Cart Ordinances


Ontario, CA
Section 5-25.01: Findings and purpose.
a) 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 of Ontario. 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 purpose of this chapter is to provide regulations pertaining to abandoned shopping carts, unmarked shopping carts, and to provide a requirement for a mandatory plan to prevent cart removal. This chapter is not intended to duplicate State law or regulate any matters pertaining to shopping carts which are the subject of State law. To the extent any provision of this chapter is determined to be preempted by State law, it shall be deemed severed from all other provisions of this chapter and such other provisions shall remain in full force and effect.
(§ 1, Ord. 2759, eff. July 16, 2002)
Section 5-25.02: Definitions.
a) "Abandoned cart" shall mean 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. This provision shall not apply to carts that are removed for the purpose of repair or maintenance.
b) "Cart" shall mean a basket that is mounted on wheels or similar devise 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.
c) "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 the purposes of this chapter, "owner" shall also include the owner's on-site or designated agent or retailer that provides the carts for use by its customers.
d) "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.
e) "Unmarked cart" shall mean any cart as defined by this chapter that is not identified and marked pursuant to Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 22435.1.
(§ 1, Ord. 2759, eff. July 16, 2002)
Section 5-25.03: Exemption.
a) Any owner that agrees to enter into a contract with a City-designated retrieval service to provide for retrieval of abandoned carts, or, individually or as part of a consortium of businesses, enters into a retrieval contract with a retrieval service that is satisfactory to the City, shall be exempt from §§ 5-25.05 through 5-25.07.
(§ 1, Ord. 2759, eff. July 16, 2002)
Section 5-25.04: Mandatory plan to prevent cart removal.
a) 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) 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 all of the following information:
1) Identifies the owner of the cart or the name of the business establishment, or both;
2) Notifies the public of the procedure to be utilized for authorized removal of the cart from the business premises;
3) 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 a violation of State law; and
4) Lists a valid telephone number to contact to report the location of the abandoned cart or lists an address for returning the cart to the owner or business establishment.
2) Required signs on property. Signs shall be placed in pertinent places near door exits and near parking lot exists that notify customers that cart removal is prohibited and constitutes a violation of State and local law.
3) Physical measures. Specific physical measures may be required to prevent cart removal from the business premises. These measures may include disabling devices on all carts, posting of a security guard to deter and stop customers who attempt to remove carts from the premises, bollards and chains around business premises to prevent cart removal, security deposits required for the use of all carts, or the rental or sale of carts that can be temporarily or permanently used for transport of purchases.
(§ 1, Ord. 2759, eff. July 16, 2002)
Section 5-25.05: Prevention plan timeline and approval process.
a) The proposed plan for preventing cart removal shall be submitted for approval by the City within sixty (60) days after adoption of this chapter and each time the plan is proposed to be amended. If a new plan is submitted, the proposed measures shall be implemented by no later than thirty (30) days after City approval is given. The prevention measures shall be continued until and unless the City indicated that measure(s) needs to be modified. Unless otherwise agreed, any modifications to the plan imposed by the City shall be implemented within thirty (30) days after the City notifies the retailer of the needed modifications.
(§ 1, Ord. 2759, eff. July 16, 2002
Section 5-25.06: Penalties for failing to submit a prevention plan.
a) 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 subject to a One Thousand Dollar ($1,000) civil penalty, plus an additional penalty for Fifty Dollars ($50) for each day of noncompliance.
(§ 1, Ord. 2759, eff. July 16, 2002)
Section 5-25.07: Notification for retrieval of abandoned carts.
a) Pursuant to Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 22435.7, the City shall notify the owner of any abandoned carts owned or used by the business establishment that have been located within the City of Ontario within twenty-four (24) hours of impoundment. The owner shall have three (3) business days from the date the notification is given to retrieve carts from the City.
(§ 1, Ord. 2759, eff. July 16, 2002)
Section 5-25.08: Administrative costs and fines.
a) Pursuant to Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 22435.7, any owner that fails to retrieve its abandoned cart(s) within three (3) business days after receiving notice from the City, 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 (3) times during a six (6) month period, shall be subject to a Fifty Dollar ($50) fine for each occurrence. An occurrence includes all carts owned by the owner that are impounded by the City in a one-day period.
(§ 1, Ord. 2759, eff. July 16, 2002)
Section 5-25.09: Disposition of carts after thirty (30) days.
a) Pursuant to State law, any cart not reclaimed from the City within thirty (30) days after notification to the owner shall be sold or otherwise disposed of by the City.
(§ 1, Ord. 2759, eff. July 16, 2002)
Section 5-25.10: Unmarked shopping carts: Public nuisance.
a) Any unmarked shopping cart is hereby declared to be a public nuisance if:
a) It is left unattended on a public right-of-way or other public property;
b) It is left unattended on any private property at a location that will impede emergency services;
c) It is left unattended on the front or side setback of any private property without the owner's or occupant's permission; or
d) It is left on private property where it may be viewed from the public right-of-way or adjacent properties for more than twenty-four (24) hours after the occupant, if any, and the owner of the property has received written notice that if the shopping cart is not removed from public view, it will be impounded by the City and may be sold or otherwise disposed of by the City.
(§ 1, Ord. 2759, eff. July 16, 2002)
Section 5-25.11: Unmarked shopping carts: Destruction.
a) Any carts found to be unmarked as defined by this chapter and has been impounded by the City shall be destroyed without any further notice other than as specified in § 5-25.10(d).
(§ 1, Ord. 2759, eff. July 16, 2002)

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