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Abandoned shopping carts a nuisance; a city's response

Posted: April 12, 2009 12:32 a.m.
Updated: April 12, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Dear Mayor Ferry and Council members, city of Santa Clarita City Manager Pulskamp, Captain La Berge:
As a member of a neighborhood watch group in Santa Clarita, I take great pride in my community. Thus I bring to your attention any and all distractions, blights, graffiti, flagrant code violations and other nuisances that detract from Santa Clarita.

I bring to your attention the growing problem of abandoned shopping carts throughout Newhall and south Valencia, especially in the paseos in Old Orchard II, from the clubhouse location at Avenida Entrana to Avenida Crescenta.

I also see these carts along Everett, Powell, Evans, Atwood and Fourl streets in Newhall.

On March 25, my wife and I were walking our dogs in the paseo exactly in the location noted above in Old Orchard II. I watched a family push a Vallarta shopping cart with groceries to their residence, then promptly abandon the shopping cart in the paseo.

I politely approached the gentlemen and reminded him that it was not acceptable to abandon the cart. I am not certain he understood me, because he apparently spoke no English.

My wife and I moved on. Walking back the same direction about 20 minutes later, I observed the very cart referenced, apparently abandoned by the individual who chose to ignore me.

A few moments later, I observed another shopping cart from the 99 Cents Store also abandoned in the same paseo.

In the past I have actually picked up stray carts, placed them in the back of my truck and returned them to the stores in question. I spoke to the manager of the 99 Cents Store about the problem. He flatly stated to me the store has no budget to retrieve the carts.

Let me ask you all: Is it all right with city council members of Santa Clarita that individuals in our community act in an irresponsible manner, blighting our community?

If this concerns you, please address this problem in a forthright and firm manner so that I and other law-abiding citizens can enjoy our community without observing this blight.

In the past years, I have brought matters to your attention including flagrant violation of vehicle law as day laborers stand under “no stopping any time” signs along San Fernando Road and Sierra Highway as unscrupulous employers pick up their labor supply with no benefit to the city, and you have ignored those pleas to correct the problem, deflecting to some other government entity to fix the problem.

So I must tell you I am not optimistic you will address this problem. But I remain hopeful you will address this issue and others similar that detract from our city.

Thank you.

Roger Gitlin

Dear Mr. Gitlin:
Thank you for bringing your concern to my attention. I apologize that you have been dealing with this issue for quite some time now.

I want you to know that I met with Community Preservation staff to discuss this matter.

I was informed that they are in the process of identifying all the businesses within the city that utilize shopping carts but have no shopping cart retrieval service.

Once these businesses have been identified, Community Preservation will send letters informing them of this ongoing concern and encourage them to obtain cart retrieval services.

In addition, Community Preservation has contacted the 99 Cents Store and the Vallarta Supermarket regarding this issue, and staff have been informed that cart-retrieval services are being provided.

Furthermore, staff has confirmed these services are being provided to these two stores by the cart-retrieval company and they have been notified of this ongoing issue.

Again, thank you for bringing your concern to my attention. I have asked Cruz Caldera, Community Preservation administrator, to oversee this issue.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact him at or (661) 255-4322.


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