City of Somerville
Massachusetts

Agenda Item
190737
Placed on File
Dec 20, 2011 7:00 PM

62 Requesting approval of an amendment to the Ordinances at Chapter 12 regarding the Placement and Maintenance of News racks.

Information

Department:Strategic Planning & Community DevelopmentSponsors:
Category:Mayor's RequestFunctions:Ordinance

Attachments

  1. Newsrack Ordinance revisions (staff report) 1-13-11
  2. Newsrack Ordinance revisions (ordinance) 1-13-11 (DRAFT) (This file has not yet been converted to a viewable format)

Body

To the Honorable Board:

 

The City is interested in implementing modular newsrack program as an alternative to single news boxes in key areas. I respectfully request that you approve proposed ordinance amending the City of Somerville Code of Ordinances, Chapter 12, Article 4, Placement and Maintenance of Newsracks to amend or add provisions related to the installation, maintenance, and management of a modular newsrack program and Chapter 12, Article 1, General. In a separate action, the Board will be asked to authorize a contract exceeding three (3) years with City Solutions, Inc. which will operate the modular newsrack program.

 

Independent news boxes with free and paid publications are prevalent throughout Somerville’s corridors and neighborhoods. At times, they create an eyesore and do not conform to ADA regulations, creating pedestrian hazards. In order to facilitate the installation, maintenance and management of a modular newsrack program within public rights-of-way, amendment of the Newsrack Ordinance is needed. The proposed amendments will allow for advertising on the newsracks and will prohibit the placement of newsboxes within Newsrack Improvement Areas, i.e., those areas within 300 feet of an approved newsrack.  

 

It is recommended that the Board of Aldermen approve the proposed ordinance amending the City of Somerville Code of Ordinances, Chapter 12, Article 4, Placement and Maintenance of Newsracks. 

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Meeting History

Jan 13, 2011 7:00 PM Video Board of Aldermen Regular Meeting
RESULT:REFERRED FOR RECOMMENDATION
Feb 8, 2011 7:00 PM  Legislative Matters Committee Committee Meeting
draft Draft

Ms. Thomas spoke about the proposal and referenced a case in the 11th Circuit and added that she has concerns about the advertising aspect of the proposal.

RESULT:APPROVED
Feb 10, 2011 7:00 PM Video Board of Aldermen Regular Meeting
RESULT:REFERRED FOR RECOMMENDATION
Mar 15, 2011 7:00 PM  Legislative Matters Committee Committee Meeting
draft Draft

The committee reviewed the revisions to the newsrack ordinance and discussed the proposed locations for the newsracks. Representatives from the Boston Phoenix, Boston Globe and the Improper Bostonian spoke about their concerns and the problems experienced in other communities with the newsracks. Questions were raised about what liability the city would have regarding lost revenues and it was suggested that these newsracks would increase the number of publications entering the city. The committee requested that publishers submit alternatives to the proposed newsracks that would be satisfactory to all parties.

RESULT:KEPT IN COMMITTEE
Oct 11, 2011 7:00 PM  Legislative Matters Committee Committee Meeting
draft Draft
RESULT:KEPT IN COMMITTEE
Dec 15, 2011 6:30 PM  Legislative Matters Committee Committee Meeting
draft Draft

Vice Chairman White reported that this item was withdrawn.

RESULT:WORK COMPLETED
Dec 20, 2011 7:00 PM Video Board of Aldermen Regular Meeting
RESULT:PLACED ON FILE