[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Union 5-24-1994 by Ord. No. 4321. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to provide definite and narrowly drawn regulations governing newsracks placed on the public sidewalks, rights-of-way or in other public areas, which regulations further the Township's interest in protecting the health, safety, welfare and convenience of pedestrians, motorists, residents and businesses; in ensuring the proper cleaning and maintenance of sidewalks, curbs, streets and various signs and utilities; and in preserving the aesthetic beauty of the Township.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER — The Township Building Official.
- EXISTING NEWSRACKS
- Any newsracks located in a public area on the effective date of this chapter.
- Any machine, box or vending device into which newspapers or news periodicals are placed for distribution or sale and includes coin-operated machines as well as machines or boxes which permit removal of newspapers or news periodicals without charge.
- PERMIT REVIEW COMMITTEE
- Consists of a committee composed of the Township Engineer, the Township Administrator and the Chief of Police, established pursuant to § 379-3 of this chapter.
- That portion of the public street upon which vehicular traffic passes and/or parks.
There is hereby established the Permit Review Committee to hear appeals from decisions of the Administrative Officer as provided in § 379-10 of this chapter. The Permit Review Committee shall consist of the Township Engineer, the Township Administrator and the Chief of Police, all of whom shall be voting members of the Committee.
No person shall install, use or maintain any newsrack which projects onto, into or over any part of the roadway of any public street, or which rests, wholly or in part, upon, or over any portion of a roadway.
No person shall install, use or maintain any newsrack which in whole or in part rests upon, in or over any sidewalk or public area, when such installation, use or maintenance endangers the safety of persons or property; unreasonably interferes with or impedes the flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic or the ingress into or egress from any residence, place of business or any legally parked or stopped vehicle; or unreasonably interferes with the removal of snow, ice, leaves or debris.
Any newsrack which in whole or in part rests upon, in or over any public area shall comply with the following standards:
No newsrack shall exceed five feet in height, 30 inches in width and two feet in depth.
Newsracks located on sidewalks shall only be placed near a curb or adjacent to the wall of a building. If no building is located at the edge of the sidewalk opposite the curb, then any newsrack not placed near a curb shall be placed near the opposite edge of the sidewalk. Newsracks placed near the curb shall be placed no less than 18 inches from the edge of the curb. Newsracks placed adjacent to the wall of a building shall be placed parallel to such wall and not be more than six inches from the wall. No newsrack shall be placed or maintained on a sidewalk opposite another newsrack, unless such placement permits a passageway for pedestrians of at least three feet.
Newsracks may be chained, bolted or otherwise attached to any property not owned by the owner of the newsrack or to any permanently fixed object, provided that the owner of the property or fixed object does not object to such attachment.
Newsracks may be chained or otherwise attached to one another; however, no more than three newsracks may be joined together in this manner along any curb, and a space of no less than 18 inches shall separate each group of three newsracks so attached.
No newsrack shall be placed, installed, used or maintained:
Within three feet of any marked crosswalk.
Within 15 feet of the curb return of any unmarked crosswalk.
Within 10 feet of any fire hydrant.
Within three feet of any public telephone, fire call box, police call box or other emergency facility.
Within five feet of any driveway.
Along any curb immediately adjacent to any designated bus stop, or within 15 feet to the rear of such bus stop, unless such newsrack is located 15 feet or more to the rear of any sign marking the designated bus stop or such newsrack is located adjacent to a bus shelter located at any such bus stop; or along any curb immediately adjacent to any place marked for handicapped parking.
At any location whereby the clear space for the passageway of pedestrians is reduced to less than three feet.
Within three feet of any display window of any building abutting the sidewalk or in such manner as to impede or interfere with the reasonable use of such window for display purposes.
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 maintained in a clean and neat condition and in good repair and operational at all times.
Each person who places or maintains a newsrack in a public area in the Township shall have his name, address and telephone number affixed thereto in a place where such information may be easily seen.
No newsrack shall be placed in any public area unless an application for a permit has been made to the Administrative Officer. The Administrative Officer shall issue the permit, provided that the newsrack complies with the provisions of this chapter.
All applications for newsrack permits shall be made on forms provided by the Administrative Officer. The application shall identify the owner of the newsrack, the location at which and manner in which the newsrack will be or has been placed and any other information necessary to evaluate the application against the requirements of this chapter.
The application shall be filed with the Township Clerk, who shall forward the application to the Administrative Officer who shall issue or deny the permit within 10 days of the filing date of the application. If the Administrative Officer fails to act within 10 days of the filing date of the application, the application shall be deemed to have been approved and the permit issued. If the Administrative Officer denies the permit, he shall so inform the applicant in writing, stating the reasons for that denial. The applicant shall be entitled to a hearing pursuant to § 379-10 of this chapter if he so requests in writing within five days of service of the notification of denial of the permit.
A permit for a particular newsrack shall terminate if the newsrack is removed by the owner, except that the permit shall continue in effect if the newsrack is replaced within five days by the owner with another conforming newsrack at the same location.
This chapter shall apply to all existing newsracks located in any public area as of the chapter's effective date. An application for a permit for each such existing newsrack shall be made within 20 days of the effective date of the Article and shall be processed in the manner provided in § 379-5B and C.
Any newsrack for which an application for a permit has been made shall be allowed to remain in its present location pending a decision by the Administrative Officer on the permit application. If the Administrative Officer denies the application, the newsrack shall be removed pursuant to § 379-9A, unless an appeal is taken from that decision. (See § 379-10B.) In the event that an appeal is taken, and the Permit Review Committee affirms the denial of the permit, the newsrack shall be removed pursuant to § 379-9A.
A permit for a newsrack may be revoked for one or more of the following causes:
Whenever the application submitted in obtaining the permit is found to be false or intentionally misleading.
Whenever any of the provisions of this chapter are violated.
Whenever the permittee maintains the newsrack at a location other than that specified in the application.
Whenever the newsrack has not been utilized by the permittee for a period of 20 consecutive days.
No permit shall be revoked without first providing the owner with written notification of the intent to revoke the permit, which notification shall state the specific violation and, if for cause in Subsection A(2) or A(3) above, the notification shall also state that the owner has five days in which to correct the violation or, in the case of Subsection A(4), to resume use of the newsrack. The written notification shall be served either personally or by certified mail. Any permittee shall be entitled to a hearing pursuant to § 379-10 of this chapter if he so requests in writing within five days of service of the notification of intent to revoke the permit. A request for a hearing shall stay the revocation of the permit, pending the outcome of the hearing.
Any existing newsrack located in or new newsrack placed in a public area as of or after the effective date of this chapter, for which an application for a permit has not been made as required by § 379-5A or for which such a permit has been denied, and no appeal has been taken therefrom, shall be promptly removed. If an appeal has been taken and the decision of the Administrative Officer denying the permit is affirmed by the Permit Review Committee, the newsrack shall be promptly removed upon notification of the Committee's decision. If the owner of the newsrack fails to remove the newsrack within 25 days from the effective date of this chapter, if no permit application has been filed, or within five days of service of notification of denial of a permit, or of notification of the Permit Review Committee's affirmance of the denial of the permit, as the case may be, the Administrative Officer shall cause the newsrack to be removed and stored at the owner's expense. The newsrack will be returned to the owner only upon payment of the cost of removal and storage.
In the event that a permit is revoked, the permittee shall promptly remove the newsrack. If the permittee fails to remove the newsrack within five days from the effective date of the revocation of the permit, the Administrative Officer shall cause the newsrack to be removed and stored at the permittee's expense. The newsrack will be returned to the permittee only upon payment of the cost of removal and storage.
In the event that, in the determination of the Administrative Officer or any Township Official responsible for responding to an emergency situation, a newsrack presents a clear danger of imminent harm to persons or property, the Administrative Officer or official shall immediately cause the newsrack to be removed and shall inform the permittee of the removal and the reason therefor. The newsrack shall be returned to its location as soon as the immediate danger has been eliminated. If the Administrative Officer determines that the danger was created by the permittee or by a condition of the newsrack, the permittee shall pay the costs of removal, storage and return of the newsrack. The determination of the Administrative Officer shall be appealable under the provisions of § 379-10 by written request for a hearing within five days of service by the Administrative Officer of a written demand for payment of the costs of removal, storage and replacement, which demand shall be served by personal service or certified mail.
An applicant for a permit or any permittee may appeal from any determination of the Administrative Officer within the time provided in this chapter by filing with the Administrative Officer a written request for a hearing. Failure to request a hearing within the time permitted shall render the decision of the Administrative Officer final.
An appeal shall stay all proceedings or actions in furtherance of the Administrative Officer's decision from which the appeal arises.
Upon receipt of a request for a hearing, the Administrative Officer shall promptly forward to the Permit Review Committee the application, all documents or other evidence upon which the Administrative Officer relied in making his determination and a written explanation of the reasons for his decision. Within 15 days from the date the request for a hearing was made, the Permit Review Committee shall hold a hearing. The applicant or permittee shall be notified of the hearing date at least seven days in advance. At least five days prior to the hearing date, the applicant or permittee shall be provided with a copy of all documents and materials provided to the Committee by the Administrative Officer.
At the hearing conducted by the Permit Review Committee, the applicant or permittee shall have the right to call witnesses, present evidence and cross-examine any witnesses who appear before the Committee, including the Administrative Officer. The applicant or permittee shall have the burden of demonstrating that the decision appealed from was incorrect. The Committee shall issue a written decision affirming, reversing or modifying the decision of the Administrative Officer within three days of the completion of the hearing.
Any appeal from the decision of the Committee shall be to the Superior Court of New Jersey, as provided by the rules of that court. Such an appeal shall stay all proceedings or actions in furtherance of the Committee's decision unless the Administrative Officer certifies that, by reason of facts stated in the certification a stay would, in his opinion, cause imminent peril to life or property.
Any person who places or causes to be placed a newsrack in any public area without first having applied for a permit, or who fails to remove any newsrack for which a permit has been revoked or denied, shall, upon conviction, be subject to a fine not exceeding $250 for each offense and shall be subject to an additional fine not exceeding $25 per day until such newsrack has been removed.