[HISTORY: Adopted by the Village Board of the Village of Mamaroneck 5-8-2000 by L.L. No. 6-2000, effective 5-17-2000. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Fees — See Ch. A347.
The Village Board of the Village of Mamaroneck finds and declares that:
The uncontrolled placement and maintenance of news racks in public rights-of-way presents an inconvenience and a 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.
News racks so located as to cause an inconvenience or danger to persons using public rights-of-way, and unsightly news racks, create a visual blight that curtails efforts to maintain an aesthetically pleasing urban environment and constitute a public nuisance.
The Village Board recognizes, however, that the use of such rights-of-way is historically associated with the sale and distribution of newspapers and publications and that access to those areas for such purposes should not be absolutely denied. The Village Board further finds that these strong and competing interests require a reasonable accommodation which can only be satisfactorily achieved by the provisions of this chapter, which are designed to balance such interests by regulating the time, place and manner of using such news racks.
The provisions herein contained and enacted are in pursuance of and for the purpose of securing and promoting the public health, safety and general welfare of persons in the Village of Mamaroneck in their use of public rights-of-way through the regulation of placement, appearance, number, size and servicing of news racks on the public rights-of-way so as to:
Provide for pedestrian and driving safety and convenience;
Ensure no unreasonable interference with the flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic, including ingress to, or egress from, any place of business or from the street to the sidewalks;
Provide reasonable access for the use and maintenance of sidewalks, poles, traffic signs and signals, hydrants, mailboxes, and similar appurtenances, and access to locations used for public transportation purposes;
Reduce visual blight on the public rights-of-way, protect the aesthetics and value of surrounding properties and protect the quiet of residential areas;
Reduce exposure of the village to personal injury or property damage claims and litigation; and
Protect the rights to distribute information protected by the United States and New York State Constitutions through the use of news racks.
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 printed material that is constitutionally protected.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- The person, firm or corporation responsible in any way for placing and/or maintaining news racks in a public right-of-way.
- NEWS RACK
- Any self-service or coin-operated box, container, storage unit or other dispenser installed, used or maintained for the display, sale, offer for sale or free distribution of newspapers, advertising materials or other written materials.
- PUBLIC HIGHWAY
- Any highway, road, street, avenue, alley, public place, public driveway or any other public way.
- The area between property lines which may be unimproved or surfaced and which may include public highways, streets, roadways and sidewalks.
- The area between curbs, or the edges of pavement, improved, designed, marked or ordinarily used for vehicular traffic.
- Any surface provided for the exclusive use of pedestrians.
- All that area dedicated to public use for public street purposes, including, but not limited to, roadways, highways, sidewalks and unimproved areas.
No person shall install, use or maintain any news rack which projects onto, into, or which rests, wholly or in part, upon the roadway of any public highway.
No person shall install, use or maintain any news rack which in whole or in part rests upon, in or over any public sidewalk or public highway where:
Such installation, use or maintenance endangers the safety of persons or property;
Such site or location is used for public utility purposes, public transportation purposes or other governmental use;
Such site or location unreasonably interferes with or impedes the flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic, including parked or stopped vehicles; the ingress to or egress from any residence or place of business; the use of poles, posts, traffic signs or signals, hydrants, mailboxes or other objects permitted at or near said location;
Such site or location interferes with the cleaning or snow removal of any sidewalk or public highway by the use of mechanical cleaning or snow removal equipment;
Such site or location is in any other manner inconsistent with or in violation of the provisions of this chapter.
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to install, place, maintain or operate any news rack on any public highway, street, roadway or sidewalk or in any other right-of-way, in the Village of Mamaroneck, without first having obtained a permit from the Village Building Inspector specifying the exact location of such news rack. One permit may be issued to include any number of news racks, provided that all news rack locations are indicated in such permit.
Application for such permit shall be made, in writing, to the Village Building Inspector upon such form as shall be provided by said Village Building Inspector, and shall contain the name and address of the applicant, the proposed specific location(s) of the news rack(s) and shall be signed by the applicant.
From the above application information, the Village Building Inspector shall approve or disapprove the location(s). The Village Building Inspector shall be guided therein solely by the standards and criteria set forth in this Chapter.
Permits shall be issued for the installation of a news rack upon inspection of the location by the Village Building Inspector's duly authorized representative, and such news rack and the installation, use or maintenance thereof shall be conditioned upon observance of the provisions of this Chapter. A permit fee is required as provided in Chapter A347, Fees. Denial by the Building Inspector of a particular location for a news rack shall be in writing and shall state the basis of the denial. Such denial shall be without prejudice to the applicant to designate a different location.
As an express condition of the approval of any news rack permit, the distributor shall file with the Building Inspector of the Village of Mamaroneck an agreement, in a form satisfactory to the Village Attorney, to indemnify, hold harmless and defend the Village of Mamaroneck, its officers and employees, against any loss, liability or damage, including expenses and costs, for bodily or personal injury and for property damage sustained by any person as a result of the installation, use or maintenance of a news rack within the Village of Mamaroneck.
The distributor shall also file with the Village Manager a certificate of insurance, demonstrating that the distributor has public liability and property damage insurance in an amount not less than $1,000,000 per occurrence, and naming the Village of Mamaroneck as an additional insured for the news racks placed in the Village of Mamaroneck. Said insurance shall be maintained during the permit period of any news rack and provide for no less than 30 days' notice of cancellation to the Village of Mamaroneck.
The distributor of any news rack existing as of the effective date of this chapter shall file an application for a news rack permit with the Village Manager. Such application shall comply with all provisions of this chapter and shall be filed within 30 days of the effective date of this chapter. Upon issuance of a permit for any existing news rack, such permittee shall have 30 days to remove all of its unauthorized news racks from the streets of the Village of Mamaroneck.
All news racks, except for those approved by the Village as to type and location, shall be removed from the streets of the Village of Mamaroneck within 90 days of the effective date of this Chapter.
Each news rack shall be colored white, black, forest green or brown, or a combination thereof, and shall not exceed 60 inches in height, 30 inches in width, or 24 inches in depth.
No news rack shall be used for advertising signs or publicity purposes other than those solely dealing with the display, sale or purchase of the publication distributed therein.
Each coin-operated news rack shall be equipped with a coin-return mechanism to permit a person using the machine to secure an immediate refund in the event that such person is unable to receive the publication for which he or she has paid. The coin-return mechanism shall be maintained and in good working order.
Each news rack shall have affixed to it, in a readily visible place so as to be seen by anyone using the news rack, the permit number together with a notice setting forth the name and address of the distributor and a telephone number of a working telephone service to call to report a malfunction, or to give any notice provided for in this chapter.
Each news rack resting in whole or in part upon, in or over any public sidewalk or property shall be maintained in a neat and clean condition and in good repair at all times. Specifically, but without limiting the generality of the foregoing, each news rack shall be serviced and maintained so that:
It is reasonably free of dirt and grease;
It is reasonably free of chipped, faded, peeling and cracked paint in the visible colored areas thereof;
It is reasonably free of rust and corrosion in the visible uncolored metal areas thereof;
The clear plastic or glass parts thereof, if any, through which the publications therein are viewed are unbroken and reasonably free of cracks, dents, blemishes and discolorations;
The paper or cardboard parts, or inserts thereof, are reasonably free of tears, peeling or fading;
The structural parts thereof are not broken or unduly misshapen; and
It is reasonably free of graffiti.
Any news rack which rests in whole or in part upon any portion of a right-of-way, or which projects onto, into or over any part of a right-of-way, shall be located in accordance with the provisions of this section:
No news rack shall be used or maintained which projects onto, into or over any public street, or which rests wholly or in part upon, along or over any portion of the roadway of any public street or of any public parking area.
No news rack shall be chained, cabled, bolted or otherwise attached to any fixture located in the right-of-way.
No more than two news racks may be placed next to each other, and there shall be no less than 300 feet in any direction between any two groups of news racks.
No news rack shall be placed, installed, or used or maintained:
Within 10 feet of any marked crosswalk area;
Within 10 feet of the curb return of any unmarked crosswalk;
Within 15 feet of any fire hydrant;
Within five feet of any fire or police call box, fire alarm or other similar emergency facility;
Within five feet of the ingress or egress of any residence or place of business;
Within 10 feet of any public or private driveway;
Within 25 feet of any fire station or police station;
Within three feet ahead or 25 feet to the rear of any designated bus stop, taxi stand or place marked for handicapped parking;
At any location whereby the clearance space for the passage of pedestrians would be reduced to less than five feet by the placing of the news rack;
Adjacent to any portion of a roadway designated as a fire lane;
Parallel to the curb return at a distance less than 18 inches or more than 24 inches from the curb or, if adjacent to the wall of a building, not more than six inches from the wall;
Within three feet of any public area improved with lawn, flowers, shrubs, trees or other landscaping;
On any handicap access ramp;
Within 150 feet of another news rack distributing the same publication;
Within three feet of any traffic pole, post, sign or signal, water valve, manhole or meter pole; or
Within 10 feet of any right-of-way intersection.
No news rack shall be placed or allowed to remain in any location where it unreasonably interferes with the removal of snow or ice or the removal of leaves or debris, whether the removal is a public or private duty.
Upon determination by the Village Building Inspector that a news rack has been installed, used or maintained in violation of the provisions of this Chapter, an order to correct the offending condition shall be issued by said Village Building Inspector, or his or her designee, to the distributor of the news rack. Such order shall be sent by regular, first class mailing. The order shall specifically describe the offending condition, suggest actions necessary to correct the condition and inform the news rack distributor of the right to appeal. Failure to properly correct the offending condition within five days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays) after the mailing date of the order or to appeal the order within three days after its receipt shall result in the offending news rack being summarily removed, treated as lost property and disposed of as provided in Article 7-B of the Personal Property Law. If the offending news rack is not properly identified as to owner under the provisions of § 250-6F hereof, it shall be removed immediately and treated as lost property. An impound fee, which shall be measured by the village's cost and expenses of impounding, shall be assessed against each news rack summarily removed. The Village Building Inspector shall cause inspection to be made of the corrected condition or of a news rack reinstalled after removal under this section. The distributor of said news rack shall be charged an inspection fee of $25 for each news rack so inspected. This charge shall be in addition to all other fees and charges required under this chapter.
Any person or entity aggrieved by a finding, determination, notice, order or action taken under provision of this chapter may appeal and shall be appraised of his or her right to appeal to the Village Manager. An appeal must be perfected within three days after receipt of notice of any protested decision or action by filing with the office of the Village Manager a letter of appeal briefly stating therein the basis of such appeal. A hearing shall be held on a date not more than 10 days after receipt of the letter of appeal. The appellant shall be given at least five days' notice of the time and place of the hearing. The Village Manager, or his or her designee, shall give the appellant, and any other interested party, a reasonable opportunity to be heard and to show cause why the determination of the Village Building Inspector should not be upheld. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Village Manager shall make a final and conclusive decision. The decision shall be appealable to the New York State Supreme Court, Westchester County, within 30 days of the filing of such decision in the Clerk-Treasurer's office.
In the event that a news rack remains empty for a period of 30 continuous days, the same shall be deemed abandoned and may be treated in the same manner as provided in § 250-8 for news racks in violation of the provisions of this chapter.
Nothing contained in this chapter shall be interpreted to limit or impair the exercise by the village of its police power, in the event of any emergency, as determined by the Village Building Inspector, or his or her designee, to remove any news rack which presents a danger of imminent personal injury or property damage to users of the public streets of the village, or would otherwise hamper or impair the fulfillment by the village of its governmental obligations, including, but not limited to, snow removal and street cleaning.
If any section, paragraph, subdivision, clause, phrase, word or provision of this chapter shall be adjudged invalid or held unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, the same shall not affect the validity of this chapter as a whole or any part or provision thereof other than the part so decided to be invalid or unconstitutional.