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(A) Legislative findings and intent.
(1) The town has experienced an increase in the number of collection boxes, some of which have been placed in required parking spaces, required setbacks and landscaped areas, and residential zoning districts, often without the property owner's permission. The proliferation of these containers contributes to visual clutter and blight. Collection containers have contributed to blight due to graffiti and poor maintenance, and the accumulation of debris and excess items outside of the collection containers.
(2) The Town Council intends, by the enactment of this section, to promote the health, safety, and/or welfare of the public and protect the rights of property owners by imposing restrictions and conditions on all collection boxes in the town so that they are, and remain, clean, safe, do not create hazards to pedestrians and to vehicular traffic and do not contribute to visual clutter and blight.
(B) Definitions. As used in this section:
BUILDING OFFICIAL. The Building Official of the Town of Middletown or his/her designee.
COLLECTION BOX. Any metal container, receptacle, or similar device that is located on any real property within the town and that is used for soliciting and collecting clothing, household items, or other salvageable personal property. This term does not include recycle bins provided by the town or licensed waste haulers for the collection of recyclable materials as defined in § 50.01 of the Middletown Code, any rubbish or garbage receptacle or any collection box located within an enclosed building.
DEPARTMENT. The Building Department of the Town of Middletown.
OPERATOR. A person who owns, operates or otherwise is in control of collection boxes to solicit collections of salvageable personal property.
PERMIT. A permit to place, operate and maintain a collection box within the town issued pursuant to this chapter.
PERMITTEE. A person over 18 years of age or an entity who is issued a permit authorizing placement of collection box(es) on real property.
TOWN. The Town of Middletown.
(C) Collection box permit. No later than 60 days from the effective date of this section, no person shall place, operate, maintain or allow any collection box on any real property within the town without first obtaining an annual permit issued by the Department. Placement, operation, maintenance or use of a collection box without a valid permit, or in a manner not consistent with the requirements for such permit, shall be a violation of this Code, shall constitute a public nuisance, and shall be subject to the penalties and remedies provided for in this Code.
(D) Application for a permit.
(1) Any person desiring to secure a permit shall file an application with the Department. A permit shall be obtained for each collection box proposed to be located within the town.
(2) The application for a permit shall be upon a form provided by the Department and be signed by an individual who is an officer, member or manager of an entity applicant. The applicant shall submit the following:
(a) The name, address, email and telephone number of a contact person for all matters relating to the collection box.
(b) The physical address of the real property where the collection box is proposed to be located.
(c) A scaled drawing sufficient to illustrate the proposed location of the collection box on the real property, the dimensions of the proposed collection box and that the location complies with the requirements of this chapter.
(d) If not the owner of the real property, an affidavit from the property owner or property manager providing written permission to place the collection box on the property, as well as an acknowledgment from the property owner or property manager of receipt of a copy of this section shall be provided on a form provided by the Building Department. For purposes of this division, the affidavit and acknowledgment may be executed by an individual who is an officer, member or manager of an entity owning the property.
(e) A non-refundable application fee in the amount of $100.
(f) Proof of general liability insurance no less than $1,000,000 per occurrence.
(3) Within 20 days of receiving an application for a permit, the Building Official shall notify the applicant whether the permit is granted or denied. The Building Official shall grant a permit if the application is complete and contains no false information, the fee has been paid and the collection box and its proposed location as described in the application meets the requirements of this section and §§ 603 and 703. If the Building Official denies an application, the Building Official shall state in writing the specific reasons for denial.
(4) No person to whom a permit has been issued shall transfer, assign or convey such permit to another person or legal entity.
(E) Requirements for a permit.
(1) A permittee shall operate and maintain, or cause to be operated and maintained, all collection boxes located in the town for which the permittee has been granted a permit as follows:
(a) Collection boxes shall be metal and be maintained in good condition and appearance with no structural damage, holes, peeling paint, or visible rust and shall be kept free of graffiti.
(b) Collection boxes shall be locked or otherwise secured in such a manner that the contents cannot be accessed by anyone other than those responsible for the retrieval of the contents.
(c) Collection boxes shall be equipped with a safety chute to limit the public's access to the box.
(d) Collection boxes shall have the name, address, email address, website and phone number of the operator in minimum ½-inch type viewable on the front of the collection box and a valid annual permit sticker issued by the town shall be displayed adjacent to such information.
(e) Collection boxes shall be serviced and emptied as needed, but no less frequently than once per week.
(f) The permittee and property owner shall maintain, or cause to be maintained, the area surrounding the collection boxes, free from any junk, debris or other material. The property owner shall be responsible to the extent provided by law for the town's cost to abate any nuisance, in accordance with Chapter 92 of the Middletown Code.
(g) Collection boxes shall:
1. Be permitted in only the GB, GBA, LB, LBA, LI, LIA, OB and OBA zoning districts;
2. Not be permitted on any unimproved parcel, nor where the principal use of the land has been closed or unoccupied for more than 30 days;
3. Not be less than 1,000 feet from another collection box as measured along a straight line from one box to the other. Notwithstanding this separation requirement, no more than two collection boxes may be located within the same shopping center from the same collection box owner or operator;
4. Not exceed 7.0 feet in height, 6.0 feet in width and 6.0 feet in depth;
5. Not cause a visual obstruction to vehicular or pedestrian traffic;
7. Not cause safety hazards regarding any designated fire lane or building exit;
a. Interfere with an access drive, off-street parking lot maneuvering lane and/or required off-street parking space to an extent which would cause safety hazards and/or unnecessary inconvenience to vehicular or pedestrian traffic;
b. Encroach upon an access drive, off-street parking lot maneuvering lane and/or required off-street parking space; and
9. Be placed on a level, hard (asphalt or concrete pavers) paved, dust-free surface.
(F) Term of permit and renewal of permit.
(1) The permit year shall begin on July 1 in each year and shall terminate on June 30 of the following calendar year.
(2) A collection box permit shall be renewed annually. The application for renewal must be filed not later than 30 days before the permit expires, otherwise a new permit application must be submitted. The application for renewal shall be upon a form provided by the Building Official.
(3) The Building Official shall either approve or deny the renewal of a permit within 20 days of receipt of the complete renewal application and payment of the renewal fee. The Building Official shall grant a permit if the application is complete and contains no false information, the fee has been paid and the collection box and its proposed location as described in the application meets the requirements of this section and the applicable setback requirements of §§ 603 and 703; provided, however, that the Building Official may also deny an application for renewal if the applicant is in violation of the requirements of this section. If the Building Official denies an application, the Building Official shall state in writing the specific reasons for denial.
(4) A permit renewal fee of $100 shall be submitted with the application for renewal.
(5) Prior to expiration of the permit, the permittee may voluntarily cancel the permit by notifying the Building Official in writing of the intent to cancel the permit. The permit shall become void upon the Building Official's receipt of a written notice of intent to cancel the permit.
(6) The Building Official shall approve the renewal of a ermit if the Building Official finds that no circumstances existed during the term of the permit which would cause a violation of this chapter to exist, and that at the time of submission of the application for renewal, or at any time during the renewal of the application for renewal, there were not circumstances inconsistent with any finding required for approval of a new permit. Any permittee whose permit has been revoked shall be denied renewal of the permit for the subsequent calendar year.
(7) If the permit expires and is not renewed, the collection box must be removed from the real property within a maximum of ten days after expiration of the permit.
(G) Revocation of permit, removal of collection boxes and liability.
(1) The Building Official shall have the right to revoke any permit issued hereunder for a violation of this of the provisions of this section. Any of the grounds upon which the Building Official may refuse to issue an initial permit shall also constitute grounds for such revocation. In addition, the failure of the permittee to comply with the provisions of this section or other provisions of this Code or other law shall also constitute grounds for revocation of the permit. The Building Official shall provide a written notification to the permittee and property owner stating the specific grounds for a revocation and a demand for correction and abatement. The notice shall allow a maximum of ten days from mailing of the notice to correct or abate the violation. Upon failure to make the correction or abatement, the permit shall be revoked by the Building Official and, thereafter, the permittee shall not be eligible for a permit on the property for the subsequent calendar year.
(2) Upon revocation, or if appealed, at the conclusion of the appeal, the collection box shall be removed from the real property within ten days and, if not so removed within the time period, the town may remove, store or dispose of the collection box at the expense of the permittee and/or real property owner. All costs associated with the removal of the collection box incurred by the town, or the town's contractor, shall be the responsibility of the property owner.
(H) Appeals. Any person aggrieved by the decision rendered by the Building Official in granting or denying any application for a permit under this section or in revoking a permit issued hereunder, may appeal the decision to the Zoning Board of Review pursuant to § 317.
(I) Penalty and remedies.
(1) In addition to revocation of permit, violations of this section shall be enforceable through issuance of citations by either the Police Department or the Zoning Officer. Violations shall be dealt with at the next municipal court session following the violation. Any person violating the provisions of this section may be subject to the issuance of administrative citations, fines or nuisance abatement, as described in this Code.
(2) Any violation of the provisions of this section shall be subject to a fine of up to $500 per day for each day the violation continues.
(3) Nothing in this section shall prevent the Town from pursuing any other remedy provided by law in conjunction with or in lieu of prosecuting persons under this section for violation of this section.
(4) The real property owner and permittee shall be jointly and severally liable for each violation and for payment of any fine and costs of abatement.
(5) No fines shall be imposed for a violation of this section until 90 days after its effective date. All collection boxes existing at the effective date of the section shall apply for a permit as required herein within 30 days of the effective date and shall conform to all requirements of this chapter within 90 days of the effective date. Any collection boxes not applying for permits within 30 days shall be subject to all remedies for violation as provided herein.
(Ord. 2017-10, passed 6-19-17)