[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Charleroi 9-13-1988 by Ord. No. 853; readopted 10-8-1991 by Ord. No. 873 as Ch. 71 of the 1991 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Property maintenance — See Ch. 257.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- The person responsible for placing and maintaining a newsrack in a public right-of-way.
- Any self-service or coin-operated box, container, storage unit or other dispenser installed, used, or maintained for the display and sale of newspapers or other news periodicals.
- That area between the sidewalks and the curb of any street, and where there is no sidewalk that area between the edge of the roadway and property line adjacent thereto. "Parkway" shall also include any area within a roadway which is not open to vehicular travel.
- That portion of a street improved, designed, or ordinarily used for vehicular travel.
- Any surface provided for the exclusive use of pedestrians.
- All that area dedicated to public use for public street purposes and shall include, but not be limited to, roadways, parkways, alleys and sidewalks.
The uncontrolled placement of newsracks in public rights-of-way presents an inconvenience and danger to the safety and welfare of persons using such rights-of-way, including pedestrians, persons entering and leaving vehicles and buildings, and persons performing essential utility, traffic control and emergency services.
Newsracks so located as to cause an inconvenience or danger to persons using public rights-of-way, and unsightly newsracks located therein, constitute public nuisances.
The provisions and prohibitions hereinafter contained and enacted are in pursuance of and for the purpose of securing and promoting the public health and general welfare of persons in the Borough in their use of public rights-of-way.
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to erect, place, maintain or operate, on any public street or sidewalk, or in any other public way or place, in the Borough any newsrack without first having obtained a permit from the Borough Secretary specifying the exact location of such rack(s). One permit may be issued to include any number of newsracks, and shall be signed by the applicant.
Application for such permit shall be made, in writing, to the Borough Secretary upon such form as shall be provided by him/her, and shall contain the name and address of the applicant, the proposed specific location of said newsracks, and shall be signed by the person authorized by the applicant.
As an express conditions of the acceptances of such permit, permittee thereby agrees to indemnify and save harmless the BOROUGH, its officers, directors, and employees against any loss or liability or damage, including expenses and costs for bodily or personal injury, and for property damage sustained by any person as the result of the installation, use, or maintenance of a newsrack within the Borough.
Permits shall be issued for the installation of a newsrack or newsracks without prior inspection of the location but such newsrack or newsracks and the installation, use or maintenance thereof shall be conditioned upon observance of the provisions of this chapter. Permits shall be issued within 24 hours after the application has been filed. An annual permit fee in an amount as set from time to time by resolution of the Borough Council is required for each newsrack.
Such permits shall be valid for one year and shall be renewable pursuant to the procedure for original applications referred to in § 224-4 and upon payment of the permit fee for each newsrack as set forth in Subsection B of this section.
Any newsrack which in whole or in part rests upon, in or over any public sidewalk or parkway, roadway or street, shall comply with the following standards:
No newsrack shall exceed five feet in height, 30 inches in width, or two feet in thickness.
No newsrack shall be used for advertising signs or publicity purposes other than that dealing with the display, sale, or purchase of the newspaper or news periodical sold therein.
Each newsrack shall be equipped with a coin-return mechanism to permit a person using the machine to secure an immediate refund in the event he is unable to receive the publication paid for. The coin-return mechanisms shall be maintained in good working order.
Each newsrack shall have affixed to it in a readily visible place so as to be seen by anyone using the newsrack a notice setting forth the name and address of the distributor and the telephone number of a working telephone service to call to report a malfunction, or to secure a refund in the event of a malfunction of the coin-return mechanism, or to give the notices provided for in this division.
Each newsrack shall be maintained in a neat and clean condition and in good repair at all times. Specifically, but without limiting the generality of the foregoing, each newsrack shall be serviced and maintained so that:
It is reasonably free of dirt and grease.
It is reasonably free of chipped, faded, peeling and cracked paint in the visible painted areas thereof.
It is reasonably free of rust and corrosion in the visible unpainted metal areas thereon.
The clear plastic or glass parts thereof, if any, through which the publications therein are viewed are unbroken and reasonably free of cracks, dents, blemishes and discoloration.
The paper or cardboard parts or inserts thereof are reasonably free of tears, peeling or fading.
The structural parts thereof are not broken or unduly misshapen.
Any newsrack which rests in whole or in part upon, or on any portion of a public right-of-way, parkway, roadway, sidewalk or street, or which projects onto, into, or over any part of a public right-of-way, parkway, roadway, sidewalk or street, shall be located in accordance with the provisions of this section:
No newsrack shall be used or maintained which projects onto, into, or over any part of the roadway of any public street, or which rests, wholly or in part upon, along, or over any portion of the roadway of any public street.
No newsrack shall be permitted to rest upon, in or over any public 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 governmental use, or when such newsrack unreasonably interferes with or impedes the flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic including any legally marked or stopped vehicle, the ingress into or egress from any residence or place of business, or the use of poles, posts, traffic signs or signals, hydrants, mailboxes, or other objects permitted at or near said location.
No newsrack shall be chained, bolted, or otherwise attached to any fixture located in the public right-of-way, except to other newsracks.
Newsracks may be placed next to each other, provided that no group of newsracks shall extend for a distance of more than eight feet along a curb, and a space of not less than three feet shall separate each group of newsracks.
No newsrack shall be placed, installed, used or maintained:
With three feet of any marked crosswalk.
Within 12 feet of the curb return of any crosswalk.
Within five feet of any fire hydrant, fire call box, police call box or other emergency facility.
Within five feet of any driveway.
Within three feet ahead or 15 feet to the rear of any sign marking a designated bus stop.
Within three feet of the outer end of any bus bench.
At any location whereby the clear space for the passageway of pedestrians is reduced to less than six feet.
Within three feet or on any public area improved with lawn, flowers, shrubs, trees or other landscaping.
Within 100 feet of any other newsrack on the same side of the street in the same block containing the same issue or edition of the same publication.
Upon determination by the Borough Secretary that a newsrack has been installed, used or maintained in violation of the provisions of this chapter, an order to correct the offending condition will be issued to the distributor of the newsrack. Such order shall be telephoned to the distributor and confirmed by mailing a copy of the order by certified mail return receipt requested. The order shall specifically describe the offending condition and suggest actions necessary to correct the condition. Failure to properly correct the offending condition within three days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays) after the mailing date of the order shall result in the offending newsrack being summarily removed and processed as unclaimed property under provisions of the Borough Code. If the offending newsrack is not properly identified as to owner under provisions of § 224-6D hereof, it shall be removed immediately and processed as unclaimed property under provisions of the Borough Code. The Borough Secretary shall cause inspection to be made of the corrected condition or of a newsrack reinstalled after removal under this section. The distributor of said newsrack shall be charged an inspection fee, in an amount as set from time to time by resolution of the Borough Council, for each newsrack so inspected, which charge shall be in addition to all other fees and charges required under this chapter and the Borough Code.
Any distributor who shall continue any violation of the provisions of this chapter beyond the time limit provided for in Subsection A of this section, or who interferes with the Borough Secretary in the performance of his/her official duties, shall be subject to the penalties as set forth in Chapter 1, Article II, Enforcement; General Penalty, of this Code.
Any person or entity aggrieved by a finding, determination, notice or action taken under the provisions of this chapter may appeal and shall be appraised of his right to appeal to the Council. An appeal must be perfected within three days after receipt of notice of any protested decision or action by filing with the office of the Borough Secretary a letter of appeal briefly stating therein the basis for such appeal. A hearing shall be held on a date no more than 10 days after receipt of the letter of appeal. Appellant shall be given at least five days' notice of the time and place of the hearing. The Council shall give the appellant, and any other interested party, a reasonable opportunity to be heard, in order to show cause why the determination of the Borough Secretary should not be upheld. In all such cases, the burden of proof shall be upon the appellant to show that there was no substantial evidence to support the action taken by the borough Secretary. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Council shall make a final and conclusive determination.
In addition to the enforcement procedures provided in § 224-8 of this chapter, it shall be within the power and discretion of Borough Secretary to suspend or revoke the permit for continued or repeated violation or infractions of any provision of this chapter or of any rule, direction or regulation of the Borough Secretary. Suspensions or revocation shall be mandatory for the third offense against § 224-8 of this chapter.
"Borough Secretary," as used in this chapter, shall include his/her designated representative.
In the event a newsrack remains empty for a period of 30 continuous days, the same shall be deemed abandoned and may be treated in the manner as provided in § 224-8 for newsracks in violation of the provisions of this chapter.