City of Trenton, NJ
Mercer County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Trenton 9-7-1967 as § 17-8 of the Revised General Ordinances. Amendments noted where applicable.]

§ 277-1 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following words shall have the following meanings:
APPLICANT
Any person that has obtained a permit to engage in a business activity.
DISTRIBUTOR
The owner of a public telephone and/or its equipment. A distributor shall be the person responsible for placing or maintaining a public pay telephone in a public or private way hereinafter defined.
FRANCHISE
A license which permits a person to sell a product or service and/or conduct a business activity.
PAY TELEPHONE, PUBLIC
Any self-service or coin-operated telephone which is freestanding and/or attached to the exterior of property.
PROPERTY
All private property and public property.
SIDEWALK
Includes such surface provided for the use of pedestrians.
STREET
All that area dedicated to public use for public street purposes and shall include, but not be limited to, roadways, parkways, alleys and sidewalks and air space above such surfaces.
TELEPHONE BANK
Two or more public pay telephones which are adjoined.

§ 277-2 Application for permit.

A. 
Permit required; location on or above sidewalk. A distributor shall not place or maintain any public pay telephone on or above any public street or sidewalk without having first obtained a permit as provided in this chapter. Permits shall be issued by the Department of Inspections subject to approval of the location and means of installation of the pay telephone by the Director of Public Safety, or his/her designee. A copy of the permit number shall be affixed to the pay telephone. The permit required by this chapter shall be in addition to any and/or all permits which may be required pursuant to the Code of the City of Trenton.
B. 
Permit required; location on exterior of any property. A distributor shall not maintain or attach any public telephone on the exterior of any property without first obtaining a permit as provided in this chapter.
C. 
Annual renewal. Permits shall be renewable annually and must be current by January 1 of each year.
D. 
Agreement to be provided. Every applicant shall provide a photostatic copy of an executed agreement between the distributor and proper owner to the Department of Inspections.
E. 
Plan or sketch to be provided. Before installation, an original and three copies of a plan or sketch of the public pay telephone shall be furnished to the Department of Inspections in sufficient detail to describe the size, location, equipment and location in relation to existing structures and curblines within 400 feet.
F. 
Permit before dial tone service. Before dial tone service can be provided to any pay telephone located on or above any public street or sidewalk a permit must be obtained for the public pay telephone by the distributor.
G. 
Removal or relocation of telephone. The Department of Inspections shall be informed of the intent of any person to remove or relocate a public pay telephone. Relocation of a public pay telephone shall necessitate obtaining a new permit; provided, however, that relocation of a telephone within the extended side lot lines of the same property will require only an amendment to the original application detailing the change. In either case, no change of location shall be undertaken until approval is obtained from the Director of the Department of Inspections.
H. 
Indemnification agreement. Each applicant shall execute an indemnification agreement substantially as follows:
(1) 
The property owner and any other persons on whose behalf the application is made agree to defend, indemnify and hold harmless the City against liability for all claims for damage to property, bodily injury or death of persons arising out of or resulting from the issuance of the permit or the control, maintenance, ownership or use of each pay telephone.
(2) 
The distributor shall file with the Department of Inspections a general liability insurance policy of $1,000,000 for bodily injury and $50,000 for property damage per occurrence, naming the City as additionally insured against any injury, loss or damage that may result from placing or maintaining the public pay telephone or public pay telephone equipment on or above the sidewalk.
(3) 
The property owner shall submit an affidavit attesting to the fact that, at least five days prior to the submission of the application for a permit (s)he has informed the public of the proposed location of the public pay telephone through publication in two local newspapers for a period of three business days. The publication shall state that any person who resides, owns property or operates a business within 200 feet of the proposed telephone location may submit any objections thereto, in writing, to the Department of Inspections within 10 days of receipt of publication. The procedure for publication shall be prescribed by the Director of the Department of Inspections.

§ 277-3 Fees.

A. 
Application fee. The application fee to install a public pay telephone shall be $100.
B. 
Permit fees.
(1) 
Initial fee. The initial fee for a permit shall be $50 per year or any part of a year.
(2) 
Renewal fee. The fee for a renewal permit shall be $25 per year; provided, however, that no fee shall be charged for a pay telephone furnished by or under contract to the City as an accommodation to the public, or for permits issued to any person or entity which pays a franchise fee or tax for the use of facilities. Such person or entity shall not, however, be exempt from the remaining provisions of this chapter.

§ 277-4 Denial of application or renewal.

Any property owner aggrieved by the denial of any application for a public pay telephone permit, or the refusal to renew the same under the terms and provisions of this chapter may appeal the denial as provided in Chapter 146, Licensing. Such appeal shall be accompanied by a payment in the amount of $100.

§ 277-5 Information and emergency requirements.

A. 
All public pay telephones shall possess 911 emergency number access.
B. 
All public pay telephones shall permit the following calls to be placed without charge:
(1) 
Calls to the 911 emergency number.
(2) 
Emergency calls placed through operator assistance to the Police and Fire Departments.
C. 
Current public pay telephone rates for a local coin call shall be posted on the public pay telephone.
D. 
Toll rate quotations must be available from the operator upon request.
E. 
Every public pay telephone provider shall provide to its customers a local director or information assistance without charge.
F. 
Every public pay telephone which poses a threat to the health and welfare of the community, as defined in § 277-1, shall be restricted to outgoing calls only when a written request from the Police Director is made to the Department of Inspections which delineates the threat to the health and welfare of the community.

§ 277-6 Location and placement of public telephones.

A. 
No public pay telephone shall be permitted to rest upon or in any public street, sidewalk or right-of-way when such installation, use or maintenance poses a threat to the health and welfare of the community.
B. 
No public pay telephone or telephone bank shall be placed, installed, used or maintained:
(1) 
Within any marked crosswalk.
(2) 
Within five feet of any fire hydrant, fire call box, police call box or other emergency facility.
(3) 
Within five feet of any driveway.
(4) 
Within three feet of any public area improved with a lawn, flowers, shrubs, trees or other landscaping.
(5) 
At any location whereby the clear space for the passageway of pedestrians is reduced to less than five feet.
(6) 
Within three feet of any building unless written permission is secured from the property owner and filed with the application.
(7) 
Except as hereinafter provided in a Business B District, as defined in Chapter 315, Zoning and Land Development, within 400 feet in any direction from another telephone or telephone bank.
(8) 
Except as hereinafter provided in a Business B District, as defined in Chapter 315, Zoning and Land Development, within 200 feet from another telephone or telephone bank which is located on the same side of the street and/or sidewalk.
C. 
No enclosed public pay telephone booth shall be permitted.

§ 277-7 Variance.

A. 
Application. In the event that a public pay telephone does not meet the requirements of this chapter, an applicant may apply, in writing, together with relevant documentation to the Department of Inspections for a variance therefrom. A variance shall only be granted if, after a hearing or other evidence accepted in lieu of a hearing, the Department of Inspections finds that good cause exists for relieving the applicant from strict compliance with this chapter and that the proposed alternative will not be a threat to the community.
B. 
Notification of hearing. The applicant seeking a variance shall notify all real property and business owners within 200 feet of the proposed location of the time and place for the hearing or the date by which written objections should be submitted in regard to the applications for any variance from this chapter.

§ 277-8 Standards for maintenance and installation.

A. 
Coin-return mechanism. Each coin-operated public pay telephone shall be equipped with a coin-return mechanism to permit a person using the machine to secure an immediate refund when a call cannot be placed. The coin mechanism shall be maintained in good working order.
B. 
Visibility of name and address of distributor. Each public pay telephone shall have affixed to it, in a place visible to everyone using the public pay telephone, the name and address of the distributor and the telephone number of a working telephone service to report a malfunction, secure a refund or give the notices provided for in this chapter.
C. 
Maintenance. Every public pay telephone shall be maintained in a neat and clean condition and in good repair at all times. Without limiting the foregoing, every public pay telephone shall be serviced and maintained so that:
(1) 
It is reasonably free of chipped, faded, peeling and cracked paint in the visible painted areas thereof.
(2) 
It is reasonably free of rust and corrosion in the visible unpainted metal areas thereon.
(3) 
Any clear plastic or glass parts are unbroken and reasonably free of cracks, dents, graffiti, blemishes and discolorations.
(4) 
Any paper or cardboard parts or inserts are reasonably free of tears, peeling or fading.
(5) 
The structural parts thereof are not broken or unduly misshapen.
(6) 
The public pay telephone receiver is attached to the telephone.
D. 
Failure to maintain; revocation of permit. Every applicant who fails to maintain a public pay telephone as described herein shall be given a ten-day written notice by the Department of Inspections to repair the public pay telephone. If the public pay telephone is not in working condition at the end of the ten-day period, the Department of Inspections may revoke the permit unless the applicant provides adequate assurance that the public pay telephone shall be repaired or removed.
E. 
Notice of restriction to outgoing calls only. Every public pay telephone which is restricted to outgoing calls shall have affixed to it, in a place visible to everyone using the telephone, a notice informing users of the public pay telephone's inability to accept incoming calls.

§ 277-9 Revocation; hearing procedure.

A. 
Notice of hearing. The Director of Public Safety, or his/her designee, shall investigate complaints that a location and use of a public pay telephone constitutes a threat to the health, safety and welfare of a community, as defined in § 277-1. When the Director, or his/her designee, determines that a public pay telephone does constitute such a threat, the property owner shall be sent written notification to cease operating the public pay telephone until after a hearing is conducted. All interested parties shall be provided written notice of the hearing at least 10 days in advance thereof. The Business Administrator, or his/her designee, will be the hearing officer and shall inform all interested parties of his/her determination within two days after the conclusion of the hearing.
B. 
Revocation of permit; other restrictions. If the Business Administrator finds by a preponderance of the evidence presented that the location and the use of the public pay telephone poses a threat to the health, safety and welfare of the community, the Business Administrator, or his/her designee, shall revoke any permit issued for use of the public pay telephone immediately thereafter. The Business Administrator, or his/her designee, may order such other relief as (s)he deems fair under the circumstances, including, but not limited to, requiring the telephone to be restricted to outgoing calls only and/or removal or seizure of the public pay telephone equipment.

§ 277-10 Violations and penalties; additional remedies.

A. 
Violations and penalties. Any violation of this chapter shall subject the violator to the penalties provided in Chapter 1, Article III, General Penalty. Each noncomplying pay telephone violation will constitute a separate violation, and each day of such violation shall constitute a separate violation.
B. 
Additional penalties; removal of telephone. In addition to other remedies and penalties described herein, if a violation is not abated within five days or if a permit has not been secured for a public pay telephone, the City may have the public pay telephone and all structures pertaining thereto removed and the cost of removal shall be charged to the distributor. If equipment is removed by the City pursuant to this chapter and is not claimed within six months of its removal, it will be considered abandoned, and the City may dispose of same pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:14-157. The City shall not be responsible for any damages occurring to equipment during removal, nor shall the City be responsible for storage fees and/or for disposing of abandoned equipment. Before the City releases claimed equipment the distributor shall pay in full all fines and costs associated therewith.
C. 
Legal action in Municipal Court. The City retains its rights to institute legal actions in Municipal Court against the property owner and/or distributor for any violation of this chapter. [1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Original Section 17-8.10, Application of Section to Existing Pay Telephones, which immediately followed this section, was deleted at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).