Chapter 12.10 - SHOPPING CARTS
12.10.010 - Findings and purpose.
The board hereby finds that abandoned shopping carts are unsightly, interfere with pedestrian and vehicular traffic, accumulate over time on public and private property causing blight and similar conditions resulting in reduction of property values, constitute a public nuisance, and are detrimental to the public health, safety and welfare. The purpose of this chapter is to promote the public health, safety and welfare by facilitating the removal of wrecked, dismantled, and abandoned shopping carts and parts thereof from public and private property within the unincorporated area of the county, thereby alleviating the health and safety hazards, unsafe conditions, and the impairment of property values resulting from the abandonment of such carts. This chapter also implements the provisions of Chapter 19 of the California Business and Professions Code (Shopping and Laundry Carts; commencing with § 22435).
12.10.030 - Enforcement.
A. This chapter shall be administered and enforced by the director. The director is hereby authorized and directed to promulgate and implement rules, regulations and procedures necessary or appropriate for enforcement of this chapter.
B. The director is hereby authorized to enter into, on or upon any, public property to examine a shopping cart or parts thereof, or to obtain information as to the identity of the owner of any shopping cart, or to retrieve shopping carts in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. As used herein, "public property" includes property owned or controlled by the county or a county-related entity and the outdoor common area of any building, business premises, apartment building or complex, or other premises or portion thereof which is adjacent to public property, open to the public and which contains a shopping cart or shopping carts visible at street or ground level from the adjacent public property. Nothing contained in this chapter shall be deemed a limitation upon the director to enter private property pursuant to permission from the owner or occupant thereof or pursuant to a duly issued inspection warrant or other court order.
12.10.040 - Required signs on shopping carts.
Every owner shall affix to each shopping cart owned or provided by the owner a weatherproof, permanent sign that includes the following information:
A. Identification of the owner of the shopping cart or the business establishment to which it pertains, or both.
B. Notification that the unauthorized removal of the shopping cart from the premises of the business establishment, or the unauthorized possession of the shopping cart, is a violation of law.
C. Notification of the procedure for authorized removal of the shopping cart from the premises.
D. A working telephone number or address which can be used by the county or others to provide notice to the owner or owner's agent or to the business establishment identified on the cart that the cart has been located off the business premises or otherwise appears to be abandoned.
12.10.050 - Penalty for failure to affix required signs.
Any owner who maintains or permits the use of shopping carts in violation of the provisions of Section 12.10.040 shall be guilty of an infraction.
12.10.060 - Prohibiting removal or possession of shopping carts.
Any person in possession of a shopping cart outside the premises of a business establishment without the express prior written approval of its owner shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. Written permission to remove a shopping cart shall be valid for a period not to exceed seventy-two (72) consecutive hours beginning from the time the shopping cart is first removed from the business premises.
12.10.070 - Abandonment prohibited.
Any person who, having a shopping cart in his or her possession or custody, leaves or permits to be left any shopping cart upon any sidewalk, street, flood control channel or any other public property, or upon any private property, such that it becomes an abandoned shopping cart, shall be guilty of an misdemeanor.
12.10.080 - Mandatory plan.
A. Every owner shall prepare and submit to the director and implement a specific written plan to prevent the unauthorized removal of shopping carts from the owner's premises and to retrieve shopping carts that have been removed therefrom. Said plan may include the following elements and shall be subject to the hereinafter specified approval.
1. Notice to Customers. Written notice may be provided to customers and others that removal of shopping carts from the premises is prohibited and a violation of law. The notice may be provided in the form of flyers, warnings on shopping bags, or any other form of written notification that will provide effective notice of the prohibition.
2. Signs. Signs may be placed in appropriate places on the owner's premises near customer exits and near parking area exits to inform customers and others that shopping cart removal is prohibited and constitutes a violation of law.
3. Preventive Measures. Specific physical measures may be implemented to prevent the removal of shopping carts from the owner's 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 and others from removing shopping carts, installation of obstacles to prevent the removal of shopping carts, collection of security deposits for use of shopping carts, provision for rental or sale of shopping carts to customers and similar or like measures.
4. Retrieval Measures. Specific measures may be implemented to retrieve shopping carts that are removed from the owner's premises. Such measures may include, but are not limited to, employment of personnel or contractors to retrieve shopping carts.
B. Every plan submitted shall be subject to the director's reasonable approval. In the event the director determines that the submitted plan is inadequate, the director shall provide the owner written notice of the finding of inadequacy and notify the owner to submit in writing a revised plan to the director within thirty (30) days. If the owner disputes that finding, the director shall provide an opportunity to owner to respond to that finding. As part of that opportunity to respond, the director may require the owner to submit a written report detailing the measures used during the prior year to prevent removal of shopping carts from the owner's premises and measures used to retrieve the shopping carts. The owner may also be required to include, as part of the report, a detailed inventory of shopping carts owned or used by the owner, the number of shopping carts which were retrieved after removal from the owner's premises during the previous twelve (12) months, and the number of shopping carts which were replaced due to loss, theft or abandonment during the previous twelve (12) months.
C. Whenever an owner makes revisions to a plan, the revised plan shall be submitted in writing to the director for approval.
12.10.090 - Penalty for failure to prepare and implement written plan.
A. Any owner who fails to submit to the director for approval the plan required under Section 12.10.080 within sixty (60) days of the effective date of the ordinance enacting this chapter, or within sixty (60) days of the commencement of the owner's business, whichever is later, or who fails to implement the measures established in an approved plan, shall be guilty of an infraction.
B. In addition to the penalties provided herein, and as an administrative remedy upon a finding of violation of any provision in this chapter, the director is hereby authorized to require and may require such remedial, preventative, retrieval or other action, at owner's sole expense, to deter or prevent the unauthorized removal of shopping carts from owner's premises, with respect to any owner who fails to timely submit a plan as required herein or otherwise fails to comply with the provisions of this chapter.
12.10.110 - Impoundment—Three-day notice.
The director may retrieve and impound any abandoned shopping cart, or any shopping cart observed in a location outside the owner's premises after the expiration of three days from having given actual notice to the owner of the shopping cart that said cart has been so observed and the owner has not retrieved the shopping cart within three days from the date of such notice.
12.10.115 - Immediate impoundment.
A. Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 12.10.110, and as an alternative thereto, the director may retrieve and impound any abandoned shopping cart with out providing the three-day notice specified in Section 12.10.110, provided the director shall give actual notice to the owner of the impounded shopping cart within twenty-four (24) hours following the impound, which notice shall inform the owner of the location where the shopping cart may be claimed. Any shopping cart reclaimed by the owner within three business days following the date of such notice shall be released and surrendered to the owner at no charge, including waiver of any impound and storage fees or fines which otherwise would be applicable. The abandonment of any such shopping cart so retrieved within the three-day period shall not be deemed an occurrence for purposes of prosecution or imposition of administration costs and fines under this chapter.
B. The owner of any shopping cart not reclaimed within three business days following the date of actual notice as provided herein shall be subject to the imposition of costs, fees and fines applicable under this chapter commencing on the fourth business day following the date of notice.
C. Any shopping cart not reclaimed by the owner within thirty (30) days of the date of receipt of actual notice as provided herein may be sold or disposed of pursuant to Section 12.10.125.
12.10.120 - Retrieval by the county.
A. Pursuant to the provisions of subdivision (f) of Business and Professions Code Section 22435.7, any owner who fails to retrieve the owner's shopping carts within three days from the date that notice has been given, shall be guilty of a violation of said subdivision (f) and of this chapter and shall be punishable by an administrative fine of fifty dollars ($50.00) for each occurrence in excess of three during the six-month periods ending on June 30 and December 31 of each calendar year.
B. Pursuant to subdivision (i) of Business and Professions Code Section 22435.7, any owner who fails to reclaim the owner's shopping carts which have been impounded by the county pursuant to this chapter within three business days from the date of actual notice of impoundment provided pursuant to this chapter shall be guilty of a violation of said subdivision (i) of Business and Professions Code Section 22435.7 and of this chapter, and shall be punishable by an administrative fine of fifty dollars ($50.00) for each occurrence in excess of three during the six-month periods ending on June 30 and December 31 of each calendar year.
C. For purposes of this section, an occurrence includes the retrieval of all shopping carts of an owner in a one-day period.
D. In addition to the fines imposed pursuant to subsection A or B of this section, the owner shall be required to pay the county's actual costs for retrieving and storing the owner's shopping carts except when reclaimed by the owner within three business days pursuant to the provisions of Business and Professions Code Section 22435.7 and this chapter.
E. In the event the number of occurrences exceeds three during any six-month period, the director may request the owner to submit an amended or modified plan pursuant to Section 12.10.080 which amended or modified plan shall specify what additional or modified steps or elements are being taken to reduce or eliminate the number of such occurrences.
F. In the event the number of occurrences exceeds three during any two consecutive six-month periods or exceeds three during any two six-month periods in any eighteen (18) month period, the director may require, following a hearing and if not already implemented by owner, such remedial, preventative, retrieval or other action, at owner's sole expense, to prevent the continued, unauthorized removal of shopping carts from owner's premises. That additional action may include, but is not limited to, the installation of disabling devices, at owner's sole expense, on all shopping carts which prevent removal from owner's premises. In determining what additional action may be required, the director shall consider all relevant circumstances including but not limited to the history and total number of abandoned carts from the particular location, total number of total carts utilized at the particular location and any other factors relevant to determining whether requiring the particular additional action is necessary and appropriate. The hearing shall be upon written notice to the owner directing the owner to show cause why the implementation of such additional action is not necessary or otherwise appropriate to prevent or reduce the number of occurrences.
12.10.125 - Disposal of abandoned shopping carts.
Pursuant to subdivision (g) of Business and Professions Code Section 22435.7, the director may sell or otherwise dispose of any shopping cart which has been impounded by the director and which has not been reclaimed by its owner within thirty (30) days of receipt of a notice of a violation of this chapter.
12.10.130 - Emergency services.
Pursuant to subdivision (c) of Business and Professions Code Section 22435.7, the director or any county officer, employee, or agent may immediately retrieve any shopping cart from public or private property if its location impedes emergency services.
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