LOMPOC, Calif. – A proposed Lompoc City ordinance may be forcing businesses to be extra vigilant about where patrons leave their shopping carts.
Last week the Lompoc City Council approved its first reading of an ordinance that would help keep the city clean and safe. It aims to keep shopping carts in their correct places and returned back to where they belong.
“We are not going to go out looking to fine people but sort of an option we have if no one pays attention to it, but that’s a very small portion,” says Lompoc Mayor Bob Lingl.
He says under the ordinance businesses would have to have a plan in place. They would need to make sure the shopping carts are kept on their property or have someone pick them up when they are left abandoned in the city.
If businesses wouldn’t have a plan, they could face a fine up to $1,000.
“It’s hard to police them I think because there are a lot more homeless then we have seen and they tend to go out and take it with them,” says Laurie Krawzcyk, a Lompoc resident.
Small business owners say the ordinance may not be the way to go.
“I don’t understand why they are going about it this way it seems like the city is turning against business and thinking if a cart gets found where it’s not supposed to we’ll punish the business,” says Mike Sewall.
Sewall owns Alfie’s Fish and Chips in Lompoc. He says shopping carts are often left in the parking lot of his businesses.
“We look out for each other why cant we keep that going instead of thinking about fines and punishment,” he says.
Sewall says when he finds shopping carts in his area he’ll call the businesses they belong to to come pick them up.
On August 2, the Lompoc City Council will meet to discuss the ordinance again. They will decide whether to keep the ordinance, adjust it, or get rid of the plan.