Peddler’s Ordinance

The following letter is courtesy of Cyndie Parks <CParks@rentonwa.gov>:

With Spring here and Summer quickly approaching, I would expect the appearance of door-to-door solicitors to increase.  Please remember that anybody selling anything for profit needs to have a Peddler’s License on their person.
Although I strongly discourage homeowners from opening their door to somebody they don’t know – if you come into contact with somebody selling something and they don’t have a Peddler’s License, 911 should be called.  It will allow officers the opportunity to make contact with the subject(s) and educate them on the importance of applying for a Peddler’s License and why this Ordinance is in place.

On a side note:  Recently, we received a 911 call regarding an elderly woman who was handing over $$$ to a gentleman who stated he was selling magazines, but in truth, he had no paperwork, magazines, documentation, etc., to support this claim.  Luckily, a neighbor noticed what was happening, intervened and quickly called 911.  Once we made contact with him, it was discovered he had recently been released from an out-of-state prison and had warrants in the system.

I’m not saying every Peddler is attempting to take advantage of somebody, but they do need to follow the rules (i.e., City Ordinance).  Please call 911 if you notice solicitors in your neighborhood or come across one yourself, who doesn’t have the proper license on them (see below for additional information on the City’s Peddler’s Ordinance).  And if you observe suspicious activity in your neighborhood – that appears to be under the guise of solicitation – that’s an appropriate 911 call, as well.  Remember:  Heavy handed 911 calling !

CHAPTER 20

PEDDLER’S LICENSE

SECTION:
5-20-1:  Definition Of Peddler
5-20-2:  Permit Required – Exemptions
5-20-3:  Permit – Application
5-20-4:  Investigation Of Applicant – Issuance And Denial Of Permit
5-20-5:  Permit – Exhibit
5-20-6:  Permit – Expiration
5-20-7:  Permit – Revocation
5-20-8:  Right Of Appeal
5-20-9:  Use Of Streets
5-20-10: Hours And Notice
5-20-11: Records
5-20-12: Penalty For Violation

5-20-1   DEFINITION OF PEDDLER:

A peddler is defined as follows:

A.            All persons, both principals and agents, as well as employers and employees, who shall sell, offer for or expose for sale, or who shall trade, deal or traffic in any personal property or services in the City by going from house to house or from place to place or by indiscriminately approaching individuals.

B.            Sales by sample or for future delivery, and executory contracts of sale by solicitors or peddlers are embraced within the proceeding subsection; provided, however, that this Chapter is not applicable to any sales person or canvasser who solicits trade from wholesale or retail dealers within the City.

C.            Any person, both principals and agents, as well as employers and employees, who, while selling or offering for sale any goods, wares, merchandise or anything of value, stands in a doorway or any unenclosed vacant lot, parcel of land or in any other place not used by such person as a permanent place of business. (Ord. 4752, 11-23-98)

5-20-2   PERMIT REQUIRED – EXEMPTIONS:

A.            No person, corporation, partnership or other organization shall engage in the business of a peddler within the City limits without first obtaining a permit therefor as provided in this Chapter. If any individual is acting as an agent for or employed by an individual, corporation, partnership or other organization, both the individual and the employer or principal for whom the individual is peddling must obtain a permit as provided in this Chapter.

B.            The following persons are exempt from the permit requirements and fee provisions of this Chapter:

1.            Farmers who peddle agricultural, horticultural, or farm products which they have actually grown, harvested or produced;

2.            Any person who is specifically requested to call upon others for the purpose of displaying goods, literature or giving information about any article, service or product;

3.            Charitable, religious or nonprofit organizations or corporations which have received tax exempt status under 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3) or other similar civic, charitable or nonprofit organizations; and

4.            Newspaper carriers. (Ord. 4752, 11-23-98)

5-20-3   PERMIT – APPLICATION:

A.            Applicants for a permit under this Chapter must file with the Finance Department a sworn application in writing on a form to be furnished by the City.

B.            All applications shall provide the following information on the application, with sufficient proof of identification:

1.            Name, date of birth and description of the applicant;

2.            Address and telephone number;

3.            A brief description of the nature of the business and the goods or services to be sold;

4.            If employed or acting as an agent, the name and address of the employer or principal, together with the description of the exact relationship with the principal or employer;

5.            If a vehicle is to be used, a description of the same, including the license number;

6.            A photograph of the applicant, taken within 60 days immediately prior to the date of filing the application, which picture shall be 2 inches x 2 inches showing the head and shoulders of the applicant in a clear and distinguishing manner;

7.            A statement as to whether or not the applicant has been convicted of any crime within the last ten years, including misdemeanors, gross misdemeanors, or violations of any municipal ordinance, the nature of the offense, and the punishment or penalty assessed therefor;

8.            All sales to occur on a parcel of land must be upon property zoned CA and the following must accompany the application:

a.            Signature of the property owner authorizing use of parcel;

b.            A site plan showing the location of the sales area, the nearest driveway and the nearest fire hydrant; and

9.            Such other information as may be required by the City.

C.            Any individual, corporation, partnership or other organization which acts as the principal or employer for individual peddlers shall obtain a permit as provided herein and shall provide the following information on the application in addition to any information required as set forth above:

1.            The applicant’s name, address and telephone number and the names and addresses of all individuals who are employed by or acting as an agent for the applicant;

2.            If a corporation, the names, addresses and telephone numbers of the corporation’s board of directors, principal officers and registered agent; provided, however, that the Finance Department may waive any portion of this requirement when disclosure would be unduly burdensome;

3.            If a partnership, the names, addresses and telephone numbers of the partners;

4.            A list of any criminal convictions during the past ten years for the applicant, any owners of the business, and, if a corporation, the board of directors and officers;

5.            Name, address and telephone numbers (business and home) of the individual, if applicable, acting as the manager for the applicants;

6.            A list of all other cities, towns and counties where the applicant has obtained a peddler’s permit or similar permit within the past five years; and

7.            Such other information as may be required by the City.

D.            At the time of filing the application, each applicant shall pay a nonrefundable fee in the amount of $75.00 to cover the City’s cost of investigation and the issuance of a permit, including each peddler, principals and/or employer. (Ord. 4752, 11-23-98; Ord. 5432, 12-8-08)

5-20-4   INVESTIGATION OF APPLICANT – ISSUANCE AND DENIAL OF PERMIT:

A.            The Finance Department shall refer the application to the Police Department which shall determine the accuracy of the information contained in the application and conduct a criminal history background investigation of the applicant. Upon completion, the Police Department shall forward a recommendation for approval or denial to the Finance Department.

B.            If, as a result of the investigation, the character and business responsibility of the applicant are found to be satisfactory, the Finance Department shall issue the permit to the applicant. The Finance Department shall deny the applicant the permit if the applicant has:

1.            Committed any act consisting of fraud or misrepresentations;

2.            Committed any act which, if committed by a permit holder, would be grounds for suspension or revocation of a permit;

3.            Within the previous ten years, been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony directly relating to the occupation of peddler, including, but not limited to, those misdemeanors and felonies involving moral turpitude, fraud or misrepresentation;

4.            Been refused a permit under the provisions of this Chapter; providing, however, that any applicant denied a permit under the provisions of this Chapter may reapply if and when the reasons for denial no longer exist; or

5.            Made any false or misleading statement in the application.

C.            The denial of a permit to an individual, corporation, partnership or other organization which serves as the employer or principal for individual peddlers shall be a sufficient basis to deny a permit to the individual applicants who are employed by or acting as an agent for the applicant. (Ord. 4752, 11-23-98)

5-20-5   PERMIT – EXHIBIT:

Peddlers are required to exhibit their permit displayed on their person and fully visible while conducting any peddling activities. (Ord. 4752, 11-23-98)

5-20-6   PERMIT – EXPIRATION:

All permits issued pursuant to this Chapter are nontransferable and should be valid for the calendar year in which issued. License fees shall not be prorated for any portion of the year. (Ord. 4752, 11-23-98)

5-20-7   PERMIT – REVOCATION:

A.            Permits issued pursuant to this Chapter may be revoked by the Finance Department after notice and hearing for any of the following causes:

1.            Fraud, misrepresentation or false statement contained in the application for permits;

2.            Fraud, misrepresentation or false statements made in the course of carrying on the business as a peddler;

3.            Any other violation of this Chapter;

4.            Conviction after submission of the application for a peddler’s permit of a felony or misdemeanor directly relating to the occupation of peddler, including, but not limited to, those misdemeanors and felonies involving moral turpitude, fraud or misrepresentation; or

5.            Conducting the business of peddling in any unlawful manner or such manner as to constitute a breach of the peace or to constitute a menace to the health, safety and general welfare of the public.

B.            The revocation of any permit held by an individual, corporation, partnership or other organization which serves as the employer or principal for individual peddlers shall constitute a basis for revoking the permit issued to individual applicants who are employed by or acting as agents for such individual, corporation, partnership or organization.

C.            The revocation of a permit for three or more persons who are employees or agents of an individual, corporation, partnership or organization shall constitute a basis for revoking the permit issued to the employer or principal, as well as the permits issued to all other employees or agents of that employer or principal.

D.            Notice of revocation of a permit shall be given by the Finance Department in writing, setting forth specifically the grounds of the complaint and the time and place of hearing. In addition, it shall state that the peddler’s permit shall be suspended pending the outcome of such hearing. Such notice shall be mailed, postage prepaid, to the permit holder at his or her last known address. The revocation shall become final if no appeal is requested as provided in Section 5-20-8. If the permit holder is an individual, corporation, partnership or organization which employs or serves as the principal for individual permit holders, the notice shall also be mailed to the individual permit holders. (Ord. 4752, 11-23-98)

5-20-8   RIGHT OF APPEAL:

Any person aggrieved by the action of the Finance Department in the denial of an application for permit or in the decision to revoke a permit as provided in this Chapter shall have the right to appeal to the City Hearing Examiner. Such appeal shall be taken by filing with the City Clerk, within ten days after notice of the action complained of has been mailed to such person’s last known address, a written statement setting forth fully the grounds for the appeal. The Hearing Examiner shall set a time and place for a de novo hearing on such appeal and notice of such hearing shall be given to the applicant in the same manner as provided in this Chapter for notice of hearing on revocation. The decision and order of the Hearing Examiner on such appeal shall be final and conclusive. Hearings shall be held within 21 days of the day the request is received by the City. (Ord. 4752, 11-23-98)

5-20-9   USE OF STREETS:

No peddler shall have any exclusive right to any location in the public streets, nor be permitted a stationary location, nor be permitted to operate in any congested area where operations might impede or inconvenience the public. For the purpose of this Section, the judgment of a police officer, exercised in good faith, shall be conclusive as to whether the area is congested or the public impeded or inconvenienced. (Ord. 4752, 11-23-98)

5-20-10 HOURS AND NOTICE:

No person shall engage in the business of peddler between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. (Ord. 4752, 11-23-98)

5-20-11 RECORDS:

The Police Department shall report to the Finance Department all convictions for violations of this Chapter, and the Finance Department shall maintain a record for each permit issued and record the reports of violation therein. (Ord. 4752, 11-23-98)

5-20-12 PENALTY FOR VIOLATION:

Any person who violates any of the provisions of this Chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine of up to $1,000 and/or imprisonment for a term not to exceed 90 days. (Ord. 4752, 11-23-98)