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Village of Cassopolis, MI
Cass County
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The intent and purpose of this chapter is to:
Establish a comprehensive set of regulations applicable to newsracks on the public right-of-way and other public property.
Advance and improve safety and aesthetics by controlling the number, size, construction, placement and appearance of newsracks without restricting the free dispersal of information guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States and the state.
Promote the public peace, morals, health, safety and general welfare by regulating the placement, appearance, servicing and insuring of newsracks so as to protect against:
The dangers of impairing or distracting the vision of motorists and pedestrians;
The hazards of unreasonably interfering with or impeding the flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic, including ingress into or egress from any residence or place of business, or from the street to the sidewalk by persons exiting or entering parked or standing vehicles;
Unreasonably interfering with the use of public property for its intended purpose;
Unduly restricting access to the use of poles, posts, traffic signs or signals, hydrants, mailboxes or locations used for transportation purposes;
Unsightly structures;
Neglectful servicing of newsracks resulting in visual blight on public rights-of-way and other public property and detracting from the aesthetics of store window displays, adjacent landscaping and other improvements;
Reduction in the value of surrounding property;
Unnecessary exposure of the Village to personal injury or property damage claims or suits; and
Public dissemination and/or display of harmful or offensive matters to minors.
The Village Council finds and determines that the strong and competing interests of the public and of newspapers require a reasonable accommodation which can only satisfactorily be achieved through the means of this chapter which is designed to accommodate such interests by regulating the time, place and manner of using newsracks. It is not the intent of this chapter to in any way discriminate against, regulate or interfere with the publication, circulation, distribution or dissemination of any newspapers.
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
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 news periodicals.
That area between the sidewalk and the curb of any street and, where there is no sidewalk, that area between the edge of the roadway and the property line adjacent thereto. "Parkway" also includes any area within a roadway which is not open to vehicular travel.
Parks, squares, plazas and any and all other real property owned by the Village.
Land which by deed, conveyance, agreement, easement, dedication, usage or process of law is reserved for and dedicated to the general public for street, highway, alley, pedestrian walkway, storm drainage, bicycle path or other purposes.
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 includes, but is not limited to, roadways, parkways, alleys and sidewalks.
The provisions of this chapter shall apply to all newsracks, whether installed and maintained prior to or after the effective date of any of the provisions in this chapter. Those newsracks installed prior to the effective date of any provision enacted in this chapter shall be brought into compliance with such provisions within 30 days of the effective date thereof.
Any newsrack not brought into compliance within the time period stated in Subsection A of this section shall be deemed to be in violation of this section.
Any newsrack installed, used or maintained in violation of the provisions of this chapter may be subject to removal and storage by the Village Manager or his designee. Such officer shall take steps to notify the permittee/owner thereof and request compliance within 30 calendar days prior to removal. At any time within such thirty-day period, an administrative hearing to challenge the existence of a violation may be requested by the permittee. Failure to request the hearing shall result in removal and storage of the newsrack by the Village Manager or his designee at any time after the expiration of the thirty-day period.
If the permittee requests a hearing as provided in Subsection A of this section, such hearing shall be scheduled within five days of the request and shall be administered by the Village Manager or his designee. The permittee shall have 30 days from the date of any adverse ruling which may result from the hearing to comply with the provisions specified in the ruling. If after 30 days from the date of the decision, the permittee has failed to comply with the provisions of this chapter cited in the decision, the subject newsrack shall be removed and stored by the Village Manager or his designee.
The cost of removal and/or storage by the Village Manager of any newsrack subject to this section shall be chargeable as a civil debt to the permittee thereof and may be collected by the Village in the same manner as it collects any other civil debt or obligation. In addition, the newsrack in question shall be deemed to be unclaimed property and may be disposed of in accordance with law.
In the case of violation of this chapter relative to restrictions upon attachment of newsracks to property or fixed objects other than that owned by the owner of the newsracks, and restrictions upon location of newsracks, the Village Manager or any person designated by him, may, as an alternative to removal, remove such attachment and/or move such condition, and thereafter the permittee shall be notified of such corrective action and shall pay the cost thereof.
The Village Manager or any person designated by him may summarily remove any newsrack where its installation, use or maintenance poses a danger to pedestrians or vehicles, or otherwise unreasonably interferes with the safe use of any public right-of-way or other public property. After the removal of the newsrack, the permittee shall be notified thereof. Upon failure of the permittee, following such notice, the newsrack shall be deemed unclaimed property in possession of the Village and may be disposed of pursuant to law.