Borough of Ephrata, PA
Lancaster County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Ephrata 9-8-1969 by Ord. No. 921; amended in its entirety 7-10-2006 by Ord. No. 1414. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Garage and yard sales — See Ch. 189.
Junk dealers — See Ch. 197.

§ 293-1 Definitions and word usage.

A. 
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
GOODS
Any goods, wares, foodstuffs, merchandise or services offered for sale, whether or not displayed.
PERSON
Any natural person, association, partnership, firm or corporation.
PEDDLER
Any person who goes upon any of the streets or alleys, sidewalks or public grounds or from house to house in the Borough of Ephrata, not having been invited by the occupant or owner thereof, carrying or transporting goods, wares, merchandise or personal property of any nature and offering the same for sale. The term "peddler" shall include street vendor and transient merchant.
PEDDLING
The selling or offering for sale of any goods, wares, merchandise or services for immediate delivery which the person selling or offering for sale carries with him in traveling or has in his possession or control upon any of the streets or sidewalks or from house to house within the Borough and includes all activities ordinarily performed by a peddler as indicated in this chapter.
POLICE CHIEF
The Chief of Police of the Borough of Ephrata or his designee.
RESIDENCE
Any separate living unit occupied for residential purposes by one or more persons, contained within any type of building or structure.
SOLICITOR
Any person who goes upon any of the streets or alleys, sidewalks or public grounds or from house to house in the Borough of Ephrata, not having been invited by the occupant or owner thereof, for the purpose of taking or attempting to sell or take orders for the sale of goods, merchandise, wares, or other personal property of any nature for future delivery, or for services to be performed in the future.
SOLICITING
Selling or attempting to sell goods or services, or to take or attempt to take orders for services or goods to be performed or furnished in the future. A soliciting transaction shall not include a sale made pursuant to a preexisting retail charge agreement; or a sale made pursuant to prior negotiations between the parties at a business establishment at a fixed location where goods or services are offered or exhibited for sale; or a sale of realty in which transaction the purchaser is represented by a licensed attorney or in which the transaction is being negotiated by a licensed real estate broker.
SPECIAL EVENT
Any occasion, including but not limited to fairs, shows, exhibitions, Borough-wide celebrations, and festivals, taking place within a specifically defined area of the Borough for a period of time not to exceed seven days and for which a sponsor is the licensee for all designated transient retail businesses, merchants, and vendors permitted to conduct such activities as part of the special event.
TRANSIENT RETAIL ACTIVITY
Any activity conducted by a peddler, vendor, solicitor, transient merchant in his or her conduct of a transient retail business.
(1) 
Engaging in peddling, canvassing, soliciting and taking orders, either by sample or otherwise, for any goods, wares or merchandise, upon any of the streets or alleys, sidewalks or public grounds or from house to house in the Borough of Ephrata; and
(2) 
Selling, vending, soliciting or taking orders for any goods, wares or merchandise from a fixed location in the Borough on a temporary basis, which shall include, but shall not be limited to, such activities conducted at the time of special events or celebrations, for seasonal purposes or for or in advance of specific yearly holidays.
TRANSIENT MERCHANT
A person who engages or proposes to engage temporarily in merchandising business in the Borough and occupies a room, building, tent, lot stand or other premises for the purpose of selling, trading or bartering goods, wares or merchandise.
B. 
In this chapter, the masculine shall include the feminine and the neuter, the singular shall include the plural, and the plural shall include the singular.

§ 293-2 License required; exemptions.

A. 
It shall be unlawful to engage in any transient retail activity within the Borough of Ephrata without first obtaining a license from the Ephrata Police Department.
B. 
No license shall be required from the following:
(1) 
Farmers selling their own products.
(2) 
Insurance and real estate agents and brokers licensed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
(3) 
That the solicitor is on the property by invitation of the person residing on such premises.
(4) 
Sales made to dealers by commercial travelers or sales agents in the usual course of business, calling upon or dealing with manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors or retailers at their places of business.
(5) 
Persons who work for an organization which has registered with the Pennsylvania Department of State under the Solicitation of Charitable Funds Act, Act of August 9, 1963, P.L. 628, and produce proof of such current registration.
(6) 
Representatives and members of Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of America, Lions, Kiwanis, American Association of Retired Persons, Disabled American Veterans, YWCA and YMCA, YWHA and YMHA, Red Cross, Salvation Army and other national and international service organizations and associations existing for the benefit of young, aged, handicapped or stricken persons and soliciting or selling for the purpose of self-perpetuation and which may be registered as charitable organizations with the state or federal government.
(7) 
Insurance and real estate agents and brokers licensed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
(8) 
Schoolchildren selling goods, wares or merchandise where the funds or proceeds of the sale are to be applied exclusively for a function or organization sponsored or approved by the school where such children attend.
(9) 
Goods, wares, or merchandise temporarily deposited on the sidewalk in the ordinary course of delivery, shipment or transfer.
(10) 
The placing and maintenance of unattended stands or sales devices for the sale, display or offering for sale of newspapers, magazines, periodicals and paperbound books.
(11) 
The distribution of free samples of goods, wares and merchandise by any individual from his person.
(12) 
Any sale or distribution permitted by statute or order of a court of competent jurisdiction.
C. 
No person under the age of eighteen (18) shall be permitted to engage in peddling or soliciting activities except as provided below:
(1) 
A license shall be obtained by a sponsoring adult person, company or organization for the conduct of any peddling or soliciting, activities involving, in whole or in part, a sales force of one or more persons under 18 years of age.
(2) 
The sponsor shall be responsible for supervising and controlling the conduct of all persons, including juveniles, peddling or soliciting under the sponsor's licensing.
D. 
Any vendor wishing to conduct a transient retail activity at a special event shall either be a named vendor of the sponsor of the special event pursuant to the sponsor's license or shall otherwise be individually licensed as provided for herein. Application for such individual license must be made at least 14 days prior to the beginning of the event for which the license is sought. The individual license shall be valid only for the duration and operating times of the special event. Fees for such individual license shall be as established by resolution of Ephrata Borough Council. Vending at special events without a license is prohibited.

§ 293-3 Application for license.

Every person or authorized sponsor of a person or persons or sponsor of a special event desiring to engage in any transient retail business shall complete and file a written application with the Police Chief, which application shall show:
A. 
Proof of the identity acceptable to the Chief of Police, including, at a minimum, the date of birth, one photo I.D., home address of the applicant, and the name and address of the employer or firm which such applicant represents;
B. 
A description of the nature, character and quality of the goods to be sold;
C. 
If employed by another, the name, address and telephone number of the employer, or if acting as an agent, the name, address and telephone number of the principal who is being represented, with credentials in written form establishing the relationship and the authority of the employee or agent to act for the employer or principal as the case may be;
D. 
If a motor vehicle is to be used, a description of the vehicle together with the motor vehicle registration number and the license number;
E. 
If such person shall also be required to obtain a license from any state or county offices, he or she shall, when making such registration, exhibit a valid license from such state or county offices;
F. 
A description of the proposed location(s) of the solicitation;
G. 
The hours and location for which the license to engage in peddling or soliciting is desired;
H. 
The names of other communities in which the applicant has worked as a solicitor in the past 12 months; and if he was employed by a different company in those communities, the name of those companies shall also be stated;
I. 
Whether the applicant or any agent of applicant has been convicted within the last five years for any criminal offense against persons or property, theft, breach of the peace or any crime against or involving a minor.
J. 
A statement as to whether or not the applicant has been convicted of a felony, misdemeanor or ordinance violation (other than traffic violations), 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;
K. 
Proof of sales tax permit issued by the state or proof that the goods sold are not subject to such sales tax; and
L. 
Written proof of his authority to represent the company or individual he states he represents.

§ 293-4 License fee.

The application shall be accompanied by a fee in the required amount as established by resolution from time to time by the Council of the Borough of Ephrata and no license hereunder shall be issued until such fee(s) has been paid by the applicant. A separate license fee shall be paid for each person engaged in a transient retail business.

§ 293-5 Term of license.

A. 
A license requested under this chapter shall be issued for the length of time requested, not to exceed three months.
B. 
Upon expiration of a license, the solicitor, merchant or other person engaged in a transient retail activity may apply to the Chief of Police for a license renewal subject to the same terms, procedures and conditions at set forth herein for licensing. The application for license renewal shall be accompanied by a license renewal fee in the required amount as established by resolution from time to time by the Council of the Borough of Ephrata and no license hereunder shall be issued until such fee(s) has been paid by the applicant for each person engaged in a transient retail business. No license shall be renewed if there has been a change in the requested activity, or if the applicant has violated any provision of this chapter.

§ 293-6 Investigation of applicant, license issuance, records.

A. 
Upon receipt of such application, it shall be referred to the Chief of Police, who shall cause an investigation to be made as to all matters contained in the application to ensure the protection of the public health, safety and general welfare.
B. 
The Chief of Police shall endorse on such application his disapproval and his reasons for the same, and shall notify the applicant that his application is disapproved and that no license will be issued, if as a result of his investigation the Chief of Police determines that:
(1) 
The application is incomplete;
(2) 
There has been a misrepresentation of any material fact in the application;
(3) 
The applicant has been convicted within the last five years of any criminal offense against persons or property, theft, breach of the peace or any crime against or involving a minor; or
(4) 
The applicant or his proposed activity poses a substantial risk of injury to the public health, safety or general welfare.
C. 
If upon investigation of the application the information contained therein is verified and there is no evidence that the applicant has been convicted of any offense described in Subsection B above or that his proposed activity poses a substantial risk of injury to the public health, safety or general welfare, the Chief of Police shall endorse on the application his approval, execute a license addressed to the applicant for the carrying on of the business applied for and, upon payment of the prescribed license fee(s), if any, issue a license. Such license shall contain the signature and seal of the Borough and shall show the name and address of the licensee, the kind of goods to be sold thereunder, the area within which the activity will be conducted, the amount of fee paid, the date of issuance and the period for which the same shall be operative, as well as the license number and other identifying description of any vehicle used. The Ephrata Police Department shall keep a permanent record of all licenses issued.
D. 
The Chief of Police shall issue or deny such a transient retail business license to solicit or sell or take orders for such goods, services or merchandise set forth in the applicant's application within five working days of the receipt of a completed application and payment of the prescribed fee.

§ 293-7 Appeal from denial of license.

A. 
Any person aggrieved by the action of the Chief of Police in the denial of an application for a license shall have the right of appeal to the Public Safety Committee of the Council of the Borough of Ephrata. Such appeal shall be taken by filing with the Borough Manager, within 10 days after notice of the action complained of has been mailed to the appellant's last known address, a written statement setting forth the grounds for the appeal. A hearing on the denial shall be scheduled for the next regular meeting of the Public Safety Committee following the receipt of appellant's notice of appeal. Said hearing shall be held pursuant to Local Agency Law, § 5 (2 Pa.C.S.A. § 551 et seq.).

§ 293-8 License identification badge; display.

A. 
Upon receipt of such application, the Ephrata Police Department shall issue a license identification badge. Such license identification badge shall contain the name of the licensee, the name of the individual engaged in a transient retail activity in those instances where the licensee serves as a sponsor, a photograph of the individual engaged in a transient retail business activity, the license number and date of expiration, the goods or merchandise to be solicited, together with an identification of any limitation of area within the Borough authorized for the licensed transient retail business.
B. 
A license identification badge shall be worn by the licensee and, except when authorized as a special event, all persons engaged in a transient retail business for whom the licensee serves as a sponsor in such a way as to be conspicuous at all times while the licensee is engaged in a transient retail business from house to house or upon any of the streets, alleys, sidewalks or public grounds.
C. 
A licensee shall display such identification badge or other certificate issued by the Borough at the location where he or she shall engage in such business if doing so from a fixed location. He or she shall exhibit such certificate, upon request, to all police officers, Borough officials and citizens and residents of the Borough.

§ 293-9 Operating regulations, prohibited acts.

It shall be unlawful for any person while engaged in a transient retail business to:
A. 
Engage in any such business without first obtaining a license therefor in compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
B. 
Engage in a transient retail activity between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m., unless said activity is as a result of a request or an appointment made by the occupant or such activity is authorized pursuant to the terms of a license for a special event.
C. 
Knock, ring the doorbell, or otherwise attempt to gain the attention of the occupant(s) of a building other than at the primary entrance to the building.
D. 
Knock, ring the doorbell, or otherwise attempt to gain the attention of the occupant(s) of a residence in the Borough where the owner, occupant, or person legally in charge of the premises has posted at the primary entrance to the premises, or at the entry to the principal building on the premises, a sign bearing the words "No Peddlers," "No Solicitors," or words of similar import, provided that the provisions of this section shall not apply to any solicitor or canvasser who knocks at any door or rings any bell at the invitation or with the consent of some member of the household at which he so applied for admission.
E. 
Engage in a transient retail business in an aggressive manner. As used in this section, "aggressive manner" means either approaching a person present at the residence or continuing the peddling or soliciting activity after the person has made a negative response, whether before or after being invited into the residence, in a manner that: 1) is likely to cause a reasonable person to fear imminent bodily harm or the commission of a criminal act upon property in a person's possession or in or about the residence; or 2) is intended to or is likely to intimidate the person into responding affirmatively to the peddling or soliciting activity.
F. 
Engage in peddling or soliciting activities from any vehicle while the vehicle is located upon any street, avenue, boulevard or alley within the Borough. This section shall not apply to the delivery of previously ordered merchandise.
G. 
Misrepresent the purpose of the solicitation;
H. 
Continue efforts to solicit from an individual once that individual informs the solicitor that he does not wish to make a purchase from that solicitor;
I. 
Represent the issuance of a license under this chapter as an endorsement or recommendation of the Borough of Ephrata.
J. 
Solicit in the Borough of Ephrata without displaying the required license badge on his person.
K. 
Solicit at locations other than those listed in his application for a license.
L. 
Fail or refuse to display such license identification badge upon the request of any person demanding the same.
M. 
Duplicate, copy or otherwise display a facsimile of a license badge issued pursuant to this chapter.
N. 
Engage in any activity that interferes with the safe and convenient movement of persons and vehicles, creates any hazardous condition or is detrimental to the public health safety or general welfare.

§ 293-10 Hours of operation.

Unless the license specifically provides otherwise, soliciting, peddling or taking orders whether by sample or otherwise for any goods, wares or merchandise from house to house in the Borough of Ephrata shall be permitted only between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

§ 293-11 Vending restrictions.

Absent an explicit authorization by the Borough for a special event or circumstance, no vendor shall be permitted to operate:
A. 
On any public space, within 25 feet of any street, intersection or pedestrian crosswalk.
B. 
Within any parking lot or area of an existing business in any manner that would reduce the number of parking spaces available for customers of the business.
C. 
Within 25 feet of any loading zone or bus stop, intersection or pedestrian crosswalk.
D. 
Within 200 feet of another vending location assigned to another vendor on a public sidewalk.
E. 
In any area within 100 feet of a building entrance or exit or, in the case of a hotel or motel, within 250 feet of building entrances or exits.
F. 
On the median strip of a divided roadway.
G. 
Against display windows of fixed location businesses.
H. 
Any area within 1,000 feet of a hospital, college, university, elementary school, middle school or high school.
I. 
Within 25 feet of any fire hydrant or fire escape.
J. 
Within 25 feet of any parking space or access ramp designated for persons with disabilities.

§ 293-12 Transfer prohibited.

No license issued under the provisions of this chapter shall be transferred.

§ 293-13 Supervision; records and reports.

The Ephrata Police Department shall monitor the activities of all persons holding licenses under this chapter and shall keep a record of all applications issued hereunder.

§ 293-14 License revocation, appeal.

A. 
Licenses issued under the provisions of this chapter may be revoked by the Chief of Police for any of the following causes:
(1) 
Fraud, misrepresentation or false statement contained in the application for license.
(2) 
Fraud, misrepresentation or false statement made in the course of carrying on the business.
(3) 
A violation of any of the provisions of this chapter.
(4) 
Conviction of any criminal offense against persons or property, theft, breach of the peace or any crime against or involving a minor.
(5) 
Conducting the business in an unlawful manner or 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.
B. 
Any person aggrieved by the action of the Police Chief in the revocation of a license shall have the right of appeal to the Public Safety Committee of the Council of the Borough of Ephrata. Such appeal shall be taken by filing with the Borough Manager, within 10 days after notice of the action complained of has been mailed to the appellant's last known address, a written statement setting forth the grounds for the appeal. A hearing on the revocation shall be scheduled for the next regular meeting of the Public Safety Committee following the receipt of notice of appeal of appellant. Said hearing shall be held pursuant to Local Agency Law, § 5 (2 Pa.C.S.A. § 551 et seq.).

§ 293-15 Compliance with zoning required.

Nothing herein shall be construed to replace, supersede or otherwise amend any provision or regulation of the Code of the Borough of Ephrata, Chapter 319, Zoning, as amended.

§ 293-16 Violations and penalties.

For each violation of the provisions of this chapter, any person who commits, takes part in or assists in any such violation shall be liable upon conviction thereof in a summary proceeding to pay a fine of not less than $300 nor more than $1,000 together with the costs of prosecution and, in default of payment of such fine and costs, to imprisonment for not more than 30 days. Each day or portion thereof in which a violation exists shall be considered a separate violation of this chapter, and each section of this chapter which is violated shall be considered a separate violation.