[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Ithaca 3-15-1984 by Ord. No. 84-4 (Ch. 65, Art. VIII, of the 1975 Municipal Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
The intent of this chapter is to protect the public health, welfare and safety by regulating the size, weight, appearance and placement of newsracks on public property in the City of Ithaca so as to promote compatible uses and safety in the least intrusive manner so as to avoid arbitrary and unnecessary curtailment of freedom of speech and freedom of the press by such regulation.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any self-service or coin-operated box, container, storage unit or other dispenser installed, used or maintained for the display, distribution or sale of newspapers, magazines, news periodicals or other news publications.
- That area between the edge of the roadway and the adjacent property line, excluding that area occupied by the sidewalks. "Parkway" shall also include any area within a roadway which is not open to vehicular travel.
- PEDESTRIAN MALL
- A public thoroughfare designed as a promenade for pedestrians from which vehicles are to be restricted or prohibited.
- That portion of a street improved, designed or ordinarily used for vehicular travel.
- Any paved surface provided for the exclusive use of pedestrians.
- All that area dedicated to public use for public street purposes, and shall include but not be limited to roadways, parkways, alleys, sidewalks and pedestrian malls.
No person shall install or maintain any newsrack which projects onto, into or over any part of the roadway of any public street or which rests, wholly or in part, upon or over any portion of a roadway.
No person shall install or maintain any newsrack which, in whole or in part, rests upon, in or over any sidewalk or parkway when such installation endangers the safety of persons or property or when such site or location is used for public utility purposes, public transportation purposes or other government use or when such newsrack unreasonably interferes with or impedes the flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic, the ingress into or egress from any residence, place of business or any legally parked or stopped vehicle or the use of poles, posts, traffic signs or signals, hydrants, mailboxes or other objects permitted at or near said location or when such newsrack interferes with the cleaning of any sidewalk by the use of mechanical sidewalk-cleaning machinery.
Any newsrack which, in whole or in part, rests upon, in or over any sidewalk or parkway shall comply with the following standards:
No newsrack shall exceed four feet in height, 30 inches in width or two feet in depth.
Newsracks shall only be placed near a curb or adjacent to the wall of a building. Newsracks placed near the curb shall be placed a distance of 18 inches from the face of the curb to the nearest edge of the newsrack. Newsracks placed adjacent to the wall of a building shall be placed parallel to such wall and not more than six inches from the wall.
Newsracks may be chained or otherwise attached to one another; however, no more than three newsracks may be joined together in this manner, and a space of no less than 44 inches shall separate each group of three newsracks so attached.
No newsrack shall be placed, installed, used or maintained:
Within three feet of any marked crosswalk.
At any intersection within the triangular area formed by the intersection of the curblines as extended to a point, thence 30 feet from said point along each curbline to respective points on each curbline, thence on a line connecting said respective curbline points, all as is more fully illustrated in Illustration I below.
Within 15 feet of any fire hydrant or other fire-related sprinkler or standpipe water connection, fire call box, police call box or other emergency facility.
Within five feet of any driveway.
Within five feet of any public telephone.
Within three feet ahead of and 35 feet to the rear of any sign marking the front end of a designated bus stop.
Within three feet of any bus stop bench.
At any location whereby the clear space for the passageway of pedestrians is reduced to less than four feet.
On any area improved with lawn, flowers, shrubs or trees or attached to any flowers, shrubs or trees or within three feet of any display window of any building abutting the sidewalk or parkway or in such manner as to impede or interfere with the reasonable use of such window for display purposes.
Within any city park.
Within 100 feet of any other newsrack on the same side of the street in the same block which contains the same issue or edition of the same newspaper or news periodical.
No newsrack shall be used for advertising signs or publicity purposes other than that dealing with the display, sale or purchase of the newspaper or news periodical sold therein.
No pad, pole or other permanent fixture used for securing a newsrack at any particular site shall be installed except in compliance with the rules and regulations of the Department of Public Works.
Each newsrack shall be maintained in a clean, neat and attractive condition and in good repair at all times.
Every person who or entity which places or maintains a newsrack on the streets in the City of Ithaca shall have his/her/its name, address and telephone number affixed thereto in a place where such information may be easily seen. For purposes of this chapter, such person or entity shall be deemed to be the owner of the newsrack.
Emergency removal. When any newsrack is in violation of the provisions of this chapter and constitutes an actual and imminent obstruction to traffic, either vehicular or pedestrian, or other safety hazard which cannot be cured by relocation of the newsrack to a nearby site, the newsrack may be removed by the Superintendent of Public Works or by order of the Ithaca Police Department or Fire Department to a secure location under the care and control of the City of Ithaca. Upon such removal, the removing agent must immediately give notice of such removal and an opportunity to be heard to the owner of the newsrack in the manner set forth below. The city shall not be liable for any reasonably unavoidable damage sustained to the newsrack in connection with such emergency removal.
Nonemergency removal. When any newsrack is found in violation of this order but does not constitute an actual and imminent obstruction to traffic, either vehicular or pedestrian, or other safety hazard which cannot be cured by relocation of the newsrack to a nearby site, the newsrack may only be removed after notice of the proposed removal and an opportunity to be heard has been given to the owner of the newsrack in the manner set forth below.
If a newsrack is removed under the emergency removal provisions set forth herein, notice of such removal shall be given to the owner of the newsrack by, within 24 hours after said removal, telephoning the owner of the newsrack at the telephone number listed on the newsrack and mailing a written notice of the same to the owner at the address specified on the newsrack. If there is no telephone number or address specified on the newsrack, the removing agent shall take all reasonable steps necessary to discover the identity of the owner of the newsrack and, within 24 hours of such discovery, give notice as provided herein. If, after taking such reasonable steps, the identity of the owner remains unknown, the newsrack may be removed under the emergency removal provision herein.
In all other cases, notice of a proposed removal shall be in writing and shall be mailed to the owner of the newsrack at least 10 days before the proposed removal is scheduled to occur.
All notices required herein shall be in writing and shall contain the following information:
The location of the newsrack which is in violation.
The nature of the violation claimed.
The site to which the newsrack will be or, in the case of an emergency removal, has been removed.
The name, address and telephone number of the city official to be contacted for recovery of the newsrack by the owner.
A statement setting forth the owner's right to a hearing prior to any nonemergency removal or promptly after any emergency removal, together with an automatic stay of all removal proceedings pending completion of such hearing.
A statement setting forth the hearing procedure, indicating how such hearing is to be requested, before what body it is to be held and the time when it is to be held.
Hearings. Any hearings held herein shall be conducted by the Board of Public Works at its regularly scheduled meetings upon demand therefor in writing by the owner of the newsrack or his/her agent. Such hearings shall be held no less than 10 days after demand therefor. The owner of the newsrack shall be entitled to be represented by an attorney and present witnesses and evidence as is deemed appropriate by said owner. Formal rules of evidence shall not be required; however, the owner of the newsrack shall be accorded due process of law in all respects. The decision of a majority of the full Board of Public Works shall be the final decision for purposes of administrative proceedings.
Temporary removal. Any newsrack which is otherwise in conformity with provisions of this chapter but which is attached to city property which must be repaired, replaced or removed may be temporarily removed in the same manner as provided for the emergency removal of newsracks, provided that said newsrack is restored to the same location as soon as the repair, replacement or removal of city property is complete. Notice of such temporary removal and the opportunity for a hearing must be given to the owner of the box as provided above.
The violation of any of the provisions of the chapter shall be punishable as prescribed in Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article I, Penalties, of this Code. The imposition of one penalty for any single violation shall not excuse that violation or permit it to continue; and all persons cited for violation(s) shall be required to remedy such violation(s) within a reasonable time; and when not otherwise specified, each day that prohibited conditions are maintained shall constitute a separate offense. In addition to other remedies, the Superintendent of the Department of Public Works or his/her designee may institute any appropriate action or proceedings to prevent or remedy a violation of any of the provisions of this chapter.