Town of Pleasant Valley, NY
Dutchess County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Pleasant Valley 8-15-2001 by L.L. No. 15-2001. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Refuse collection, storage and disposal — See Ch. 57.
Zoning — See Ch. 98.

§ 71-1 Purpose.

This chapter is enacted for the purpose of regulating the distribution of certain materials, peddling, soliciting and related activities within the Town. The registration of persons engaged in the above-mentioned activities is required so that the identity of persons going door to door or distributing materials within the Town may be established, so that general regulations may be more effectively enforced, for the protection and maintenance of the health, safety and welfare of the inhabitants of the Town and to prevent dishonest business practices and dishonest solicitation of funds in the Town.

§ 71-2 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
MERCHANDISE
All goods, wares, food, meat, fish, ice cream, fruit, vegetables, magazines, periodicals, printed material, farm products, services and orders or contracts for services, home improvement or alterations and anything that may be sold or distributed by peddlers or solicitors as used herein.
PEDDLER
Any person, 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, automotive vehicle or any other type of conveyance, carrying or transporting merchandise for the purpose of selling and delivering the merchandise to customers.
PERSON
Any individual, firm, partnership, corporation, organization, club, association or any principal or agent thereof.
SOLICITOR
Any person, 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, 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 future performance or delivery, whether or not such individual has, carries or exposes for sale a sample of merchandise or services, and whether or not he/she 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 collecting funds from a stationary location on any street or other public place.
TRANSIENT MERCHANT
Any person engaging in the activities commonly referred to as "transient merchant" or "itinerant vendor," who merchandises or sells with the intent to close out or discontinue such business within a period of one year from the date of commencement and occupies a room, building, tent, lot or other premises for the purpose of selling merchandise.

§ 71-3 Registration required.

It shall be unlawful for any peddler, solicitor or transient merchant to sell, offer for sale or distribute merchandise, printed material or services within the Town without first applying for and obtaining a registration certificate therefor from the Town.

§ 71-4 Application for registration certificate.

Every applicant for a registration certificate under the provisions of this chapter shall file with the Town Clerk a sworn, written application, on a form to be furnished by said Clerk, which shall give or be accompanied by the following information:
A. 
The name and description of the applicant.
B. 
The permanent home address and full local address of the applicant.
C. 
A brief statement of the nature of the business and description of merchandise or service to be sold.
D. 
If acting as an agent, the name, address and phone number of the person or corporation or organization represented.
E. 
If otherwise employed, the name and address of the employer.
F. 
The length of time for which the certificate is desired.
G. 
If a vehicle is to be used, a description of such vehicle and its license number.
H. 
Two business references located in the County of Dutchess, State of New York, or, in lieu thereof, such other available evidence of the character and business responsibility of the applicant as will enable an investigator to properly evaluate such character and responsibility.
I. 
A statement as to whether the applicant has been convicted of any crime, misdemeanor or violation of any municipal ordinance, the nature of the offense and the punishment assessed therefor.
J. 
Proof of liability coverage via insurance of a type and amount as may be established by resolution of the Town Board and filed with the Town Clerk.
K. 
Proof of compliance with state and local tax statutes, such as bearing a current and valid tax license.
L. 
Proof of compliance with any relevant state and local public health statutes, such as bearing a current and valid health permit.

§ 71-5 Investigation of applicants.

A. 
When the application is properly filled out and signed by the applicant, the original and duplicate thereof shall be filed with the Town Clerk, and the Clerk shall refer the original to the chief Town police authority, who shall make or cause to be made within 10 business days such investigation of the applicant's business responsibility and character as he/she deems necessary for the protection of the public good.
B. 
If, as a result of such investigation, the applicant's character or business responsibility is found to be unsatisfactory, the investigator shall endorse on such application his/her disapproval and the reasons therefor and shall return said application to the Town Clerk. Any determination that an application is unsatisfactory shall be based on one or more of the following findings with respect to the applicant:
(1) 
Conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude.
(2) 
Prior violation of a peddling or soliciting ordinance or law.
(3) 
Previous fraudulent acts or conduct.
(4) 
Record of breaches of solicited contracts.
(5) 
Agent for a person, corporation or organization for which Subsection B(3) and (4) above applies.
(6) 
Incorrect or misrepresented statement on the application or accompanying information therewith.
C. 
In the absence of any such finding, the investigator shall find the application satisfactory, shall endorse approval on the application and shall return the application to the Town Clerk.

§ 71-6 Denial or issuance of certificate.

A. 
If an application is found unsatisfactory by the chief Town police authority and he/she has endorsed disapproval upon the application, the Town Clerk shall notify the applicant, by mail, that the application is disapproved and shall deny the applicant any registration certificate.
B. 
If an application is found satisfactory by the chief Town police authority, the Town Clerk shall issue a registration certificate addressed to the applicant to conduct the business applied for upon payment of the proper fee by the applicant. Such certificate shall contain the signature of the issuing officer and shall show the name, address, sex, height, color of hair and eyes of the applicant, the type of business (peddler, solicitor or transient merchant) for which the applicant has registered, the kind of goods or services to be sold thereunder, the date of issue, the date of expiration and the license number and other identifying description of any vehicle used in the activity licensed.

§ 71-7 Fees; separate registration of agents; renewals.

A. 
The Town Board shall establish by resolution and file with the Town Clerk the schedule of fees to be paid prior to issuance of certificates. Fees shall be paid by applicants to cover the costs of investigation and the administration and enforcement of this chapter.
B. 
Where an organization has several agents peddling, soliciting or distributing merchandise or printed material, each agent shall be registered separately, and each shall pay the appropriate fee.
C. 
Upon expiration of a certificate, a new certificate will be issued upon compliance with all the provisions of this chapter and the payment of fees, except that the investigation and waiting period therefor may be waived if approved by the Town Clerk and Town police authority.

§ 71-8 Appeals from denial or revocation of certificates.

A. 
Any person aggrieved by the denial or revocation of a certificate, as provided in § 71-6 or 71-11 of this chapter, shall have the right of appeal to the Town Board. Such appeal shall be taken by filing with the Town Board, within 14 days after the 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 appeal. The Town Board shall set a time and place for a hearing on such appeal. The decision of the Town Board on such appeal shall be final and conclusive.
B. 
A notice of the hearing shall be given by the Town Clerk, in writing, setting forth specifically the grounds of complaint and the time and place of the hearing. Such notice shall be mailed, postage prepaid, to the address given on the application at least five days prior to the date set for the hearing or shall be delivered by an agent of the Town in the same manner as a summons at least three days prior to the date set for the hearing.

§ 71-9 Registration conditions.

A. 
Upon obtaining a registration certificate as hereinafter provided, a peddler, solicitor or transient merchant may conduct his/her activities within the Town only as long as he/she adheres to the regulations set forth in this chapter.
B. 
All certificates expire at 12:00 midnight of the expiration date indicated on the certificate or on December 31 of the calendar year in which issued, whichever comes first.
C. 
A registration certificate shall not be assignable. Any holder of a certificate who permits it to be used by any other person, and any person who uses a certificate issued to any other person, shall be guilty of an offense against this chapter.
D. 
No applicant to whom a certificate has been refused or who has had a certificate revoked shall make further application until a period of at least 12 months shall have elapsed since the last previous rejection or revocation, unless he/she can show that the reason(s) for such rejection or revocation no longer exists.
E. 
Every peddler, solicitor or transient merchant shall, while conducting his/her activities, carry the certificate and shall exhibit the same upon demand to any police officer or citizen.

§ 71-10 General regulations.

No person or certificate (license) holder shall:
A. 
Peddle, solicit or distribute merchandise except between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and sunset, unless specifically having been invited into a house by the occupant or having made an appointment with a person previously.
B. 
Attempt to peddle, solicit or distribute merchandise or printed material without first having identified himself/herself as a peddler, solicitor or transient merchant registered with the Town and displaying his/her certificate.
C. 
Have exclusive right to any location in the public streets or operate in any congested area where his/her operations might impede or inconvenience the public.
D. 
Leave at a property or house or in any public place circulars, samples or other matter, except "newspapers," which shall be defined as periodicals having the amount of space used for editorial content in excess of the amount of space used for advertising, except when handed to a person willing to accept the same or on prior arrangement with said person.
E. 
Enter or attempt to enter property posted at its entrance with a "no soliciting" sign not exceeding 12 square inches in size.
F. 
Enter or attempt to enter the land of any resident in the Town without an express invitation from the occupant of such land.
G. 
Conduct himself/herself in such a manner as to become objectionable to or annoy an occupant of any house.
H. 
Shout, cry out, blow a horn, ring a bell or use any sound-making or amplifying device upon any of the streets, parks or public places of the Town, or upon private premises, in such manner that sound of sufficient volume is emitted or produced to be capable of being plainly heard upon the streets, avenues, parks or other public places of the Town, or upon private premises therefrom, for the purpose of attracting attention to any merchandise or services.
I. 
Distribute obscene merchandise or printed material or that which advocates unlawful conduct.
J. 
Litter the streets, public places or properties within the Town with any merchandise or printed material.
K. 
Deface a certificate for the purpose of changing the information from that registered with the Town Clerk.
L. 
Station his/her wares in a public right-of-way or otherwise impede the safe flow of traffic in the community as a result of his/her conduct of business.
M. 
Employ temporary signs to attract attention to his/her station of the moment or any signs unless in compliance with § 98-20.
N. 
Unless as part of a public celebration or flea market or farmers market, station his/her wares within 100 feet of another peddler, solicitor or transient merchant.

§ 71-11 Revocation of certificates.

A. 
Certificates issued under the provisions of this chapter may be revoked by the Town Board meeting in open session, upon evidence of any of the following:
(1) 
Fraud, misrepresentation or a material incorrect statement contained in the application for a certificate.
(2) 
Fraud, misrepresentation or a material incorrect statement made in the course of carrying on the business of solicitor, peddler or transient merchant.
(3) 
Any violation of this chapter.
(4) 
Conviction of any crime or misdemeanor,
(5) 
Conducting the business of peddler, solicitor or transient merchant in an unlawful manner or in such 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. 
If a certificate is revoked without the opportunity of challenge by the applicant, the applicant has the right to an appeal hearing before the Town Board in accord with procedures outlined for appeals from denial of a certificate, as defined under § 71-8 of this chapter.
C. 
Upon revocation, the certificate shall be surrendered to the Town Clerk, whether or not an appeal is pending.

§ 71-12 Exemptions.

A. 
No part of this chapter shall be enforced so as to conflict with Article 4, Section 32, of the General Business Law of the State of New York, providing for exemptions for veterans.
B. 
Persons representing any school, political or civic organization, benevolent society, service club or nonprofit organization, each of which is located in or has a predominant membership from the Town, are waived from fees, licensing requirements and registration, provided that such persons carry with them comparable forms of identification as would be required through registration.
C. 
Nothing in this chapter shall be held to apply to:
(1) 
Sales conducted pursuant to statute or by order of any court.
(2) 
Persons selling personal property at wholesale to dealers in such articles.
(3) 
Merchants having an established place of business within the Town or their employees.
(4) 
The peddling of meats, fish, fruit and similar produce by farmers and persons who produce such commodities.
(5) 
Dealers in milk, baked goods, fuels and daily newspapers when in the conduct of business related to these exempted items.

§ 71-13 Penalties for offenses.

Any person committing an offense against any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be guilty of a violation, punishable by a fine not exceeding $250 or by imprisonment for a term not exceeding 15 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment. The continuation of an offense against the provisions of this chapter shall constitute, for each day the offense is continued, a separate and distinct violation hereunder.