[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Saratoga Springs 6-18-1984 as Ch. 72 of the 1970 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The uncontrolled placement of newsracks in public rights-of-way presents an inconvenience and danger to the safety and welfare of persons using such rights-of-way, including pedestrians, persons entering and leaving vehicles and buildings and persons performing essential utility, traffic control and emergency services.
Newsracks so located as to cause an inconvenience or danger to persons using public rights-of-way constitute public nuisances.
The provisions and prohibitions hereinafter contained and enacted are in pursuance of and for the purpose of promoting the public safety and general welfare of persons in the City of Saratoga Springs in their use of public rights-of-way.
For the purposes of this chapter, unless otherwise apparent from the context, certain words and phrases used herein are defined as follows:
- Any type of unmanned device placed upon any public right-of-way for the vending of or free distribution of newspapers or news periodicals.
- PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY
- Any public street, highway, sidewalk, parkway or alley.
Any person who shall place, install or maintain a newsrack in the City of Saratoga Springs shall, within 10 days thereof, register its description and location with the Commissioner of Accounts.
Subject to the prohibitions set forth in § 145-6 of this chapter:
Newsracks in locations along Broadway between Spring Street and Van Dam Street shall be placed adjacent and parallel to the wall of a building and not more than six inches from the wall.
Any other newsracks placed adjacent to the wall of a building shall likewise be placed parallel to the wall and not more than six inches from the wall.
Newsracks placed near the curb shall be placed parallel to and no less than 18 inches nor more than 24 inches from the edge of the curb and shall face away from the street, highway or alley.
The following requirements shall govern the installation of newsracks:
Stands for newsracks shall be single-pedestal in type or providing equivalent safety, support and resistance to vandalism.
Newsracks shall be maintained in good working order at all times.
The name, address and telephone number of the owner of the newsrack and of a responsible person who may be contacted at any time concerning the newsrack shall be displayed on the hood of the newsrack in such a manner as to be readily visible and readable.
Newsracks shall be bolted in place in accordance with specifications provided by the Department of Public Works and shall not be chained to any trees or signs.
No newsracks shall be placed, installed, used or maintained:
Within 15 feet of any marked crosswalk.
Within 10 feet of any fire hydrant, fire call box, police call box or other emergency facility.
Within five feet of any driveway.
Within five feet ahead of and 15 feet to the rear of any sign marking a designated bus stop.
Within five feet of any bus bench or bus-stop shelter.
At any location whereby the clear space for the passageway of pedestrians is reduced to less than six feet.
At any location used, marked or posted for public utility purposes.
In front of any display window or any building abutting the sidewalk or parkway.
Within 150 feet of another newsrack containing the same newspaper or news periodical, except where separated by a street or corner.
Facing another newsrack, divided only by the width of a sidewalk or pedestrian walk.
Within 150 feet of any newsroom or any place of business which sells newspapers.
Newsracks shall carry no advertising except the name of the newspaper or periodical being dispensed therefrom.
In the event that the owner of a newsrack removes that newsrack from its location, the owner shall, upon such removal, restore the public right-of-way to a safe condition, leaving no hole or projection in the pavement.
In the event that no publication is in a newsrack for a period of more than 15 consecutive days, the Commissioner of Public Works may thereafter remove the newsrack from the public right-of-way and impound the same. The Commissioner of Public Works shall then make all reasonable efforts to notify the owner of said newsrack or its authorized agent of the impoundment. Upon the failure of the owner or its authorized agent to claim the impounded newsrack within 30 days after its removal by the Commissioner of Public Works, the newsrack shall be deemed abandoned property and may be disposed of by the City.
Notice of violation.
Whenever, in the opinion of the Commissioner of Public Safety and/or his designee and after proper investigation, there appears to exist a violation of any provision of this chapter, said officer shall serve a written notice of violation upon the appropriate person responsible for such alleged violation by certified United States mail, return receipt requested.
Such notice of violation shall include the following:
The nature and details of the violation.
The recommended action which, if taken, will remedy the situation and effect compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
The compliance date by which the violation must be remedied or removed.
Notification of the right to a hearing before the Commissioner of Public Safety in accordance with the provisions hereinafter recited.
Compliance date extension. The specified date of compliance may be extended if, in the opinion of the Commissioner of Public Safety, there is reasonable evidence of intent to comply and extenuating circumstances prevent compliance by said specified date.
Complaints of violations. Whenever a violation of this chapter occurs, any person may file a complaint in regard thereto. All such complaints must be in writing and shall be filed with the Commissioner of Public Safety, who shall properly record such complaint and conduct an investigation with respect thereto.
Emergency action. If a violation exists, in the opinion of the Commissioner of Public Safety, which requires immediate action to remove a direct hazard or imminent danger to persons, said officer may notify the Commisioner of Public Works of such asserted violation. Upon receipt of such notification, the Commissioner of Public Works shall take whatever steps are reasonably necessary to abate the hazard or danger. Any costs so incurred shall be paid for by the person responsible for such violation. The Department of Public Works shall keep on file an affidavit stating accurately the items of expense, if any, incurred and the date of execution of the action taken and shall be authorized to institute suit, if necessary, against the responsible party for the purpose of recovering such costs.
Request for a hearing. Any person served with a notice of violation in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and who denies the alleged violation or is otherwise aggrieved by the required action necessary for compliance may, within 10 days after service of such notice, file a written request for a hearing with the Commissioner of Public Safety stating the reasons for his request.
Time of hearing. The Commissioner of Public Safety or his designee shall, within six days after receipt of a request for a hearing, acknowledge said request in writing and set a time and place for the hearing not later than 15 days after the receipt of said request. Hearings may be postponed by the Commissioner of Public Safety beyond 15 days from the request for just cause and upon service of a notice for such postponement.
Testimony and findings. The person requesting the hearing shall be required to give evidence why he should not be required to remedy the violation or show cause why he is unable to comply with the remedial action set forth in the notice of violation. After consideration of all testimony given at the time of hearing, the Commissioner of Public Safety shall sustain, amend or withdraw the notice of violation as originally served. If the notice is sustained or amended, the Commissioner shall set a new compliance date by which the violation shall be remedied or removed in accordance with the original or amended notice.
Legal action for noncompliance. Upon reinspection following the date of compliance as specified in the notice of violation or as extended in accordance with the provisions of § 145-8B or F hereof, if the violation has not been remedied or removed as specified and there is still in existence a violation of this chapter in the opinion of the Commissioner of Public Safety, then said officer shall immediately notify the City Attorney who shall thereupon institute appropriate legal action to restrain, prevent, remedy or remove such violation and to compel compliance with this chapter.
Penalties. Any person who shall violate, cause to be violated or assist in the violation of any of the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to conviction by a proper court. He shall also be subject to the penalties set forth in Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article III, of this Code. The issuance of a notice of violation shall signify the existence of a single violation, and every day the violation exists beyond the date of compliance, or extension thereof, shall constitute a separate additional violation.
[Amended 4-4-1994 by L.L. No. 1-1994]