By Kathy Lee Scott/Garden Grove Journal
Errant shopping carts may become scarce, now that the Garden Grove City Council has approved a new ordinance. A unanimous vote at its Tuesday meeting put into play rules that stores with 10 or more customer shopping carts must follow.
The grocery and retail stores must come up with a system to keep the carts on their property.
According to Keith Jones, director of public works, around 800 carts a month end up on city streets and sidewalks. “Our goal is to get out of the cart retrieval business,” he said.
Currently the city pays Hernandez Cart Service $48,000 a year to pick up and return the various carts to their owners.
As a way to reduce city costs, Jones proposed the retailers prevent people taking their carts from the parking lots. Westminster and Huntington Beach, among other cities, have imposed regulations that make the cart owners responsible for them.
One method would be to install a wheel-locking devise on each cart that activates when the cart crosses a buried wire in a parking lot, much like Wal-Mart has installed at its site on Beach Boulevard in Westminster.
“The new stores put these in now,” Jones said.
If that system was not workable, cart owners could erect physical barriers to stop the carts from leaving the store or loading docks.
The owners will need to put permanent labels on the carts that explain the situation and violation of laws if taken from the parking lot. Each store will have to collect their carts at the end of the business day and confine them in a designated area. The store managers will need to train employees about the new rules.
If a store fails to comply with the new rules, the city can cite them, Jones said. If the city doesn’t accept the store’s plan, the store can appeal to the public works director and city council.
Also approved at the meeting was a new farmers’ market along Main Street.
Lee Ostendorf of Long Beach outlined how she would handle the weekly event in a letter to the council.
She’s lined up 23 fresh produce providers and 18 crafts people and food vendors to participate. She wrote rules and regulations that each vendor must follow. She listed references from Buena Park and El Segundo where she manages similar farmers’ markets.
“Gary Brown asked me to do a market on Sundays,” she said. For three years, Brown has sold his woodworking products from a booth in two of her other nine markets.
One of Ostendorf’s farmers lives in Garden Grove. “He’d love to sell his produce in his hometown,” she said.
The market will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Sunday on Main Street between Acacia Street and Garden Grove Boulevard. If it rains, Ostendorf said the market would close. “But if it just drizzles, we’ll be open,” she added.
“Our last farmers’ market was a disaster,” said Peter Katz, owner of the postal center at 12877 Main Street and president of the Garden Grove Downtown Business Association. Katz added, “It also competed directly with the flower shop.”
Closing Main Street for five hours on Sunday could also cause parking problems for patrons of the restaurants and parishioners attending the church, he said.
“Parking is vital to these businesses,” Katz added.