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(A) Intent and definitions.
(1) This section is intended to be a regulatory enactment in the public's health, safety and welfare for the protection of all citizens who use collection boxes. The intent of this collection boxes section is to impose restrictions and conditions on all collection boxes in the city so that they are - and remain - clean and safe and do not create hazards to pedestrians and to vehicular traffic.
COLLECTION BOX. Any metal container, receptacle, or similar object that is located on any parcel or lot of record within the city and that is used for soliciting and/or collecting the receipt of clothing, household items or other personal property. This term applies to all such containers regardless of whether the solicitation of property is made by a for-profit or non-profit entity. This term does not include recycle bins for the collection of recyclable material, any rubbish or garbage receptacle or any collection box located within an enclosed building.
DIRECTOR. The Director of Community Development.
OPERATOR. A person who owns, operates or otherwise is in control of collection boxes to solicit collections of salvageable personal property.
PERMITTEE. A person over 18 years of age or an entity or that is issued a permit authorizing placement of collection box(es) on real property.
PROPERTY OWNER. The person or entity that is an owner of real property where the collection box(es) are located.
REAL PROPERTY, PROPERTY OR LAND. A lot of record located in the City of St. Johns.
(B) Collection box permit. No later than 90 days from the effective date of this section, no person shall place, operate, maintain or allow any collection box on any real property in the City of St. Johns without first obtaining an annual permit issued by the Department of Community Development ("Department"), to locate a collection box.
(C) Application for a permit.
(1) Any person desiring to secure a permit shall make an application to the Department of Community Development.
(2) A permit shall be obtained for each collection box(es) proposed. A separate fee shall be paid for each collection box.
(3) The application for a permit shall be upon a form provided by the Department and shall:
(a) Be signed by an individual who is an officer, director, member or manager of an entity applicant. The applicant shall furnish the following information:
1. Name, address and email of all partners or limited partners of a partnership applicant, all members of an LLC applicant, all officers and directors of a non-publicly traded corporation applicant, all stockholders owning more than 5% of the stock of a non-publicly traded corporate applicant, and any other person who is financially interested directly in the ownership or operation of the business, including all aliases.
2. Date of birth of individuals and date of establishment of an entity or the birthdate of an individual applicant.
3. Whether the applicant has previously received a permit for a collection box in the city or operates a collection box or similar type receptacle without a permit in the city.
4. The name, address, email and telephone number of a contact person for all matters relating to a collection box located in the city.
(b) Include the physical address of the real property where the collection box is proposed to be located.
(c) Include 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 division (D)(1)(f) of this section.
(d) Include on a form provided by the director an affidavit from the property owner providing written permission to place the collection box(es) on the property, as well as an acknowledgment from the property owner of receipt of a copy of this section, if the applicant is not the owner of the real property where the collection box is to be placed. For purposes of this division, the affidavit and acknowledgment may be executed by an individual who is an officer, director, member or manager of an entity owning the property.
(e) Include a nonrefundable fee in an amount established by resolution of City Council.
(4) Within ten days of receiving an application for a permit, the director shall notify the applicant whether the permit is granted or denied. If the director denies an application, the director shall state in writing the specific reasons for denial.
(5) No person to whom a permit has been issued shall transfer, assign or convey such permit to another person or legal entity.
(6) A person shall be issued a permit by the director if the requirements of this section are satisfied.
(7) Upon approval, the city shall provide a permittee with one permit sticker for each approved permit. The sticker shall display the local unit's seal, a permit number, and an expiration date. The size of the sticker shall be four inches by four inches. The color of the sticker shall be the same color that the Department of State uses for motor vehicle registration decals for that year. The permittee shall place the sticker in a conspicuous place on the front panel of the textile recycling bin. On request of the permittee, the local unit shall provide a replacement sticker for a fee of $10 if the original sticker is damaged or lost.
(D) Requirements for a permit.
(1) A permittee shall operate and maintain, or cause to be operated and maintained, all collection boxes located in the city 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 or visible rust and shall be 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 have in, at minimum, one-half-inch lettering visible from the front of each collection box the name, address, email, website and phone number of the operator, as well as whether the collection box is owned and operated by a for profit company or a not for profit company. The collection box shall not have information, advertising or logos other than those relating to the operator.
(d) Collection boxes shall be serviced and emptied as needed, but at least every 30 days.
(e) The permittee and property owner shall maintain, or cause to be maintained, the area immediately surrounding the collection boxes, free from any junk, debris, overflow items or other material. The property owner shall be responsible to the extent provided by law for the city's cost to abate any nuisance.
(f) Collection boxes shall:
1. Not be permitted on any land used or zoned for residential purposes;
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, up to two collection boxes on a single lot of record are permitted if the two collection boxes are side by side and are no more than one foot apart and are owned by the same permittee;
4. Not exceed seven feet in height, six feet in width and six feet in depth;
5. Not cause a visual obstruction to vehicular or pedestrian traffic;
6. Not be placed closer than ten feet from:
a. A public or private sidewalk except that this provision does not apply to a private sidewalk as long as the private sidewalk maintains a five foot clearance;
b. A public right-of-way;
c. A driveway; or
d. A side or rear property line of adjacent property used for residential purposes;
7. Not cause safety hazards with regard to a designated fire lane or building exit;
8. Not 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;
9. Not encroach upon an access drive, off-street parking lot maneuvering lane and/or required off-street parking space; and
10. Be placed on a level, hard (asphalt or concrete) paved, dust-free surface.
(E) 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 next calendar year. An annual permit issued between July 1 and June 30 of the subsequent year shall expire on June 30 of the calendar year next following issuance of the permit.
(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. The application for renewal shall be upon a form provided by the director.
(3) The director shall either approve or deny the renewal of a permit within ten days of receipt of the complete renewal application and payment of the renewal fee. Failure of the director to act before expiration of the permit shall constitute approval of the renewal of the permit.
(4) A permit renewal fee set by resolution of the City Council 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 director in writing of the intent to cancel the permit. The permit shall become void upon the director's receipt of a written notice to [of] intent to cancel the permit.
(6) The director shall approve the renewal of a permit if the director finds that no circumstances existed during the term of the permit which would cause a violation 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(es) must be removed from the real property within a maximum of ten days after expiration of the permit.
(F) Revocation of permit, removal of collection boxes and liability.
(1) The director shall have the right to revoke any permit issued hereunder for a violation of this section. Any of the grounds upon which the director 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 director 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 director and, thereafter, the permittee shall not be eligible for a permit on the property for the subsequent calendar year.
(2) Upon revocation, the collection box shall be removed from the real property within ten days and, if not so removed within the time period, the city 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 city, or the city's contractor shall be the responsibility of the property owner. If such obligation is not paid within 30 days after mailing of a billing of costs to the property owner, the city may place a lien upon such real property enforceable as a tax lien in the manner prescribed by the general laws of this state against the property and collected as in the case of general property tax. If the same is not paid prior to the preparation of the next assessment roll of the city, the amount shall be assessed as a special tax against such premises on the next assessment roll and collected thereunder.
(3) A permit for a collection box may be revoked if any governmental authority or agency determines that the collection box has violated the Michigan Consumer Protection Act and/or the Charitable Organizations and Solicitations Act.
(G) Appeal to Zoning Board of Appeals. Any person aggrieved by the decision rendered by the director in granting or denying an application for a permit under this section or in revoking a permit issued under this section may appeal the decision to the Zoning Board of Appeals. The appeal shall be made by filing a written notice of appeal not later than ten days after receiving notice of the decision of the director with the Department of Community Development setting forth the grounds for the appeal. The Zoning Board of Appeals may grant relief if the applicant presents clear and convincing evidence that there was an error in the decision of the director.
(H) Penalty and remedies.
(1) In addition to revocation of permit pursuant to division (F), any person violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a civil infraction.
(2) In addition to the penalty provided in division (1) above, any condition caused or permitted to exist in violation of the provisions of this section, or any ordinance, shall be deemed a new and separate offense for each day that such condition continues to exist.
(3) Nothing in this section shall prevent the city from pursuing any other remedy provided by law in conjunction with or in lieu of prosecuting persons under this division 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 this section shall apply for a permit as required herein within 30 days of the effective date. Any collection boxes not in compliance with this section after 90 days of the effective date shall be subject to all remedies for violation as provided herein.
(Ord. 624, passed 12-14-2015)