Monday, October 15 , 2018, 11:19 pm | Fair 57º

 
 
 
 

Lompoc Considers City Ordinance to Corral Abandoned Shopping Carts

Lompoc City Council members approved a new ordinance Tuesday night they hope will reduce the number of abandoned shopping carts littering streets and alleyways. 

The ordinance would require retail stores to develop a plan to prevent the unauthorized removal of their shopping carts from the premises and to bear the cost of retrieving their abandoned carts.

“We’ve got a problem in the city with abandoned shopping carts … in various neighborhoods that end up sitting there sometimes for weeks at a time. That’s not a desirable situation,” City Manager Patrick Wiemiller said.

Wiemiller said the proposed ordinance was developed after reviewing similar ordinances of 30 California cities.

“We’re trying to take an approach that would be a balanced approach. We’re still trying to be business friendly but bring about business accountability.”

After some council members said business owners should have been directly involved in the development of the ordinance, the second reading — and final vote — of the ordinance was delayed two weeks until August so city staff can notify those businesses that would be affected.

Councilman Jim Mosby argued that the ordinance puts too much burden on store owners.

“I believe some of the burden is on the people who are taking the carts and we seem to be dodging that significantly in this ordinance,” Mosby said.

Wiemiller said it was  “a social choice” to put the onus on store owners to manage their property.

“There are definitely some social impacts, pushbacks, that occur if we start targeting our enforcement on the person in possession of the cart as opposed to the owner,” he said.

Lompoc Police Chief Pat Walsh said trying to issue citations and collect fines from people who take shopping carts and later abandon them would be difficult.

“I would say store owners aren’t willing victims because it creates administrative work and possible court time for them,” Walsh said.

Councilman Dirk Starbuck asked to delay taking any action and voted against the proposed ordinance, saying “it was far more than what I thought we were going to get into here.” 

Mayor Bob Lingl and Councilman Victor Vega said the city should act proactively to address the issue of abandoned and review the results in six months.

“I’m in favor of adopting an ordinance instead of getting in the business of collecting shopping carts. I think it’s fairly simple to adopt an ordinance that says everyone is responsible for their own carts,” Vega said.

In other business, the council approved $136,768 of general fund budget reserves to upgrade computer servers and storage capacity for retaining videos from new dashboard cameras in police vehicles. 

The request for additional funds was approved 5-0, but not without a rebuke from a council member.

“So far, this is the third comeback on this from the budget,” Starbuck said, noting it was the third request for supplemental funds beyond the original appropriation for the new dashboard cameras. 

“We obviously blew this in the budget in the beginning.”

Noozhawk contributing writer Carol Benham can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Email
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership
×

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.