Newspaper Vending Machines

The City of Santa Rosa ensures that newspaper vending machines are compliant with the City Council Policy Number 100-06, which governs aspects of the Design and Placement of these privately-owned objects that exist within the public right-of-way. This page describes how newspaper vending machines ("machines") must meet guidelines set forth in City Council Policy Number 100-06, the possibility of City seizure of those machines, and the process to bring out-of-compliance machines in line with the Policy. 

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Per City Code 13-04.040, newspaper vending machines do not require a City encroachment permit if they are placed in the public right-of-way and if they meet all design and placement critieria specific to these machines. Those criteria are:

Design Criteria

To meet design criteria, machines must:

  1. be a pedestal model;
  2. be painted black or brown in color;
  3. be maintained in a neat and clean condition (no graffiti, stickers, etc.);
  4. have the owner' s name and address affixed to it; and
  5. not be attached by chain or cable to any other object.

Placement Criteria

Sidewalk machines may be placed on any public sidewalk except in the following locations:

  1. Within 5 feet of a marked mid-block crosswalk; 
  2. Within 6 feet of any curb return;
  3. Within 6 feet of any fire hydrant or any other emergency facility;
  4. Within 10 feet of any driveway;
  5. Within 5 feet of traffic signal control boxes;
  6. In any location which reduces the cross space or pedestrian passageway to less than 5 feet;
  7. So as to obstruct a window, doorway or business sign;

    The following two questions only apply if the machine is within 100 feet of a designated bus stop:
  8. Over 12 feet from or within 12 inches from an adjoining bus bench at the end farthest from the pole supporting the bus stop sign; and
  9. Within 5 feet ahead or 25 feet to the rear of any sign marking a designated bus stop.

Process to Remove or Bring a Machine into Compliance 

1. Machine Assessed by City Staff 

City staff periodically will be assessing and inspecting machines in the public right-of-way; however, residents may also report a machine that they believe is out of compliance. When an inspection of a machine in the public right-of-way occurs, it will be done to see if it meets the above design and placement criteria.

If it meets the criteria, no action will be taken. If it does not meet the design and placement criteria listed above, then the 10-day clock will begin for the machine's owner to bring it under compliance or to remove it from the public right-of-way. All inspected machines can be seen in the map below.

2. Machine Tagged, Notice Given

Following a notice being placed on the machine ("tagged") and assigned a Machine ID#, the owner of the machine will be notified of the violation with a mailed letter ("letter") if their name and address are affixed to the machine. If their name and/or address is not affixed to the machine, no letter can be sent and the machine itself will be tagged only and assigned a Machine ID#.

Should a machine be noticed, three things may occur:

  1. If the owner fails to respond in writing or email within 10 days of the date the machine was tagged and/or the letter was mailed, the machine will be seized.
  2. If the owner responds, they will have 10 days from the date on the posted notice to bring the machine under compliance and request re-inspection. The re-inspection request can be done by emailing [email protected] with “Reinspection Request: ” and the machine’s ID# in the subject line, with the body explaining what corrective actions have been taken to bring the machine back into compliance. Should a machine continue to be not in compliance, it may be seized. If compliant, the tag is removed and no further action is taken.
  3. If the owner contests the findings of the inspection, they may request a compliance determination review hearing by emailing [email protected] with “Review Hearing Requested – Newspaper Vending Machine” in the subject line. A hearing will be held with the City's Encroachment Officer to determine if the machine is or is not compliant under the design and placement criteria listed above. Should a machine continue to be not in compliance, it may be seized. If compliant, the tag is removed and no further action is taken.

3. Seized Machines (if Necessary)

Seized machines shall be held for sixty (60) days and may be reclaimed by payment of a $25.00 fee by contacting [email protected] with “Vending Machine Recovery Request” in the subject line. Machines not claimed within sixty (60) days may be destroyed or sold.

If an owner received a Notice of Violation and cannot find their machine at its location, it may have been seized. Owners may look up the information using the map below or email [email protected].

Map of Inspected Machines

There are two ways to use the map below:

  1. Type the Machine's ID# in the text box within the map and press enter.
  2. Find the location of the machine by dragging/zooming the map and selecting the machine by clicking on it.

View the map in full screen.

Report a Machine

If you would like to file a complaint abouve a vending machine that may be out of compliance with the requirements listed above, then email [email protected]. Please included the following in your email:

  • the specific location and brand/identifiers of the machine so we can identify it from your description; and
  • the reason you believe it to be out of compliance; and
  • that it has not been inspected already according to the map above, which contains previously-inspected vending machines.
  • if possible, include a picture or pictures that may be helpful and/or highlights the potential violation.