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Sidewalk Obstruction Ordinance



ORDINANCE #

THE CITY OF PORTSMOUTH ORDAINS

That Chapter 9, Article V, - NEWSRACKS, PLACEMENT AND REGISTRATION of the Ordinances of the City of Portsmouth be deleted in its entirety and replaced with the following:

ARTICLE V: PUBLIC WAY OBSTRUCTIONS, PLACEMENT AND REGISTRATION

Section 9.501 DEFINITIONS

As used in this ordinance, the following terms shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates that a different meaning is intended:

  1. "City": The City of Portsmouth
  2. "Newspaper or news periodical" a daily or weekly publication containing all of the following: current news, editorials, feature articles and advertising.
  3. "Newsrack": Any self-service or coin-operated box, container, storage unit or other dispenser installed, used, or maintained for the display and sale of newspapers or news periodicals.
  4. "Public Way Obstruction": Any object which in any way obstructs the free passage of pedestrians, wheelchairs or vehicles on the streets, sidewalks, or roadways.

Section 9.502: CERTAIN PUBLIC WAY OBSTRUCTIONS PROHIBITED

  1. No person shall install, use, attach or maintain any public way obstruction which projects onto, into or over any part of the roadway of any public street.
  2. No person shall install, use, attach or maintain any public way obstruction which in whole or in part rests upon, in or over any public sidewalk, when such installation, use or maintenance endangers the safety of persons or property, or when such site or location is used for public utility purposes, public transportation purposes or other governmental use, or when such public way obstruction unreasonably interferes with or impedes the flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic, including any legally parked or stopped vehicle, the ingress into or egress from any residence or place of business, or the use of poles, posts, traffic signs or signals, hydrants, mailboxes, or other objects permitted at or near said location.

Section 9.503 LICENSING OF LOCATION - NEWSRACK LIMITED EXCEPTION

  1. No person shall install or maintain any public way obstruction which in whole or in part rests upon, in or over any public sidewalk, except newsracks, without first applying for and being granted a license from the City Council. The license application shall include the following:
    1. The physical dimensions of the public way obstruction.
    2. The name, address and telephone number of the person or company responsible for the obstruction.
    3. A diagram showing the location of the obstruction and the dimensions of the sidewalk upon which it is to be located.

Newsracks shall require the submission of license application, but the license shall be granted by the City Clerk on a ministerial basis without the requirement of City Council approval. Newsracks must comply with the remaining provisions of this ordinance.

 

Section 9.504 STANDARDS FOR INSTALLATION, MAINTENANCE AND OPERATION

Any public way obstruction which in whole or in part rests upon, in or over any public sidewalk or parkway shall comply with the following standards:

  1. No public way obstruction shall be placed, installed, used or maintained in any location whereby the clear space for the passageway of pedestrians is reduced to less than forty-eight inches; or would otherwise interfere with the free passage of a wheelchair.
  2. Each public way obstruction shall be maintained in compliance with any conditions attached to the issuance of its license.

Section 9.505 PUBLIC WAY OBSTRUCTION IDENTIFICATION REQUIRED

Within thirty days after this ordinance becomes effective, every person or other entity which places or maintains a public way obstruction on the streets of the City shall have his/her, or its name, address and telephone number affixed thereto in a place where such information may be easily seen.

  1. Public way obstructions must be licensed individually by location.
  2. The City shall issue a proof of license in the form of a sticker or decal which must be attached to the obstruction at all times.
  3. Fee for license will be $50.00 for each public way obstruction except that
    1. There shall be no fee for a newsrack license.
    2. The fee for each restaurant table shall be $50.00.
    3. The fee for each restaurant chair shall be $5.00.
  1. All licenses must be renewed annually prior to March 1st.
  2. Unlicensed newsracks or public way obstructions will be considered abandoned and subject to removal without notice.
  3. All licenses are non-transferable.

Section 9.506 HOLD HARMLESS AND INSURANCE

Every person or other entity which places or maintains a public way obstruction on a public sidewalk, parkway, roadway or street in the City shall file a written statement with the City Clerk satisfactory to the City Attorney, whereby he/she, or it agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the City, its officers, City Council Members and employees, from any loss or liability or damage, including expenses and costs, for bodily or personal injury, and for property damage sustained by any person as a result of the installation, use, or maintenance of the public way obstruction within the City. A Certificate of Insurance in a form approved by the City Attorney indicating no less than one million dollars ($1,000,000) in general liability insurance coverage and naming the City as an additional insured shall be maintained on file with the City Clerk by each such person or entity.

Section 9.507 REMOVAL OF NEWSRACK OR PUBLIC WAY OBSTRUCTION

The City Manager or his/her designee shall remove any public way obstruction placed on any street, sidewalk, parkway or roadway in violation of this ordinance.

Section 9.508 SEVERABILITY

The provisions of this ordinance are severable. If any provision of this ordinance or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of this ordinance which can be given effect without the invalid provisions or application.

Section 9.509 INJUNCTION

Any violation of this ordinance is hereby declared to be a nuisance. In addition to any other relief provided by this ordinance, the City Attorney may apply to a Court of competent jurisdiction for an injunction to prohibit the continuation of any violation of this ordinance. Such application for relief may include seeking a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction and permanent injunction.

Section 9.510 DAMAGE TO PUBLIC WAY OBSTRUCTIONS

Any damage to public way obstructions, whether or not properly licensed, by any cause whatsoever, including snowplowing and removal, will be at the sole expense of the owner.

Section 9.511 PENALTY

Any person, firm or corporation violating any provision of this ordinance shall be fined $100.00 for each offense, and a separate offense shall be deemed committed on each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues.

The City Clerk shall properly alphabetize and/or re-number the ordinance as necessary in accordance with this amendment.

All ordinances or parts of ordinances inconsistent herewith are hereby deleted.

This ordinance shall take effect upon its passage.



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