Cart Ordinances

Eureka, CA

Eureka, CA
130.30 ABANDONED SHOPPING CARTS; AUTHORITY.




(A) Findings of fact.




(1) The accumulation of abandoned carts, sometimes wrecked and/or dismantled on public and private property tends to create conditions that reduce property values, and promote blight and deterioration and result in a public nuisance. Abandoned carts also create potential hazards to the health and safety of the public, and interfere with pedestrian and vehicular traffic and create a public nuisance.




(2) This section is intended to insure that measures are taken by the owners of shopping carts to prevent the removal of the shopping carts from the cart owner's business premises, to make removal of the cart a violation of the Code, and to facilitate the retrieval of abandoned shopping carts in a manner consistent with state law and to use an administrative citation program to establish appropriate fines intended to act as a reasonable deterrent in preventing violations.




(B) Definitions. The definitions set forth in this section shall govern the application and interpretation of this section.




ABANDONED CART or ABANDONED SHOPPING CART shall mean any cart that has been removed, without the written consent of the cart owner, from the business premises or parking area of the retail establishment of which the cart owner's business premises are located and is located on either public or private property. The cart owner's business premises may include a multi-store shopping center with shared areas of parking and public access.




ABANDONED CART PREVENTION PLAN shall mean a document submitted in writing by a cart owner pursuant to § 130.30(D)(3) that provides a plan for the prevention of cart removal and for the recovery of off-site carts.




ABANDONED PROPERTY shall mean the relinquishment of any right claim and possession with the intention of not reclaiming it or resuming its ownership, possession or enjoyment.




BUSINESS PREMISES means the interior of a cart owner's commercial establishment, adjacent walkways, any loading area, and the parking area, as defined herein. The cart owner's business premises may include a multi-store shopping center with shared areas of parking and public access.




CART or SHOPPING CART means a basket which is mounted on wheels or a similar device generally used in a retail or commercial establishment by a customer for the purpose of transporting goods of any kind, including a basket used in a laundromat or similar business. A cart sold by a commercial establishment to a retail customer for that customer's personal use is not a shopping cart for the purposes of this section.




CART IDENTIFICATION SIGN means a sign or engraved surface which is permanently affixed to a shopping cart containing all of the information specified in § 130.30(D)(1).




CART OWNER means the owner or operator of a commercial establishment which provides carts for use by its customers for the purpose of transporting goods of any kind.




CART REMOVAL WARNING means a placard, sign or painted text which meets the requirements specified in § 130.30(D)(3)(d).




CART RETRIEVAL COMPANY or CART RETRIEVAL SERVICE means a third party commercial service in the business of retrieving and returning shopping carts to the cart owner.




CITY means the City of Eureka, its officials, employees or agents.




DIRECTOR means the Director of Public Works or his or her designee or such other person or entity designated by the City Manager to administer this section.




OFF-SITE means not within the business premises.




ON-SITE CART CONTAINMENT PROGRAM means one or more of the following measures:




(a) Disabling devices on all shopping carts which prevent them from being removed from the business premises by locking the wheels or otherwise preventing the movement of the carts.




(b) An on-site security guard to deter customers who attempt to remove carts from the business premises.




(c) Posts and chains around the business premises to prevent cart removal, if permitted by the applicable zoning and the site plan, and if approved by the Fire Marshal.




(d) Obtaining a security deposit from customers for the on-site use of shopping carts.




(e) The rental or sale of carts that can be temporarily or permanently used for the transport of goods.




(f) Any other measure approved by the city as a means to contain carts on the business premises.




PHYSICAL CONTAINMENT SYSTEM means one of the following, as approved by the Director:




(a) Disabling devices on all shopping carts which prevent them from being removed from the business premises by locking the wheels or otherwise preventing the movement of the carts.




(b) Any other system of equipment approved by the city which physically contains shopping carts on the business premises.




RECYCLING CENTER means any facility that is used in the process of collecting, sorting, cleansing, treating, processing, reconstituting, or storing materials that would otherwise become solid waste and returning them to the economic mainstream in the form of raw material for new, reused, or reconstituted products which meet the quality standards necessary to be used in the marketplace.




(C) Unlawful possession and abandonment of carts. Any person who violates any prohibition of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor as provided in Cal. Business and Professions Code § 22435.3. This section shall not apply to carts removed as authorized by the cart owner, pursuant to Cal. Business and Professions Code § 22435.4, including for the purposes of maintenance, repair or disposal. It is unlawful to do any of the following acts, if a cart has a permanently affixed sign that identifies the cart owner:




(1) To remove a cart from the business premises of a retail or commercial establishment with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the cart owner of possession of the cart.




(2) To be in possession of any cart that has been removed from the business premises of a retail or commercial establishment with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the cart owner of possession of the cart.




(3) To be in possession of any cart with serial numbers removed, obliterated, or altered, with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the cart owner of possession of the cart.




(4) To leave or abandon a cart at a location other than the business premises of the retail or commercial establishment with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the cart owner of possession of the cart.




(5) To alter, convert, or tamper with a 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 cart owner or retailer of the possession of the cart.




(6) To be in possession of any cart while that cart is not located on the business premises of the retail or commercial establishment which owns the cart, with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the cart owner or retailer of possession of the cart.




(7) To remove any markings from the cart that would show true ownership of the cart. (Plastic seats, handlebars, and the like)




(D) Cart owner requirements. All owners of carts shall comply with the requirements of this division.




(1) Cart identification required. All carts must have a permanently affixed sign identifying the owner of the cart. All owners of carts, including but not limited to commercial cart owners, shall be responsible for complying with this section and continuously maintaining, or causing to be maintained, the cart identification sign so that all information is accurate and clearly legible. In addition, all cart owners shall be responsible for providing their contact information to the city or its agent.




(2) Daily cart retrieval. All cart owners, regardless of the number of carts owned, shall retrieve all carts daily to ensure the carts are secured from public access after close of business hours.




(3) Abandoned cart prevention plan. Every cart owner of more than 25 carts shall develop, implement and comply with the terms and conditions of an abandoned cart prevention plan to prevent the unauthorized removal of carts from the business premises and, if removed, to retrieve the cart within three business days of the removal or notice of the removal. The abandoned cart prevention plan shall be submitted to the city in writing on a renewable annual basis and shall include the following elements:




(a) Name of business/owner. The name of the owner and the business, the physical address where the business is conducted, and the name, address and telephone number where all notices and/or citations are to be sent.




(b) Inventory of carts. The number of carts owned.




(c) Cart sign compliance. A description of how the owner is complying with the sign requirements of division (D)(1) of this section;




(d) Contact information. The phone number of the cart owner and address at which carts can be returned.




(e) Community outreach. A description of a community outreach process under which the cart owner shall cause notice to be provided to customers that the removal of carts from the business premises is prohibited and a violation of state and local law. This notice may include, but is not limited to, flyers distributed at the premises, warnings on shopping bags, direct mail, announcements using intercom systems at the business premises, a web site or other means demonstrated to be effective to the reasonable satisfaction of the city.




(f) Signs. Multi-lingual signs shall be placed prominently and conspicuously at all entrances and exits to the cart owner's business premises, including the parking areas, that provide a notice containing the following information:




REMOVAL OF SHOPPING CARTS FROM THESE PREMISES IS PROHIBITED BY STATE LAW (B & P § 22435.2) AND WILL SUBJECT THE VIOLATOR TO A MAXIMUM FINE OF $1,000.00 AND/OR ONE YEAR IN JAIL.




(g) Physical containment system. Every cart owner shall provide a description of the specific measures the cart owner shall implement to prevent cart removal from the business premises which meets the requirements specified in § 130.30(D)(5). These measures may include, but are not limited to, an electronic or other disabling device on a cart so it cannot be removed from the business premises, rental or sale of utility carts that can be temporarily or permanently used to transport purchases, security personnel to prevent removal, security deposit for use of a cart, or other demonstrable measures acceptable to the city that are likely to prevent cart removal from the business premises.




(h) Employee training. A description of an ongoing employee training program that shall be implemented and designed to educate new and existing employees on the abandoned cart prevention plan and conditions contained therein no less frequently than annually.




(i) Multiple businesses. A cart owner who has two or more businesses may submit a single abandoned cart prevention plan.




(4) Administration of the Abandoned Cart Prevention Plan. The Abandoned Cart Prevention Plan shall be administered under the provisions of this subsection.




(a) The city must approve or deny the abandoned cart prevention plan within 45 days of its submission. The plan may be denied on the grounds that it fails to include the elements required under this section or the plan is inadequate or insufficient to fulfill the required elements. If the plan is denied, the city shall do so in writing and provide an explanation for the basis of his or her decision. The cart owner has 20 days, subject to an extension by the city, to submit a new plan or appeal the city's decision to the Board of Appeals pursuant to § 10.47 of the Eureka Municipal Code.




(b) Once a plan is approved, the cart owner has 30 days to begin implementation. If, at any time after the plan has been approved, the city determines the plan is inadequate to fulfill the required elements of this section, the city may, in writing, require the cart owner to modify or submit a new plan. Such a modification may include, but is not limited to, requiring the cart owner to identify a new person to retrieve carts or changing the physical loss prevention measure. If the city requires the cart owner to modify or submit a new plan, the cart owner shall be given a reasonable time to comply and shall be provided an appeal to the Board of Appeals pursuant to § 10.47 of the Eureka Municipal Code.




(5) On-site cart containment system program required. Every cart owner shall operate and maintain an on-site cart containment program as defined in § 130.30(D)(3)(e). A cart owner may be exempted from this requirement if he or she provides proof of contracting with a qualified cart retrieval service and submits information to the city which demonstrates to the satisfaction of the city that the qualified cart retrieval service will: (i) actively locate shopping carts within a five-mile radius of the cart owner's business premises; and (ii) respond to complaints from the public in a manner which results in the retrieval of shopping carts within 24 hours after receiving complaints. Whoever is identified by the cart owner as the party responsible for retrieval of the carts shall be made available for cart retrieval six days a week, eight hours a day or during the cart owner's business hours, whichever is shorter.




(6) Violations. Violation of any provision of this section, including, but not limited to, failure to submit a plan or comply with a plan submitted, is a violation of this section and the city may pursue any available remedy provided under the Eureka Municipal Code, including, but not limited to, the issuance of an administrative citation under § 10.39(A) or the filing of a misdemeanor charge under § 10.99 at the discretion of the City Attorney.




(E) City retrieval of carts. The city may retrieve an abandoned cart from public property (or private property with the consent of the property owner) in the following circumstances:




(1) Where the location of the shopping cart will impede emergency services.




(2) When the abandoned cart does not identify the cart owner as required in § 130.30(D)(1).




(3) When the city or its agent has contacted the cart owner and notified him or her of the abandoned cart and the cart has not been reclaimed within three business days.




(4) When the city or its agent has contacted the cart owner or the cart appears to be obviously abandoned or possessed by a person other than the owner of the cart while off of the property of the business.




(F) Immediate impound by city of identified carts. Notwithstanding any other division of this section, the city may immediately impound a cart without complying with the three-day advance notice requirement provided the city actually notifies the cart owner within 24 hours that the city has impounded the cart and provides information to the cart owner where and how the cart may be reclaimed. The city shall hold the cart at a location that is reasonably convenient to the cart owner and open for business at least six hours of each business day. Any cart reclaimed by the cart owner within three business days following the date of actual notice shall be released and surrendered to the cart owner at no charge, including a waiver of any impound and storage fees or fines. Any cart reclaimed within three business days shall not be deemed an occurrence for purposes of § 130.30(I)(1). If the cart is not reclaimed by the cart owner within three business days, the city may collect its actual costs, impose a fine, and dispose of the cart consistent with the provisions of §130.30(I)(1).





(G) Property in abandoned carts.
(1) Any property found in a cart shall be retained by the city or its agent for 24 hours in order to determine if it is abandoned property. Trash or waste shall be discarded as appropriate or required by law.



(2) Once a determination is made, abandoned property shall be subject to the property procedures set forth in Policy 804 of the Eureka Police Department Policy Manual.

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