Town of Johnston, RI
Providence County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Johnston 7-28-1994 by Ord. No. 930 (Sec. 17-24 of the 1979 Code); amended in its entirety 4-10-2006 by Ord. No. 2005-27. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Business operations — See Ch. 125.
Solid waste — See Ch. 295.
In conjunction with R.I.G.L. § 23-19-13, entitled "Gull Control Program," passed at the 1994 session of the General Assembly; for the health, safety and welfare of the people of the Town of Johnston; in an effort to discourage gulls that feed at dumpsters and are contributing to the pollution and contamination of Oak Swamp, Johnston Memorial Park Pond and other waterways and wetlands in the Town; and to improve and enhance appearances in the Town:
A. 
All dumpsters in all zoning districts that abut a residential zone or any residential use parcel within the boundaries of the Town shall be completely enclosed, which shall mean enclosed on three sides with masonry walls, stockade fence, opaque fencing or arborvitae shrubs and enclosed on the fourth side with a locked gate. The fencing, shrubs and gate shall be tall enough to conceal the dumpster(s). Said dumpster(s), with enclosure, shall be placed a minimum of 10 feet from the rear and side property lines of abutting residential zones and shall be landscaped. Dumpsters abutting commercial zones shall be placed a minimum of five feet from the rear and side property lines. The following conditions shall be met:
(1) 
New commercial businesses. Within 90 days of obtaining a business license, all new commercial businesses in the Town utilizing a dumpster shall be required to enclose their dumpsters with a material capable of obscuring the view of the dumpster from the public (as set forth above) and shall place the dumpster on secure ground. The dumpster enclosure and location are subject to the approval of the Building Official or his designee, at the request of the Building Official. Owners may apply for a waiver from this section if they can demonstrate hardship based on visibility and location.
(2) 
Existing commercial businesses. Within 90 days of renewal of their business license, all existing commercial businesses in the Town utilizing a dumpster shall be required to enclose their dumpsters with a material capable of obscuring the view of the dumpster from the public (as set forth above) and shall place the dumpster on secure ground. The dumpster enclosure and location are subject to the approval of the Building Official or his designee, at the request of the Building Official. Owners may apply for a waiver from this section if they can demonstrate hardship based on visibility and location.
(3) 
Residential buildings. Within 90 days of passage of this section, all residential buildings in the Town consisting of more than one family dwelling unit that utilize a dumpster shall be required to enclose their dumpsters with a material capable of obscuring the view of the dumpster from the public (as set forth above) and shall place the dumpster on secure ground. The dumpster enclosure and location are subject to the approval of the Building Official or his designee, at the request of the Building Official. Owners may apply for a waiver from this section if they can demonstrate hardship based on visibility and location.
(4) 
Municipally owned structures. Within 90 days of passage of this section, all municipal departments and agencies in the Town utilizing a dumpster shall be required to enclose their dumpsters with a material capable of obscuring the view of the dumpster from the public (as set forth above) and shall place the dumpster on secure ground. The dumpster enclosure and location are subject to the approval of the Building Official or his designee, at the request of the Building Official. Owners may apply for a waiver from this section if they can demonstrate hardship based on visibility and location.
(5) 
Temporary placement of dumpsters. Requirements contained herein shall not apply to the placement of temporary dumpsters. “Temporary” shall be defined as a period of not more than 90 days or as may be permitted by the Building Official.
B. 
All dumpsters in business and industrial zones shall be completely enclosed. Enclosed shall mean enclosed on three sides with masonry walls, stockade fence, opaque fencing, or equivalent materials and enclosed on the fourth side with a locked gate. Arborvitae shrubs may be substituted where rodent control will not be an issue, subject to the approval of the Building Official. The fencing, shrubs and gate shall be tall enough to conceal the dumpster(s).
C. 
All dumpster tops shall remain closed at all times; the premises around all dumpsters shall be kept free from debris, and all enclosures shall be maintained in good condition, free from defective or missing parts. Dumpsters must be secured at all times between pickups.
D. 
All businesses currently licensed and operating in the Town shall comply with this section on or before the annual licensing renewal for their current license.
E. 
The Town Clerk is hereby directed to provide a copy of this chapter to all persons applying for business licenses, and the Building Official, or his designee, is hereby directed to place copies of this chapter in the Zoning Ordinance booklets.
F. 
In no event shall any dumpster or dumpster enclosure contain hazardous waste or material harmful to the surrounding residents. Nothing herein shall prohibit properly licensed facilities from the maintenance and disposal of hazardous waste as may be permitted by federal, state and local law.
G. 
No materials of any kind shall be allowed to be stored within the confines of a dumpster enclosure or within 10 feet of the outside of a dumpster enclosure.
H. 
Any waste from food or food products shall be enclosed in a leakproof container (plastic bag, etc.) before being placed in a dumpster.
I. 
Dumpsters used for waste from food or food products shall be maintained in such manner so as not to constitute a breeding ground for infective material, an attraction for rodents, and the migration of odors to the surrounding residential use properties, thereby creating a public nuisance.
J. 
Responsibility for the oversight and enforcement of this section lies primarily with the Building Official of the Town or his designee. The Building Official, Minimum Housing Officer, Police Department, and other duly authorized representatives of the Town may initiate summonses in order to ensure compliance with this section.
K. 
Any person or entity in violation of any of the provisions of this section shall be subject to a fine of not more than $100 per day for the first offense; not more than $250 per day for the second offense; and not more than $500 per day for any subsequent offenses. Any charges and summonses issued pursuant to this section shall be presented in the Johnston Municipal Court.
L. 
Any and all waivers, whether granted or denied pursuant to this section, shall be submitted for review and confirmation by the Johnston Town Council at the next regular meeting following the decision of the Building Official. The Building Official will notify abutting residential property owners of any and all waiver requests when they are submitted to the Town Council, and the Town Council will make the final decision on granting or denying the waiver request.
M. 
The use of all dumpsters is subject to all existing municipal ordinances regarding hours of operation for businesses and the use, and/or emptying of any dumpster governed by this section shall be considered a business activity which is subject to the restrictions set for business operation and activity within the Town of Johnston. If a dumpster abuts residential uses, hours of operation shall be restricted; no activity shall be allowed between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.
N. 
Anyone seeking to have a permanent dumpster placed on their property shall first receive a permit from the Building Official, who will inspect the dumpster and location for compliance as set forth in this section. Once the location of the dumpster has been established, under no circumstances can it be changed without first obtaining approval of the Building Official.
O. 
Said section shall become effective upon the date of its passage, and any/all ordinances, or provisions therein, inconsistent with the same are hereby repealed.