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§ 9-211. Boxes for the Distribution of News and Printed Material. 500
(1) Program Area. 501 The provisions of this Section shall only apply to the public sidewalks: (a) within the area bounded by and including the south side of Bainbridge street, the east side of Columbus boulevard, the north side of Vine street and the west side of the Schuylkill River; (b) on the entire length of the Benjamin Franklin parkway; (c) on the 1700 block of Cottman avenue; (d) on Frankford avenue from the 5900 block to the 7600 block, inclusive; (e) on Torresdale avenue from the 5000 block to the 7600 block, inclusive; (f) within the Manayunk Area, defined as the area bounded by and including the Schuylkill River, the Wissahickon Creek between the Schuylkill River and the SEPTA Norristown Railroad line, the SEPTA Norristown Railroad line between the Wissahickon Creek and Cresson street, Cresson street, Baker street and Leverington avenue extended to the Schuylkill River; and (g) within the Northern Liberties Area, defined as the area bounded by and including the south side of Spring Garden street, the west side of N. 6th street, the north side of Girard avenue and the east side of Front street.
(2) Definitions. In this Section, the following definitions apply:
(a) Publishers' Box. A machine or other enclosed box used for distributing newspapers or other printed material while offering or displaying the material for sale or free distribution and capable of operation by pedestrians without the assistance of an attendant.
(b) Infrequent Publishers' Box. A publishers' box displaying or offering for sale or distribution a publication or other printed material that is published or distributed less frequently than once every seven days.
(c) Publishers' Box Corral. Any device which has been sanctioned by the Department of Licenses and Inspections and which is designed to group publishers' boxes in stable clusters.
(3) Specifications for Publishers' Boxes.
(a) Physical requirements. No person shall place, maintain or operate a publishers' box on the public sidewalk unless such publishers' box is in compliance with the following specifications for street-worthiness:
(.1) The publishers' box shall have a height of no less than 36 inches and no more than 52 inches; a width of no less than 15 inches and no more than 25 inches; and a depth of no less than 15 inches and no more than 21 inches.
(.2) The publishers' box shall be manufactured from 20-gauge zinc grip steel or thicker.
(.3) All hinge rods and springs on the box shall be made from steel.
(.4) Coin mechanisms, if any, shall be housed in the body of the publishers' box or in armored heads made from 12-gauge steel welded to the body of the publishers' box.
(.5) The publishers' box shall weigh no less than eighty (80) pounds, when empty of publications.
(.6) The publishers' box shall be manufactured from materials that permit easy removal or repair of rust, graffiti, glue and other signs of outdoor abuse, exposure or wear-and-tear, including refurbishing of faded or stained colors.
(.7) The door of the publishers' box shall be constructed with a window opening to display the front page of the current edition clearly, and the window opening shall be covered by plastic manufactured from no less than .060" polycarbonated clear plastic material.
(.8) Door handles shall be a loop-style handle with a minimum one-inch clearance, designed to allow pedestrians to slip their hands easily in and out of the handle.
(.9) Door springs shall meet the tension requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
(.10) The publishers' box shall have one-inch diameter holes in the back of the publishers' box to allow for cables to be inserted for the secure installation of the publishers' box.
(b) Maintenance requirements. No person shall place, maintain or operate a publishers' box on the public sidewalk unless such person:
(.1) Maintains such publishers' box in good working order at all times.
(.2) Repairs any malfunctioning, vandalized or otherwise damaged publishers' box within seven calendar days of the occurrence of any such damage.
(.3) Keeps such publishers' box clean and free of graffiti, broken parts, pasted bills and debris of any description, including ruined or out-dated publications, including any publication with a cover date more than thirteen (13) days past.
(.4) Keeps such publishers' box free of all advertising, except for information regarding the publication offered or displayed in such publishers' box.
(c) Secure and safe placement. 502 No person shall place, maintain or operate a publishers' box on the public sidewalk unless such box is in compliance with the following:
(.1) Each publishers' box must be sufficiently weighted to be secure in all expected weather conditions.
(.2) No publishers' box shall be attached to any utility pole, traffic or parking sign or device, trash receptacle, fire hydrant, directional sign, bicycle rack, or other utility pole, fixture or any piece of street furniture.
(.3) No publishers' box shall be placed or maintained within 3 feet of the edge of a driveway, marked pedestrian crosswalk or curb cut; or within 5 feet of a sign designating a regular bus stop.
(.4) No publishers' box shall be placed or maintained within 3 feet of a fire hydrant.
(.5) No publishers' box shall be placed or maintained in any space so as to reduce the width of the pedestrian passageway on the sidewalk to less than 4 feet.
(.6) No two publishers' boxes displaying or offering the same publication for sale or distribution may be placed at the same intersection unless such publishers' boxes are located on separate quadrants of the intersection. No publisher may display or offer more than three of the same publication for sale or distribution at any intersection.
(.7) If no corral exists at an intersection where a publishers' box will be placed, all publishers boxes at that location must be kept a minimum of eighteen (18) inches from, and parallel to, the edge of the curb, with the publishers box opening facing toward the sidewalk and away from the curb; provided, however, that the Department may permit, by regulation, a different distance from the curb or a different orientation, if consistent with public safety and pedestrian convenience.
(.8) No publishers' box shall be placed on the radius of the curve at the corner of any City block or other sidewalk/street intersection.
(.9) No publishers' box shall be located more than thirty (30) feet from any intersection.
(4) Rules Regarding South Street, Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Logan Square, Rittenhouse Square, Franklin Square, Independence Mall, Washington Square, Manayunk and 20th and Spruce Streets vicinities. 503
(a) South Street. Between Broad street and Front street, no publishers' box shall be placed on South street; and no publishers' box shall be placed on any street that intersects with South street if the box is 504 less than twelve (12) feet from such intersection.
(b) Benjamin Franklin Parkway. No publishers' box shall be placed on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway; and no publishers' box 505 shall be placed on any street that intersects with the Benjamin Franklin Parkway if the box is less than twelve (12) feet from such intersection.
(c) No publishers' box shall be placed on the sidewalks abutting Logan Square, Rittenhouse Square, Franklin Square or Washington Square.
(d) No publishers' box shall be permitted in the Manayunk Area except in the vicinity of the following intersections, if located no less than 17 feet and no more than 23 feet from the intersection: 506
(.1) Main and Levering streets;
(.2) Main and Cotton streets;
(.3) Main and Lock streets; and
(.4) Carson and Cresson streets, but not including the corner south of Cresson street and west of Carson street.
(e) The Department or any authority designated by the Department shall develop equitable criteria to allocate space in the vicinity of such intersections in the Manayunk Area, where necessary, giving first priority to boxes displaying publications that historically have been located within thirty (30) feet of such location. 507
(f) No publishers' box shall be placed on the sidewalks abutting the National Museum for Jewish American History, located at the southeast corner of 5th street and Market street. 508
(g) No publishers' boxes shall be placed on any sidewalk at the intersection of 20th and Spruce Streets. 509
(5) Permits and Fees. No person shall place, maintain or operate a publishers' box on the public sidewalk unless such person procures an annual permit from the Department for each publishers' box owned and affixes such permit to such publishers' box. The owner or operator of a publishers' box that is taken out of service may remove the proof-of-permit from such publishers' box and affix such proof-of-permit to a comparable, replacement publishers' box, until the expiration of such permit. The proof-of-permit shall be affixed to the top of the publishers' box, so that it may be viewed and read while standing in front of the publishers' box. The Department shall issue a proof-of-permit to any applicant who:
(a) Provides the Department, on forms approved by the Department, with the name, business address, telephone number and facsimile number of the person designated by the owner or operator as responsible for the maintenance of the publishers' box.
(b) Pays a non-refundable application fee of twenty dollars ($20), which fee shall be credited toward the annual fee if the permit is issued, and an annual fee of fifty-five dollars ($55) per publishers' box; provided, however, that the Department may establish a different fee, from time to time, to recover any costs of administering or enforcing this Section. 510
(6) Publishers' Box Corrals.
(a) Publishers' box corrals may be placed and maintained on the public sidewalks by any City agency or by any authority designated by the Department at locations acceptable to the Department. The Department shall approve any proposed location where, as determined by the Streets Department, substantial pedestrian traffic, sidewalk congestion or the presence of a significant number of publishers' boxes within close proximity of one another suggests the need for certain limits on the number and placement of publishers' boxes.
(b) Subject to the limitations set forth elsewhere in this Section, the Department or any authority designated by the Department shall develop equitable criteria to allocate space within a publishers' box corral, where necessary, giving first priority to boxes displaying publications that are then currently displayed within thirty (30) feet of such corral.
(c) Nothing in this subsection 9-211(6) shall be interpreted to require that the City or any authority designated by the Department erect, maintain, repair or replace such Corrals. The Department or its designee may negotiate with Publishers or third parties to pay for the costs of erecting, maintaining, repairing or replacing such Corrals.
(d) Subject to the criteria established pursuant to subsection (b) above, the Department shall allow any person to place or maintain a publishers' box within a publishers' box corral, so long as such person maintains such box in conformity with all requirements of this Section and so long as no other reason or condition exists which would prohibit the placement of a publishers' box at that location.
(e) No person shall place or maintain any advertising on any publishers' box corral.
(f) No person shall place or maintain a publishers' box within a publishers' box corral unless the publishers' box is unobtrusively attached by cables, chains or otherwise to the corral so as to ensure stability of the publishers' box.
(g) No person shall place or maintain a publishers' box within thirty (30) feet of a publishers' box corral. If a corral or corrals exist at an intersection, all publishers' boxes at that intersection must fit within the corral(s). If no space is available in the corral, another intersection must be located. 511
(7) Removal of Damaged, Unused or Obsolete Publishers' Boxes.
(a) The Department or its designee may remove or cause to be removed from the sidewalk any publishers' box that:
(.1) Has remained damaged, vandalized or otherwise abused for ten (10) or more consecutive days so as to render it inoperative or a hazard to public safety and health;
(.2) Has been unused by a vendor, in times other than during work stoppages, for a period of fourteen (14) or more consecutive days;
(.3) Is otherwise in violation of this Section.
(b) Except where the Department, the Department of Streets, or other City agency determines that immediate removal is necessary to remediate a clear and present danger to the public health or safety, prior to removal of any publishers' box by the Department or its designee, the Department or its designee shall first give seven (7) days notice, by facsimile followed by first class U.S. mail, directing the owner or operator to remove the box or otherwise remediate the violation. The notice shall include:
(.1) the location of the violation;
(.2) the date when the violation was first noted;
(.3) a clear description of the violation;
(.4) the means to cure the violation and the date by which such cure must be completed;
(.5) a statement that the violation and notice of intent to remove may be appealed to the Department Commissioner or his or her designee, who shall decide such appeal within five days of receipt; and
(.6) a statement that the publishers' box will be removed by the Department or its designee, with the costs of the removal to be charged to the owner or operator, if the stated violations are not corrected or an appeal is not taken within the required time period.
(c) Upon removal by the Department or its designee of any publishers' box pursuant to this subsection, the Department shall:
(.1) Send notice by first class U.S. mail to the owner or operator of the publishers' box, describing the violation, the date on which the removal took place, where and how the publishers' box may be retrieved by the owner or operator, and the fees due for removal and storage.
(.2) Allow the owner or operator to retrieve the box upon payment of a removal fee of fifty dollars ($50) plus a storage fee of twenty dollars ($20) per day. 512
(8) Agreement with Service District Agency.
(a) The Department is hereby authorized to enter into an agreement ("Agreement") with the CCD or other authority, on such terms as may be determined by the Department, including reimbursement to the authority of its direct costs and overhead costs incurred in connection with services under the Agreement, in form satisfactory to the Law Department, for the authority 513 to provide consulting, design coordination, construction management and administrative management services assisting the Department in carrying out activities required by, or appropriate under, this Section, including, without limitation: conduct of periodic surveying of the Program Area to determine compliance with this Section; notification of non-complying publishers; site inspection to determine if compliance has been achieved; removal and storage of non-complying Publishers' Boxes; renegotiating locations upon the entry of a new publisher into the marketplace; periodic maintenance, graffiti removal and painting of Publishers' Box Corrals.
(9) Conflict with Fairmount Park Commission Rules and Regulations.
(a) Except as otherwise specifically provided, nothing in this Section shall supersede any statutes, rules or regulations promulgated by the Fairmount Park Commission, Historic Commission, or any other regulatory or governmental agency. Nothing in this Section shall create any rights to place, maintain or operate publishers' boxes on any property owned or operated by the Fairmount Park Commission. The issuance of a permit or proof-of-permit by the Department shall not be construed as permission by the City to place, maintain or operate publishers' boxes at the requested location.
Added, Bill No. 990312 (approved June 24, 1999). See Section 1 of the Ordinance for City Council's findings and Section 3 of the Ordinance for severability provisions. Section 4 of the Ordinance provides that the Ordinance takes effect six months after it became law. Amended, Bill No. 050420 (became law July 8, 2005). Subsections (6)(e) through (6)(g) renumbered by Code editor.
Amended, Bill No. 990729 (approved December 31, 1999); amended, Bill No. 080493 (approved July 2, 2008), effective July 1, 2009; amended, Bill No. 090262 (approved June 24, 2009). Bill No. 090262 inadvertently omitted amendments contained in Bill No. 080493; therefore, the following language was added at the discretion of the Code editor: "(d) on Frankford avenue from the 5900 block to the 7600 block, inclusive; (e) on Torresdale avenue from the 5000 block to the 7600 block, inclusive". Amended, Bill No. 170962 (approved March 14, 2018).
Enrolled Bill No. 050420 read "if the box if less".
Enrolled Bill No. 050420 read "and no publishers' shall".
Added, Bill No. 090262 (approved June 24, 2009).
Added, Bill No. 090262 (approved June 24, 2009).
Added, Bill No. 090664 (approved November 4, 2009). Enrolled bill numbered this as subsection (d); renumbered by Code editor.
Added, Bill No. 150656 (approved December 23, 2015).
Enrolled bill read "for the the authority".