[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Bellefonte 12-3-1984 by Ord. No. 916 (Ch. 830 of the 1979 Codified Ordinances). Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- NEWSPAPER RACK
- A rack or holder for exhibition, display and sale of newspapers or other periodicals without any vendor being present at the time of sale, and which is operated by a lever or other mechanical device activated by a deposit of a coin or token. This term shall also be construed to cover a vending machine or newspaper rack which distributes free newsletters, newspapers or other periodicals to the public.
No person shall display, exhibit, offer for sale or sell any newspaper from any newspaper rack on any street, sidewalk or other public place within the Historic District of the Borough except in accordance with this chapter.
A newspaper rack shall be fabricated completely of metal and shall be not more than 50 inches high, measured from the surface of the sidewalk or pavement on which it is to be placed, not more than 21 inches wide and not more than 18 inches deep. A variance may be given from this requirement by the Board of Historical Architectural Review for a newspaper rack which does not comply with such requirement. The Board may grant a variance based on originality of design of the rack and its harmony with the aesthetics of the Historic District, including considerations of traffic flow and suitability to the location proposed for such rack. Such variance may be granted upon application made by any newspaper or periodical publisher seeking to locate a rack within the Historic District of the Borough. Approval of such a variance shall be by a certificate of appropriateness to be granted by the Board. Such a certificate shall then be approved by Council in the same manner as a certificate of appropriateness is now granted by the Board and Council. If a variance request is denied, such denial shall be made to the applicant in writing, stating the reasons therefor, within 10 days of such denial.
A newspaper rack shall conform to the color scheme prepared by the Board of Historical Architectural Review. Such scheme shall be available upon request to any person without charge, and copies of such scheme shall be available from the Borough Manager at the Borough Building. A variance from the color scheme may be allowed by the Board, with the approval of Council, as provided in § 367-3, upon application and good cause shown to the Board by any person requiring or requesting such variance.
The Board shall, within 60 days of the passage of this chapter (Ordinance No. 916, adopted December 3, 1984), prepare such color scheme and present it to Council for its approval. Changes may be made from time to time in such color scheme by the Board on its own motion, provided that such changes are approved by Council in the same manner as a certificate of appropriateness is now granted by Council.
From time to time, with the advice of all newspapers presently maintaining newspaper racks within the Borough, the Board of Historical Architectural Review may promulgate regulations relating to the size, location and color of newspaper racks placed in the Historic District of the Borough, which regulations are subject to the approval of Council after a public hearing. Such regulations shall be written as an amendment to this chapter. Public notice of such hearing shall be made in accordance with the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, as amended.
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.
All newspaper racks located on public property in the Historic District of the Borough shall be placed on a paved surface constructed of asphalt, concrete or cement. No person shall place a newspaper rack on a grass or earthen surface.
No person shall place a newspaper rack on any sidewalk in the Borough that has a width of less than 60 inches. Persons traveling on public sidewalks must be able to pass abreast of each other.
Newspaper racks shall be installed as close to the building line as practical and located not more than six inches from the end of the building in front of which the newspaper rack is to be placed. No person shall place a newspaper rack on the street side of any sidewalk or other thoroughfare in the Historic District of the Borough. A newspaper rack shall be located not closer to any street intersection than 20 feet. No newspaper rack shall be placed in any location where its use would inhibit the flow of vehicular or pedestrian traffic along the sidewalks and other thoroughfares of the Borough. No newspaper rack shall be placed in such a location as to encourage persons to double park their motor vehicles to patronize such rack.
If members of the public file complaints relating to the location, size or condition of newspaper racks placed within the Historic District of the Borough, such complaints shall be reviewed by the Public Safety Committee of Council. If the Public Safety Committee determines that a hazard or obstruction exists, an order to show cause shall be issued by Council to the owner of the newspaper rack, who shall appear at any regular or special meeting of the Borough convened therefor, with or without counsel, to show cause why such newspaper rack should not be relocated within the Borough. An adverse decision by Council may be appealed by such owner to the Court of Common Pleas of Centre County, Pennsylvania, for a decision on the merits in the same manner as appeals are presently taken to such Court under the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, as amended. Such appeal shall be prosecuted in the same manner as therein provided.
Newspaper racks shall be kept in a good, neat and orderly fashion, shall be maintained in first class condition fully operable at all times and shall contain no off-premises advertising. All newspaper racks shall be weighted internally to avoid theft, and no rack shall be chained, bolted or otherwise attached to any building, parking meter, sign, sign stand, tree or other structure upon a sidewalk, street or other public thoroughfare in the Borough. Upon application to the Borough Manager and upon posting a bond not to exceed $500, a newspaper rack owner may attach his, her or its newspaper rack permanently to a sidewalk of the Borough, provided that such application is approved by Council and that it is accompanied by a bond representing the cost of removing such rack and repairing or replacing the paved surface upon which it is installed. If the newspaper rack owner and the Borough cannot agree as to the amount of the bond, each party shall obtain an estimate for such removal, repair and replacement from a competent contractor doing business in the county, such amounts shall be averaged and such average shall be the amount of the bond. A surety company bond shall be required from any newspaper rack owner not maintaining an office and principal place of business in the commonwealth. Otherwise, a bond executed by the newspaper rack owner in due, proper and legal form shall be acceptable.
Within 10 days of the installation or placing of a newspaper rack within the Historic District of the Borough, the newspaper rack owner shall notify the Borough Secretary of its location within the Historic District, together with its identifying number, if any. The Secretary shall then notify the Board of Historical Architectural Review of the location and identifying number of such newspaper rack. The Board shall in due course hold a hearing and issue a certificate of appropriateness for such newspaper rack, if such rack conforms with this chapter and the regulations promulgated by the Board. Such certificate shall then be issued and approved by Council in due course in the same manner as a certificate of appropriateness is presently issued by the Borough, provided that such newspaper rack is in conformity with this chapter and the regulations promulgated by the Board. No such certificate shall be denied except for a clear violation of this chapter or of the regulations implemented by the Board.
Newspaper rack owners shall, in their applications to the Board, provide in writing the name, address and telephone number of the owner, agent or representative responsible for the maintenance, upkeep and stocking of any newspaper rack located in the Historic District of the Borough. If such newspaper rack is serially numbered, such number shall likewise be provided in such application.
This chapter shall not be construed to prohibit any newspaper rack owner from providing the Borough with a complete list of the locations of his, her or its newspaper racks or from securing approval for more than one newspaper rack and location within the Borough. Notice of a change of location by a newspaper rack owner shall be provided the Borough in accordance with this chapter.