[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Hempstead 6-6-2000 by L.L. No. 5-2000. Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any person responsible for placing and maintaining a pay telephone in a public way hereinafter defined.
- PAY TELEPHONE
- Any self-service or coin or credit card operated telephone and associated equipment.
- An individual, business, firm, corporation, association, partnership or other organization or group of persons.
- PUBLIC NUISANCE
- A public telephone, which the Village has reasonable cause to believe is used on a regular basis in furtherance of unlawful activity.
- Any surface provided for the use of pedestrians.
- All areas dedicated to public use for public street purposes and shall include but not be limited to roadways, parkways, alleys and sidewalks.
- The Village of Hempstead, New York.
- VILLAGE CODE
- The Code of the Village of Hempstead.
No person, association, partnership or corporation may place or maintain any 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 Village subject to the location, terms and conditions for the installation and operation of a public pay telephone, including but not limited to approval of the location and means of installation in accordance with the standards set forth in § 123-5 of this chapter. The permit required by this chapter shall be in addition to any permit required pursuant to federal, state and local regulation, including but not limited to the sidewalk permit required under Village Code § 116-15 or any other street occupancy or opening permit required.
A permit issued pursuant to this chapter is valid only for the public telephone for which such permit was issued and may not be transferred to a person other than the owner to whom such permit was issued without the written approval of the Village.
Before installation, an application for a permit to install, operate and maintain a public pay telephone shall be submitted to the Superintendent of Building Department of the Village in the form prescribed by the Village in Appendix A of this chapter. The application shall contain the information required therein, including but not limited to the name and address of the owner of the public pay telephone for which application is being made, the size, the precise location of such telephone, the equipment and means of installation and cabling and a detailed description and plan or sketch of the mounting in which the telephone is installed. A copy of the permit or permit number shall be affixed to the telephone.
Editor's Note: Appendix A is on file in the Village offices.
The initial fee for a permit shall be $250, which shall be accompanied by an application. Permits shall be renewable annually on the first day of January of each year for a fee of $125.
The Village shall be informed of the intent of any person to remove or relocate a telephone.
Before receiving a permit, an applicant shall:
Execute an indemnification agreement substantially as follows: The applicant and any other person(s) on whose behalf the application is made agree to defend, indemnify and hold harmless the Village of Hempstead against liability for all claims for damage to property or injury to or death of persons arising out of or resulting from the issuance of the permit or the control, maintenance or ownership or use of each pay telephone.
File with the Village a general liability insurance policy for $1,000,000 for bodily injury and $50,000 for property damage, naming the Village of Hempstead as an additional insured against any and all injuries, loss or damage that may result from placing or maintaining the telephone or telephone equipment on or above any public street or sidewalk.
A violation of this section may be found where a public pay telephone lacks a dial tone, a clear and audible transmission and reception, a keyboard and handset in working order or any other feature necessary to access 911 service.
Current telephone rates shall be posted on the telephone or on the telephone booth.
Each public pay telephone location, single or multiple, shall have a sign in the form prescribed herein and consistent with the rules and regulations promulgated by the New York State Public Service Commission installed so that it is visible within the enclosures for such telephone. Such sign shall:
Be of dimensions no less than two inches by five inches nor more than three inches by six inches.
Be of white lettering and symbols on a dark blue background.
Be in compliance with requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Clearly and legibly identify the owner or operator of such telephone.
Contain the following statement: "This telephone is franchised by the Building Department of the Village of Hempstead. Complaints regarding this telephone may be directed to (telephone number to be provided by the Village)."
Telephones shall comply with the following standards:
Each public pay telephone shall be in condition to accept a coin, credit card, prepaid debit card or other appropriate payment device, and the telephone must enable a call to be completed when the proper payment has been made.
The return mechanism of each public pay telephone shall be in working order to provide customers with return of coins when calls are not completed.
Each public pay telephone shall provide access to operator services, such as local directory and information assistance, without payment by coin or other device.
Each public pay telephone, upon written request of the Village, shall be capable of being restricted to outgoing calls only within 10 days of receipt of such request.
Each public pay telephone, including the telephone, pedestal and housing of such telephone, shall be maintained in accordance with the provisions of this subsection.
Each public pay telephone shall be maintained free of offensive odors, litter or debris.
Each public pay telephone shall be maintained free of stickers or graffiti.
Each public pay telephone shall be maintained in a clean condition, free of grime, rust and corrosion in the visible unpainted metal areas and clean to the touch.
All lettering and signage on an installation shall be cleaned and legible at all times. Any paper or cardboard parts or inserts shall be reasonably free of cracks, dents, graffiti, blemishes and discoloration.
The structural parts thereof shall not be broken or unduly sharpened.
An owner of a public pay telephone shall be responsible for all repairs to streets damaged due to the placement, installation or removal of a public pay telephone.
Any owner or permittee who fails to maintain its telephone in working condition may be given a ten-day notice to repair the telephone by the Village. If the telephone is not in working condition at the end of the ten-day period, the Village may revoke the permit, unless the permittee provides assurance that the telephone shall be repaired or removed.
Each telephone shall provide local directory or information assistance without charge, provided that the distributor is not charged for such calls by the local telephone company.
No telephone shall be permitted to rest upon, in or over any public street or sidewalk when such installation, use or maintenance:
Endangers the safety of persons or property.
Unreasonably interferes with or impedes the flow of pedestrians or vehicular traffic, including any legally parked or stopped vehicles.
Unreasonably interferes with the ingress and egress from any residence or place of business.
Interferes with the use of traffic signs or signals, hydrants or mailboxes permitted at or near said location.
Unless otherwise authorized by the Village in writing, public pay telephones shall not be installed within:
At least 18 inches, but no more than 24 inches of the curb.
Three feet of a traffic sign.
Four feet of a traffic light.
Five feet of the end of a ramp of an entrance to or an exit from a wheelchair lift.
A fifteen-foot radius of a fire hydrant and, unless otherwise authorized by the Village in writing, within five feet of a standpipe and/or sprinkler, siamese or wall hydrant.
Three feet of any grate or manhole on the curbline.
Fifteen feet of a bus stop zone, unless the public pay telephone is attached to a bus stop shelter or is installed at the building line and does not obstruct pedestrians' passage on the sidewalk.
Five feet of a bench located at the curbline.
Ten feet of a driveway, unless the public pay telephone is attached to or immediately adjacent to a building immediately adjacent to such driveway.
A location in such a manner that a cellar door cannot be opened to the fullest extent.
Five feet of a canopy.
Four feet of a mailbox located at the curbline.
Four feet of a streetlight.
Four feet of a parking meter.
Three feet of a fire box, unless otherwise approved in writing by the Village.
Three feet of a sign pole.
Three feet of the edge of a tree pit or planter located at the curbline.
Ten feet of any entrance to a residence, store or public building.
Public telephones shall be placed or otherwise secured so as to prevent their being blown down or around the public street or sidewalk but shall not be chained or otherwise secured to any traffic or street signs, signals, hydrants or mailboxes.
Public telephones must be installed upon a paved surface, unless such telephones are attached to the facade of a building or other structure.
If the Village determines that a public pay telephone is necessary in a location in order to provide for public health and safety, and the standards set forth in this section can be satisfied, then the Building Department of the Village may waive such provisions of this section as may be necessary to permit the installation of a public pay telephone. In no case, however, shall a public pay telephone be placed within 18 inches of a curb or within 10 feet from a corner or constitute an impediment to pedestrian traffic or interfere with the unimpeded passage of building inhabitants.
Telephones shall not be placed on sidewalks in front of street addresses where there appears to be continuous criminal activity. "Continuous activity" means reports to the police of more than four criminal incidents at an address in a month prior to the date of the application and more than 12 reported criminal incidents in a year prior to the date of the application.
No telephone or telecommunication device shall be placed on the sidewalk within 600 feet of any other pay telephone or telecommunication device in an R-AAA, R-AA, R-A or R-B Residential District within the Village, as these districts are described in Chapter 139 of the Village Code.
No telephone or telecommunication device shall be placed on the sidewalk closer than 300 feet to any other pay telephone or telecommunication device in an R-C, R-D, R-E, R-E-1, R-F or R-G Residential District within the Village, as these districts are described in Chapter 139 of the Village Code.
No telephone or telecommunication device shall be placed on the sidewalk closer than 100 feet to any other telephone or telecommunication device in a B-A, B-B, B-C, B-BG, Light Manufacturing or Industrial District within the Village, as these districts are described in Chapter 139 of the Village Code.
In the event that an operator wishes to place more than one telephone in a given location, in addition to the application, a detailed description and plan or sketch as required by § 123-2C of this chapter, the applicant shall submit economic or demographic data to support the need for the number of phones proposed. The Superintendent of Building Department of the Village shall review this data and, after consultation with the Police Department, shall have the discretion to allow more than one telephone to be placed or maintained in the proposed location.
The Village may revoke permits, pursuant to this section, that it deems necessary and appropriate where:
A complaint by a citizen has been received, which has been verified by the Police Department, or a complaint received from a representative of the Police Department that the location and use of a telephone interfere with the health and welfare of the public.
There is reasonable cause to believe that an owner, or any employee, agent or independent contractor of such owner, has violated the provisions of the Village Code, such as § 116-15, or any provision of this chapter or any of the terms or conditions contained in the permit for a public pay telephone issued pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
A public pay telephone unreasonably interferes with the use of a street by the public or the use of abutting private property or constitutes a danger to life or property or a public nuisance.
A knowing material omission or false statement has been made in relation to any application or certification made pursuant to this chapter.
An owner of a public pay telephone has failed to pay any fines or penalties imposed in relation to such telephone.
In addition to revoking permits, the Village may also take one or more of the following actions upon occurrence of an event described in Subsection A of this section:
The Village, at its discretion, may suspend review of all applications for the issuance or renewal of permits filed by such owner pursuant to this chapter. Such suspension may continue until the condition has been corrected to the satisfaction of the Village and payment has been made of all fines or civil penalties imposed for the violation, any costs incurred by the Village for removal and related repair or restoration work and any fees for any administrative expense or expense of additional inspections incurred by the Village as a result of such condition.
The Village may revoke a permit and, upon such revocation, may further order the removal of the public pay telephone for which such permit has been issued. In the event that the permittee fails to remove the public pay telephone and to perform related repair and restoration work within the time period specified by such order, the Village may remove or cause the removal of the public pay telephone and have repair and restoration work performed at the expense of the permittee, who shall be liable for the amount expended by the Village.
The Village may request in writing that a public pay telephone be restricted to outgoing calls only.
The Village may render a public pay telephone inoperable, except for the purpose of emergency telephone service through the 911 system or an operator. Such action may continue until the permittee has corrected the condition to the satisfaction of the Village and payment has been made of all civil penalties imposed for the violation and any fees for any administrative expense or expense of additional inspections incurred by the Village as a result of such condition. The Village shall affix to any public pay telephone rendered inoperable pursuant to this paragraph, a notice advising the public that the phone may be used only for emergency telephone service through the 911 system or an operator and setting forth this provision of the Village Code. Any device utilized by the Village for the purpose of rendering a public pay telephone inoperable shall be designed so as to permit the unimpaired use of the public pay telephone upon the removal of the device.
Except as provided in Subsection E of this section, before taking any action pursuant to this chapter, the Village shall notify the owner of a public telephone, with regard to which the action is proposed, of the reason for such proposed action. Such notice shall specify the action, if any, that may be taken by the permittee to correct the condition and the manner and time period in which such condition must be corrected or, if the condition is not one that is capable of correction, the time by which the telephone shall be removed. Except as provided in Subsection D of this section, the owner shall respond no later than five business days following such notice. Such response shall either:
Failure of an owner to timely respond to such notice by the Village shall constitute default and shall subject the owner to revocation of the permit and removal of the telephone pursuant to the provisions of Subsections A and B of this section. The Village shall review the response of the permittee and notify the permittee of the final determination and the reasons therefor.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the Village may, upon determination that a public pay telephone constitutes a public nuisance, notify the permittee of such determination and order that such telephone be removed within five business days. A permittee may respond in writing to the Village no later than five business days following receipt of such notice, setting forth any reasons why such telephone does not constitute a public nuisance. If, following review of such reasons, the Village makes a final determination that such telephone constitutes a public nuisance, the Village shall notify the permittee that such telephone must be removed immediately. Failure to remove such telephone immediately will subject the telephone to removal by the Village and repair and restoration work shall be performed at the expense of the permittee, who shall be liable in a civil action for the amount expended by the Village.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, if the Village determines that an imminent threat to life or property exists, the Village may remove or cause the removal of a public pay telephone and have repair and restoration work performed at the expense of the owner, without affording the owner an opportunity to be heard prior to such removal. The Village may, if it determines that such telephone can be safely reinstalled and maintained, permit the owner to reinstall such telephone. However, no more than five business days following the removal of a public pay telephone pursuant to this subsection, an owner of such telephone, who is a permittee, shall be provided notice of such removal and the reasons therefor and may respond to the Village in writing, setting forth the reasons why such telephone should not have been removed. The Village shall review such response and notify such owner within 10 days of receipt of such response of his or her final determination and the reasons therefor.
Any violation of this chapter shall subject the violator to a fine of not less than $200 and not more than $5,000. Each noncompliance, and in the case of continuing violation, each day's continuance, shall be a separate and distinctive offense.
[Amended 7-7-2020 by L.L. No. 3-2020]
An owner who is liable for a civil penalty for a violation pursuant to this section shall also be liable in the amount of the expense, if any, incurred by the Village in the removal of the public pay telephone and the performance of related repair and restoration work.
Any telephone removed pursuant to this chapter which is not claimed by the owner within 30 days of removal shall be deemed abandoned. All abandoned public pay telephones may be sold at public auction after having been advertised in the Village records and the proceeds paid into the general fund, or such abandoned telephones may be used or converted for use by the Village or its agencies. A public pay telephone shall be released to the owner upon payment of the costs of removal, repair and restoration work, and storage, any fees for any administrative expense or expense of additional inspections incurred by the Village as a result of the violation or, if any action or proceeding for the violation is pending in a court or before any other disciplinary board, upon posting of a bond and other form of security acceptable to the Village in an amount which will secure the payment of such costs and any fines or civil penalties which may be imposed for the violation.