5.560 Purpose; Nuisance Declared
The presence of abandoned shopping carts within the City is hereby declared to be a public nuisance, and the purpose of Medford Municipal Code (MMC) 5.560 – 5.568 is to provide a means to allow for the voluntary abatement of the nuisance by the owners of shopping carts through a notification and retrieval process. Notwithstanding any other nuisance abatement provision of this Chapter, the abatement of abandoned shopping carts shall be made pursuant to MMC 5.560 – 5.568.
[Added Sec. 1, Ord. No. 2017-145, Dec. 21, 2017.]
Unless the context otherwise specifically requires, as used in MMC 5.562 – 5.568, the following definitions apply:
(a) “Abandoned cart” means any shopping cart that has been removed from the owner’s premises without written consent of the owner and which is located on either public or private property.
(b) “Code Enforcement Officer” means a City employee charged with the enforcement of MMC by the City Manager or the City Manager’s designee.
(c) “Owner” means a person that, in connection with the operation of a business, makes a shopping cart available to a customer.
(d) “Person” means a natural person, corporation, partnership, limited liability company, limited liability partnership, co-operative, trust, or other entity in law or fact.
(e) “Premises” means the entire area of the real property owned, occupied or utilized by an owner, including any parking lot or other property provided by or on behalf of an owner for customer parking or use.
(f) “Shopping cart” means a basket that is mounted on wheels and used for the transportation of goods, or any other similar device, that is provided by an owner for use by a customer.
Every shopping cart must have a permanently affixed sign that contains all of the following information:
(a) The identity of the owner of the shopping cart;
(b) A telephone number of the owner for shopping cart return; and
(c) A statement that the unauthorized removal of the shopping cart from the premises is a crime under ORS 164.015.
An owner shall conspicuously post a sufficient number of signs on the owner’s business premises stating that unauthorized appropriation of a shopping cart is a crime under ORS 164.015 and providing a telephone number that members of the public may use to report abandoned shopping carts.
(a) A telephone number shall be established, maintained, and made available to the public, at the owner’s expense, for the purpose of reporting abandoned carts.
(b) More than one owner may use the same telephone number to share expenses. Any agreement by two or more owners to share a telephone number shall comply with the requirements of this section.
(a) A Code Enforcement Officer or any member of the public may report the location of an abandoned cart by calling the telephone number provided by the owner.
(b) If the City has notice of the location of an abandoned cart, a Code Enforcement Officer shall use the telephone number provided by the owner to report the location of the abandoned cart.
(c) If an abandoned cart does not have a sign with the information required by MMC 5.562, the City may take custody of the abandoned cart. If the owner can be identified, and after reasonable effort, the Code Enforcement Officer is unable to contact the owner of the abandoned cart and seven calendar days have passed, or if the owner cannot be identified, the Code Enforcement Officer may dispose of the abandoned cart as provided in MMC 5.567(b).
An owner, or an owner’s contractor, shall retrieve an abandoned cart within seven calendar days from the date the report is made to the owner under MMC 5.565.
(a) The Code Enforcement Officer may take custody of an abandoned cart and impose a civil penalty of fifty dollars ($50) on the owner of the abandoned cart if the owner does not retrieve the abandoned cart within seven calendar days after the owner receives a report of an abandoned cart under MMC 5.565. The Code Enforcement Officer shall release the shopping cart to the owner after the civil penalty is paid.
(b) Disposition after Thirty Days. Title to any abandoned cart not reclaimed by the owner within thirty (30) days after notification from the Code Enforcement Officer, or to any abandoned cart where the City has been unable to identify the owner after reasonable efforts and which has been in the City’s custody for thirty (30) days, shall be forfeited to the City and the shopping cart may be sold or otherwise disposed of by the City.
Failure by an owner to comply with MMC 5.562, 5.563, or 5.564, or to retrieve an abandoned cart under MMC 5.566 is an infraction, punishable by a fine not to exceed five hundred dollars.
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