Borough of Highland Park, NJ
Middlesex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Highland Park 9-16-2003 by Ord. No. 1617 (§ 4-14 of the 1987 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Licensing — See Ch. 247.
Peddling, soliciting and canvassing — See Ch. 290.

§ 261-1 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meaning indicated:
MODULAR NEWSRACK BOX ASSEMBLY (MNBA)
A unit that has assembled together two or more newsrack boxes in a housing that is supported by one or more pedestals. The modular newsrack box assembly is then permanently attached to a sidewalk or concrete pad by bolts or other such fasteners. Newspapers are distributed by placing such newspapers in the various newsrack boxes by various newspaper vendors. Two or more newspaper vendors may distribute newspapers from a MNBA.
NEWSPAPER VENDOR
Any person or other legal entity distributing publications by the use of a newsrack box in the Borough of Highland Park.
NEWSRACK BOX or NEWSRACK
A rectangular cube-type box that has a windowed door on its front for the purposes of viewing inside the cube-shaped box and also to gain access to the box. Newspapers or other news periodicals are placed in the newsrack box for the purposes of distribution. One gains access to the interior of the newsrack box by opening the front windowed door. The newsrack box may be, but need not be, accessed by inserting coined money to unlock the access door.

§ 261-2 Intent and purpose.

The Mayor and Council find and declare that:
A. 
The uncontrolled placement of newsracks or MNBAs in public rights-of-way and semipublic 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.
B. 
Newsracks or MNBAs so located as to cause an inconvenience or danger to persons using public rights-of-way and semipublic rights-of-way, and unsightly newsracks or MNBAs located therein, constitute public nuisances.
C. 
These factors constitute an unreasonable interference with and obstruction of the use of public rights-of-way and semipublic rights-of-way, are injurious to health, offensive to the senses, and constitute such an obstruction of the free use of property as to interfere in the comfortable enjoyment of life and property by the entire community.
D. 
The Borough Council recognizes, however, that the use of such rights-of-way is so historically associated with the sale and distribution of newspapers and publications that access to the areas for such purposes should not be absolutely denied. The Borough Council further finds that these strong and competing interests require a reasonable accommodation which can only be satisfactorily achieved through the means of this chapter which is designed to accommodate such interest regulating the time, place and manner of using such newsracks or MNBAs and intends to provide for national, regional, local and nonprofit publications.
E. 
The provisions and prohibitions hereinafter continued and enacted are in pursuance of securing and promoting the general welfare of persons in the Borough in their use of public rights-of-way and semipublic rights-of-way through the regulation of placement, appearance, number, size, and servicing of newsracks or MNBAs on such rights-of-way so as to:
(1) 
Provide for pedestrian and driving safety and convenience;
(2) 
Ensure no unreasonable interference with the flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic including ingress to, or egress from, any place of business from the street to the sidewalk;
(3) 
Provide reasonable access for the use and maintenance of sidewalks, poles, traffic signs and signals, hydrants, mailboxes, and similar appurtenances, and access to locations used for public transportation purposes;
(4) 
Reduce visual blight on the public rights-of-way and semipublic rights-of-way, protect the aesthetics and value of surrounding properties, and protect the quiet of residential areas; and
(5) 
Reduce exposure of the Borough to personal injury or property damage claims and litigation.

§ 261-3 Compliance required.

No person shall install, use or maintain any newsrack or MNBAs within the Borough except as specifically provided in this chapter.

§ 261-4 General regulations.

A. 
Only newsracks or MNBAs shall only be permitted to be installed on the public sidewalks, public property, and on the exterior of any building on private property in the Borough within the zones identified as the CBD Central Business District, Woodbridge Avenue and the residential districts. No other newsrack or MNBA shall be permitted to be placed anywhere in the Borough, except as is provided in this chapter.
B. 
The newspaper vendors will be obligated to purchase at its expense its own newsracks or MNBAs. In the event the Borough purchases either the newsracks or MNBAs for and on behalf of a newspaper vendor(s), such newspaper vendors(s) shall reimburse the Borough its out-of-pocket expense for such purchases wherein each vendor shall pay its proportionate share of such out-of-pocket expenses. The Borough shall not receive any additional money above and beyond that which it expended for the newsracks or MNBAs. The Borough prefers that the newspaper vendors purchase the newsracks and MNBAs.
C. 
Maintenance, repair, and service of each newsrack and MNBA shall be the obligation of the newspaper vendors. In the event the Borough expends any moneys for such, the Borough shall be reimbursed its expenditures by the newspaper vendors who were obligated to make such expenditures. Prior to the Borough performing any maintenance, repairs or service to the newsracks or MNBAs, the Borough will take reasonable steps and efforts to cause the responsible newspaper vendors to perform such maintenance, repair and/or service.
D. 
The style, color, size, material, and design of the newsrack shall be a Black K80 Kaspar Sho-Rack Newsrack or such design alternative as both the Design Committee of Main Street Highland Park and the Mayor may approve within 30 days of passage of this chapter, and the MNBA shall be a Black "Arlington" Modular Kaspar, also known as the Concourse 97 or 98, or such design alternative as both the Design Committee of Main Street Highland Park and the Mayor may approve within 30 days of passage of this chapter.
E. 
The installation locations of the newsracks or MNBAs within the Borough shall be selected by the Borough as described in more detail herein. The newspaper vendors shall be obligated to arrange for the installation work for each newsrack or MNBA installed on the public sidewalks or public property, at the newspaper vendor's own expense.
F. 
In the event that a MNBA is authorized by the Borough, there is no limit to the reasonable number of newsracks that a particular newspaper vendor can utilize, except that a newspaper vendor is permitted to have only one newsrack box per MNBA unit whenever other newspaper vendors wish to utilize a newsrack box in such MNBA unit. For the purposes of this chapter, a double newsrack box is considered as one newsrack.
G. 
There are no time restrictions as to when the public may access the newsracks to obtain newspapers, that is, such access may occur 24 hours per day, seven days per week, since the newsracks or MNBAs are not located in the residential districts.
H. 
Any other type of individual freestanding newspaper vending machines, boxes, newsracks, etc., whether coin-operated or otherwise, are prohibited in the Borough.[1],[2]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
[2]
Editor's Note: Original Subsection i, regarding time action to comply, which immediately followed this subsection, was deleted at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).

§ 261-5 Location and number of newsracks and MNBAs.

The Borough, in its discretion, shall determine the specific location of each newsrack or MNBA. At each location there shall be no more than five newsracks or MNBAs. The determination of the place and manner of installation of such newsracks or MNBAs shall be made by the Borough in its discretion, wherein its discretion shall not be exercised unreasonably, capriciously or arbitrarily, and shall be made in accordance with the criteria of this chapter, as governed by federal and state law.

§ 261-6 Criteria for determining location of a newsrack or MNBA.

[Added by Ord. No. 1299]
The newsracks or MNBAs located within the Borough shall be installed in accordance with §§  261-4, 261-5 and 261-7 herein; however, in the event the Borough seeks to add additional locations, it will do so based on the following criteria:
A. 
No newsrack or MNBA shall be installed wherein it impedes the flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic.
B. 
No newsrack or MNBA shall be installed wherein it endangers the public safety of persons or property.
C. 
No newsrack or MNBA shall be installed wherein it interferes with the ingress and egress from any residence or place of business.
D. 
No newsrack or MNBA shall be located wherein its location interferes with the use of traffic signs, traffic signals, fire hydrants, utility poles, mailboxes, and other such police, fire, and/or traffic control devices.
E. 
The content of the newspaper publication shall not be considered in determining the manner of and place of location of the newsrack or MNBA.
F. 
The newsrack or MNBA shall be placed in a location in keeping with the character and zoning in the Borough so as to minimize the visual appearance and clutter of newsracks, but not at the expense of the newspaper vendor's First Amendment Right to distribute its newspaper.
G. 
No newsrack or MNBA shall be installed above, or within a proximity to interfere with the use, maintenance, and/or repair of any gas line, water line, sewer line or other such utility line.
H. 
No newsrack or MNBA shall be located so as to impede the lawful use of any buildings or access thereto.
I. 
No newsrack or MNBA shall be located as to interfere with the growth of any municipally owned shade trees, plants, and shrubs existing in the right-of-way sidewalk area.
J. 
No newsrack or MNBA shall be located to interfere with the use of municipally installed public benches and seating.

§ 261-7 Selected locations.

The Borough has selected the locations for the newsracks or MNBAs to be installed in accordance with this chapter. The locations listed on Schedule A[1] are exhaustive and exclusive. Others may be added by the Borough on its own request by resolution without the need to amend this chapter.
[1]
Editor's Note: Schedule A is on file in the Borough offices.

§ 261-8 Permit required; standards; approval by Mayor and Council.

A. 
It shall be unlawful for any newspaper vendor to erect, place, maintain or operate on any street or sidewalk or in any other public way or place in the Borough any newsrack or MNBA without first having obtained a special permit from the Borough Clerk, approved by the Director of Code Enforcement and Superintendent of the Department of Public Works, and the Mayor and Council in accordance with the standards and time period set forth below.
[Amended 10-4-2011 by Ord. No. 11-1823]
B. 
Any newspaper vendor who desires to install and maintain a newsrack or MNBA on public property along the streets and sidewalks within the Borough shall make an application for a permit, in writing, to the Borough Clerk on such forms as shall be provided by the Office of the Borough Clerk. Said application shall specify the name, address and telephone number of the applicant; the proposed specific location of the newsrack(s) or MNBA(s); the location of any existing newsracks or MNBAs within the Borough belonging to said applicant, including the date each was installed; and shall be signed by the applicant or the applicant's authorized representative. Before an application may be submitted to the Borough Clerk, said application must contain the signature of both the Director of Code Enforcement and Superintendent of the Department of Public Works, or their authorized agent(s), indicating that each, respectively, approves of the application.
[Amended 10-4-2011 by Ord. No. 11-1823]
C. 
Any newspaper vendor having a newsrack or MNBA which is already located or installed in whole or in part on any public sidewalk or public right-of-way within the Borough on the effective date of this chapter shall, within 30 days from the effective date hereof, file an application for a special permit, unless said newspaper vendor has already obtained similar approval from the Mayor and Council for the installation and use of a newsrack or MNBA at a specified location in the Borough.
D. 
Each newspaper vendor shall have a duty to promptly notify the Borough Clerk of any changes in the information provided in its application.
E. 
The Mayor and Council shall issue a special permit if the proposed location and character of the newsrack or MNBA unit complies with the requirements of §§ 261-4, 261-5 and 261-7 herein.
F. 
The Mayor and Council shall either grant or deny an application for a special permit to install and maintain a newsrack or MNBA at the location specified in the application at a regular meeting held no later than 30 days from receipt of a completed application by the Borough Clerk. At that meeting, the Mayor and Council shall state with particularity the reasons for its decision to grant or deny the application, including, in the case of a denial, the specific provisions of §§ 261-4, 261-5 and 261-7 herein, which the application fails to meet.
G. 
The Mayor and Council shall grant or deny applications for a special permit in the order from which a completed application is received by the Borough Clerk.
H. 
A permit fee in the amount of $100 for the first newsrack or MNBA installed by a newspaper vendor and $75 for each additional newsrack or MNBA shall be paid upon submission of an application for a special permit. No application shall be deemed complete unless it is accompanied by the required permit fee.
I. 
Any permit issued hereunder shall be valid for a period of one year from the date of issuance thereof and shall be renewable upon the payment of an annual fee in the amount of $100, which shall be accompanied by written confirmation that the location of the newsrack or MNBA has not been changed.
J. 
The purpose of the initial permit fee and the annual renewal fee required above is to offset the costs of administration, inspection and enforcement of the provisions of this chapter.

§ 261-9 Installation, maintenance and operation.

Any newsrack or MNBA which in whole or in part rests upon, in or over any public sidewalk or public right-of-way or which projects onto, into or over any part of a public right-of-way within the Borough shall comply with the following standards:
A. 
No newsrack or MNBA shall be used for commercial advertising or commercial publicity purposes other than to display, promote or advertise the sale of the newspaper, news periodical or magazine sold therein.
B. 
Each newsrack or MNBA shall be equipped with a coin-return mechanism to permit a person using the machine to secure an immediate refund that he/she is unable to receive the publication paid for. The coin-return mechanism shall at all times be maintained in good working order.
C. 
Each newsrack or MNBA shall have affixed thereto, in a readily visible place so as to be seen by anyone using the newsrack or MNBA unit, a notice setting forth the name and address of the newspaper vendor 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 notice to the Borough Clerk.
D. 
Each newsrack or MNBA shall be maintained in a neat and clean condition and in good repair at all times. Specifically, but without limiting generality of the foregoing, each newsrack or MNBA shall be serviced and maintained so that:
(1) 
It is reasonably free of loose, chipped, peeling and cracked paint in the visible painted areas thereof;
(2) 
It is reasonably free of rust and corrosion, in the visible metal areas thereon;
(3) 
The clear plastic or glass parts thereof, if any, through which the publications therein are viewed, are not broken and reasonably free of cracks, dents, blemishes and discoloration;
(4) 
The paper or cardboard parts or inserts thereof, if any, are reasonably free of tears, peelings, or fading; and
(5) 
The structural parts thereof are not broken, cracked or otherwise dangerous to users thereof.
E. 
The newspaper vendor shall be responsible for properly disposing of unsold newspapers by bundling them for recycling and depositing them in a receptacle designated by law for such purposes. Failure to do so shall subject the newspaper vendor to punishment under this and all other applicable laws, rules and regulations, including but not limited to the forfeiture of any license(s) obtained pursuant to this chapter.

§ 261-10 Violations and penalties.

A. 
Any person or entity who violates any provision of this chapter shall be notified in writing of such violation and have 15 days from the date of the notice to correct the violation.
B. 
Any person or entity who violates any provision of this chapter and continues such violation for more than 15 days after having received the above notice, shall, upon conviction, be subject to the penalties in Chapter 1, Article III, General Penalty; each day may be considered a separate offense.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
C. 
If a newspaper vendor is convicted of a violation of this chapter by the Municipal Court and if such newspaper vendor thereafter refuses to remedy or correct the violation within 10 days from the date of conviction, then the Borough Clerk shall be empowered to remove the newsrack or MNBA which is the basis for such conviction from the public sidewalk or public right-of-way or other place and return such newsrack or MNBA to the newspaper vendor.