Chapter 7.25


7.25.010    Purpose and applicability.

7.25.020    Definitions.

7.25.030    Identification signs.

7.25.040    Impoundment and fees.

7.25.050    Security measures.

7.25.060    Disposition of unclaimed shopping carts.

7.25.070    Operation of shopping cart on public right-of-way.

7.25.010 Purpose and applicability.

(1) A purpose of this chapter is to provide for the prompt retrieval of lost, stolen or abandoned shopping carts in order to promote public safety and improve the image and appearance of the city. It is a further purpose of this chapter to have the owners and operators of businesses providing shopping carts use the means available to them to deter, prevent or mitigate the removal of shopping carts from their business premises, and to retrieve any carts that may be removed despite these efforts. It is a further purpose of this chapter to prevent the illegal removal of shopping carts from the business premises, to prevent the continued possession of illegally removed carts, and to prevent the accumulation of illegally removed carts on public or private properties.

(2) Applicability. This chapter shall apply to all shopping carts in the city of Federal Way.

(Ord. No. 18-858, § 4, 12-4-18.)

7.25.020 Definitions.

The definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter unless the context clearly requires otherwise. Unless defined otherwise here, the definitions of FWRC 1.05.020 shall control.

“Owner” means the owner or retailer identified by an identification sign on a shopping cart or, in relation to a shopping cart without an identification sign, the retail establishment that makes available that shopping cart for customers to use.

“Retail establishment” means any business that makes available shopping carts for customers of the business to use 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, is a private club or business, or is a membership store.

(Ord. No. 18-858, § 4, 12-4-18.)

7.25.030 Identification signs.

Each shopping cart offered or provided for customers to use shall have an identification sign affixed to it in accordance with RCW 9A.56.270(2), as now enacted or hereafter amended.

(Ord. No. 18-858, § 4, 12-4-18.)

7.25.040 Impoundment and fees.

(1) Impoundment of abandoned or lost shopping carts. The city may immediately impound an abandoned or lost shopping cart on private land within the city with the consent of the party in possession of the land and may immediately impound an abandoned or lost shopping cart on public land within the city.

(2) Seizure of shopping carts. Any stolen shopping cart may be seized as part of a criminal investigation under FWRC 6.30.010 or 6.30.070, or other applicable criminal law. Any shopping cart operated in violation of FWRC 7.25.070 is also subject to seizure.

(3) Notification. The city shall notify the owner of each impounded or seized shopping cart in writing if the shopping cart has an identification sign as required by FWRC 7.25.030. The director may establish by rule a process for owners to register a preferred method of notification. If delivered by U.S. mail, the notice shall be deemed to have been received three days after mailing.

The notice shall state the amount of the impound or seizure fee and that the owner has 14 days from the date of receipt to retrieve the shopping cart. The notice shall also state that if the shopping cart is not retrieved within 14 days, the city may dispose of the shopping cart.

(4) Impound or seizure fee. The city shall charge a shopping cart impound or seizure fee to the owner of each shopping cart impounded or seized by the city, unless the shopping cart is exempt from such impound fee under subsection (5) of this section. Each shopping cart impounded or seized by the city shall constitute a separate violation. The shopping cart impound fee shall be per the fee schedule maintained by the city clerk.

(5) Fee exemption. Impounded or seized shopping carts shall be exempt from the impound or seizure fee if the owner of the shopping cart, prior to the impoundment, has implemented security measures as defined in FWRC 7.25.050, and the shopping cart is compliant with the identification sign requirement of FWRC 7.25.030.

(Ord. No. 22-943, § 5, 11-15-22; Ord. No. 18-858, § 4, 12-4-18.)

7.25.050 Security measures.

(1) Security measures are methods to prevent removal of shopping carts from or to return them to the premises of the retail establishment including, but not limited to:

(a) Electronically activated self-braking wheels; or

(b) Poles mounted to shopping carts or other physical barriers that prevent removing the shopping carts from the interior of the retail establishment; or

(c) Utilization of a shopping cart patrol and retrieval company who recovers shopping carts on behalf of the retail business within a two-mile radius of the contracting retail establishment no fewer than two times per week; or

(d) Security personnel dedicated to cart control and retention and securing all shopping carts within a secured enclosure or building when the retail establishment is closed; or

(e) Other measures deemed appropriate and effective by the director.

(Ord. No. 22-943, § 6, 11-15-22; Ord. No. 18-858, § 4, 12-4-18.)

7.25.060 Disposition of unclaimed shopping carts.

The city may summarily dispose of shopping carts impounded by the city that are either not retrieved within 14 days following the receipt of notification or without an identification sign. If the city disposes of a shopping cart, the city may assess the owner with a disposal fee in addition to the impoundment fee. The shopping cart disposal fee shall be per the fee schedule maintained by the city clerk.

(Ord. No. 18-858, § 4, 12-4-18.)

7.25.070 Operation of shopping cart on public right-of-way.

It is a Class 3 civil infraction under Chapter 7.80 RCW to push, pull, possess or otherwise operate a shopping cart on a public right-of-way.

(Ord. No. 22-943, § 8, 11-15-22.)