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§ 9-212. Newsstands. 514
(1) Definitions. In this Section, the following definitions shall apply:
(a) Newsstand. A stationary structure used for the sale, display or offering for sale of newspapers, magazines and periodicals, other than a machine or other enclosed box capable of operation by pedestrians without the assistance of an attendant.
(b) Sidewalk. All that area legally open to the public use as a pedestrian public way between the curb line and the legal building line of the abutting property.
(c) Restricted Business District. 515 The area bounded by the Delaware River on the east, Washington Avenue on the south, the Schuylkill River on the west, Girard Avenue on the north; and the area bounded by the Schuylkill River on the east, University Avenue/Woodland Avenue on the south, Fortieth Street on the west, and Spring Garden Street on the north.
(2) License Required; Issuance and Renewal. 516
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to place, maintain or operate a newsstand on any sidewalk without first obtaining a license and license identification plate from the Department. The Department shall by regulation specify the type and design of license identification plates, and the location at which such license plates must be affixed to a newsstand.
(b) Application for a newsstand license shall be made on a form to be supplied by the Department. No license shall be issued by the Department unless: 517
(.1) The applicant submits to the Streets Department a sketch showing the proposed location of the newsstand. The sketch must include:
(.a) The locations of the curb, footway width, building line and all other facilities and appurtenances on, above or below the footway and within fifteen (15) feet from any direction of the proposed newsstand.
(.b) Accurate dimensions of the newsstand, including width, length, height and any shelf, rack of other appurtenance (whether retractable or not) that extends beyond the facade of the newsstand.
(.c) The depth of any appurtenance that anchors the newsstand to the footway surface.
(.2) The proposed location of the newsstand has been reviewed and approved by the Streets Department. The Streets Department shall grant approval unless the location of the newsstand would violate any provision of The Philadelphia Code, other applicable law, or the regulations promulgated to implement this Section, or unless the proposed location would interfere with traffic or pedestrian safety.
(.3) The application has been reviewed and approved by the Committee of Highway Supervisors to ensure there is no interference with any underground utility or other underground facility, if the depth of any appurtenance that anchors the newsstand to the footway surface is four (4) inches or more below the grade of the surface of the footway.
(.5) The applicant posts a bond in form and amount satisfactory to the City Solicitor to indemnify the City for the cost of removal or relocation of the newsstand and all incidental costs.
(.6) The applicant pays a three hundred dollar ($300) nonrefundable initial application fee and a separate annual license fee of three hundred dollars ($300). The application fee shall be credited against the first year's license fee. 518
(.7) The applicant complies with such other regulations as the Department and the Department of Streets may promulgate to implement this Section.
(3) Sales from Newsstands. 519 No person shall sell or offer for sale from any newsstand any goods or other items except newspapers, magazines and periodicals, and, incidental to such business and subject to any additional licensing or permitting requirements applicable to the sale of a given item, paperback books, tobacco products, wrapped candy, cell phone accessories, including a cell phone charging station, pre-paid phone cards, camera accessories, rain gear, postage stamps, single-serve coffee brewing cups, factory pre-wrapped snack food items for immediate consumption, non-alcoholic beverages, including water, soft drinks and juices, and State Lottery tickets as provided for by the "State Lottery Law", bill-paying service, tickets to museums and other local attractions, SEPTA key cards, tickets to intercity and intracity bus services, hand sanitizers, face masks, toiletries, and non-prescription analgesics, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
(4) Location of Newsstands.
(a) There shall be no more than one newsstand on any corner, no more than two newsstands at any intersection and no more than two newsstands on one side of a blockface. For purposes of this subsection a blockface shall mean the street segment(s) encompassing an odd or even hundred block address range as defined by the Department of Streets Geographic Information System centerline file.
(b) No newsstand shall be placed or maintained on the sidewalk except in compliance with the following location restrictions. Newsstands shall be placed and maintained:
(.1) Only at the curb line, except that, with the written consent of the owner of the property abutting the sidewalk, a newsstand may be located at the building line of the property.
(.2) So that every part of the newsstand, including any roof overhang permitted under subsection 9-212(5)(a), is at least eighteen (18) inches from the curb line.
(.3) Clear of the full width of the legal or paved sidewalk on the intersecting street.
(.4) So that the footway space on the sidewalk is at least six (6) feet; provided, however, that, for newsstands placed on the sidewalk on or after July 1, 2013, the footway space on any high volume pedestrian street is at least eight (8) feet and on any civic/ceremonial street at least ten (10) feet; provided, further, that the Department of Streets may increase the necessary footway space at any location to adjust for increased pedestrian flow. The Department of Streets shall designate streets as high volume pedestrian or civic/ceremonial, as appropriate. 520
(c) Newsstands shall not be located on a traffic island, street divider or in any manner that would interfere with a fire hydrant hose connection.
(d) There shall be no newsstand within thirty (30) feet of:
(.1) any property classified as residential; or
(.2) any church, chapel, convent, synagogue, mosque, monastery, rectory or other place of worship and adjunct residential dwellings.
(e) There shall be no newsstand in the following locations:
(.1) both sides of 18th Street, between Walnut Street and Rittenhouse Square; and
(.2) both sides of West Rittenhouse Square, between Walnut Street and Rittenhouse Square; and
(.3) both sides of Walnut Street, between 18th Street and West Rittenhouse Square; and
(.4) both sides of Rittenhouse Square between 18th Street and West Rittenhouse Square; and
(.9) any street designated by the Department of Streets as either Auto-Oriented Commercial/Industrial; Park Road; Scenic Drive; Low-density residential; Shared Narrow; or Local; and 525
(.10) the north side of Arch Street, between 18th Street and 19th Street. 526
(g) There shall be a maximum of ninety (90) licenses issued for locations in the Restricted Business District. The Streets Department shall establish an equitable system to choose among applicants, to the extent applications for more than the foregoing maximum number are filed. 527
(5) Design of Newsstands.
(a) A newsstand shall not exceed four (4) feet in width, ten (10) feet in length, or nine (9) feet in height, except the roof may overhang those permitted dimensions by not more than four (4) inches on the curb side, twenty- four (24) inches on the sidewalk side, and twelve (12) inches on the other two sides, provided that the roof overhang allows a minimum vertical clearance of eight (8) feet above the sidewalk.
(b) No newsstand shall be constructed of any material other than aluminum, steel, fiberglass or other durable, nonflammable material.
(c) No newsstand may be electrified, and no telephone lines may be added, without specific approval of City Council by ordinance.
(d) Security gates are permitted on newsstands, provided that:
(.1) They are within the structure of the newsstand.
(.2) They do not increase the sales area of the newsstand.
(.3) They do not interfere with the minimum pedestrian right-of-way required by subsection 9-212(4)(b)(.4).
(.4) They are clean, painted and graffiti-free.
(.5) The unit which houses the gate must be totally concealed within the newsstand, allow a height clearance of no less than eight (8) feet, and project no more than fifteen (15) inches from the facade of the newsstand on the sidewalk side.
(e) Racks, shelves and shields shall be permitted only as follows, provided that in no event shall a rack, shelf or shield interfere with the minimum pedestrian right-of-way required by subsection 9-212(4)(b)(.4), and provided that all racks, shelves and shields are removed when the newsstand is not in use:
(.1) Two shelves immediately adjacent to the window opening shall be permitted, provided that no shelf shall project beyond the permitted ten foot length of the newsstand, and no shelf shall project more than twelve (12) inches from the facade of the newsstand on the sidewalk side.
(.2) One rack shall be permitted on each side of the window opening for the display of newspapers, magazines and/or periodicals, provided that each rack is installed on the front of the stand and parallel to the front of the stand, and no rack is hung from the roof of the stand, and provided the rack does not exceed twenty-four (24) inches in width, projects no more than three (3) inches from the facade of the newsstand on the sidewalk side, and does not exceed five (5) feet in height.
(.3) A shield to protect customers and merchandise during inclement weather may be hung from the newsstand and may overhang the sides, provided it does not project more than twelve (12) inches from the facade of the newsstand on the sidewalk side.
(f) No appurtenance for any advertising permitted by subsection 9-212(6)(b) may extend more than four (4) inches from the facade of the newsstand, nor above the roofline of the newsstand, and no such appurtenance may interfere with the minimum pedestrian right-of-way required by subsection 9-212(4)(b)(.4). Permitted advertising shall be limited to the following: 528
(.1) Advertising may include a band on the four sides of the newsstand not to exceed six (6) inches in height, located at least six (6) feet four (4) inches above the sidewalk. The band on the sidewalk side may be illuminated and advertisement thereon may be provided in electronic or digital media; the band on the remaining three sides may not be illuminated.
(.2) One advertisement may appear on each side of the newsstand, as follows: 529
(.a) Advertising on the street side of the newsstand may be a maximum of eight (8) feet wide by seven (7) feet high, and may be illuminated.
(.b) Advertising on each narrow side of the newsstand may be a maximum of thirty-six (36) inches wide by sixty (60) inches high, and may be illuminated.
(.c) Advertising permitted by subsection (.a) or (.b), above, may be provided in electronic or digital media; provided that such electronic or digital media shall neither be flashing nor animated, and shall not operate between the hours of 12:00 midnight and 6:00 a.m., Monday through Friday, or between 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m., Saturday and Sunday. The Department of Streets is authorized to promulgate regulations, including maximum brightness rates, refresh rates and frequency of message changes, in order to minimize glare, preclude impairment of the vision of the driver of any vehicle, and preclude interference with the effectiveness of any traffic control device. 530
(.d) Advertising on the sidewalk side of the newsstand shall be limited to a video monitor no larger than forty-six (46) inches wide. 531
(.e) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections 9-212(5)(f)(.2)(.a) and (.b), advertising consisting of a removable vinyl wrap or similar material shall be permitted to cover each narrow side and street side of the newsstand entirely but shall be prohibited on the sidewalk side of the newsstand.
(.3) Security gates may include a graphic logo identifying the owner or sponsor of the newsstand. The proposed design must be submitted to the Art Commission for approval. The logo may not be illuminated.
(.4) The advertising permitted hereunder shall be allowed only on Newsstands that comply with subsections 9-212(5)(a) and (b) and that specifically conform to a newsstand design approved by the Art Commission.
(g) All newsstands shall be painted in consistent colors approved by the Art Commission. The Art Commission shall consult with any Special Services District whose jurisdiction includes a newsstand location before approving paint colors. All painted surfaces, including any security gates, shall be coated with a clear anti-graffiti coating system approved by the Department.
(h) A movable awning shall be permitted on the sidewalk side of a newsstand, provided that: 532
(.1) The awning does not project more than twelve (12) inches from the facade of the newsstand on the sidewalk side when fully extended, except at certain locations as approved by the Philadelphia Streets Department and certain times of day where reducing excessive glare on the operators is needed to maintain business, as follows: 533
(.a) The awning may project thirty-six (36) inches from the facade of the newsstand;
(.b) The awning shall not reduce the minimum clear width of any sidewalk to less than ten (10) feet when fully extended;
(.c) The lower edge of the awning, not including the valance, is not less than seven (7) feet above the sidewalk when fully extended;
(.d) The awning does not have side panels;
(.e) The awning may include a movable twelve (12) inch valance that may be unrolled between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. During all other times of the day the valance must be retracted;
(.f) The lower edge of the valance is not less than six (6) feet above the sidewalk when fully extended;
(.g) The valance be made of non-flammable material and bendable upon human contact.
(.2) The lower edge of the awning is not less than six (6) feet above the sidewalk when fully extended;
(.3) The awning, including brim reinforcement, is constructed of a non-rigid, nonflammable material and is bendable upon human impact; 534
(.4) The awning is fully retracted during non-working hours; and
(.5) The awning does not have side panels.
(i) On sidewalks where the newsstand, including all appurtenances and shelves, leaves less than ten (10) feet of clear footway, a newsstand that sells State Lottery tickets shall have a side window from which all such sales shall be conducted. 535
(6) Maintenance of Newsstands.
(a) All newsstands, including any security gate or other approved attachments, shall be painted and maintained so as to prevent rust, rot, graffiti and other deleterious conditions. All such deleterious conditions shall be removed or remedied within twenty-four hours of their appearance. 536
(b) Commercial advertising is permitted on newsstands, subject to the general restrictions on the size, placement and mode of advertising set forth in subsection (5), except that the advertisement of tobacco products, alcoholic beverages and adult cabarets, as that term is defined in Code subsection 14-601(7)(a)(.1) is not permitted. 537
(c) The holder of a license for a newsstand location shall not allow the area surrounding the newsstand to be littered as a result of the newsstand's operation.
(d) The footway surrounding a newsstand shall be maintained free of any ice that could form as a result of drainage from the newsstand.
(7) Abandonment. 538
(a) A newsstand shall be considered to be abandoned, shall be removed by the licensee, and is subject to removal by the Department if:
(.1) It is not in use for the sale of newspapers or magazines for a period of twenty (20) consecutive days; or
(.2) It is in use for the sale of newspapers or magazines for fewer than twenty (20) weekdays in any six (6) month period; or
(.3) The license holder does not comply forthwith with an order of the Department to remedy a violation of this Section; or
(.4) The licensee fails to pay all required City of Philadelphia business taxes; or
(.5) The license for the newsstand has been revoked.
(b) Upon a finding of abandonment, after proper notice to the license holder, the Department shall revoke the license. A finding of abandonment or a license revocation may be appealed to the Board of License and Inspection Review within thirty (30) days of the finding or revocation.
(a) Except where the Department or the Department of Streets determines that immediate removal is necessary to remediate a clear and present danger to the public health or safety, prior to removal of any newsstand pursuant to subsection 9-212(7), the Department shall first give ten (10) days notice by first class mail to the licensee at the address on file with the Department. Such notice shall direct the licensee to remove the newsstand or otherwise remediate the violation, and shall include:
(.1) The address where the violation has been found.
(.2) The date when the violation was first noted.
(.3) A description of the violation.
(.4) The means to cure the violation and the date by which the cure must be completed.
(.5) A statement that the violation and notice of intent to remove may be appealed to the Commissioner or his or her designee.
(.6) A statement that the newsstand will be removed by the Department or its designee at the owner's cost, if the cure is not made or an appeal is not noticed within the required time period.
(b) Upon removal by the Department or its designee, the Department shall:
(.1) Send notice by first class U.S. mail to the licensee describing the violation, the date on which the removal took place, where and how the newsstand may be retrieved and the fees due for removal and storage.
(.2) Allow the licensee to retrieve the newsstand within thirty (30) days after notice was sent, upon the payment of a three hundred dollar ($300) removal fee plus a fifteen dollar ($15) per day storage fee, up to a maximum removal and storage fee amount of seven hundred fifty dollars ($750).
(c) A newsstand that has been removed by the Department shall not be reinstalled except upon re- application and issuance of a new license. 539
(9) Penalties and Enforcement. The provisions of subsections 9-205(9)(a) and (9)(c), relating to penalties and enforcement with respect to sidewalk vendors, shall apply to any violations of this Section, except that the penalty for a violation of subsection 9-212(5)(f)(.4) shall be a fine not exceeding two hundred dollars ($200). 540
(10) Construction. No part of this Section or the Section itself shall be construed to be in amplification or derogation of the rights or responsibilities of abutting property owners. Any remedy, right or obligation provided to such owners of property or their successors in interest under the Law of Real Property or the Laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania shall be in addition to the remedies, rights, obligations or penalties provided hereunder.
Added, Bill No. 000166 (approved June 16, 2000).
Former subsection (c) deleted, Bill No. 090777-A (approved February 17, 2010).
Amended, Bill No. 090777-A (approved February 17, 2010).
Added, Bill No. 040112 (approved May 6, 2004).
Added, Bill No. 060634 (approved November 16, 2006).
Added, Bill No. 060632 (approved November 16, 2006).
Added, Bill No. 080574 (approved November 19, 2008).
Added, Bill No. 180728 (approved October 31, 2018).
Amended, Bill No. 120754 (approved January 23, 2013), effective February 22, 2013.
Amended, Bill No. 190899 (approved December 30, 2019).
Added, Bill No. 120754 (approved January 23, 2013), effective February 22, 2013.
Amended, Bill No. 190899 (approved December 30, 2019).
Amended, Bill No. 090015-AA (approved August 17, 2009).
Amended, Bill No. 090015-AA (approved August 17, 2009).