carts from the premises of the business and the unauthorized possession of a shopping cart is unlawful. The posted notification shall also certain the procedure to be utilized for authorized removal of the cart from the business premises and list a telephone number or address for returning the carts removed from the premises.
C. Every retail establishment providing shopping carts shall keep on file with the City Police Department a current telephone number and physical address at which the retail establishment may be contacted for the purpose of reporting the location of abandoned, lost, or stolen shopping carts.
9.64.040 Retrieval and Impoundment Procedures
A. Impoundment with Notice. The City may impound a shopping cart which has affixed to it identification information as required by KMC 9.64.020(B), if the following conditions have been satisfied:
1. Location Outside of Premises. The shopping cart is located outside the premises or parking area of a retail establishment and is left unattended or discarded on public property owned by or under the control of the city, or on any right-of-way within the city, or on private property where the owner has consented to removal; and
2. Notice of the cart's discovery and location is given to the shopping cart's owner, retailer, or agent unless such notice has been voluntarily waived by the shopping cart's owner, retailer, or agent; and
3. Failure to Retrieve Cart. The shopping cart is not retrieved within forty eight (48) hours from the date notice is given. The forty-eight hours shall be calculated using only days Monday through Friday and will not include weekend days Saturday and Sunday.
B. Impoundment without Notice. A shopping cart may be impounded without notice if one of the following conditions is satisfied:
1. Hazardous Location. If a shopping cart will impede emergency services, or the normal flow of vehicular or pedestrian traffic, city enforcement personnel are authorized to immediately retrieve the shopping cart from public or private property and impound it. If the cart has identification affixed, the owner will be notified and given forty-eight hours to retrieve the cart before a collection fee is assessed using the time calculation listed in subsection (A)(3) of this section; or
2. Lack of Identification. If a shopping cart is unattended or discarded and located outside the premises of parking area of a retail establishment and does not have the required identification information affixed thereto as required by KMC 9.64.020(B), the city may immediately retrieve the shopping cart from public property owned by or under control of the city, any right-of-way within the city, or private property with the consent of the owner; or
3. Evidence of a Crime. Any lost or stolen shopping cart may be impounded as evidence in a criminal investigation.
9.64.050 Fees and Disposition of Carts.
A. Impounded Carts. When a shopping cart is impounded in accordance with this chapter, the city may charge a cart collection fee to the owner of a shopping cart. The fine shall be in the amount of twenty-five (25) dollars per cart and each cart collected shall constitute a separate violation. Any owner having installed a locking device on its carts which has been disabled by one other than the owner or his agent shall be exempt from the fine.
B. Disposition of Carts. The city may sell or otherwise dispose of any cart not reclaimed within seven days from the date of notification to the owner or the owner's agent of the cart's discovery and location.
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