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|January 4, 2018 City Council Regular Meeting|
Motion to Adopt Abandoned Shopping Cart Ordinance
In 2013, in response to an increasing number of complaints regarding abandoned shopping carts throughout the City, the Property Maintenance and Sanitation departments conducted a five-month citywide cart scan to determine the extent of the problem. Data showed that over 200 carts were left each month in the City rights of way or on public and private property. Staff worked with merchants, who implemented voluntary measures to address problem areas. However, four years later this problem continues, necessitating a more formal program.
Abandoned shopping carts cause nuisance conditions throughout the City, impacting property values, promoting blight and deterioration, and interfering with pedestrian and vehicular traffic. Abandoned carts also require expenditure of City resources to retrieve carts from neighborhoods, canals, ditches and other rights of way.
Staff researched national best practices that address abandoned shopping carts, removal of shopping carts from premises, and enforcement of abandoned carts. It is recommended that the City of Savannah adopt an ordinance that requires retail establishments to develop a cart prevention and retrieval plan. All establishments with more than 10 carts must develop a plan that includes:
Failure for any business to comply with the requirements of this ordinance would result in a fine not to exceed $500. The City would also implement a $375 cart retrieval fee charged to the business should the City be required to retrieve an abandoned cart and return it to the business.
State Statute (O.C.G.A. § 16-8-21) also makes removal of shopping carts from private property and abandonment of shopping carts a misdemeanor.
Stakeholder meetings to discuss the draft ordinance were held October 24 and 30, 2017.
Margaret Williams, Customer Service Administrator
Non-compliance fee $500 City cart retrieval $375
Abandoned Shopping Cart Ordinance rev1.pdf