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(a) The Director may immediately impound an empty shopping cart located on either (1) public property outside the premises or parking area of a retail establishment, or (2) private property where the property owner has requested that the shopping cart be removed. Upon removal pursuant to this section, the Director shall give the owner of the shopping cart or his or her agent notice within 24 hours following the impound. That notice shall inform the owner or his or her agent as to the location where the shopping cart may be claimed. For purposes of this section, the parking area of a retail establishment located in a multistore complex or shopping center shall include the entire parking area used by the complex or center.
(b) Any shopping cart impounded pursuant to paragraph (a) shall be held at a location that is both reasonably convenient to the owner of the shopping cart, and which is open at least six hours of each business day.
(c) The Director shall provide notice of each impounded shopping cart as follows: if the shopping cart contains information identifying a specific entity or person as the owner or contact, the Director shall give notice to that person. Otherwise, the Director shall give notice to the entity or person that the Director has reason to believe is the owner. Where an empty shopping cart contains indicia that it belongs to a particular company or retailer with more than one location in the City, but the cart contains no indication as to which location it belongs to, the Director shall make reasonable efforts to locate and notify the owner or agent. In the case of a retailer with multiple locations in the City, the Director may satisfy this requirement by providing notice to the retailer's headquarters office, if located in San Francisco, or to the retailer's area or regional office. Retailers may submit to the Director the name of one contact person or office to be the designated agent for notice by mail or telephone under this Article. Where an empty shopping cart lacks sufficient markings to enable the Director to determine the owner or owner's agent, the Director may treat the empty shopping cart as abandoned property.
(d) The Director can comply with the notice requirements imposed by this section by placing a telephone call during regular business hours to the owner or owner's representative designated pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section, or on the shopping cart. Where no such person is designated, the Director shall call the owner at a number listed in the San Francisco telephone book. In addition, the Director shall give mailed notice to the address designated by the owner pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section, or in the absence of such a designation, to the address indicated on the shopping cart, or in the absence of such an address, to the address listed for the owner in the San Francisco telephone book.
(e) Any impounded shopping cart that is reclaimed by the owner or his or her agent within two business days of the notice provided pursuant to paragraph (a) shall be released to the owner or agent at no cost, including waiver of any impound or storage fees.
(f) Any impounded shopping cart that is not reclaimed by the owner or his or her agent within two business days following the date of notice pursuant to paragraph (a) shall be subject to payment of the actual costs incurred by the City in impounding and storing the shopping cart. The City shall have a lien on the shopping cart, and shall not release the shopping cart until such costs are paid in full by the retailer or the person(s) collecting the carts at the time of collection from the Department of Public Works.
(g) Any impounded shopping cart that is not reclaimed by the owner or his or her agent within 30 days following the receipt of notice pursuant to paragraph (a) may be sold or otherwise disposed of by the Director.
(Added by Ord. 32-02, File No. 012234, App. 3/22/2002)