DANSVILLE – The Village Board is asking the public to weigh in on a proposed local law that would require door-to-door salespeople, or ‘peddlers,’ to apply for and purchase a peddling license.
In April, the Village Board voted by a 3-2 vote that peddlers with Edward Jones financial advising firm out of Rochester could go door to door advertising for financial assistance. After local residents approached the Village with significant concerns, the Village Board passed a 6-month ban on peddling and are now proposing a compromise where peddlers would have to pay an application fee to the Village and undergo a background check by Dansville Police.
“Persons wishing to address the Board with regard to the proposed law may sign up by calling the clerk’s office prior to the hearing or by physically signing the speaker roster the evening of the hearing,” explains the Village on their website. “Persons wishing to ask questions and/or make comments but not desiring to speak publicly may submit their questions or comments to the Village Clerk ahead of the meeting. An effort will be made to respond to them during the hearing.”
The hearing is set for Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. at the North Dansville Town Hall, 14 Clara Barton Street.
Questions will continue to be received until the close of business on Oct. 23, 2015.
The entire proposed local law is as follows:
Proposed Peddlers and Transient Merchants Law
Article I. General Provisions
A. Purpose. This local law is enacted for the purpose of regulating itinerant and transient merchandising in order that the peace, health, safety, welfare, and good order of the village and of its inhabitants shall not be endangered or unduly disturbed.
Canvass and Canvasser
Considered as synonymous with the terms “solicit” and “solicitor”
Any association of individuals, partnerships, firms, corporations, societies, limited liability company, or any other organization.
Established Place of Business
A permanent building, store, or depository in which or where the person transacts business and deals in the goods, wares, or commodities he or she solicits or peddles in the ordinary and regular course of business.
To sell goods in public places by calling out to people.
The act of selling goods in public places by calling out to people.
One who hawks.
The selling, bartering, or trading of, or offering to sell, barter, or trade, any goods, wares, commodities, or services.
To sell, or to offer for sale for immediate delivery, any goods, including but not limited to food, wares, or merchandise, inside the Village of Dansville, other than from an indoor fixed place of business, by operating from a stationary place, or by going from house to house, from store to store, from street to street, or from place to place.
Any person or company who peddles as herein defined. The words “peddler,” “hawker,” and “huckster” are considered synonymous terms.
The selling or offering for sale of any goods, wares, or merchandise for immediate delivery, which the person selling or offering for sale carries with him in traveling or has in his possession or control, from house0 to house, place of business to place of business, or any public street or public place, or by temporarily occupying a room, building, or other premises therefor within the Village of Dansville, provided that the word “peddling” shall not apply.
Includes any individual, firm, partnership, corporation, limited liability company, unincorporated association, and principal or agent thereof.
To sell, or offer for sale for future delivery, any goods, including but not limited to food, wares, and other merchandise, or services to be performed, or to distribute advertising circulars, at any place within the Village of Dansville, other than from an indoor fixed place of business, by operating from a stationary place, or by going from house to house, from store to store, from street to street, or from place to place.
The selling, or offering for sale for future delivery, any goods, including but not limited to food, wares, and other merchandise, or services to be performed, or the distributing of advertising circulars, at any place within the Village of Dansville, other than from an indoor fixed place of business, by operating from a stationary place, or by going from house to house, from store to store, from street to street, or from place to place.
Any person who shall engage in soliciting as hereinabove defined.
Any person who conducts a transient retail business.
Transient Retail Business
One conducted in a store, hotel, building, or structure for the sale of retail goods, wares, or merchandise, excepting food products, and which is intended to be conducted for a temporary period of time and not permanently. If the place in which a business is conducted is rented or leased for a period of six months or less, such fact shall be presumptive evidence that the business carried on therein is a transient retail business.
C. License required. It is unlawful for any person or company to peddle, hawk, canvass or solicit or engage in business as a transient merchant within the Village of Dansville without having obtained a valid license therefore from the village clerk-treasurer.
D. Exemptions. The provisions of this law shall not apply to the following:
1. Any person soliciting at the express invitation of the person solicited or serving an established customer.
2. A wholesaler selling articles to dealers or merchants who have an established place of business within the village.
3. Children or other representatives of local religious, charitable, civic/fraternal, educational, youth, or veteran organizations.
4. Persons delivering newspapers or other periodicals classified as second-class postal material.
5. Individuals delivering written materials pertaining to a candidate for public office or a political party.
6. Candidates for public office or their designated representatives campaigning door-to-door.
7. Vendors participating in a local festival, celebrations, or similar types of events who have been recognized by the event’s organizers as participants in the activity.
8. Yard/garage/driveway sales as covered by the provisions of the local zoning law, provided such sales do not violate the zoning law.
E. Procedure for issuance of license.
1. The applicant shall pay to the village clerk-treasurer the applicable fee, as established by resolution of the Board of Trustees and shall file with the clerk treasurer a written application which shall set forth the following information:
a. The name and address of the applicant. If the applicant is a company, the name, address, and title of an officer of the company responsible for the peddling or soliciting or, if there be no such officer, then of the person responsible for the peddling or soliciting.
b. The address at which process or other legal notice may be served, if different from paragraph a above.
c. A brief description of the nature of the business to be conducted and the kind of goods to be peddled or solicited or of the services to be performed.
d. Notarized copy of professional accreditation or licensure if required by state and/or federal law to provide the goods or services being peddled or solicited.
e. The date(s) and time(s) when and the place(s) where peddling or solicitation shall take place.
f. A statement as to whether or not the applicant is a citizen of the United States of America and, if not, the country of which the applicant is a citizen.
g. If a vehicle is involved in the proposed peddling or solicitation, the name and address of the owner, proof of valid registration, the vehicle license plate number, and proof of liability insurance.
h. If the applicant uses scales or measures in the business, there shall be filed with the application a current, valid certificate issued by Livingston County that the scales or measures have been tested and sealed.
i. Any approval required by any other law, rule, or regulation applicable to the goods or measures peddled or solicited shall be filed with the application.
j. A statement as to whether or not the applicant has ever been convicted of any crime or violation of any municipal law and, if so, the date and place thereof, the nature of the offense, the disposition of the charge against the applicant, and the sentence imposed.
k. The application shall be accompanied by two photographs of the applicant, showing the applicant’s head and shoulders, and taken not more than 60 days prior to the date on which the application is filed.
2. Upon receipt of such application, the village clerk-treasurer shall refer same to the Village of Dansville Police for an investigation of the applicant as may be necessary for the protection of the public good, including a check of the applicant’s record of convictions of criminal and municipal laws. Within five days from receipt of the application, the Chief of Police shall return to the village clerk-treasurer a written recommendation as to whether or not a license should be issued to the applicant and, if the recommendation is that the license should not be issued, the reason(s) therefore.
3. The Village Board of Trustees, or designee, shall grant or deny the license application after the Chief of Police’s recommendation has been filed with the village clerk-treasurer.
F. License fees. The license fees for all licenses issued hereunder shall be as set from time to time by resolution of the Board of Trustees. In any event, the Board will review all fees annually at the time of the reorganization meeting in April.
G. Possession of license; term; revocation.
1. The license issued pursuant to this law shall:
a. Be in the possession of every peddler or solicitor at all times when peddling or soliciting, and shall be displayed upon request by any person.
b. Be personal to the applicant and not transferable.
c. Continue in effect for the term 60 days or, if specified thereon, for a shorter term.
2. Identification badge. The clerk-treasurer will issue a badge which clearly states: name, license number, company, contact. Badge must be prominently displayed on the licensee’s person at all times while conducting business within the village.
a. The license issued pursuant to this law may be revoked by the Village Board of Trustees, after notice and hearing, upon the occurrence of any of the following:
1) Fraud, misrepresentation, or false statement contained in the license application.
2) Fraud, misrepresentation, or false statement made by the licensee in the course of carrying on the business of peddling or soliciting.
3) The licensee’s violation of this law or any other law of the Village of Dansville.
4) The licensee’s conviction of any crime or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude.
5) The licensee’s conducting of business of peddling or soliciting in an unlawful manner or in such a manner as to constitute a breach of the peace or to create a threat to the health, safety, or welfare of the public.
b. Notice of a hearing for revocation shall be given in writing to the licensee, which notice shall be mailed by first-class mail to the address in the license application, or such other address as the licensee has furnished in writing to the village clerk treasurer, at least five days prior to the date set for the hearing, and said notice shall set forth the alleged ground for revocation and the time and place of the hearing.
H. Fixed locations prohibited.
1. No person shall keep or maintain at any fixed point on the streets, highways, or public places in the Village of Dansville any portable stand or vehicle for the purpose of hawking, soliciting, or peddling therefrom for more than 30 minutes, except that the Board of Trustees may grant permission extending such period of time when beneficial to the public interest.
2. Parking for such 30-minute periods at any Village park or recreational facility shall be permitted only under the direction of the superintendent of public works with regard to preserving public safety and welfare. Any person who shall violate the reasonable directions of the superintendent of public works or any authorized Village representative with respect to regulation of such parking shall be deemed in violation of this section and shall be subject to revocation of his permit under this article and other such penalties as authorized by this law.
I. Unlawful acts. It shall be a violation of this law for any person:
1. To exercise any exclusive right to any location in the public sidewalks, streets, or other areas, or to operate in any stationary location, unless expressly permitted in the license.
2. To peddle or solicit in any congested area where said peddling or solicitation may impede or inconvenience the public, and the judgment of any police officer, exercised in good faith, as to whether the foregoing shall have occurred, or shall be likely to occur, shall be deemed conclusive.
3. To enter upon private property for the purpose of peddling or soliciting on Sunday and before 9 a.m. or after 5 p.m. of any other day, except with the consent of the householder or occupant.
4. To peddle or solicit on any property which has prominently displayed thereon any sign containing the words “No Peddlers,” “No Solicitors,” “No Agents,” or words to that effect, the purpose of which purports to prohibit peddling or soliciting on the premises.
5. To keep or maintain at any point within 500 feet of any business selling substantially similar merchandise on the streets, highways, or public places in the Village of Dansville any portable stand or vehicle for the purpose of hawking, soliciting, or peddling therefrom.
6. To peddle or solicit within 200 feet of any place used or occupied exclusively as a public or private school, or to permit any cart, wagon, or vehicle to stand in any public highway within said distance of such school property.
7. To establish a fixed location for more than 30 minutes.
8. To act aggressively, threaten verbally or with physical gestures, speak rudely, or refuse to leave a property when asked by the owner or occupant.
9. To use any false plan, scheme, or ruse or to make any false statement which indicates or implies that the purpose of such person’s visit is other than to obtain contributions or orders for sales of goods or services.
10. To misrepresent the right of a buyer to rescind or cancel a sale under the provisions of applicable law.
11. To cheat, deceive, or fraudulently misrepresent, whether through himself or through an employee, while acting as a peddler or solicitor in the Village of Dansville, or to barter, sell, or peddle any goods, merchandise, or wares other than those specified in his or her application for a license.
12. To interfere with either vehicular or pedestrian traffic on the public right of way.
13. To use sound or voice amplification systems or other mechanical sound devices in any solicitation or peddling.
14. To refuse to show the issued license and/or proper identification when asked.
J. Enforcement. Any police officer may require any person observed engaging in peddling or soliciting to produce his or her license issued as required by this law and enforce the provisions of this law against any person violating same. Any violations of this law shall be reported by the police officer to the village clerk-treasurer, in addition to any enforcement action which may be taken by the police officer.
K. Penalties for offenses. Any person convicted of violating any provision of this law shall be deemed to have committed a violation and shall be punished for each violation by a fine not to exceed $250, a term of imprisonment not to exceed 15 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment. If not already revoked by the Board of Trustees, a conviction shall result in the automatic revocation of any issued license from the individual concerned and any company, business, or corporation he or she may represent.
L. Signage. The superintendent of public works will ensure that each entrance to the Village of Dansville is posted with signage indicating that peddling permits are required.
Article II. Transient Merchants
A. Before a license is issued, the applicant therefore shall file with the village clerk-treasurer a cash deposit or bond., in an amount not less than $100 and not more than $500, the amount to be fixed by the mayor in proportion to the estimated amount of business to be done under such license, conditioned that such person or corporation will make a full and complete report of the gross amount of sales made is such transient retail business in the Village of Dansville, and shall file such reports as may be required with the village clerk-treasurer, and will faithfully comply with the General Municipal Law in relation to taxation of transient merchants and with the provisions of this article and will pay the amount of the tax therein levied, said bond to be approved by the village attorney as to form and manner of execution and by the mayor as to its sufficiency.
B. The person or corporation licensed to conduct a transient business in the Village of Dansville shall, before the beginning of said business, file with the village clerk-treasurer, a verified report of the stock on hand, the aggregate value thereof, with which it is intended to conduct said business; shall thereafter as further stock is received, within two days after the receipt thereof, file a verified report with the village clerk-treasurer of such added stock and of the aggregate value thereof, and shall on Monday of each week file a verified report of the stock sold during the preceding week and the amount of which the same was sold, and at the completion of said transient retail business shall file a verified report setting forth the total amount of stock and the total amount for which it was sold.