City of Watervliet, NY
Albany County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the City of Watervliet 4-20-1972 as Ch. 10 of the Code of Ordinances of 1972; amended in its entirety 7-16-2009 by Ord. No. 1848. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Advertising materials — See Ch. 98.
Garage sales — See Ch. 166.

§ 212-1 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
MERCHANDISE, GOODS, WARE, LABOR OR SERVICES
Includes all personal property, provisions, items or products intended to be sold and all types of labor or personal services to be rendered.
PEDDLE
To go personally from house to house, from store to store, from place to place or from street to street or to deal out, distribute or dispense, to sell and make immediate delivery or to offer for sale and delivery any merchandise, goods, wares or provisions in possession of the seller, or labor or personal services, at any place within the City of Watervliet other than from a fixed place of business, but shall not include mailing.
PEDDLER
Any person or company who peddles, as herein described. The words "peddler," "hawker," and "vendor" are considered synonymous terms.
PERSON
A person, firm, association, organization, partnership, company, corporation, society, club and all other entities of any kind capable of being sued.
SOLICIT
To go from house to house, from store to store, from place to place or from street to street to sell or take orders for goods, wares, merchandise or provisions for future delivery or for labor or services to be performed at any place within the City of Watervliet or to distribute advertising matter, but shall not include mailing.
SOLICITOR
Any person or company who solicits as herein defined.

§ 212-2 Exemptions.

A. 
Generally, nothing in this chapter shall apply to sales conducted pursuant to statute or by order of any court or to any person selling personal property at wholesale to dealers in such article.
B. 
The licensing provisions of this chapter shall not apply to:
(1) 
Merchants having an established place of business within the City of Watervliet or their employees.
(2) 
Farmers and truck gardeners who, themselves or through their employees, vend, sell or dispose of the products of their own farms or gardens.
(3) 
Minors 18 years of age or under engaged in providing such services as snow shoveling, grass cutting, leaf raking, lawn clearing and other similar home services as independent contractors.
C. 
This chapter shall not be construed to prevent route salesmen or other persons having established customers to whom they make periodic deliveries from calling upon such customers or from making calls upon prospective customers to solicit a request for future periodic route deliveries.
D. 
Charitable, religious, educational or civic organizations.
(1) 
This chapter shall not apply to solicitations by charitable, religious, educational or civic organizations which have or maintain a regular place of business, place of worship, chapter, lodge, troop or other regular meeting place within the City of Watervliet or a city, town or village contiguous to the City of Watervliet.
(2) 
Charitable, religious, educational or civic organizations not described above shall be exempt from license fees, but shall be required to obtain a license.

§ 212-3 License.

A. 
License required. It shall be unlawful for any person to engage, conduct, manage, operate or cause to be conducted, managed or operated an activity within the City of Watervliet as a peddler, solicitor, hawker or vendor for the purpose of selling any merchandise, article or thing or soliciting orders, sales or subscriptions or conducting business of any kind or seeking for information or donations without having first secured a license and paying a fee as provided in this chapter.
B. 
License application. Application for a license required by this chapter shall be made to the City Clerk and shall give the following information:
(1) 
The applicant's name.
(2) 
His/her date and place of birth.
(3) 
His/her residence at the time of application.
(4) 
His/her residence during the past five years.
(5) 
The details of an arrest record, if any, including a statement as to whether or not the applicant has been convicted of a felony, misdemeanor or local law violation, the nature of the offense or violation, the penalty or punishment imposed, the date when and place where such offense occurred, and other pertinent details thereof. The applicant is not required to provide such information if such judgment of conviction is sealed pursuant to the New York State Penal Law.
(6) 
The nature of goods to be sold or products or services in which he/she is interested.
(7) 
Whether the applicant is to be self-employed.
(8) 
If the applicant is to work on commission or percentage for any person.
(9) 
The name and business address of the applicant's employer.
(10) 
The names of the manufacturers of such products, goods, materials or merchandise.
(11) 
The proposed method of operation within the city, including the identification and number of personnel to be used.
(12) 
The description and number of vehicles, if any, intended to be operated and the period of time for which the license is sought.
(13) 
Proof of possession of any license or permit which, under federal, state or local laws or regulations, the applicant is required to have in order to conduct the proposed business or which, under any such law or regulation, would exempt the applicant from the permitting requirements of this chapter.
(14) 
Two unmounted, unaltered photographs of himself/herself in such position as to show the head and shoulders of the applicant in a clear and distinguishing manner. Photographs shall have been taken within 60 days preceding the filing of his/her application.
(15) 
The application shall contain the applicant's signature.
C. 
Investigation of application. Upon receipt of the completed application for a license required by this chapter, the City Clerk shall forward one copy to the City of Watervliet Police Department to conduct an appropriate investigation of the applicant's business and moral character and as to the matters contained in the application. The purpose of such investigation is to safeguard the public health, safety, and welfare. Such investigations shall inquire into the veracity of statements made upon such application and the applicant's background and character as they relate to the legal and ethical conduct of business as a peddler, hawker, solicitor, or vendor and are made for the protection of the public health, safety, and welfare. Such application shall contain the impressions of the fingers of the right and left hand of the applicant for the purpose of obtaining criminal history records from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services. Such impressions shall be placed on forms furnished by the Division of Criminal Justice Services, the impressions to be taken under the supervision of the Chief of Police or his designee. Each applicant shall pay the free required by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services for such services, in the form prescribed by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, and any additional fee charged by the City of Watervliet. Fingerprint cards and all appropriate processing fees shall be sent directly to the New York Division of Criminal Justice Services by the City of Watervliet Police Department.
D. 
Denial of license.
(1) 
If, as a result of such investigation, the applicant's background and character as relates to the legal and ethical conduct of business as a peddler, hawker, solicitor or vendor is found to be unsatisfactory for the following reasons, the Clerk may refuse to issue a permit to the applicant under this chapter:
(a) 
The local and time of peddling would endanger the safety and welfare of the peddlers or their customers;
(b) 
An investigation reveals that the applicant falsified information on the application;
(c) 
No license should be issued to a person who has been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony within a period of five years prior to an application for such license. The Chief of Police or Clerk may deny the issuance of a permit if the results of his/her investigation reveal a criminal history which, in his/her opinion, demonstrates likelihood that the applicant may pose a threat to the public health, safety or welfare of the City of Watervliet if such license is issued. The provisions of Articles 23 and 23-A of the New York State Correction Law shall be considered by the Chief during his/her review of the applicant's history;
(d) 
The applicant is a person against whom a judgment based upon, or conviction for, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation has been entered within the five years immediately preceding the date of application;
(e) 
The applicant offers no proof of authority to serve as an agent; or
(f) 
The applicant has been denied a license under this article within the immediate past year, unless the applicant can and does show, to the satisfaction of the Clerk, that the reasons for such earlier denial no longer exist.
(2) 
The Chief of Police or his designee shall endorse on such application disapproval and the reasons for such disapproval and, if applicable, in accordance with Correction Law Article 23-A; provided, however, that the Chief of Police or his designee may not disseminate any specific criminal history record information. The Chief of Police and or his designee shall then return the application to the City Clerk, who shall notify the applicant that the application is disapproved and the reasons therefor and that no license shall be issued. Notice shall be mailed to the applicant at the address shown on the application form, or to the applicant's last known address.
E. 
Approval of permit. If, as a result of such investigation, the applicant's background and character are found to be satisfactory, as relates to the legal and ethical conduct of business as a peddler, hawker, solicitor or vendor, the Chief of Police or his designee shall endorse on the application approval of such application and shall return said application to the City Clerk. Upon return of such application and approval by the City Clerk, the Clerk shall, upon receipt of proof of payment of the fees prescribed by this chapter, prepare, issue, and deliver to the applicant such license.
F. 
Fees.
(1) 
At the time of filing an application for a license pursuant to this chapter, a fee of $100 shall be paid to defray the costs of the investigation as required by § 212-3C.
(2) 
The fees for a license to engage in or conduct the business of peddling, hawking, soliciting, or vending or of the nature described in this chapter, shall be as follows:
(a) 
Foot peddler: $300 per year.
(b) 
Motor vehicle peddler: $500 per year.
G. 
Issuance of certificate; display.
(1) 
Each applicant for a license required by this chapter who shows evidence of good character and who pays the fee provided for in this chapter shall be furnished a certificate indicating that he/she has been issued a license under this chapter and showing the dates covered by the license. The certificate of license shall be exhibited by such licensee whenever requested by any person.
(2) 
At the same time the license is issued, the Clerk shall issue to each licensee a badge, which shall be worn by the licensee in such a way as to be conspicuous at all times while the licensee is soliciting or peddling in the City.
H. 
Term of license; renewal. All licenses issued pursuant to this chapter shall expire on the last day of December of the year in which they were issued, unless an earlier expiration date is specified in the license. Each license may be renewed at the expiration of its term if the licensee continues to be qualified to hold such license and makes application therefor, and the fee for the renewal shall be as for an original license.
I. 
Revocation of license; notice of hearing.
(1) 
The City Clerk may suspend or revoke any license issued pursuant to this chapter for any violation by the licensee of this chapter or any other provision of this Code or other ordinance of the City, or of any state or federal law, or whenever the licensee shall cease to possess the qualifications or character required by this chapter for the issuance of the license in the first instance or if any other sufficient cause is shown for revocation of the license. Licenses may be revoked after notice and hearing for any of the following causes:
(a) 
Fraud, misrepresentation or a materially incorrect statement contained in the application for a license.
(b) 
Fraud, misrepresentation or a material incorrect statement made in the course of carrying on the business of solicitor, peddler, hawker or vendor.
(c) 
Any violation of this chapter.
(d) 
Conviction of any crime.
(e) 
Conducting the business of solicitor, peddler, hawker or vendor in an unlawful manner or in such a manner as to constitute a breach of the peace or to constitute a menace to the health, safety or general welfare of the public.
(2) 
Notice of a hearing for revocation of a license issued under this chapter shall be mailed, postage prepaid, to the licensee at the address shown on the permit application, or at the last known address of the licensee. The notice shall be provided in writing and shall set forth specifically the grounds for the proposed revocation and the time and place of the hearing, which take place at least 10 business days after service of the notice.
J. 
Appeals.
(1) 
Any person aggrieved by the action or decision of the City Clerk to deny, suspend or revoke a permit applied for under the provisions of this chapter shall have the right to appeal such action or decision to the General Manager within 15 days after the notice of the action or decision has been mailed to the applicant's address as shown on the license application form, or to his or her last known address.
(2) 
An appeal shall be taken by filing with the City Clerk a written statement setting forth the grounds for the appeal.
(3) 
The Clerk shall transmit the written statement to the General Manager within 10 days of its receipt and the General Manager shall set a time and place for a hearing on the appeal.
(4) 
A hearing shall be set no later than 20 days from the date of receipt by the General Manager of the appellant's written statement.
(5) 
Notice of the time and place of the hearing shall be given to the appellant in the same manner as provided for the mailing of notice of action or decision.
(6) 
The decision of the General Manager on the appeal shall be final and binding.
K. 
Transferability of license. No license issued under the provisions of this chapter shall be transferred by the holder therefor without the permission of the General Manager being endorsed thereon.

§ 212-4 Restrictions.

Any peddler, hawker, solicitor or vendor licensed under this chapter shall:
A. 
Not falsely or fraudulently misrepresent any article or articles offered for sale or offer for sale any unwholesome, tainted or contaminated goods, wares or merchandise.
B. 
Not permit any automobile or other vehicle used by him or her to stop or remain in any crosswalk.
C. 
Not position himself or herself nor place any object in such a manner so as to obstruct any street, sidewalk or public place.
D. 
Have in full force and effect a commercial general liability policy, including personal injury liability insurance, and completed products and operations insurance, in the amount of $1,000,000 per occurrence aggregate. The City shall be included as additional insured on said insurance solely for the license process.
E. 
If any automobile is used in the activity, have in full force and effect a combined single limit automobile insurance for all owned and nonowned vehicles used.
F. 
Execute a hold harmless agreement, in a form satisfactory to the City, by which the applicant shall indemnify and save harmless the City and its agents and employees from and against all claims, damages, loss and expense (including but not limited to attorneys fees), arising out of or resulting from the licensed activity, sustained by an person or persons, provided that any such claims, damage, loss or expense is attributable to bodily injury, sickness, disease or death, or to injury to or destruction of property caused by the tortuous act or negligent act or omission of the applicant, or the applicant's employees.
G. 
Provide proof of statutory workers' compensation and employers' liability insurance for all employees or a waiver of same as permitted by law.
H. 
Not occupy, obstruct or in any way interfere with the normal public use of any bench or other structure established by the City for public use.
I. 
Display his or her license prominently at all times while engaging in the licensed activity.
J. 
Immediately depart the premises of a business, householder, owner or occupant upon being requested to do so.
K. 
Behave in an orderly and peaceful manner.
L. 
Comply with all other provisions of this chapter and all other chapters of the City Code.

§ 212-5 Shouting and sound devices prohibited.

It shall be unlawful for any hawker, vendor, solicitor or peddler licensed under this chapter, or any person on his behalf, to shout make an outcry, blow a horn, ring a bell, or use any sound device or any loudspeaker, including any loud-speaking radio or sound-amplifying system, upon any of the streets, alleys, parks or other public places of the City or upon any private premises in the City where the sound is sufficient to be capable of being plainly heard upon the streets, avenues, alleys, parks or other public places, for the purpose of attracting attention to any goods, wares, or merchandise which such licensee proposes to sell.

§ 212-6 Exclusive right to location in public streets prohibited.

It shall be unlawful for any hawker, vendor, solicitor or peddler licensed under this chapter to have any exclusive right to any location in the public streets, or to be permitted a stationary location, or to be permitted to operate in any congested area where his/her operations might impede or inconvenience the public.

§ 212-7 Juvenile solicitors or peddlers.

A. 
No person under the age of 18 shall be permitted to engage in peddling except as provided in this section.
B. 
A license shall be obtained by a sponsoring person, company, or organization for the conduct of any soliciting or peddling activities involving, in whole or in part, a sales force of one or more persons under 18 years of age.
C. 
The sponsor shall be responsible for supervising and controlling the conduct of all persons, including juveniles, soliciting or peddling under the sponsor's license.
D. 
The sponsor shall provide to each individual in its sales force a badge or other easily readable form of identification which identifies the name of the sponsor and the name of the individual. The sponsor shall require all individuals in its sales force to wear such identification so that it is clearly visible at all times when the individuals are soliciting or peddling.

§ 212-8 Entry upon privately owned buildings.

A. 
It shall be unlawful for any solicitor or peddler, either licensed or unlicensed, to enter any privately owned building for the purpose of selling merchandise without receiving a request by the owner or lessee of that property inviting the peddler or solicitor to enter upon that building for the purpose of making a sale.
B. 
It shall be unlawful for any person, whether licensed or unlicensed, while conducting the business of a peddler or solicitor, to enter upon any residential premises in the City of Watervliet where the owner, occupant or person legally in charge of the premises has posted, at the entry to the premises, or at the entry to the principal building on the premises, a sign bearing the words "No Solicitors," "No Peddlers," or words of similar import. A "No Peddlers or Solicitors" list shall be made available to residents of the City at the office of the City Clerk. Residents may sign up on said list, and said list shall be presented to any prospective solicitors or peddlers.

§ 212-9 Hours of solicitation.

No person, while conducting the activities of a peddler or solicitor, whether licensed or unlicensed, shall enter upon any private property, knock on doors or otherwise disturb persons in their residences between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m.

§ 212-10 Aggressive solicitation.

No person shall request a donation of money or thing of value, or solicit or peddle in an aggressive manner, to be defined as follows:
A. 
Intentionally or recklessly making physical contact with or touching another person in the course of solicitation without consent.
B. 
Following the person being solicited if that conduct is reasonably likely to intimidate the person being solicited or put the person in fear of harm or a criminal act.
C. 
Continuing to solicit within five feet of the person being solicited after that person has made a negative response and has asked the solicitor to discontinue.
D. 
Intentionally or recklessly blocking the safe or free passage or the person being solicited whether on foot, or in a vehicle, or other means of transportation.
E. 
Using obscene or abusive language or gestures while soliciting a person.
F. 
Soliciting within 15 feet of a bank, or automated teller machine, during hours of business or operation, without the expressed consent of the owner of the property.

§ 212-11 Enforcement; penalties for offenses.

A. 
It shall be the duty of any police officer of the City of Watervliet to:
(1) 
Require any person seen peddling or soliciting, and who is not known by such police officer to be duly licensed, to produce his City-issued license.
(2) 
Enforce the provisions of this chapter against any person found to be violating the same.
B. 
Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a violation and shall be subject to a penalty as set forth in Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article III, General Penalty.

§ 212-12 Severability.

The provisions of this article are declared to be severable. If any section, sentence, clause, or phrase thereof shall for any reason be held to be invalid or unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction, such decisions shall not affect the validity of the remaining sections, sentences, clauses, and phrases of this article, but they shall remain in effect; it being the legislative intent that this article remain in effect notwithstanding the validity of any part.