[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Wallingford 10-22-2002 by Ord. No. 503. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 198.
The Town Council finds that the uncontrolled placement and maintenance of newsracks in public rights-of-way presents an inconvenience and/or danger to persons using such rights-of-way; that garish, brightly colored or otherwise unsightly newsracks located within public rights-of-way constitute distractions to the driving public; that newsracks are constantly exposed to the elements, are subject to intensive use and vandalism and to protect against such must be designed and constructed of durable materials; and that the use of public rights-of-way has been historically associated with the sale and distribution of newspapers. The Town Council further finds that in order to accommodate the governmental and distribution interests it is necessary to implement a program to regulate the installation, operation and maintenance of newsracks located in public rights-of-way in the Town of Wallingford.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- One side of a street between two consecutive intersecting streets.
- DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC WORKS
- The head of the Wallingford Department of Public Works or his duly designated representative.
- Any person responsible for the installation, operation or maintenance of a newsrack in a public right-of-way.
- HEARING OFFICER
- The person appointed by the Mayor to hear appeals under this chapter.
- Any self-service or coin-operated box, container, storage unit or other dispenser installed, operated or maintained for the display and distribution or sale of newspapers, periodicals or other printed matter.
- An individual person, firm, corporation or other entity.
- PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY
- Any area owned and/or maintained by the Town of Wallingford or any other governmental entity, open for use of the public for vehicular or pedestrian travel, including but not limited to roadways, sidewalks, streets, alleys and public grounds.
- That portion of any street improved, designed or ordinarily used for vehicular travel, exclusive of the berm or shoulder.
- Any portion of a street between the curbline and the adjacent property line intended for the use of pedestrians, excluding parkways.
- The entire area encompassed by a roadway and a sidewalk.
- Town of Wallingford.
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to erect, place, maintain or operate on any public right-of-way in the Town of Wallingford any newsrack without first having obtained a permit from the Director of Public Works.
Application for such permit shall be made, in writing, to the Director of Public Works, upon such form as shall be provided to the applicant, and shall contain the name and business address of the applicant, a telephone number or numbers at which the applicant may be reached during normal business hours and the proposed location of said newsrack and shall be signed by the applicant.
A permit fee of $12 shall be required for each location. Permits shall be issued or denied within 72 hours, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays, after the application has been filed.
Such permits shall be valid for three (3) years and shall be renewable pursuant to the procedure for original applications and upon payment of the permit fee. A permit issued pursuant to this section shall expire automatically in the event that the insurance coverage required pursuant to § 142-4 lapses.
Every applicant for a permit to place a newsrack on a public right-of-way in the Town shall file a written statement with the Director of Public Works in a form satisfactory to the Law Department, whereby such owner agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Town, its officers and employees from any loss, liability or damage, including expenses and costs, for bodily injury, and for property damage sustained by any person as a result of the installation, use and/or maintenance of any such newsrack.
Every owner of a newsrack who places or maintains a newsrack on a public right-of-way shall provide the Town with a certificate of liability insurance coverage issued by an insurance company licensed to do business in the State of Connecticut insuring the applicant and the Town of Wallingford, with the Town named as an additional insured, against all claims for damages for bodily injury and for property damage which could arise in connection with the installation, operation or maintenance of a newsrack in the Town. The certificate of insurance shall state that the coverage afforded thereunder shall be primary coverage for any claims within its scope. Minimum coverage of such policy shall be $1,000,000 aggregate for personal injury claims and for property damage claims and $500,000 per each occurrence. The policy, by its terms, shall not be cancelable prior to the expiration date of the permit without 30 days' written notice to the Town.
Every person who places or maintains a newsrack on a public right-of-way within the Town shall have his permit number, name, address and telephone number affixed to the newsrack in a place where such information may be easily seen.
Any newsrack which rests or projects, in whole or in part, upon or over any public right-of-way shall be located or installed in accordance with the following:
No newsrack shall be chained, bolted or otherwise attached to any pole or fixture located in the public right-of-way, except to other newsracks, without the express permission of the Director of Public Works.
Newsracks may be placed next to each other, provided that no group of newsracks shall extend for a distance of more than five feet along a curb.
No newsrack shall be located so as to unreasonably interfere with or impede the flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic, including motorized or manual wheelchairs.
No newsrack shall be placed, installed, used or maintained:
Within five feet of any marked crosswalk;
Within 15 feet of the curb return of any unmarked crosswalk;
Within five feet of any fire hydrant, fire call box, police call box or other emergency facility;
Within five feet of any driveway;
Within any single-family residential zone except on a street designated as a thoroughfare, feeder, industrial or collector street in the Town's Zoning Regulations;
Within 200 feet of any part of a public or private school building devoted to instruction.
No more than six newsracks shall be located on any public right-of-way within a space of 250 feet in any direction within the same block; provided, however, that no more than 12 newsracks shall be allowed on any one block. In determining which newsracks shall be permitted to be located or to remain if already in place, the Director of Public Works shall be guided solely by the following criteria:
First priority shall be publications which are published five or more days per week;
Second priority shall be publications published two to four days per week;
Third priority shall be publications published one day per week.
Fourth priority shall be publications published intermittently or less frequently than once per week.
Any newsrack which rests or projects, in whole or in part, upon or over any public right-of-way shall comply with the following standards:
No newsrack shall exceed four feet, two inches in height, two feet, two inches in width, and two feet, two inches in thickness.
The lettering of the name of the publication being displayed therein in accord with the following standards:
On the front of the newsrack, the lettering size shall not exceed 1 3/4 inches in height; and
On the sides and back of the newsrack, the lettering size shall not exceed 5 1/2 inches in height for the first letter and shall not exceed 3 1/2 inches in height for the remaining letters in the name of the publication.
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.
Each newsrack shall be made of metal and shall be painted in a color scheme consisting of a dark background with white lettering or a white background with black or red lettering. Shades of red, except for lettering on a white background, yellow, orange or green, similar to those used in traffic control signs or devices, shall not be used on any newsrack.
Each newsrack shall be equipped with a coin-return mechanism to permit a person using the machine to secure an immediate refund in the event the person is unable to receive the paid-for publication. The coin-return mechanism shall be maintained in good working order. This subsection shall not apply to newsracks for publications offered free of charge.
Each newsrack shall be so weighed and balanced as to prevent it from being tipped by the opening of its door or by the impact of snow cast by a passing snowplow.
Each newsrack shall be maintained in a neat and clean condition and in good repair at all times.
No newsrack shall contain or utilize any electrically powered illumination or sound.
The Director of Public Works, upon a determination that a newsrack has been installed, used or maintained in violation of the provisions of this chapter, shall issue a notice of violation to the distributor of the offending newsrack. Such notice shall be mailed by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by service of the notice by a proper officer. The notice shall:
Specify the offending condition;
Suggest actions necessary to correct the condition;
Inform the distributor that the condition must be corrected within 15 days of the date of the notice, and if the condition is not corrected within the time limited, the newsrack will be removed and stored for 30 days at the Public Works Department, 29 Town Farm Road, Wallingford, Connecticut, after which time it will be deemed abandoned.
Inform the distributor that he may appeal the notice of violation to a hearing officer by delivering or mailing a letter to said officer at Room 308, Town Hall, 45 South Main Street, Wallingford, Connecticut 06492 within 10 days of the notice of violation.
Failure to correct the offending condition within 15 days after the mailing date of the order or to appeal the order within 10 days after its receipt shall result in the offending newsrack being summarily removed and stored for 30 days after which, unless retrieved from storage by the distributor, it shall be deemed abandoned and disposed of accordingly.
If the offending newsrack is not properly identified as to owner under provisions of § 142-5 hereof, it shall be removed forthwith and stored and disposed of as provided herein.
An impound fee of $50 shall be charged to the distributor for each newsrack summarily removed. An additional fee of $25 shall be charged to a distributor for each newsrack inspected after correction of any offending condition or inspected after being reinstalled after removal.
Nothing contained in this chapter shall be interpreted to limit or impair the exercise by the Town of its police powers to remove any newsrack which presents a clear and present danger of imminent personal injury or property damage to users of the public rights of way.
Any person cited for a violation of this chapter may appeal the citation within 10 days of the date of the citation by delivering or mailing a letter to the Citation Hearing Officer at Room 308, Town Hall, 45 South Main Street, Wallingford, Connecticut 06492.
The Mayor shall appoint a Citation Hearing Officer, other than an employee of the Police Department or an employee of the Public Works Department.
The hearing procedure shall be as set forth in § 7-152c of the General Statutes except as modified herein.
Any person who requests a hearing shall be given written notice of the date, time and place for the hearing.
The Hearing Officer shall render his decision at the conclusion of the hearing or after he inspects the location of the complaint about the newsrack.
The decision of the Hearing Officer may be appealed to the Superior Court for the Judicial District of New Haven at Meriden within 30 days of the decision of the Hearing Officer.
Any resident of the Town whose property is within 200 feet of the location of a newsrack may appeal the decision of the Director of Public Works to grant a permit for a newsrack at such location within 10 days after the placement of the newsrack.
This chapter shall apply to existing newsracks within the Town, except that the distributors shall have 60 days within which to comply with its provisions or such additional time as may be allowed in the discretion of the Director of Public Works.
In the event that a newsrack remains empty for a period of 30 continuous days, it shall be deemed abandoned and may be treated in the manner as provided in § 142-8 for newsracks in violation of the provisions of this chapter.
This chapter shall be enforced by the Director of Public Works or his designee and by the Police Department, separately or jointly.