Chapter 12.24


12.24.010    Purpose of provisions.

12.24.020    Definitions.

12.24.030    Newsrack permit required.

12.24.040    Design.

12.24.050    Placement.

12.24.060    Standards.

12.24.070    Maintenance.

12.24.080    Abatement of violation.

12.24.090    Amortization requirements.

12.24.010 Purpose of provisions.

The purpose of these regulations is to acknowledge and achieve the following:

A. There is a substantial governmental interest in promoting the public health, safety, welfare and convenience by ensuring that persons may reasonably use the public streets, sidewalks, rights-of-way, and other public property without interference with such use.

B. Newsracks placed and maintained on the streets, sidewalks or other public rights-of-way, absent some reasonable regulation, may unreasonably interfere with the use of such streets, sidewalks and public rights-of-way, and may present hazards to persons or property.

C. The streets, sidewalks and public rights-of-way are historically associated with the sale and distribution of newspapers and other publications, and that access to and use of these areas for such purposes is not to be denied except where such use unreasonably interferes with the use of these areas by pedestrians or traffic, or where such use presents a hazard to persons or property.

D. Reasonable accommodation of these competing interests can be achieved by adoption of this chapter, which regulates the placement and maintenance of newsracks.

E. The public health, safety, welfare and convenience require that:

1. Interference with vehicular, bicycle, wheelchair or pedestrian traffic be avoided;

2. Obstruction of sight distance and views of traffic signs and street-crossing pedestrians be eliminated;

3. Damage done to sidewalks or streets be minimized and repaired;

4. The good appearance of the public streets and grounds be maintained;

5. Trees and other landscaping be allowed to grow without disturbance;

6. Access to emergency and other public facilities be maintained; and

7. Ingress and egress from properties adjoining the public rights-of-way be protected.

F. The regulation of the sale or free distribution of newspapers and other publications dispensed in vending machines as set forth in this chapter provides the least intrusive and burdensome means for ensuring the purposes stated in this section are carried out while still providing ample opportunities for the distribution of news to the citizens of the City.

G. These regulations shall also serve as guidelines for the maintenance of newsracks on private property. (Ord. 1111 § 1 (part), 1992)

12.24.020 Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

A. “Abandoned newsrack” means any newsrack which remains empty for ten business days, except that a newsrack remaining empty due to a labor strike or any temporary and extraordinary interruption of distribution or publication by the newspaper or other publication sold or distributed from that newsrack shall not be deemed abandoned.

B. “Modular newsracks” means single newsracks containing separate provisions for two or more different publications, where each kind has separate coin slots or merchandise receptacles or places where the publication is dispensed.

C. “Newsrack” means any self-service or coin-operated box, container, storage unit, or other dispenser installed, used or maintained for the display and sale or distribution without charge of newspapers, periodicals or other publications.

D. “Public right-of-way” means and includes the area and those areas dedicated to public use for public street purposes including but not limited to roadways, parkways, alleys and sidewalks.

E. “Redevelopment project area” means those areas included within the boundaries of the San Carlos Redevelopment Project as shown in the Blight Area Matrix Map and approved by the San Carlos City Council planned for development, replanning, redesign, clearance, reconstruction or rehabilitation or any combination of these, and the provision of such residential, commercial, industrial, public or other structures or spaces as may be appropriate or necessary in the interest of the general welfare, including recreational and other facilities incidental or appurtenant to them.

F. “Roadway” means that portion of a public right-of-way improved, designed and ordinarily used for vehicular traffic, including drainage gutters and curbs a minimum of six inches in horizontal width.

G. “Sidewalk” means that portion of a public right-of-way provided for the exclusive use of pedestrians, including planting areas or park strips, between the public roadway and adjacent property lines.

H. “Temporary Newsracks” means and includes any newsracks maintained in the public right-of-way for a trial period of up to forty-five days. (Ord. 1111 § 1 (part), 1992)

12.24.030 Newsrack permit required.

A. The provisions of this chapter shall be the exclusive requirements for newsrack encroachments onto public property in the City of San Carlos and preempt any other provisions in this Code with the exception of Chapter 18.96 of the San Carlos Municipal Code governing adult entertainment facilities.

B. Each newsrack distributor shall obtain a newsrack permit for all news-racks located on or projecting into any public right-of-way or public property with the Director of Public Works or his designee on the forms provided by the Director within twenty-four hours of placement on public right-of-way or public properties demonstrating that their newsracks comply with all requirements of this chapter.

C. There shall be no fee, bond or other charges for a newsrack permit or application.

D. The newsrack permit application form shall state the name, address and telephone number of those responsible for installation, use and maintenance of the newsracks, and shall describe, with particularity, the location(s) proposed for installation. Any newsrack permit shall be issued within ten working days if the type of newsrack and location(s) proposed meet the standards set forth in this chapter. The City shall either issue a license or obtain a court order to restrain unlicensed acts.

E. If a newsrack permit is disapproved, in whole or in part, the Director of Public Works shall notify the applicant promptly, explaining the reasons for denial of an newsrack permit. The applicant shall have ten calendar days within which to appeal the decision to the City Council in accordance with the appeals provisions of this Code.

F. A person securing a newsracks permit may install and maintain additional newsracks by an amendment to the permit originally granted to that person. The rules and procedures of this section shall also apply to the review and approval of any such amendment.

G. All persons who obtain a newsrack permit shall also obtain and display an identification/permit marker provided by the City of San Carlos. (Ord. 1111 § 1 (part), 1992)

12.24.040 Design.

A. Each newsrack shall be a 49-16 or 100 style (as manufactured by “Sho-Rack”) or KJ50/KJ55F (as manufactured by “K-Jack”) or M-30/M-33 (as manufactured by “National Newsvend”) in the primary business area of the City between El Camino Real and Walnut Street and San Carlos Avenue and Eaton Avenue. Additionally, “Armorhood 80 style” racks and “Ganset” racks may be used in all other redevelopment project areas, commercial and industrial zoning districts, and industrial business parks within the City. However, where there are more than five nonmodular newsracks in any one location, modular-style racks shall be required. Although not required, the City encourages the use of “federal brown” (as manufactured by “Sho-Rack”) or “San Jose Brown” (as manufactured by “K-Jack”) panels preferred. (This chapter is not intended to mandate the color of newsracks within the City).

B. The compartments of modular newsracks shall be placed in such a manner as to utilize no more than two horizontal rows of six compartments per row.

C. No newsrack shall be installed in the public right-of-way that does not meet the approved newsrack dimensions of not more than four feet high, including pedestal, measured from the ground to the top surface of the newsrack, not more than two feet deep and not more than thirty inches wide.

D. The design of a newsrack shall not create a danger to the persons using the newsrack in a reasonably foreseeable manner.

E. Newsracks may be placed next to each other. However, no group of newsracks placed along a curb shall extend for a distance of more than sixteen feet, and shall be no closer than four feet to another group of newsracks along a curb. If sufficient space does not exist to accommodate all newsracks sought to be placed at one location without violating the standards set forth in this chapter, the Public Works Director shall give priority, on a historical first-come, first-served basis, to permit applicants as follows:

1. First priority, on a first-come, first-served basis, shall be given to daily publications (inclusive of their Saturday, Sunday or weekend editions whether or not published jointly with another newspaper), published at least five times per week;

2. Second priority, on a first-come, first-served basis, shall be given to publications published more than once but less than five days per week;

3. Third priority, on a first-come, first-served basis, shall be given to weekly publications;

4. Fourth priority, on a first-come, first-served basis, shall be given to biweekly publications (published less than once per week but more than once per month); and

5. Fifth priority, on a first-come first- served basis, shall be given to monthly or less frequent publications.

F. All newsracks shall be pedestal-mounted, and shall be permanently affixed to the ground, except as permitted under this chapter.

G. Newsracks do not require approval from the Architectural Review Committee.

H. The highest operable part of the coin slot, if provided for the newsrack, all controls, dispensers and other operable components of newsracks shall not be greater than forty eight inches above the level of the adjacent pavement or sidewalk, nor lower than fifteen inches above the level of the adjacent pavement or sidewalk.

I. It is intended that the provisions of this chapter shall be consistent with the accessibility standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Public Law 101-336 and further amendments affecting the general safety and welfare of all citizens of San Carlos and visitors in the City, and that it is the responsibility of the owner of each newsrack to comply with all such provisions. (Ord. 1111 § 1 (part), 1992)

12.24.050 Placement.

A. No person shall install, stock, use or maintain any newsrack which projects onto, into or over any part of the roadway of any public right-of-way, street, or which rests, wholly or in part, upon, along or over any portion of a roadway.

B. No person shall install, use or maintain any newsrack which in whole or in part rests upon, in or over any sidewalk or parkway, when such installation, use or maintenance endangers the safety of persons or property, or when such site or location is used for public utility purposes, public transportation purposes or other government use, or when such newsrack unreasonably interferes with or impedes the flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic, including handicapped access, the ingress into or egress from any residence, place of business, or the use of poles, posts, traffic signs or signals, hydrants, postal service collection boxes or other objects permitted at or near such location. (Ord. 1111 § 1 (part), 1992)

12.24.060 Standards.

A. Any newsrack which in whole or in part rests upon, on or over any sidewalk or parkway, shall comply with the following standards:

1. Newsracks shall only be placed near a curb or adjacent to the wall of a building. The back of newsracks placed near the curb shall be placed no less than eighteen inches nor more than twenty-four inches from the edge of the curb. The back of newsracks placed adjacent to the wall of a building shall be placed parallel to such wall and not more than six inches from the wall. No newsrack shall be placed or maintained on a sidewalk of parkway opposite another newsrack or kiosk which distributes newspapers, periodicals or other publications only.

2. All newsracks shall be permanently affixed to the ground except as permitted under this chapter. Newsracks shall not be chained or otherwise attached to a bus shelter, bench, street light, utility pole or sign pole, to any other single or modular newsrack, or to any tree, shrub or other plant, nor situated upon any landscaped area.

3. Any single-unit newsrack which meets the requirements of this chapter may be permitted in any single location for a period of forty-five days in order to determine the suitability of long-term newsrack locations. At least ten business days prior to locating a temporary newsrack, a complete license application shall be submitted, including written notice of the particular location and date upon which the forty-five day trial period will begin. Within ten business days after expiration of the forty-five day trial period, the person maintaining the newsrack shall either cause it to be removed or submit a written request to the Public Works Director for a permit for a permanent newsrack location. Temporary news-racks shall be skirted and weighted down.

4. No newsrack shall be placed, installed, used or maintained:

a. Within fifteen feet of any marked or unmarked crosswalk as measured from the curb return;

b. Within five feet of any fire hydrant, fire callbox, police callbox, or other emergency facility;

c. Within five feet of any driveway.

d. Within five feet of any bus bench;

e. Within five feet of any red curb of a bus stop zone;

f. At any location where the clear space for the passage of pedestrians is reduced to less than six feet;

g. In such a manner as to impede or interfere with the reasonable use of any commercial window display;

h. Within fifteen feet of the curb return of any wheelchair curb ramp not in a marked crosswalk. (Ord. 1111 § 1 (part), 1992)

12.24.070 Maintenance.

A. Each newsrack shall be maintained in a neat and clean condition and in good repair at all times. For example, without limitation, the newsrack shall be reasonably free of dirt and grease, be reasonably free of chipped, faded, peeling or cracked paint, be reasonably free of rust and corrosion, have no broken or cracked plastic or glass parts, and have no broken structural parts. Adhesive labels, other than City issued identification/approval labels, unrelated to publications in the newsracks shall not be displayed on newsracks.

B. Abandoned newsracks may be removed by a designated public works employee and may be disposed of if not claimed by the owner within thirty days after the City has notified the owner in writing. Such notice shall state the code sections, violations, the length of time within which the violation must be cured, and the forum within which the owner may request a hearing.

C. Each newsrack which requires the deposit of money to obtain the publication shall be equipped with a coin-return mechanism to permit persons using the machine to secure an refund in the event they are unable to receive the publication paid for. The coin-return mechanism shall be maintained in good working order.

D. Every person maintaining a newsrack under the terms of this chapter shall have his or her name, current address, and telephone number (updated within ten days of any changes) affixed to it in a place where such information will be readily visible and shall include, with such identification, instructions on how to receive a refund in the event of coin-return malfunctions.

E. Upon the removal of a newsrack, the public right-of-way shall be returned to its original condition including but not limited to the refilling of holes installed for purposes of maintaining newsracks. (Ord. 1111 § 1 (part), 1992)

12.24.080 Abatement of violation.

A. A newsrack in violation of this chapter may be removed by a designated public works employee of the City of San Carlos if it is impossible to remedy the violation and the violation poses a danger to health and safety, pedestrians, and vehicular traffic.

B. Before any newsrack is removed the owner shall be notified by posting and mailing, where feasible, to the address for such party stated on the newsrack permit and given ten days to remedy the violation and/or contest removal. If no identification is shown on the newsrack and no newsrack permit has been obtained, posting of the notice on the newsrack alone shall be sufficient. Both forms of notice shall state the place to request a hearing to contest removal of the newsrack.

C. Any person notified under Section 12.24.080(B) may submit a written request for a hearing before the Director of Public Works, which hearing shall be held not less than ten business days after the request was made. The hearing shall be informal, but oral and written evidence may be given by both sides. Any action by the City with respect to the alleged violation shall be stayed pending the Director of Public Works’ decision following the hearing, which decision shall be rendered no later than ten business days after the hearing. The Director of Public Works may give oral notice of the decision at the close of the hearing, but shall give written notice, as well, of all decisions.

D. The City may remove a newsrack if the person responsible for such news-rack has (1) neither requested a hearing before the Director of Public Works nor remedied the violation within ten business days following date of notice, or (2) has failed to remedy the violation within ten business days after receiving a copy of the written decision that the newsrack was installed or maintained in violation of this chapter, following a hearing as conducted pursuant to this section. Such person shall be notified of the removal. Removed newsracks shall be retained by the City and may be recovered by the responsible party for a period of at least thirty business days following removal.

E. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A of this section, prior notice of removal is not required where the newsrack poses a danger to pedestrians or vehicles, provided notice of the removal and opportunity to contest is given the owner within ten days of the removal.

F. Removed or impounded newsracks shall be retained and may be recovered by their owner within thirty days of their removal. Newsracks removed or impounded by the City of San Carlos shall be retained at the City’s corporation yard. Newsracks which are not claimed within thirty days shall be deemed permanently abandoned and shall be disposed of.

G. The person responsible for such newsrack shall pay an impound fee covering the actual cost to the City of transporting, storing and disposing of such newsrack.

H. Abatement hereunder is a cumulative remedy and does not constitute a defense to misdemeanor citation proceedings which may be employed simultaneously pursuant to the general provisions of this code. (Ord. 1111 § 1 (part), 1992)

12.24.090 Amortization requirements.

Every newsrack within the primary business area of the City between El Camino Real and Walnut Street and San Carlos Avenue and Eaton Avenue which does not comply with the provisions of this chapter shall be removed or otherwise brought into conformance within six months of the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter. Every newsrack within remaining redevelopment project areas, commercial or industrial zoning districts or industrial business parks shall be removed or otherwise brought into conformance within eighteen months of the effective date of this chapter. (Ord. 1111 § 1 (part), 1992)