Monday, March 4, 2019

PUBLIC NOTICE: Meeting today, 10:00 a.m., at Lake Worth City Hall on nuisance shopping carts.

This public meeting will be held in the City Hall Chambers by the City’s Dept. of Community Sustainability to discuss a proposed amendment to Chapter 15 of the City Code of Ordinances.

The proposed amendment addresses and sets forth shopping cart requirements and to find a way for business owners to retain shopping carts on their premises.

On this topic here is an excerpt from The Palm Beach Post from September 2018 when a City resident is quoted,

[H]e often speaks to the managers of Bravo and Family Dollar after rounding up carts himself to return them where they belong.

“It’s a bit tiring. . . . And one would think at their cost, the management would notice they have gone missing.”

The public and owners of retail businesses that provide shopping carts for their customers are encouraged to attend this meeting tomorrow and participate.

A public meeting was called due to consistent complaints from the public when shopping carts are removed from retail premises and left abandoned on public or private property and constitute a nuisance, potential safety hazard and can also impede emergency services.

On the topic of abandoned shopping carts learn more about what happened in Port Orange, FL from journalist Lurvin Fernandez at the Port Orange Observer in a news segment headlined,

“Businesses will need to find ways to keep shopping carts on property and retrieve them when left elsewhere in the city”:

The ordinance will require business owners to create a plan to keep shopping carts on their property, such as creating a physical barrier, equipping shopping carts with a protruding arm to keep the cart inside the building, creating a system that would require a small deposit, such as a quarter, to use a cart, or using carts with a wheel-locking mechanism triggered by an electric barrier on the edge of the business property. Businesses will also have to post signs warning people that they cannot take shopping carts.

Business owners will also be responsible for creating a retrieval plan. Once approved by the city, the business will have to implement the plan within 30 days.

and. . .

Florida Statute already has an ordinance that penalizes people who take shopping carts off business property, Grimaldi [Police Chief Thomas Grimaldi] said. However, the Port Orange ordinance would also place responsibility on business owners to keep track of their shopping carts.

Councilman Scott Stiltner said the ordinance is not meant to inconvenience business owners. He said it can prevent people from taking shopping carts but also keep carts out of ponds, lakes and wood lines in the long run.

Abandoned shopping carts left in drainage areas can also be a flooding hazard as well, trapping debris and impeding the flow of stormwater during emergencies such as hurricanes and strong storms.

The quote below from “Know the flow! Flood protection is a shared responsibility” is information about ditches or canals from the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) on reducing the risk of flooding:

Fill material, yard waste, clippings and vegetation, sediment, trash, appliances, garbage bags, shopping carts, tires, cars, etc. should be completely removed.