Shopping carts, billboards and an update on Panorama Dog Park and Design top City Council agenda

CATHEDRAL CITY — A variety of issues are vying for Councilors’ attention when they meet in special session on Tuesday, Nov. 30. Some of those issues include shopping carts, billboards and an update on the Panorama Dog Park (Dog Park).

In accordance with City Council Goal No. 6, it is recommended that the City Council provide feedback and direction to staff on methods to reduce, over time, the number of billboards in the City, including direction on whether to amend the City Code to state that new billboards are not permitted. When the subject first surfaced in August, the issue was grreted with some heated rhetoric.

As for the dog park, the Fiscal Year 2021-22 approved budget included $500,000 for the construction of the Panorama Dog Park (Dog Park) to be located within the existing 7.5-acre Panorama Park boundaries, which is located at the northwest corner of Avenida Maravilla and Tachevah Drive.

Also on the agenda is a Review of the Shopping Cart Ordinance and Retrieval Program, which will be presented to the City Council.

At the Jan. 30, City Council goal-setting meeting, Council directed staff to conduct a study session review of the Cathedral City Municipal Code (CCMC) provisions related to shopping carts. Reviewing the policies that address this subject is necessary to keep pace with the changes in how businesses provide, store and retrieve shopping carts, why people take the shopping carts and how the City Code Enforcement and Public Works Departments intercede with the limited staffing available. In addition, portions of the city (e.g., Dream Homes Neighborhood) are in proximity to major shopping areas that
are within another jurisdiction (e.g., Palm Springs) that further complicate the shopping cart enforcement matter.

The City Attorney’s response to the CCMC regarding shopping cart retrieval is that the Code does not need to be amended and/or revised, according to a staff report. What should occur, according to the report, is that staff should focus on verifying that the Shopping Cart Containment and Retrieval Plan submitted by each store is in in place and enforced. The Plan submitted by each store should include details on which retrieval company the stores are contracting with for the daily removal of abandoned shopping carts located within the city. By contracting with a Shopping Cart Retrieval Company, the stores will be providing a service that promptly retrieves any shopping cart reported to be abandoned.

In January 2022, staff will send out a letter to each store requesting a copy of its Shopping Cart Containment and Retrieval Plan. Staff will review the Plan to make sure that the stores are including information on which Shopping Cart Retrieval Company they have contracted with for their retrieval program. Bi-annually, staff will confirm with both the stores and the retrieval companies that all contracts are still in place.

The Dream Homes Community presents another challenge to shopping cart retrieval. The abandoned shopping carts left within the Dream Homes Community are typically from stores like Walmart, Aldi and Home Depot. All these stores are within the city limits of Palm Springs. Recently, Cathedral City staff met with the City of Palm Springs Code Compliance Department regarding the on-going issue of abandoned shopping carts within the Dream Homes Community.

City of Palm Springs officials acknowledge the issue and committed to work with the stores within the Palm Springs jurisdiction on the retrieval of the carts, according to Deanna Pressgrove, Environmental Conservation & Public Works
Manager for Cathedral City.

Image Sources

  • Shopping cart: Pexels-Pixabay