Posted on December 2, 2019 at 4:03 pm by Peter Ibrahim
At the October 29, 2019, City Council study session on unmaintained and abandoned newsracks in Menlo Park, staff presented an overview of past actions on the issue and asked the City Council to give direction on next steps. Following that, staff began work on updating a draft ordinance that establishes regulations for newsracks and gives the City the ability to remove unpermitted newsracks. This ordinance will be a slightly modified version of an draft ordinance reviewed in March 2018.
Some additional work is needed before the ordinance returns to the City Council. In order to minimize disruptions to publishers and their readership, staff will assess the current location of newsracks and tweak the draft ordinance to avoid forcing newsracks to move without a significant access or safety reason. An updated draft ordinance will be presented for City Council action anticipated in winter/spring 2020.
If adopted, the draft ordinance will lead to the removal of all abandoned newsracks, including the green pedestal racks. Publishers will also be required to obtain permits and maintain their active newsracks. The removal of abandoned newsracks and refurbishment of dilapidated ones will be a significant step forward for the beautification of Menlo Park and the appeal of Santa Cruz Avenue to businesses and residents.