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Citrus Heights council to hold vote on shopping cart ordinance

File photo, a shopping cart and other belongings are shown outside a store on Sunrise Boulevard. // CH Sentinel

Sentinel staff report–
The Citrus Heights City Council is slated to hear public input and hold a vote Thursday night on whether to approve a proposed ordinance aimed at reducing the number of abandoned or stolen shopping carts in the city.

The ordinance would require any business with more than five shopping carts to submit a Shopping Cart Retrieval Plan to the city, with each cart requiring to have marked identification on it.

Initially proposed fines up to $500 for those found in possession of stolen carts appear to have been dropped from the latest revision of the proposal. However, the city’s website says unauthorized possession of a shopping cart would still be a “citable offense.”

The first draft of the ordinance was posted on the city’s website on Sept. 26, and revised again on Oct. 12, 2022.

Guest Opinion: Imposing fines for shopping cart theft will be futile

Under the revised wording, businesses can still be fined $25 per cart, if retrieved carts are not picked up within 72 hours, and can also be fined $50 per occurrence for repeat offenses — if failing to retrieve carts more than three times in a six-month period. (See updated draft proposal)

In a letter sent out to businesses in September, the city said advised business owners of its intent to pass an ordinance addressing theft and blight associated with shopping carts.

“While the City of Citrus Heights retrieves carts as part of nuisance abatement, the demand has increased to the point preventative measures are needed,” the city said in its letter, calling the proposed ordinance “one tool in a robust toolbox being built to combat blight and improve community image.”

The Oct. 27 City Council meeting will be held at City Hall, beginning at 6 p.m. Public comments for the meeting can be submitted to, with up to 250 words, or emailed directly to the City Council as a whole at Comments sent to the clerk will be read aloud during the meeting.

The meeting’s agenda packet can be viewed in full online, with links for the Zoom meeting included in the packet. (click here)

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