§ 2-103.17. Newsracks in the public right of way  


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  • (a) Definitions. For purposes of this section:

    (1) Department shall mean the Department of Public Works.

    (2) Director shall mean the Director or designee of the Department of Public Works.

    (3) Modular newsrack means a newsrack, as defined herein below, that is designed with multiple separate enclosed compartments and/or to accommodate at any one time the display, sale and distribution of multiple distinct and separate newspapers or other publications and is subject to all of the provisions of this section as a newsrack.

    (4) Newsrack shall mean any type of unmanned device for the vending or free distribution of newspapers, news periodicals or advertising publications.

    (5) Public right-of-way shall mean rights-of-way in the unincorporated area of Miami-Dade County.

    (6) Publisher shall mean the person, individual, partnership, corporation, association, firm, company, organization or any other legal entity owning or responsible for placing or maintaining a newsrack in a public right-of-way.

    (b) Purpose and criteria for the placement of newsracks in the public right-of-way.

    The purpose of the following is to promote the public health, safety and welfare through the regulation of placement, type, appearance, servicing, and ensuring that newsracks in the public right-of-way comply with the following criteria:

    (1) Provide for safety and convenience of pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers.

    (2) Avoid unreasonable interference with the flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic, including ingress into or egress from a residence or place of business or from the street to the sidewalk by persons exiting or entering parked or standing vehicles.

    (3) Provide reasonable access for the use and maintenance of poles, posts, traffic signs or signals, hydrants, and mailboxes and access to locations used for public transportation purposes.

    (4) Provide for consistency with the aesthetics of the surrounding area by: eliminating, relocating, or replacing newsracks which result in a visual blight; avoiding excessive concentration of newsracks on the public rights-of-way; and eliminating newsracks which unreasonably detract from the aesthetics of adjacent store window display, landscaping or other improvements.

    (5) Facilitate the removal of abandoned newsracks.

    (6) Maintain and protect the values of surrounding properties.

    (7) Eliminate and avoid unnecessary injury to persons or property damage.

    (8) Maintain and preserve freedom of the press and treat all newspapers equally regardless of their size, content, circulation, or frequency of publication.

    (c) Permit required; expiration of existing permits and procedures to preserve locations.

    (1) Unless otherwise authorized by law, no Publisher shall place, install, or maintain any newsracks in the public right-of-way without first having obtained a permit from the Department in accordance with the provisions of this section.

    (2) The permit year shall run from January 1 to December 31 of each year. All permit applications received by the Director shall be awarded on a first come, first serve basis in accordance with the provisions of this section.

    (3) Failure to timely secure a permit in advance of placing a newsrack in the public right-of-way in accordance with the provisions of this section may result in the removal of the non-permitted newsrack by the County. Prior to removal, the County shall send notice to the Publisher if known, that the County shall remove the newsrack within seven days unless the Publisher removes it or files for a permit. It is provided, however, the Director need not provide notice where the newsrack in the opinion of the Director constitutes a hazard to automobiles, bicyclists or pedestrians.

    (d) Application and issuance of permits.

    (1) Applicants for permits to place newsracks in the public right-of-way shall file with the Director a written application for a location and installation permit. The application shall contain the following information:

    (a) The name, address, and telephone number of the Publisher responsible for the newsrack.

    (b) The name, address, and telephone number of a responsible person whom the County may contact concerning the newsrack.

    (c) A dimensional drawing identifying the number of newsracks, the dimensions of each newsrack, the proposed location of each newsrack, the existing physical features surrounding the proposed location including existing sidewalks, paths, posts, poles, walls, and other relevant features as well as each newsrack's setbacks.

    (d) Names of newspapers or periodicals to be contained in each newsrack.

    (e) The type or brand of newsracks, including an illustration and description of the newsrack and mount.

    (2) Procedure.

    (a) The Department shall have ten working days from the receipt of a complete application to determine whether the proposed newsrack complies with the provisions of this section and to approve or deny the permit accordingly.

    (3) Issuance of permit.

    (a) Upon a determination that the application complies with the provisions of this section and upon payment of applicable fees, the Director shall issue a permit for the installation of the newsrack in the right-of-way.

    (b) The Department shall charge and collect permit fees at a rate to be established by separate administrative order, which shall not become effective until approved by the Board of County Commissioners. All fees collected pursuant to this section shall be used solely to defray administrative expenses incurred pursuant to this section. Any applicant who, after paying a permit fee, chooses not to place the newsrack for which the permit was obtained in the public right-of-way shall be entitled to a refund. In that event, the permit shall be canceled.

    (c) If a permit is denied, the Department shall advise the applicant of the specific cause of denial.

    (d) Publishers with newsracks installed with or without a permit in the public right-of-way prior to the effective date of this ordinance shall have 12 months from the effective date of this ordinance to comply with the terms of this section provided that; an application for permit is filed with the Department within six months of the effective date of this ordinance.

    (e) For each newsrack, the initial permit sticker issued pursuant to this section shall be applied by the Department and shall be visible when affixed to the upper right corner of the door of the newsrack. For each subsequent renewal of a permit, the Publisher shall be responsible for affixing the permit sticker in the same location as the initial one.

    (f) Upon payment of all applicable fees, the Director shall issue an annual renewal permit within ten days after receipt of payment, provided that the newsrack otherwise complies with the provisions of this section.

    (g) The Director shall have the authority to order the removal of any newsrack from the public right-of-way that does not comply with this section or is otherwise in violation of the law.

    (4) Appeals.

    (a) Any Publisher who has been denied a permit pursuant to the provisions of the Section may appeal such denial to the Board of County Commissioners by filing a written request with the clerk of the board. The clerk of the board shall place the item on the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board provided that the appeal has been filed no less than four business days prior to such meeting; otherwise, the appeal shall be heard at the next regularly scheduled board meeting thereafter. The decision of the Board shall be subject to judicial review pursuant to the laws of the state.

    (e) Newsrack placement: permitted locations and specific prohibitions.

    (1) Placement of newsracks shall be permitted at the following locations:

    (a) On sidewalks: Newsracks shall be situated parallel to the edge of the sidewalk. A minimum sidewalk space of three feet shall remain clear in front of the newsracks.

    (b) In a grass, dirt, gravel, or other unpaved area: Newsracks placed in unpaved areas shall be secured to concrete foundations, as required in this section. Newsracks shall not be chained or otherwise tied to any poles, trees, or other structures under any circumstances.

    (2) No newsrack shall be placed, installed, used, or maintained at the following locations:

    (a) Within five feet of any curbed roadway or within 15 feet of any uncurbed roadway unless placement outside of such area interferes with safe and convenient use of the public right-of-way.

    (b) Within five feet of any marked crosswalk.

    (c) On or within two feet of any bicycle or non-motorized multiple-use path.

    (d) Within ten feet of any fire hydrant, fire call box, police call box, or other emergency facility.

    (e) Within five feet in front of, or fifteen feet to the rear of, any sign marking a designated bus stop, as measured along the edge of pavement.

    (f) Within two feet of any bus bench or plaza bench.

    (g) Within ten feet of any advertisement panel located on a transit shelter.

    (h) At any location that would reduce the clear accessible space for passageway of pedestrian to less than three feet, exclusive or curbs.

    (i) Where a protruding portion of a newsrack is within 12 inches of any area improved with landscaping, lawn, or hedges, or within a three-foot radius of flowers or trees.

    (j) Within six inches of any building wall located on the property line.

    (k) Within three feet of any display window of any building abutting the sidewalk or parkway or in such a manner as to impede or interfere with the reasonable use of such window display.

    (l) Within five feet of a building entrance.

    (m) Within a three foot radius of a mailbox, sign, parking meter, streetlight, or utility pole.

    (n) Within visibility triangles at street intersections as determined by the Public Works Department pursuant to the Florida Department of Transportation's 2006 Design Standards as amended from time to time. It is provided however, that where a building already protrudes into the sight triangle, newsracks may be placed flush with the building and set back from the building line sufficiently to avoid further intrusion into the line of sight.

    (o) Within ten-foot pedestrian visibility triangles at the intersection of driveways with streets or at the intersection of driveways with driveways. Pedestrian visibility triangle legs are to be measured from the intersecting edges of a street or a driveway.

    (p) Within four feet of a pedestrian ramp.

    (3) No more than ten non-modular newsracks shall be placed at any intersection, with no more than five non-modular newsracks at any one corner.

    (4) No more than five non-modular newsracks shall be placed side by side at any one location, and there shall be a minimum distance of 300 feet from another location of newsracks along the same sidewalk.

    (5) When modular newsracks are provided:

    (a) No more than one modular newsrack shall be placed at any one location.

    (b) No more than one modular newsrack and two side-by-side standard newsracks shall be permitted at any one location.

    (f) Newsrack construction, design and maintenance.

    (1) All newsracks shall be constructed of galvanized steel with corrosive resistant hardware and door assembly. Manufacturer modifications may be made to the door, window, and cabinetry to accommodate tabloid or broadsheet newspaper display and distribution.

    (2) The shape of a newsrack shall be a rectangular hexahedron with a height of 36 inches, excluding coin box, width of not more than 20 inches and a depth of not more than 17 inches. Pedestal newsracks shall not be permitted. Coin box attachments shall not exceed 14 inches in height, 20 inches in width and 20 inches in depth.

    (3) The shape of a modular newsrack shall be a rectangular hexahedron with a height of 50 inches, width of not more than 60 inches and a depth of not more than 17 inches. Pedestal modular newsracks shall not be permitted.

    (4) The color of the entire newsrack, including coin box and mounting hardware, shall be painted dark green with a powder finish consistent with a paint sample provided by the Director.

    (5) No newsrack shall provide for card holders or display advertising. It is provided, however, that a cling-on sticker or equivalent may be placed within a four-inch square area of the inside lower left hand corner of the clear plastic viewing panel of the newsrack's access door to promote particular features or offerings inside the current publication. The sticker shall be applied only during the period of time that is relevant to the current publication, and it shall be the Publisher's responsibility to remove the sticker when it is no longer applicable.

    (6) A newsrack may display the name, with lettering of any color, of the newspaper being dispensed, in the location and size set forth below:

    (a) On the front of the newsrack, the lettering size shall not exceed 1 ¾ inches in height. The lettering shall be placed within a clear or colored-band space not exceeding two and one-half inches in height above the door hinge.

    (b) On the sides and back of standard newsracks, the lettering size shall not exceed 2 ½ inches in height. The lettering shall be placed within a clear or colored-band space not exceeding four inches in height and beginning one inch from the top of the newsrack.

    (7) Newsracks for free newspapers may omit the coin box and may have the pull bar welded to the door.

    (8) Newsracks shall be maintained in good working order at all times, including but not limited to the following: no faded or dull paint; no broken hood; and no graffiti, stickers, tape, advertising, posters or other materials unless specifically permitted in this section.

    (9) Notwithstanding the limitations on advertising set forth in this section, a modular newsrack may include advertising, provided that the advertising consists only of a single panel within the confines of the modular newsrack that does not exceed 14 square feet in area.

    (g) Abandonment of newsrack.

    (1) A newsrack shall be deemed abandoned when it does not contain the publication specified within 48 hours after release of the current issue or when the newsrack is empty for more than seven consecutive days.

    (2) When a newsrack has been abandoned on public property, the Director shall attempt to notify the Publisher by certified mail and by telephone to afford the Publisher the opportunity to remove the newsrack, resume distribution, or show reasonable cause why the newsrack should not be removed.

    (3) The Director may remove and store the newsrack when the Publisher is unknown or where the Publisher has failed to resume distribution, remove the newsrack, or show reasonable cause therefor within seven days from the date that the return receipt indicates that the letter has been received, gone unclaimed, or been refused. If a newsrack that is removed and stored is not claimed within 60 days of storage, the Director may dispose of it. The cost of storage and disposal of a newsrack shall be established by separate administrative order, which shall not become effective until approved by the Board of County Commissioners.

    (4) If a Publisher desires to voluntarily abandon a newsrack location, the Publisher shall notify the Director, completely remove the newsrack and mount, and restore the public right-of-way to a safe condition, leaving no holes or projections in the mounting surface or concrete base.

    (h) Newsrack mounting. A newsrack shall be mounted on a concrete surface and shall be affixed to this surface in a manner as provided in the Miami-Dade Department of Public Works' Manual of Public Works.

    (i) Violations: Notwithstanding any provision in the code to the contrary, any Publisher that places or maintains a newsrack in the public right-of-way in violation of this section shall have five calendar days from service of the civil violation notice pursuant to Miami-Dade County Code Section 8CC-3(e) to correct the violation, or five calendar days from service to file for an appeal. It is provided however, where a permitted newsrack has been damaged as a result of vandalism or by accident, the Publisher shall have a five-day grace period to correct such damage prior to service of the civil violation notice. In all other respects, any appeal of a civil violation notice shall follow the procedures set forth in Chapter 8CC.

(Ord. No. 06-178, § 2, 12-5-06)