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ORANGE | Community News Focus

Council Will Redraw Shopping Cart Law

September 26, 1996|LESLEY WRIGHT

Just months after city officials came up with a plan to corral renegade shopping carts, the state Legislature passed a law overriding city ordinances on the issue.

But officials here said they would not give up on a problem the mayor has labeled as "second only to graffiti" in terms of blight in the city.

City Council members on Tuesday agreed to draft a new ordinance incorporating changes in the law that could be approved at their Oct. 22 meeting.

The city in February passed a local law that allows police to immediately seize any shopping cart found on public property. Owners of carts on private property are given a 48-hour notice to move them before police impound them. The stores then must pick them up and pay a fine. Under the new state law, which takes effect Jan. 1, grocers need to be given three business days to remove their errant carts before the city can seize them.

But some of the changes mandated by the state could prove to be a bonus to the city, according to a report drafted by David De Berry, assistant city attorney.

In some cases, the city will be allowed to fine cart owners up to $50 for not retrieving them. And police may destroy the cart after only 30 days. Police still will be able to cite people seen taking carts off store property, De Berry said.

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