Bellflower revises ordinance on abandoned shopping carts

Wave Staff Report

BELLFLOWER — The City Council is expected to take final action at its Oct. 11 meeting on a shopping cart ordinance revised to align with a recent state law that prohibits cities from confiscating abandoned carts.

“The California Legislature has enacted provisions regulating shopping carts that limit the city’s ability to impound shopping carts on private and public property,” said Assistant City Manager Len Gorecki in a report to the council Sept. 27.

The council tentatively approved the ordinance on first reading Sept. 27.

The proposed ordinance establishes regulations for the use, retrieval and abandonment of shopping carts and supplements existing California law to reduce the number of abandoned shopping carts throughout the city, Gorecki told the council.

He said the council originally adopted a shopping cart ordinance in 2009 to force markets and other shopping cart providers to install containment systems that kept the carts from leaving store properties.

“[Abandoned] shopping carts are a nuisance, create potential hazards to the health, safety and welfare of the public, and interfere with pedestrian and vehicular traffic,” Gorecki said in his report. “The unauthorized use, accumulation and storage of abandoned shopping carts in private and public property persist throughout the city.

Gorecki said the new ordinance will make the operators of retail establishments that provide more than five shopping carts take reasonable measures to prevent the removal of the carts from their premises and provide for the prompt retrieval of any removed or abandoned carts.

Provisions of the proposed ordinance include a requirement for posted signs at the business and on the carts themselves, a mandatory store plan for physical cart containment and a retrieval plan for lost, stolen or abandoned carts.

Under the new ordinance, the city will collect a processing fee e to recover the cost of reviewing the required mandatory plan, Gorecki said.