[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Madison 6-9-1986 by Ord. No. 28-86. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Littering and handbills — See Ch. 120.
The regulation of newspaper distribution boxes, as provided for in this chapter, is intended to advance the public purposes of furthering vehicular and pedestrian traffic safety, preventing obstructions to vehicular and pedestrian traffic, facilitating the maintenance of public sidewalks and public areas and preventing unsightly and aesthetically undesirable uses of public sidewalks, public areas and other areas open to public view.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
- DISPLAY WINDOW
- A window used for the display of merchandise.
- To place, install, maintain or operate a newspaper distribution box.
- NEWSPAPER DISTRIBUTION BOX
- Any self-service or coin-operated box, stand, rack, container, storage unit or other dispenser installed, used or maintained for the purpose of offering for sale, vending, distributing or giving away any publication.
- Any individual, firm, corporation, partnership, association or other entity.
- Any newspaper, magazine, periodical or similar printed matter.
- REGULATED NEWSPAPER DISTRIBUTION BOX
- Any newspaper distribution box which is subject to the provisions of this chapter in accordance with § 128-3.
- The portion of a street improved, designed or ordinarily used for vehicular travel.
- The area between the edge of the roadway and the property line adjacent thereto, including both paved and unpaved areas.
- All areas dedicated to public use for public street purposes, including but not limited to roadways, alleys and sidewalks.
- UNPROTECTED LANDSCAPED AREA
- An area improved with flowers or shrubs that is not protected by either a man-made barrier, such as a fence, or a natural barrier, such as a hedge.
No person shall maintain a newspaper distribution box on a sidewalk or at an outdoor location visible from a sidewalk or roadway except in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
The owner of each regulated newspaper distribution box shall file a completed registration form for each such box with the Zoning Officer and pay the applicable inspection fee within one business day of initially locating or changing the location of any such box within the Borough of Madison.
In the case of regulated newspaper distribution boxes located within the borough as of the effective date of this chapter, the owner of any such box shall comply with the registration requirements within 30 days of said effective date.
The registration for each newspaper distribution box shall be valid for one year from the date of registration. A new registration form shall be filed on or prior to the expiration of said one-year registration period.
Registration forms, which shall be provided by the Zoning Officer, shall require the registrant to state the following:
The name and address of the owner of the newspaper distribution box.
The specific location of the newspaper distribution box, with reference to the street address of the property in front of which it is located.
An accurate description of the newspaper distribution box, including its dimensions and any unique identifying mark, such as its serial number.
The name, title, address and telephone number of an individual responsible for repair and maintenance of the box and to be served with any notice provided for under this chapter.
The name, title and address of the individual completing the registration form, which individual shall be a duly authorized representative of the owner of the newspaper distribution box. The named individual shall sign the registration form, which signature shall signify his or her belief that the information contained therein is accurate.
A separate registration form must be filed for each regulated newspaper distribution box.
The annual fee for each such inspection shall be $75 per box.
[Amended 11-14-2011 by Ord. No. 34-2011]
Subject to the provisions of Subsection B, a newspaper distribution box maintained on a sidewalk shall be either:
Parallel to the curb, with the outer edge not less than 12 inches nor more than 18 inches from the edge of such curb; or
Parallel to the wall of a building, with the inside edge not more than six inches from such wall, but not less than three feet from any entrance or exit of a building; or
If a building does not abut the sidewalk, parallel to the curb and not more than six inches from the opposite edge of the sidewalk.
No person shall place, install, maintain or operate a newspaper distribution box at any of the following locations:
On or projecting over any portion of a roadway.
Within six feet of any marked crosswalk as measured along the curbline.
Within 15 feet of a curb return of any unmarked crosswalk, as measured along the curbline.
Within 15 feet of any fire hydrant, fire call box, police call box or other emergency facility.
Within six feet of any driveway which provides access to a street.
Adjacent to the curb at any bus stop, as designated by § 185-40 of the Madison Borough Code, if located so as to obstruct or unreasonably interfere with pedestrian access to buses.
Except with the owner's written permission, within six feet, as measured along the building line, of any display window of any building abutting the sidewalk or at any location which impedes or interferes with the reasonable use of such window for display purposes or in front of any other window if it will block in any way the view into or out of such window.
Within three feet of any publicly owned, unprotected landscaped area.
At any location where installation of the box would reduce the clear space for the passage of pedestrians to less than four feet.
At any location where the box would unreasonably interfere with or obstruct the flow of pedestrian or vehicle traffic, the ingress into or egress from any residence, place of business or any legally parked or stopped vehicle or at any location where the machine would endanger the safety of persons or property.
At any location where the box would unreasonably interfere with the use of poles, posts, traffic signs, traffic signals, hydrants, mailboxes or other objects permitted at or near such location.
Within 200 feet within the same block and on the same side of a street of any other box containing the same publication.
Every newspaper distribution box which is subject to the provisions of this chapter shall comply with the following standards:
No box shall be larger than five feet in height, 30 inches in width and two feet in depth.
No box shall be chained, bolted or otherwise attached to any private or public property without the consent of the owner of such property.
A box may be chained or otherwise attached to other boxes; however, no more than three boxes may be joined together in this manner.
No box or group of attached boxes shall weigh, in the aggregate, in excess of 125 pounds when empty.
No box shall be used for advertising, signs or publicity purposes, other than to identify the publication sold or distributed therein.
Each box shall be maintained in a clean, neat and well-painted condition and in good repair at all times.
The owner of each box shall permanently affix thereto his name, address and telephone number in a place where such information may be easily seen.
No box or group of attached boxes shall be located within 500 feet of any other box or group of attached boxes.
[Added 11-14-2011 by Ord. No. 34-2011]
If any newspaper distribution box is determined to violate any of the provisions of this chapter, then a notice of violation shall be sent to the person designated to receive notices in the registration form.
The notice shall state the specific provisions of this chapter which have not been adhered to and notify the owner that the box must either be removed or brought into compliance with the specified provisions of this chapter within seven business days. If the owner elects to cure the specified violation or violations within said time period, then the owner shall take all necessary curative actions prior to the expiration of said time period.
Upon request, the official issuing a notice of violation shall meet with the recipient of such notice to discuss the basis for the determination that a violation exists and any proposed means of eliminating any violations. A request for such a meeting shall not toll the time for correcting or eliminating any violation, unless the official is unavailable for a meeting at any reasonable time within three business days following the receipt of a request. Following any such meeting, the official issuing the notice of violation may rescind the notice if he determines that there was no violation. The official may also grant an extension of up to one week for the correction of any violation, upon request and a showing of good cause.
[Amended 4-11-1994 by Ord. No. 5-94]
Any person who violates any of the provisions of this chapter, after having been served with a notice of violation and having failed to correct or eliminate said violation or violations in accordance with § 128-9, shall be subject to a fine of not less than $55 and not more than $200. Each violation of a separate section of this chapter and each violation by a different newspaper distribution box shall constitute a separate offense.
The police of the Borough of Madison may impound any unregistered newspaper distribution box, any newspaper distribution box that creates an imminent danger of personal injury or property damage to pedestrians or vehicles and any abandoned or unused newspaper distribution box containing publications dating 30 days or more past the regular cycle of said publication.
[Amended 11-14-2011 by Ord. No. 34-2011]
Upon impounding any box, the police shall make reasonable efforts to give prompt notice to the owner by telephone, and written notice of any impoundment shall be sent to the owner of the impounded box within one business day. The owner shall be entitled to obtain the return of any impounded box from the police upon request during normal business hours, provided that the box is not being held as evidence in any criminal proceeding.
The police may dispose of any impounded newspaper distribution box which is not claimed by the owner within 60 days after the written notice of impoundment has been sent.
[Added 11-14-2011 by Ord. No. 34-2011]
If any provision, section, subsection, paragraph, sentence or clause of this chapter shall be declared invalid for any reason whatsoever, such invalidity shall not affect the remaining portions of this chapter, which shall continue in full force and effect and, to this end, the provisions of this chapter are hereby declared to be severable.
[Added 11-14-2011 by Ord. No. 34-2011]
The zone need not be contiguous. Within the multiple newsrack area, the placement, installation and maintenance of newsracks shall be prohibited, except as authorized by the Borough of Madison for the placement, installation and maintenance of multiple newsracks. The Borough of Madison shall determine the areas that require such designation based upon the following considerations:
The current number of newsracks within or near the proposed area so as to avoid undue concentration of newsracks.
The impact on pedestrian, bicycle and vehicular traffic and accessibility to public transportation.
The inconsistency of individual newsracks with the character of the surrounding streetscape.
The impact on and proximity to buildings used for residential purposes.
At a particular area, give priority to Morris County publications.
The Borough of Madison will have the authority on where the placements of multiple newsracks within the multiple newsrack area are to be located.
The Borough of Madison will have the authority to determine the number of compartments for publications in the multiple newsrack zone.
In determining which publications shall be permitted at a given multiple newsrack location, the Borough shall utilize the following criteria:
Limit access of each publication to one compartment at each designated area whenever the number of publications sought to be distributed exceeds the number of compartments available. Publications containing legal notices and local (Morris County) news content, and published at least weekly may maintain up to two compartments, provided each newsrack is individually licensed by the Borough.
At a particular area preference shall be given to publications containing legal notices and local (Morris County) news content, and published at least weekly.
At a particular area, preference shall be given to publications that had been contained in single newsracks that were replaced with multiple newsracks at that area.
When more than one application is filed simultaneously than may be accommodated at a specific multiple newsrack location, priority shall be determined by lottery.