Town of Denton, MD
Caroline County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Denton 7-11-2011 by Ord. No. 633. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Noise — See Ch. 85.

§ 92-1 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
A. 
Any benevolent, philanthropic, patriotic, not-for-profit, educational, religious, or eleemosynary group, association, or corporation which qualified under Section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code as a tax-exempt organization.
B. 
A fire company which is organized for the prevention and extinguishment of fires.
CONTRIBUTION
The promise or grant of any money, credit, property, financial assistance, or any other thing of value, including payments for literature in excess of the fair market value of said literature.
DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING
The Town of Denton Department of Planning and Codes Administration.
DIRECTOR OF PLANNING
The Director of Planning and Codes Administration.
DISTRIBUTOR
Any person who distributes or causes to be distributed on any street or public place within the Town any subscription newspaper, periodical, book, magazine, handbill, advertisement, circular, card, pamphlet, or printed material of any kind other than a regularly delivered newspaper, magazine, or periodical.
ESTABLISHED PLACE OF BUSINESS
Any building or room licensed for the handling of products enumerated in this chapter.
FLEA MARKET
A type of indoor or outdoor merchandizing area where inexpensive or secondhand goods are sold or bartered.
HAWKER
A peddler who sells his wares by outcry in the streets and public places. Note: The activity of hawking is prohibited.
HUCKSTER
A seller of small articles, usually of cheap or shoddy quality, or one engaged in haggling or making petty bargains. Note: The activity of huckstering is prohibited.
ITINERANT RETAIL FOOD PRODUCTS DEALER
Any person, without an established place of business within the limits of the Town, selling or offering for sale from any cart, wagon, truck, automobile, or other vehicle any fruits, vegetables, garden produce, eggs, cheese, game, meat, poultry, seafood, or seafood products.
MERCHANDISE or COMMODITY
All goods, wares, food, meat, fish, ice cream, fruits, vegetables, magazines, periodicals, advertising material, printed material, farm products, services, and orders or contracts for services, home improvements or alterations, and anything that may be sold or distributed by peddlers, solicitors, or distributors, as defined herein.
NEWSPAPER
A paper that is distributed and contains news, articles of opinion, and advertising. This definition includes community newspapers and "penny savers."
PEDDLER
Any person, either principal or agent, whether a resident of the Town or not, engaged in business for profit who sells, takes orders, offers for sale any commodity or article, going from house to house, from place to place, or from street to street, or who sells or offers for sale and delivery, traveling by foot, automotive vehicle, or any other type of conveyance in the Town, or who engages in any of the foregoing activities from a stationary location on the street or other public place, any commodity or article, and carrying such commodity for the purpose of selling and delivering the merchandise to customers.
PERSON
A natural person, corporation, joint-stock company, firm, business trust, estate trust, partnership, organization, club, association, society, two or more persons having a joint or common interest, or any legal or commercial entity, or any principal or agent thereof.
PRODUCE
Agricultural products, fruits, and vegetables.
RESIDENTIAL PREMISES
A dwelling unit, including apartments and manufactured homes, which is used as a dwelling or domicile by the occupant.
A. 
Any person, either principal or agent, whether a resident of the Town or not, who goes from house to house, from place to place, or from street to street, traveling by foot or automotive vehicle or any other type of conveyance, soliciting, taking, or attempting to take orders for the sale of merchandise or services of any kind for present or future performance or delivery, whether or not such individual has, carries or exposes for sale a sample of the merchandise or services, and whether or not he is collecting advance payments on such sales or orders, or who engages in any of the foregoing activities from a stationary location on any street or other public place. The word "solicitor" shall also include the word "canvasser," or any person who goes from door to door, as described above, for the purpose of soliciting and/or who collects funds, including donations for any charitable purpose, from a stationary location on any street or other public place.
B. 
Any person who attempts to take orders for subscriptions, contributions, or any other kind of support, or who, without necessarily having the intention of making a direct sale, distributes literature, pamphlets, handbills, samples, and the like for commercial purposes.

§ 92-2 License required.

A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person to publicly sell, offer for sale, peddle, or distribute any articles of merchandise, printed material, or services within the Town of Denton (Town) without having first filed an application for license, paid a license fee, and obtained a license from the Town.
B. 
The acts of hawking and huckstering shall be unlawful.

§ 92-3 License application.

All persons desiring a license under the requirements of this chapter shall, prior to engaging in such activity as defined in this chapter, register with the Department of Planning and furnish, in writing, on an application to be furnished by the Department of Planning, the following information:
A. 
Peddler, distributor, or flea market.
(1) 
The applicant's name.
(2) 
The permanent home address and local mailing address of the applicant.
(3) 
The applicant's telephone number.
(4) 
The name and address of the person by whom the applicant is employed or with whom the applicant is associated.
(5) 
The length of such employment or association.
(6) 
The place of residence and nature of employment of the applicant during the preceding 12 months.
(7) 
A brief description of the nature of the business and the goods to be sold and the name and address of the principal office of their manufacturer, as well as the name and address of the agent designated to receive service of process in the State of Maryland.
(8) 
An estimate of the length of time and a statement of the part of the Town in which the applicant will pursue his activities. The location of sale, if intended to sell any commodity or article from an established spot on a street or other public place.
(9) 
Whether or not orders are to be solicited or taken for future delivery of goods or performance of services.
(10) 
The names and addresses of three persons who have known the applicant for at least one year and from whom the applicant is willing that inquiry be made to verify the facts stated by the applicant.
(11) 
A copy of a valid state motor vehicle operator's license (copy to be attached). If unable to meet the license criteria, some other type of identification with a picture taken within 60 days immediately prior to the date of filing of the application (copy to be attached).
(12) 
A physical description of the applicant, setting forth the applicant's age, height, weight, color of hair and eyes, and any other distinguishing physical characteristics.
(13) 
A statement as to whether or not the applicant has been convicted of a crime, misdemeanor, or violations of any municipal ordinance, other than a traffic violation, and the nature of the offense and the punishment or penalty assessed thereafter.
(14) 
The applicant's Maryland state retail sales tax number; the address of any permanent place of business in the Town or the State of Maryland or, if there is no permanent place of business in the State of Maryland, a copy of a certificate from the State Department of Assessments and Taxation evidencing the fact that the person has qualified to do business in the State of Maryland and the name and address of its agent for the service of process in this state if the same is a corporation, limited partnership, or such other legal entity. If the applicant is an individual or partnership, the same shall be required to provide proof that he or it is qualified to do business and has obtained all necessary licenses required by the State of Maryland and the county requisite for the operation of said business.
B. 
Solicitor. In the case of solicitation of contributions, one person shall make application for the organization at least 30 days prior to the proposed date the solicitation will begin, which application shall give or be accompanied by the following:
(1) 
Name and local residence of the applicant.
(2) 
Name and official address of the organization represented and the names and addresses of the organization's local officers and managers.
(3) 
Purpose of the solicitation.
(4) 
Name and address of the person or persons who will be in direct charge of conducting the solicitation.
(5) 
A list of the names and addresses of all sponsors, promoters, and solicitors connected with the solicitation.
(6) 
An outline of the methods to be used in conducting the solicitation.
(7) 
The dates when the solicitation is to be made, giving the commencement and termination date.
(8) 
A statement as to whether or not any commission, fee, wage, or other compensation is to be paid in connection with such solicitation and, if so, the details as to the amount to be expended from the funds collected.
(9) 
An IRS nonprofit tax certification shall be provided if the solicitor is a nonprofit organization.
(10) 
Each solicitation individual's information shall be provided as specified in § 92-3A if the solicitor is a for-profit organization.
(11) 
A certificate of good standing from the Maryland Department of Taxation indicating the solicitor is authorized to do business and in compliance with the State of Maryland requirements.

§ 92-4 Verification of information; approval or disapproval of application.

A. 
The Town shall promptly make such verification of the facts stated by the applicant as the circumstances may require and shall complete such verification in not more than 14 days after the filing of the licensing statement.
B. 
It shall be unlawful for the applicant to engage as a peddler within the Town until the period of 14 days has elapsed or until the Town has advised the applicant that the applicant has complied with the requirements and the same have been sufficiently verified.
C. 
If, as a result of such investigation, the applicant's background or business responsibility is found to be unsatisfactory, the Director of Planning shall endorse on such application his disapproval and the Town's reasons for the same and shall notify the applicant that his application is disapproved. Disapproval reasons are, but shall not necessarily be limited to:
(1) 
Conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude.
(2) 
Prior violation of a peddling or soliciting ordinance.
(3) 
Previous fraudulent acts or conduct.
(4) 
Evidence of bad character.
D. 
If the results of such investigation are found to be satisfactory, the Director of Planning shall endorse his approval on the application and shall, upon the payment of the prescribed license fee, execute, and deliver to the applicant his license. The Director of Planning shall cause to be kept a record of all licenses issued and of all complaints received, if any, concerning each license.

§ 92-5 Refusal, revocation or suspension of license.

The Director of Planning may refuse to issue or renew, revoke, or suspend any license if he finds that the applicant or licensee has willfully withheld or falsified any information required for a license or has been convicted of any of the crimes described in § 92-4C. The Director of Planning may suspend, for a period up to 90 days, revoke, or refuse to renew any license upon a finding that the licensee, while peddling or soliciting and in connection therewith, has engaged in fraud or willful misrepresentation, has violated any provision of this chapter, has committed any unlawful act, or has refused to leave the premises immediately when requested by the owner or occupant thereof to do so. Any refusal, revocation, suspension, or failure to renew shall be by written notice to the licensee and shall be delivered personally or sent by first-class mail to the licensee's local address listed in the application. The notice shall contain a statement of the reasons for the action taken.
A. 
Licenses issued under this chapter may be revoked by the Director of Planning after reasonable notice and hearing for any of the following causes, but shall not necessarily be limited to:
(1) 
Fraud, misrepresentation, or false statement contained in the application for the license.
(2) 
Fraud, misrepresentation, or false statement made in the course of carrying on activities regulated herein.
(3) 
Conviction of any crime or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude.
(4) 
Conducting the business of soliciting and canvassing in an unlawful manner, in violation of this chapter, or in such manner as to constitute a breach of the peace or menace to the health, safety, or general welfare of the public.
B. 
Notice of hearing for revocation of a license shall be given by the Director of Planning, in writing, setting forth the grounds of complaint and the time and place of hearing. Such notice shall be served personally upon the licensee or by certified mail, return receipt postage prepaid, to the licensee at the address given by the licensee in making application under § 92-3 herein, or shall be delivered by the agent of the Town in the same manner as a summons at least 10 days prior to the date set for hearing.
C. 
Upon revocation, the certificate shall be surrendered to the Director of Planning.

§ 92-6 Appeals.

Any person aggrieved by the action of the Director of Planning in the denial of an application for a license as provided in § 92-3 of this chapter or in the decision with reference to the revocation of a license as provided in § 92-5 of this chapter shall have the right to appeal to the Mayor and Council. Such appeal shall be taken by filing with the Mayor and Council, within 14 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 Mayor and Council shall set a time and place for a hearing on such appeal, and notice of such hearing shall be given to the appellant in the same manner as provided in § 92-5 of this chapter for notice of hearing on revocation. The Mayor and Council shall make written findings of fact as part of their decision. Any appeal of their decision shall be in accordance with Title 7, Chapter 200, of the Maryland Rules of Procedure.

§ 92-7 License term and conditions.

A. 
A license issued under this chapter shall be good for one year from the date of issuance, unless a previous suspension or revocation has been assessed, then the time may be limited.
B. 
Every peddler or solicitor shall carry with him his license at all times while engaged in peddling or soliciting and shall display the same to any person who shall demand to see the same while he is so engaged.
C. 
The license shall remain the property of the Town and shall be surrendered to the Town upon expiration, suspension, or revocation.

§ 92-8 Renewal of license.

The holder of any expiring license under this chapter desiring a new license to be effective on the expiration of the existing license shall, not less than 30 nor more than 60 days before the expiration of the existing license, file a written application for renewal with the Town, giving the information set forth in § 92-3. The Town Council may set a renewal fee.

§ 92-9 Peddling in public places restricted.

A. 
No peddler shall ply his/her vocation on any street, sidewalk, park, parkway, or in any other public place, including the public square, unless authorized to do so by the Mayor and Town Council and said peddler's license specifies that peddling in such public place is permitted thereunder.
B. 
No peddler shall be permitted to sell or offer for sale any goods, commodities, foodstuffs, merchandise, or products of whatsoever nature or kind from any parking space adjacent to any parking meter. This restriction shall not apply during any special event sponsored by the Town.
C. 
No peddler selling from any vehicle going from place to place shall be permitted to:
(1) 
Sell from the same location for more than 30 minutes at any one time;
(2) 
Sell within 300 feet of a permanent store, restaurant, or other business location which offers for sale similar or competing products to those of the licensed peddler; or
(3) 
Sell within 300 feet of a designated Town special event, unless the peddler is specifically licensed to operate at said event.

§ 92-10 General regulations.

A. 
No license shall be issued under this chapter to any person under the age of 18 years.
B. 
It shall be unlawful for any peddler or solicitor in plying his trade to enter upon any premises or property or to ring the doorbell or knock upon or enter any building whereon there is painted or otherwise affixed or displayed to the public view any sign containing any or all of the following words: "No Peddlers," "No Solicitors," "No Agents," or other wording, the purpose of which purports to prohibit peddling or soliciting on the premises.
C. 
It shall be unlawful to remain in a private residence or on the premises thereof after the owner or the occupant has requested such person to leave.
D. 
No license shall be transferred from one person to another.
E. 
No one shall peddle, solicit or distribute merchandise except between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and dusk, unless specifically having been invited into a house by the occupant or having made an appointment with a person previously.
F. 
No outdoor flea market shall operate except between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
G. 
No one shall attempt to peddle, solicit, or distribute merchandise or printed material without first having identified himself as a peddler, solicitor, or distributor registered with the Town and having displayed his certificate or credentials, in the case of the solicitation of funds.
H. 
No one shall have exclusive right to any location in the public streets or operate in any congested area where his operations might impede or inconvenience the public.
I. 
It shall be unlawful to enter or attempt to enter the residence of any person in the Town without an express invitation from the occupant of such residence.
J. 
It shall be prohibited to conduct himself in such a manner as to become objectionable to or annoy an occupant of any residence.
K. 
It shall be unlawful to shout, cry out, blow a horn upon any of the streets, parks, or public places of the Town.
(1) 
It shall be unlawful to shout, cry out, blow a horn, or ring a bell or use any sound-making or amplifying device upon private premises where sound of sufficient volume is produced or emitted therefrom to be capable of being plainly heard upon the streets, avenues, parks, or other public places of the Town or upon private premises for the purpose of attracting attention to any merchandise or services.
(2) 
Use of any sound-making or amplifying device upon any of the streets, parks, or public places of the Town shall be reviewed and approved by the Department of Planning as part of the permitting process.
L. 
It shall be unlawful to distribute obscene merchandise or printed material or that which advocates unlawful conduct.
M. 
It shall be unlawful to litter the streets, public places, or properties within the Town with any merchandise or printed material.
N. 
It shall be unlawful to place flyers on motor vehicles (e.g., windshields).

§ 92-11 Fees; license classifications.

A. 
No license shall be issued until the proper fees have been paid to the Town office:
B. 
Fees for such licenses shall be as set by the Mayor and Town Council from time to time. Fees shall be based upon the number of persons, vehicles and days of operation. The Mayor and Town Council may require the posting of cash or other appropriate bond to insure compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
C. 
License classifications.
(1) 
Two levels of licenses shall be classified:
(a) 
Class A license: license which shall require a background check.
(b) 
Class B license: license which does not require a background check.
(2) 
Class A licenses shall have an appropriately set higher fee than Class B licenses.

§ 92-12 Exemptions.

The following persons or organizations are exempt or partially exempt from the licensing procedure, upon compliance with all other provisions of this chapter and submission of applicable identification and documents to support the claim to exemption:
A. 
Any itinerant food products dealer.
B. 
Any person engaged in the delivery of goods, wares, or merchandise or other articles or things, in the regular course of business, to the premises of persons who had previously ordered the same or were entitled to receive the same by reason of a prior agreement.
C. 
Any persons selling products or services at a Main Street managed farmers' market.
D. 
Any persons selling products or services at a Town- or county-sponsored or -sanctioned event.
E. 
Any charitable (nonprofit), school-age educational organization, or youth organization (e.g., Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts), shall be exempt from licensing requirements imposed under § 92-2 and the fees imposed under § 92-11.
F. 
Newsboys.
G. 
Persons selling personal property at wholesale to dealers in such articles.
H. 
Persons conducting a bona fide auction sale pursuant to law or a sale required by statute or by order of any court.
I. 
Any veteran who holds a special license under the laws of the State of Maryland shall be exempt from securing a license or paying the fee as provided herein, but shall be required to comply with all other applicable sections of this chapter and shall be required to register with the Director of Planning and obtain a license, which will be issued by the Director of Planning upon proper identification and exhibition of such state license.
J. 
All persons engaged in a business or occupation for which they are required to obtain a state license shall be exempt from the fees imposed under § 92-11 hereof, provided that application is made for a license and the requisite state license is presented for inspection by the Town prior to issuance of the license required herein.
K. 
Any person who is a member of a volunteer fire department or an approved agent of the fire department and is serving the Town and its environs.
L. 
Any public utility or its employees, which said public utility is subject to regulation by the State Board of Public Works; provided, however, that such employees shall display the identification badge or card issued by their employer.

§ 92-13 Violations and penalties.

Any violation of the provisions of this chapter, whether by a principal agent or an employee of another, shall constitute a municipal infraction. The penalties for such municipal infraction shall be as follows:
A. 
First offense: A first violation shall constitute a municipal infraction as provided in § 20-2A, municipal infractions.
B. 
Second offense: A second violation shall constitute a municipal infraction as provided in § 20-2B, municipal infractions.

§ 92-14 Severability.

If any section, subsection, sentence, clause or phrase, or portion of this chapter is for any reason held invalid or unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, such portion shall be deemed a separate, distinct, and independent provision and such holding shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this chapter, it being the intent of the Mayor and Council that this chapter shall stand, notwithstanding the invalidity of any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or portion hereof.