[HISTORY: Adopted by the Rochester City Council 9-14-1971 by Ord. No. 71-538;; amended in its entirety 4-20-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-95. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Bill posting and advertising — See Ch. 35.
Fire Prevention Code — See Ch. 54.
Food trucks, trailers and carts — See Ch. 60.
Licenses – business and trades — See Ch. 68.
Parks — See Ch. 79.
Consumer protection — See Ch. 95A.
Secondhand dealers — See Ch. 96.
Transient merchants — See Ch. 109.
Vehicle and traffic — See Ch. 111.
Weights and measures — See Ch. 113.
Zoning — See Ch. 120.
Editor's Note: Section 1 of this ordinance repealed former Ch. 62, adopted 11-25-1941.
For the purposes of this chapter, the terms used herein are defined as follows:
- CENTER CITY VENDING DISTRICT
- Shall include all of the Center City Zoning District, as established pursuant to Chapter 120, Zoning Code, and in addition, as set forth in a map on file in the City Clerk's office, an area extending generally easterly from the Center City Zoning District which is bounded on the west and north by the Center City Zoning District boundary extending from the southerly side of East Avenue to the center of Alexander Street at approximately 417 Alexander Street, then continuing southerly down the center of Alexander Street to the center of University Avenue, then continuing easterly along the center of University Avenue to the center of Goodman Street, then continuing southerly along the center of Goodman Street to and including the southerly side of East Avenue, then continuing westerly along the southerly side of East Avenue to the Center City Zoning District boundary. The Center City Vending District shall also include both sides of Alexander Street southerly from Gardiner Park to the southerly side of Tracy Street and its extension westerly, as set forth in the map on file in the City Clerk's office.
- COMMERCIAL TRAVELER
- A person or group of persons doing business through the act of renting a room or suite of rooms in a hotel, motel or inn, commercial building or private dwelling within the City of Rochester for a period of less than 90 consecutive days for the purpose of using said premises to sell, offer for sale or solicit orders for goods, services or merchandise, including vendors of food or food products and persons in the home improvement industry, to or from members of the public. This definition shall not apply to the renting of rooms, halls, auditoriums or open spaces for the sole purpose of demonstrating or exhibiting goods to businesses and/or the public in connection with sales promotions or marketing campaigns or for the purpose of exhibiting and selling works of art.
- HARBORTOWN VENDING DISTRICT
- Includes all of the H-V Harbortown Village Zoning District as established pursuant to Chapter 120, Zoning Code, which is north of the new O'Rorke Bridge, and those lands zoned O-S Open Space which border the southern boundary of Ontario Beach Park and are east of Estes Street.
- MARINA VENDING DISTRICT
- Includes all of the M-D Marina District as established pursuant to Chapter 120, Zoning Code.
- PUBLIC PLACE
- Any area or building owned, operated or controlled by or on behalf of any government, municipality or public authority or corporation within the boundaries of the City of Rochester, or portion of such place, which is generally accessible to the public, including but not limited to streets, sidewalks, skywalks, parking garages and lots, parks, playgrounds, recreation areas, cemeteries, places of employment or operations and schools and school grounds, as well as private property, other than inside a building, upon which members of the public are solicited.
- A person doing business through the acts of vending, selling or offering for sale, soliciting orders for, demonstrating or making estimates of goods, services or merchandise, and persons in the home improvement industry, directly to the public in the public streets, sidewalks or public places from a vending truck, vending trailer, vending cart or special event table, or by going from house to house, whether by appointment, referral, uninvited solicitation, route sales or party plan, within the City of Rochester.
- SPECIAL EVENT
- A special public event that is either sponsored by the City or granted a permit by the City, including but not limited to a festival, parade, concert, or celebration.
- VENDING CART
- A nonmotorized, wheeled vending unit that is built and licensed in such a manner that it may be operated to offer nonfood merchandise for sale on a public sidewalk in accordance with § 62-6A(5) of this chapter.
- VENDING TRAILER
- A nonmotorized vending unit not greater than 28 feet in length that is designed to be towed by a motorized vehicle that is built, registered and licensed to be operated on the public streets of New York State and to offer nonfood merchandise for sale.
- VENDING TRUCK
- A motorized vending unit not greater than 28 feet in length that is built, licensed and operated in such a manner that it may be operated to offer nonfood merchandise for sale from a public street in accordance with § 62-6A(6) of this chapter.
- VENDING UNIT
- A cart, vehicle, trailer or table from which a solicitor may lawfully conduct business in accordance with the requirements of this chapter.
Commercial traveler. Every person who engages in business as a commercial traveler, as defined herein, is hereby required to apply for and procure a license, to be issued by the City of Rochester, for the purpose of conducting such business, prior to commencing operations within the City of Rochester.
Solicitor. Every person who engages in business as a solicitor, as defined herein, is hereby required to apply for and procure a license, to be issued by the City of Rochester, for the purpose of conducting such business, three days prior to commencing operations within the City of Rochester. This requirement shall not be applicable to any person who applies for and procures a special promotional events license.
Nothing contained in this chapter shall authorize a solicitor to engage in business in a park without a permit as required in Chapter 79, Parks.
Outdoor retail displays that comply with the requirements of § 120-176 of the Zoning Code shall not require a solicitor license.
All license applicants shall be required to consent to a background check by the Rochester Police Department. A license application may be denied by the Chief of Police if the background check demonstrates that the applicant has been convicted of criminal offenses that have a direct relationship to the license or that would involve an unreasonable risk to property or to the safety or welfare of specific individuals or the general public. Any decision to deny an application for this reason shall be made in compliance with Article 23-A of the New York State Correction Law after considering the factors set forth in that law. An applicant who is denied shall be entitled to a hearing in the manner provided for a revocation of a license by Chapter 68 of the Municipal Code.
Application. Every person applying for a license shall be required to submit with the written application, under oath, the following information and material:
Name of applicant.
Permanent home residence.
Name and address of firm represented, if any.
A description of the goods, wares, commodities or services to be offered for sale or to be used for the purpose of bidding for services.
If the applicant proposes to offer a specialty service or merchandise that requires a professional, occupational, environmental or health-related license, permit, certificate or other authorization from a federal, state or local authority, documentary proof that the applicant possesses such authorization(s).
To the application must be appended a copy of a validated certificate of authority issued by the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance empowering the applicant to collect both the New York State sales and compensating use taxes and any similar local taxes, or proof acceptable to the Director of Finance that the applicant is exempt from registering with the state for the collection of sales and compensating use taxes.
The location at which the solicitor intends to do business.
License fees shall be as follows:
Commercial traveler: $150.
Solicitor: $330 for a vending truck or vending trailer license and $250 for a vending cart license which is valid outside of the Center City Vending District, the Marina Vending District and the Harbortown Vending District, and $1,000 for a vending truck or vending trailer license and $750 for a vending cart license which includes the Center City Vending District, the Marina Vending District or the Harbortown Vending District, which licenses shall include a solicitor's license and a license for one vending unit. Each additional vending unit shall require payment of a full fee.
Identification: $24 each; provided, however, that there shall be no charge for the first identification badge that is issued for each license.
All licenses shall expire on December 31 after their date of issuance. License fees shall not be prorated.
Temporary permit. Any solicitor wishing to conduct business from a vending unit at one or more special events and who does not have a license shall apply to the City Clerk for a temporary vending unit permit and pay a fee of $100 for a permit valid for the calendar year. Any solicitor wishing to conduct business from a vending unit at a single special event and who does not have a license shall apply to the City Clerk for a three-day temporary vending unit permit and pay a fee of $56 for a permit valid for that event. Such a permit shall allow vending only during and at the location of a specified special event.
A nonrefundable fee of $7 shall be required for the receipt of application materials. Said fee shall be credited toward the license fee upon submission of an application.
There shall be a fee of $10 for replacement of a lost license or identification badge.
A solicitor who is an eligible veteran and has a Soldiers' and Sailors' Certificate issued by the Monroe County Clerk pursuant to § 32 of the NYS General Business Law or who is a disabled veteran as defined by § 35 of the General Business Law holding such a certificate shall be exempt from the fees contained in this section.
Before any license authorized herein shall be issued, the applicant shall file with the City proof of insurance, issued by an insurance company licensed to do business in the State of New York and approved by the Director of Finance as to form, which insurance must be kept continuously in force during the term of the license. At the time of application, applicants shall provide proof of insurance that extends for the entire license period. The insurance shall be not less than $1,000,000 comprehensive/general liability insurance. Such insurance shall not expire, nor be canceled, altered or amended, except on 10 days' written notice to the City Treasurer served personally or by certified mail. Municipal operations, employees and property shall not be excluded from coverage. The insurance must name the City as an additional insured party.
Before any partnership, company or corporation who is a nonresident of the State of New York shall have a commercial traveler's or solicitor's license issued, either to the individual or to the agents or representative of a company, partnership or corporation, proof of authorization of the Secretary of State to receive service pursuant to the Business Corporation Law § 304 shall be filed with the application for said license. In the case of a company, partnership or corporation, this authorization of an agent to accept service shall be signed by the executive officer(s) with the authority to bind the company, partnership or corporation to a contract.
No person acting, performing, attempting or purporting to act or perform as a commercial traveler or solicitor shall:
Engage in business as a commercial traveler or solicitor without procuring and prominently displaying on his or her person a license or identification badge therefor issued by the City Clerk.
Stop, stand or park a nonmotorized vending unit on any roadway, except when actually loading or unloading.
Engage in business or attempt to engage in business as a solicitor on any public street, sidewalk or place so as to obstruct access to or egress from any place or the free flow of vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
Operate, stop, stand or park any motorized vending unit on any public sidewalk, including that part of the sidewalk between any paved portion of the sidewalk and roadway.
Place on any public place or sidewalk, including any tree, lawn or other portion of the public right-of-way that is not within the roadway, any goods, tables, blankets, booths or any type of merchandise for sale or any vending unit or other equipment used in vending, except that a licensed solicitor may sell merchandise on a public sidewalk from a nonmotorized vending unit or units (hereinafter, referred to as "vending cart") for which a license has been procured from the City Clerk and is prominently displayed thereon and upon which all merchandise and peripheral equipment is attached or placed, which unit or units meet all the following requirements:
A vending unit or units when fully opened for business shall not exceed, including all peripheral equipment and merchandise for sale, six feet in width by 10 feet in length and five feet in height, excluding only a canopy, awning or umbrella, with the top surface of the vending unit(s) and any seating for the person(s) tending the unit(s) at least 28 inches above the ground. Shopping carts shall not be allowed as vending units.
Separate units may be used in one operation, provided that when they are fully opened for business the total space occupied by said units does not exceed the maximum set forth in Subsection A(5)(a) above, and provided further that the units are kept adjacent to each other and that each separate unit is at all times tended by at least one person.
All vending units shall be on rubber-tired wheels, at least four inches in diameter, with a leg or legs or brakes which shall keep the unit stationary when it is not intended to be moved, and which unit is fully mobile and able to be immediately moved by a single person tending the unit.
Vending units shall have all peripheral equipment attached thereto, including seating, if desired, for the person tending the unit.
Vending units shall have a self-contained and secure storage place for all merchandise and peripheral equipment used in the vending operation, so that the same can be quickly and safely stored if the vending unit has to be moved.
No canopy, awning or umbrella shall be placed on a sidewalk in conjunction with vending activities, except that a vending unit may have attached to it a canopy, awning or umbrella which is no greater in size than the maximum size set in Subsection A(5)(a) above for a vending unit, and which is a minimum of 7 1/2 feet above the level of the sidewalk when opened if it extends beyond the sides of the unit itself and a maximum of nine feet above the level of the sidewalk when opened, provided that no canopy, awning or umbrella shall extend into a street tree or within two feet of the curbline.
Engage in vending from a public street, except that a licensed solicitor may engage in vending from a vending truck for which a license has been procured from the City Clerk and is prominently displayed thereon and upon which all merchandise and peripheral equipment is attached or placed, which unit or units meet all the following requirements:
Is a vehicle licensed and able to be operated on the public streets of New York State.
No trailer shall be used for such purpose.
No vending unit shall operate within any public right-of-way within 100 feet of any property zoned Low-Density Residential (R-1). Medium-Density Residential (R-2), or High-Density Residential (R-3).
No vending unit shall operate in a location that has the effect of obstructing access to or egress from any structure or the free flow of vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
Operates in a permissible on-street parking spot where stopping, standing, parking or vending is not prohibited and in compliance with all parking and vehicle and traffic laws, ordinances, rules and regulations applicable to the particular location, including but not limited to durational restrictions, for no greater than four consecutive hours between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 2:00 a.m., provided that the Traffic Control Board may further limit the permissible locations and hours for such vending in particular neighborhoods in accordance with regulations established by the Traffic Control Board.
When located within the Center City District, Marina, Harbortown or any subsequently designated vending district, the vending unit shall abide by the additional provisions of § 62-7 of this chapter.
No vending unit shall operate within 500 feet of the boundary line of any festival, special event or civic event that is permitted or sponsored by the City, except when the vendor has obtained a permit to so operate from the City.
Each vending unit shall carry on the vehicle at all times a measuring device with a measuring capacity of no less than 500 feet as a condition of its licensure.
Place, stop, operate or sell from a vending unit on a public sidewalk, except on the curbside of the sidewalk and at least two feet from the curb.
Place, stop, operate or sell from a vending unit on a public sidewalk in such a manner that a portion of the sidewalk at least four feet in width is not maintained free and clear of obstructions to pedestrian traffic.
Place, stop, operate or sell from a vending unit on a public sidewalk:
Within 10 feet of any other vending unit on a public sidewalk;
Within 10 feet of a curb cut;
Within five feet of a crosswalk;
Within five feet of a fire hydrant;
Which abuts or obstructs a bus stop zone or shelter or is located within 60 feet in advance of a bus stop or shelter (on the side of the stop or shelter from which a bus approaches) or within 10 feet beyond a stop or shelter (on the side of the stop or shelter from which a bus leaves the stop or shelter);
Within 10 feet of a street tree;
Within two feet of a trash receptacle;
Within two feet of a newspaper vending machine;
Within two feet of an historic marker;
Within five feet of a pedestrian bench;
Within two feet of a sidewalk planter;
Within two feet of a sidewalk grate or opening;
Within two feet of a fire alarm box; or
Within one foot of a light pole.
Cry out or make loud noises in any public street, sidewalk or place for the purpose of selling any merchandise.
Falsely or fraudulently misrepresent the quality, character or quantity of any article offered for sale or falsely or fraudulently represent services to be rendered or the cost thereof.
Sell or offer for sale any merchandise which does not materially conform to any samples or models demonstrated or brochures or pamphlets given to a prospective customer as to size, materials, use, application and quality of workmanship.
Fail to identify himself or herself as a salesperson upon approaching a citizen in a public place or at a private dwelling or fail to explain one's purpose, whether it be direct sales, solicitation of orders or the demonstration of goods and merchandise, or any combination of such purposes.
Chain or otherwise attach any signs, goods, merchandise, chairs, stools or vending units or other equipment used in vending to any tree, parking meter, hydrant, sign or post, light pole, telephone pole or other street appurtenance or leave any such items unattended on a public street, sidewalk or place. Items left in violation of this subsection shall be seized by the police.
Place, stop, operate or sell from a vending unit on a public street, sidewalk or place unless that vending unit, including any canopy, awning or umbrella and all peripheral equipment, is maintained in a clean and neat condition, free of all stains, holes and rust, and with all wood surfaces painted, treated or varnished.
Dispose of any litter or trash generated from the vending operation in public trash receptacles. Vendors shall store such litter or trash during the day in a trash receptacle firmly attached to the vending unit and carry the same with them at the end of the day. Vendors shall also be responsible for keeping the immediate area of their vending unit free and clear of any litter, trash or spillage from the unit.
Place, stop, operate or sell from a vending unit which generates heat on a public street, sidewalk or place, unless the following requirements are met:
The vending unit, including all compartments thereof but not including wheels and any awning, canopy or umbrella, shall be made of a noncombustible material, preferably stainless steel. All heating devices using gas shall be equipped with one-hundred-percent shutoff safety devices to automatically stop the flow of gas.
For a vending unit using propane, the propane shall be stored in the open air or in a properly vented compartment. A propane storage compartment shall be made of a noncombustible material and shall be used only for storing propane, and no food, merchandise, goods or equipment shall be placed therein. Propane tanks shall be securely fastened to the vending unit whether they are stored in the open air or in a vented compartment. Propane tanks shall be kept in an upright position, unless such tank is designed and approved for horizontal positioning. Compartments in which propane is stored shall be labeled "PROPANE" in letters at least 1 1/2 inches high. All valves shall be easily accessible. Only approved hoses with proper LPG labeling shall be used for the flow of gas, and such hoses shall be properly mounted so as to be free of vibrations, kinks and/or tension and so as to be easily accessible. Propane cylinders shall be stored outdoors at all times.
Vending units with heating devices shall be equipped with a fire extinguisher with a 1A-10BC classification.
A vending unit with a heating device shall be inspected by the Fire Safety Division of the City of Rochester for firesafety prior to the issuance of any license or permit therefor. Heating devices shall be free of defects and constructed or positioned so that combustibles will be protected from the heating source. A current annual sticker from the Fire Safety Division shall be procured and prominently displayed on all such vending units. Any modifications and/or repairs to stoves, grills and propane equipment shall require the approval of the Fire Safety Division before such vending unit may be placed on a public street, sidewalk or place.
The Fire Marshal is hereby authorized to promulgate such additional rules and regulations as may be necessary to assure the firesafety of vending units.
Shall request or accept any tip or gratuity where no exchange of merchandise is effected or no service is rendered.
Conduct any vending activities in violation of any rule or regulation promulgated by the Chief of Police, Commissioner of Environmental Services or Fire Marshal pursuant to this chapter or by the Monroe County Health Department with respect to vending.
No person shall engage in business as a solicitor or attempt to engage in business as a solicitor except at the location reported by said person to the City.
Sell, offer for sale or deliver goods or services from a sidewalk or alongside a roadway to an operator or occupant of a motor vehicle that is stopped, standing or parked on a street where stopping, standing or parking is prohibited.
Nothing herein contained shall be construed so as to prevent any person having an established place for the transaction of business within said City from soliciting orders in such line of business from customers at such place of business or from taking orders by telephone or other communications device when orders are received at such place of business and from filling and delivering the same nor so as to prevent the sale of newspapers or other products, the sale of which shall be governed by the provisions of the law and ordinances applicable thereto.
The owner of a vending unit shall be responsible for the acts of any person working at that vending unit, and a license holder shall be responsible for the acts of any person while engaging in business through an identification badge issued under the license holder's license.
In addition to the general provisions set forth in § 62-6 of the Municipal Code, the following regulations shall also apply to solicitors in the Center City Vending District, the Marina Vending District and the Harbortown Vending District:
No person shall place, stop, operate or sell from a vending unit or place, sell or attempt to sell any merchandise or place any equipment used in vending operations on the public sidewalk or in a public place except in locations specifically designated by the City for vending activities. In order to facilitate pedestrian and bus movement along Main Street, no designated vending space shall be located within 30 feet beyond a bus shelter (on the side of the shelter from which a bus leaves the shelter) or 90 feet in advance of a bus shelter (on the side of the shelter from which a bus approaches).
No person shall place, locate, operate or sell from a vending unit on a public sidewalk or place any merchandise or equipment on any public sidewalk in such a manner that a portion of the sidewalk at least eight feet in width is not maintained free and clear of obstructions to pedestrian traffic.
No person shall load or unload a vending unit, or merchandise or equipment to be used in vending activities, from a vehicle on Main Street. The commercial loading/unloading zones designated by the Traffic Control Board on intersecting streets must be used for this purpose.
No person shall engage in business as a solicitor or attempt to engage in business as a solicitor on a public street or sidewalk or in a public place in the Center City Vending District, the Marina Vending District or Harbortown Vending District without procuring and prominently displaying a Center City or Marina or Harbortown license authorizing such activity and without doing business in the location designated by the City. The City Clerk is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations governing the use of the Center City or Marina or Harbortown vending locations, which rules and regulations may also provide for the implementation of a lottery to determine priority for the use of vending locations and for standards to be met in order to retain a Center City or Marina or Harbortown license, which standards may govern the frequency of use of a location and the frequency of violations.
No person shall engage in business as a solicitor or attempt to engage in business as a solicitor from a parking space on a public street except from a motorized vending unit that is not greater than 28 feet in length and which is licensed and able to be operated on the public streets of New York State. No trailers shall be used for such purpose.
No solicitor shall operate from a parking space on a public street except in parking spaces reviewed by the Traffic Control Board and approved by the City Clerk and in accordance with regulations established by the Traffic Control Board. The Traffic Control Board may establish the hours that each parking space shall be available for a solicitor's vending, which hours shall not be greater than between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 2:00 a.m. No solicitor shall be parked in a specific parking space for more than four consecutive hours.
The Chief of Police is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations governing vending trucks, trailers, carts, and tables at special events that are operated during parades and special events in the City. Such rules and regulations may require vending activities to be conducted in areas located so that citizens may be able to have unobstructed views of the parade or special event. In conjunction with such activities, including any street closing for a special event, the Chief of Police may suspend the applicability of the regulations found in this chapter to allow for the operation of the special event.
The Commissioner of Recreation and Youth Services shall establish requirements for vending in parks regulated by the City. Any solicitor operating in such a park shall have a valid license pursuant to this chapter.
The County of Monroe shall establish requirements for vending in parks regulated by the County.
Any solicitor vending from a vending truck, trailer or cart at a special event that is sponsored by the City or granted a permit by the City shall have either a license issued pursuant to this chapter or a temporary permit issued by the City Clerk, or a three-day temporary permit issued by the City Clerk. The solicitor so licensed or permitted may vend at a special event if such vending is approved by the sponsor of said event.
An applicant for a temporary permit shall be required to submit a valid copy of all necessary licenses, permits or certificates required by the County of Monroe or the State of New York or federal government, including, but not limited to, a valid New York State Department of Motor Vehicles registration and certificate of inspection and valid driver's licenses of all vehicle operators, a valid authorization to offer any specialty service or merchandise that requires a professional, occupational, environmental or health-related license, permit, certificate or other governmental authorization, and a copy of a valid certificate of authority issued by the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance empowering the applicant to collect both the New York State sales and compensating use taxes, and shall submit proof of insurance coverage that meets the requirements of § 62-4.
A solicitor may vend from a table only at a special event. Such vending must be approved by the sponsor of said event and will not require a license or temporary permit pursuant to this chapter.
The Chief of Police may promulgate rules and regulations governing solicitors, commercial travelers and special promotional events so as to provide for the orderly operation of their business and to ensure the public safety and the peace and tranquility of the public streets, sidewalks and places.
The provisions of Chapter 68 of the Municipal Code, being general licensing provisions relating to business and trades, shall be applicable to all licenses under this chapter the same as if specifically set forth herein.
The Chief of Police shall revoke, without a hearing, the license of any person found guilty of five or more violations of this chapter during any period of two years. Nothing herein shall prevent the Chief of Police from revoking a license of any person with fewer than five violations, on written charges and an opportunity for a hearing thereon, pursuant to § 68-10 of the Municipal Code.
A person violating any section of this chapter shall be subject to the penalties set forth in § 13A-11 of the Municipal Code.
The following activities shall be exempted from the requirements of this chapter:
Garage sales, basement sales, porch sales, yard sales and other such events at which a person desires to sell or trade his or her personal used items, household goods, furniture or equipment upon his or her premises, said premises not being a regular place of business for purchase or sale of goods. No more than two such sales shall be conducted by the same person or persons upon the same premises within one calendar year, and each such sale shall not exceed 10 consecutive days.
The sale of homemade food or drinks at a residence by the owner or occupant thereof, provided that a commercial vending unit is not used and the aggregate size of any table or tables or other display, preparation and storage areas shall not exceed four feet wide by eight feet long.
If any provision of this chapter is declared invalid or unconstitutional for any reason, the remaining provisions shall be severable and shall continue in full force and effect.