Chapter 12.30
SHOPPING CARTS

Sections:

12.30.010    Purpose – Declaration of nuisance.

12.30.020    Definitions.

12.30.030    Shopping cart signs required.

12.30.040    Unauthorized removal or possession of a shopping cart.

12.30.050    Abatement, removal and storage of abandoned shopping cart.

12.30.060    Shopping cart control plan.

12.30.070    Shopping cart control plan approval.

12.30.080    Shopping cart control plan modification.

12.30.090    Shopping cart control plan renewal.

12.30.100    Enforcement.

Code reviser’s note: Section 2 of Ordinance 1336 provides, “Enforcement of this ordinance shall be stayed until January 1, 2009.”

12.30.010 Purpose – Declaration of nuisance.

Many retail establishments provide shopping carts for the convenience of customers while shopping on the premises of such businesses. However, shopping carts removed from the premises of such businesses and left abandoned on public or private property throughout the City constitute a public nuisance and a potential hazard to the health and safety of the public. The proliferation of lost, stolen or abandoned shopping carts on public and private property causes blighting conditions in the community, results in the obstruction of free access to public and private sidewalks, streets, parking lots and other ways, interferes with pedestrian and vehicular traffic on public and private streets, and impedes emergency services. For the aforesaid reasons, such lost, stolen or abandoned shopping carts are declared to be a public nuisance which shall be subject to abatement in the manner set forth in this chapter or in any other manner provided by law. The purpose of this chapter is to set forth regulations to ensure that reasonable measures are taken by the owners and operators of businesses which provide shopping carts for the convenience of customers to deter the removal of shopping carts from business premises and parking lots, and provide for the prompt retrieval of lost, stolen or abandoned shopping carts, to complement and supplement provisions of state law, and to adopt local regulations to the extent not otherwise preempted by state statute. (Ord. 1336 § 1, 2008)

12.30.020 Definitions.

Except as otherwise expressly set forth herein, the following words and terms as used in this chapter shall have the following meanings:

(A) “Abandoned shopping cart” means a shopping cart which is either (1) removed from the premises of a retail establishment by any person without the written permission or consent of the owner of the shopping cart or the retailer otherwise entitled to possession of such cart, or (2) left unattended, discarded or abandoned upon any public or private property other than the premises of the retail establishment from which the shopping cart was removed, regardless of whether such shopping cart was removed from the premises with the permission of the owner. For purposes of this chapter, any shopping cart located on any public or private property other than the premises of the retail establishment from which such shopping cart was removed shall be presumed lost, stolen or abandoned, even if in the possession of any person, unless such person in possession thereof either (1) is the owner, or an employee or authorized agent of the owner, entitled to possession of the shopping cart, (2) is an officer, employee or agent of a cart retrieval service hired by the owner to retrieve such carts, or (3) is an enforcement officer retrieving, storing or disposing of the cart pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.

(B) “Cart control plan” means a written plan, developed in accordance with PMC 12.30.060 and approved by the City, to prevent customers from removing shopping carts from the premises of a retail establishment without authorization of the owner and to provide for the prompt retrieval of any abandoned shopping cart.

(C) “Director” means the Director of Planning of the City, or his or her designee.

(D) “Enforcement personnel” means any person authorized to issue citations as set forth in PMC 1.16.010.

(E) “Owner” means any owner, manager, or operator of any retail establishment.

(F) “Parking area” means a parking lot or other property provided by a retail establishment for the use of customers of such retail establishment for parking of customer vehicles. The parking area of a retail establishment located in a multistore complex or shopping center shall include the entire parking area used by the multistore complex or shopping center.

(G) “Planning Commission” means the Planning Commission of the City.

(H) “Premises” means any building, property or other area upon which any retail establishment business is conducted or operated in the City, including the parking area provided for customers of such retail establishment.

(I) “Retail establishment” means any business located in the City which offers or provides shopping carts for the use of the customers of such business regardless of whether such business is advertised or operated as a retail or wholesale business, and regardless of whether such business is open to the general public, or is a private club or business, or is a membership store.

(J) “Shopping cart” or “cart” means a basket which is mounted on wheels or a similar device generally used in a retail establishment by a customer for the purpose of transporting goods of any kind. (Ord. 1336 § 1, 2008)

12.30.030 Shopping cart signs required.

(A) Each shopping cart used within the City shall have a permanently affixed, and clearly visible, sign that:

(1) Identifies the owner of the cart or owner’s retail establishment, or both;

(2) Lists the address of the owner of the retail establishment for shopping cart return and a telephone number at which a person may contact the owner to retrieve the shopping cart;

(3) Notifies the public of the procedure to be utilized for authorized removal of the cart from the premises; and

(4) 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.

(B) It shall be the responsibility of each shopping cart owner to comply with subsection (A) of this section, and to continuously maintain, or cause to be maintained, the required sign in such a manner that the required information is accurate, current, and clearly legible. (Ord. 1336 § 1, 2008)

12.30.040 Unauthorized removal or possession of a shopping cart.

(A) It is unlawful to do any of the following acts, if a shopping cart has a permanently affixed sign as provided in PMC 12.30.030:

(1) To remove a shopping cart from the premises or parking area of a retail establishment with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the owner or retailer of possession of the cart.

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

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

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

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

(6) To be in possession of any shopping cart while that cart is not located on the premises or parking lot of a retail establishment, with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the owner or retailer of possession of the cart.

(B) This section shall not apply to the owner of a shopping cart or to a retailer, or to their agents or employees, or to a customer of a retail establishment who has written consent from the owner of a shopping cart or a retailer to be in possession of the shopping cart or to remove the shopping cart from the premises or the parking area of the retail establishment, or to do any of the acts specified in subsection (A) of this section.

(C) In any civil proceeding, any shopping cart which has a sign affixed to it pursuant to PMC 12.30.030 shall establish a rebuttable presumption affecting the burden of producing evidence that the property is that of the person or business named in the sign and not abandoned by the person or business named in the sign.

(D) In any criminal proceeding, it may be inferred that any shopping cart which has a sign affixed to it pursuant to PMC 12.30.030 is the property of the person or business named in the sign and has not been abandoned by the person or business named in the sign. (Ord. 1336 § 1, 2008)

12.30.050 Abatement, removal and storage of abandoned shopping cart.

(A) The City Manager, or his designee, is authorized to abate, remove and store abandoned shopping carts found within the City. Procedures relating to the abatement, removal and storage of abandoned shopping carts shall be pursuant to Section 22435.7 of the California Business and Professions Code.

(B) The administrative fees for the removal and storage of shopping carts shall be established or modified by resolution of the City Council and shall include the actual cost of removal and storage of any shopping cart, or parts thereof, and the proportionate share of any administrative costs associated therewith. (Ord. 1336 § 1, 2008)

12.30.060 Shopping cart control plan.

(A) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, every owner who provides shopping carts to customers for use on the premises of any retail establishment shall develop, implement and comply with the provisions of a written plan approved by the City designed to prevent customers from removing shopping carts from the premises of the retail establishment without authorization of the owner and to provide for the prompt retrieval of any abandoned shopping cart.

(B) The shopping cart control plan shall be designed to effectively prevent the removal of shopping carts from the retail establishment. The owner shall have the obligation to provide demonstrable evidence to the Director that the elements proposed will be effective. The plan shall include the following elements:

(1) Signs Affixed to Carts. Every shopping cart made available for use by customers shall comply with the sign requirements of PMC 12.30.030.

(2) Signs Posted on Premises. Conspicuous signs, in both English and Spanish, shall be placed and maintained on the premises near all customer entrances and exits and throughout the premises, including the parking area, warning customers that removal of shopping carts from the premises is prohibited by state law.

(3) Shopping Cart Inventory. The cart control plan shall include a complete list of all shopping carts maintained on or in the retail establishment.

(4) Cart Containment. Specific physical measures shall be implemented and maintained by the owner to prevent, deter or impede the removal of shopping carts from the premises. Such physical measures shall be specifically identified in the cart control plan and may include, but are not limited to, the following:

(a) Electronic or other disabling devices installed and maintained on carts;

(b) Maintaining one or more security guards assigned the responsibility to deter or stop customers from removing shopping carts from the premises;

(c) Providing courtesy clerks to accompany customers out of the store and return shopping carts to the store;

(d) Any other physical measures designed to prevent, deter or impede the removal of shopping carts from the premises that is approved by the City.

(5) Employee Training. The owner of the retail establishment shall implement and maintain a periodic training program for its new and existing employees designed to educate such employees concerning the requirements of the cart control plan and the provisions of state law prohibiting the unauthorized removal of shopping carts from the premises of the retail establishment. The cart control plan shall expressly describe the employee training program.

(6) Cart Confinement During Non-Business Hours. The cart control plan shall include a plan for storing shopping carts during non-business hours to prevent theft while the retail establishment is closed.

(7) Shopping Cart Retrieval. The cart control plan shall include provisions for the retrieval of abandoned shopping carts. The cart retrieval element should identify the following:

(a) Retrieval Personnel. The owner shall provide personnel for purposes of the retrieval of abandoned shopping carts. Such personnel may be either employees of the business or one or more independent contractors hired by the owner to provide shopping cart retrieval services, or a combination of both. The cart control plan shall either (i) identify the number of employees who will be assigned such cart retrieval duties, the number of total hours per week that each assigned employee will perform such services (in addition to any on-premises retrieval duties to which such employee may be assigned), and the training each of such personnel has received or will receive concerning the retrieval of abandoned shopping carts, and/or (ii) include a copy of each contract with a cart retrieval service (other than confidential financial information which may be redacted from the contract).

(b) Retrieval Area. The owner shall provide retrieval personnel in sufficient number to assure that all public streets within a minimum one and one-half mile radius of the premises of the retail establishment are patrolled not less often than every 48 hours, and all bus stops within a minimum one and one-half mile radius of the retail establishment are patrolled not less often than every 24 hours, and each abandoned shopping cart owned or provided by the retail establishment which is found as a result of such patrols is immediately retrieved and removed from any public or private property upon which the cart is found. The cart control plan shall identify the perimeter streets and bus stops in which all streets within the perimeter area will be patrolled as required by this subsection; the manner, frequency and times of such patrols; and the procedures to be employed by the retail establishment to identify and retrieve any abandoned shopping carts. The cart control plan shall identify the number of trucks, hours of operation of the retrieval personnel, and such other information as reasonably required by the City to assure that the owner is devoting sufficient resources to cart retrieval operations to comply with the provisions of this section and the approved cart control plan.

(C) Collaboration with Other Businesses. Two or more retail establishments located within the same shopping or retail center or sharing a common parking area may collaborate and submit a single cart control plan.

(D) Exemption. The requirements of this section shall not apply to any retail establishment that provides a total of 10 or less shopping carts for use by customers. (Ord. 1336 § 1, 2008)

12.30.070 Shopping cart control plan approval.

(A) New or Relocated Retail Establishments. Unless exempt, each new retail establishment, and any existing retail establishment relocating to a different location within the City, shall submit a proposed shopping cart control plan complying with the requirements of PMC 12.30.060 to the Director, and obtain approval thereof by the City, prior to providing any shopping carts to customers of the retail establishment. Each proposed shopping cart control plan shall be accompanied by a processing fee in an amount as set by resolution of the City Council. No proposed plan shall be accepted for filing and processing by the Director unless accompanied by the processing fee established by the City Council.

(B) Existing Retail Establishments. Unless exempt, each existing retail establishment shall submit a proposed plan complying with the requirements of PMC 12.30.060 to the Director within 180 calendar days following the date of adoption of this chapter. Each proposed plan shall be accompanied by a processing fee in an amount as set by resolution of the City Council. No proposed plan shall be accepted for filing and processing by the Director unless accompanied by the processing fee as established by the City Council.

(C) Plan Review and Approval. Upon the filing of any proposed shopping cart control plan pursuant to PMC 12.30.060 or a request for renewal of an approved shopping cart control plan pursuant to PMC 12.30.090, and receipt of the required processing fee, the Director shall review the proposed plan and either approve or deny approval of the proposed plan within 30 calendar days following the receipt thereof by the Director. The Director may deny a plan based upon any of the following grounds:

(1) Implementation of the plan violates any provision of the building, zoning, health, safety, fire, police or other provision of this code or any county, state or federal law that substantially affects public health, welfare, or safety;

(2) The plan fails to include all of the information required by this chapter;

(3) The plan is insufficient or inadequate to prevent removal of shopping carts from the premises;

(4) The plan is insufficient or inadequate to ensure the prompt retrieval of shopping carts removed from the premises;

(5) The plan fails to address any special or unique conditions due to the geographical location of the premises as they relate to shopping cart retention and theft prevention efforts;

(6) Implementation of the plan violates a term or condition of a plan or other requirement of this code;

(7) The owner knowingly makes a false statement of fact or omits a fact required to be revealed in an application for the plan, or in any amendment or report or other information required to be made.

(D) The decision of the Director shall be made in writing and notice thereof shall be transmitted to the owner of the retail establishment by the United States Postal Service, first-class mail, postage prepaid, or by personal delivery or fax transmission. The notice of decision of the Director shall be deemed given to the owner on the date of personal delivery or on the date of the fax transmission to the owner. Notices given by the United States Postal Service, first-class mail, postage prepaid, shall be deemed given to the owner on the fifth day following the date of deposit in the course of transmission with the United States Postal Service, first-class mail, postage prepaid. If the proposed plan is denied, the notice of decision given to the owner shall state the grounds upon which the proposed plan was denied. If the plan is rejected as incomplete or inadequate, the Director shall indicate areas of incompleteness or inadequacy, and the owner shall have an additional 30 days in which to resubmit a complete and adequate plan. The decision of the Director is final.

(E) Upon approval, a shopping cart control plan shall be valid for a period of five years. (Ord. 1336 § 1, 2008)

12.30.080 Shopping cart control plan modification.

(A) Amendments by Owner. The owner of any retail establishment which has an approved shopping cart control plan conforming to the requirements of this chapter may, at any time, submit a proposed amendment to the approved plan, which amendment shall be processed in accordance with the procedure provided for a proposed shopping cart control plan as set forth in PMC 12.30.070. Each proposed amendment shall be accompanied by a processing fee in an amount as set by resolution of the City Council. No proposed amendment shall be accepted for filing and processing by the Director unless accompanied by the processing fee as established by the City Council.

(B) Revocation or Amendment by City. An approved shopping cart control plan may be revoked by the Director, or modified in lieu of revocation in the exercise of the Director’s sound discretion, upon any of the following grounds:

(1) The owner of any retail establishment is operating, or is permitting operation of, the retail establishment in violation of one or more of the provisions of the approved shopping cart control plan and has failed to correct the violation(s) for a period of at least 15 calendar days following the date of receipt of written notice of such violation(s) from the City; or

(2) The owner of any retail establishment with an approved shopping cart control plan is operating, or is permitting the operation of, the retail establishment in violation of one or more of the requirements of this chapter and has failed to correct the violation(s) for a period of at least 15 calendar days following the date of receipt of written notice of such violation(s) from the City; or

(3) The shopping cart control plan, as approved, is inadequate to prevent the removal of shopping carts from the premises of the retail establishment, or reasonably ensure the prompt retrieval of abandoned shopping carts; or

(4) The owner of any retail establishment knowingly makes a false statement of fact or omits a fact required to be revealed in an application for the shopping cart control plan, or in any amendment or in any other required document. (Ord. 1336 § 1, 2008)

12.30.090 Shopping cart control plan renewal.

(A) Prior to the expiration of an approved shopping cart control plan, the owner of any retail establishment holding an approved shopping cart control plan shall submit to the Director a request for renewal. Each request for renewal shall be accompanied by a processing fee in an amount as set by resolution of the City Council. No request for renewal shall be accepted for filing and processing by the Director unless accompanied by the processing fee as established by the City Council.

(B) The request for renewal shall:

(1) Include a copy of the approved shopping cart control plan;

(2) Demonstrate compliance with the approved cart control plan;

(3) Identify any proposed amendments to the approved cart control plan; and

(4) Identify the number of carts retrieved under the approved cart control plan.

(C) Requests for renewal shall be processed in accordance with PMC 12.30.070(C) and the decision of the Director shall be made in accordance with PMC 12.30.070(D).

(D) A renewed shopping cart control plan shall be valid for a period of five years. (Ord. 1336 § 1, 2008)

12.30.100 Enforcement.

Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be punishable as set forth in PMC Title 1. Where the conduct constituting the violation is of a continuing nature, each day that the conduct continues shall be deemed a separate and distinct violation. (Ord. 1336 § 1, 2008)