[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Cedarhurst 11-19-1979 as L.L. No. 31-1979. Amendments noted where applicable.]
In order to protect the people against the nuisance of and incident to the promiscuous distribution of handbills and circulars, particularly commercial handbills as herein defined, with the resulting detriment and danger to public health and safety, public interest, convenience and necessity requires the regulation thereof; and to that end the purposes of this chapter are specifically declared to be as follows:
To protect the people against the unlawful activities or operations of dissolute persons of criminal habits or tendencies representing themselves as solicitors, canvassers or handbill distributors, by requiring the registration of all such solicitors, canvassers or handbill distributors, together with the names of their employers, and by regulating the business of handbill and advertising distribution through the imposition of reasonable license fees.
To protect local residents against trespassing by solicitors, canvassers or handbill distributors upon the private property of such residents if they have given reasonable notice that they do not wish to be solicited by such persons or do not desire to receive handbills or advertising matter.
To protect the people against the health and safety menace and the expense incident to the littering of the streets and public places by the promiscuous and uncontrolled distribution of advertising matter and commercial handbills.
To preserve to the people their constitutional right to receive and disseminate information not restricted under the ordinary rules of decency and good morals and public order by distinguishing between the nuisance created by the promiscuous distribution of advertising and commercial circulars and the right to deliver noncommercial handbills in accordance with this chapter.
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
- Includes any person engaging in the business for hire of posting, fastening, nailing or otherwise affixing any written, painted or printed matter of any kind or other form or reproduction thereof, (hereinafter called "sign"), containing a message or information of any kind whatsoever, to any outdoor billboard or to or upon any bridge, fence, pole, post, sidewalk or tree or to or upon the exterior of any other structure, except that the terms of this definition shall not apply to nor include any such sign mounted on, fastened to or suspended from the outside of any building or other structure in accordance with and authorized by any provisions of an ordinance or statute, either for any public convenience or use or regulating the construction or use of so-called outdoor display signs, whether such display signs are illuminated or not.
- COMMERCIAL HANDBILL
- Includes any printed or written matter, any sample or device, dodger, circular, leaflet, pamphlet, paper, booklet or any other printed or otherwise reproduced original or copies of any matter or literature which:
- (1) Advertises for sale any merchandise, product commodity or thing;
- (2) Directs attention to any business or mercantile or commercial establishment or other activity for the purpose of either directly or indirectly promoting the interests thereof by sales;
- (3) Directs attention to or advertises any meeting, theatrical performance, exhibition or event of any kind for which an admission fee is charged for the purpose of private gain or profit; but the terms of this definition shall not apply where an admission fee is charged or a collection is taken up for the purpose of charitable fund-raising or of defraying the expenses incident to such meeting, theatrical, performance, exhibition or event of any kind, when either of the same is held, given or takes place in connection with the dissemination of information which is not restricted under the ordinary rules of decency, good morals, public peace, safety and good order, provided that nothing contained in this article shall be deemed to authorize the holding, giving or taking place of any meeting, theatrical performance exhibition or event of any kind without a license where such license is or may be required by any law of this state or under any ordinance of this village; or
- (4) While containing reading matter other than advertising matter, is predominantly and essentially an advertisement and is distributed or circulated for advertising purposes or for the private benefit and gain of any person so engaged as advertiser or distributor or billposter (see definition above).
- HANDBILL DISTRIBUTOR
- Includes any person engaging or engaged in the business for hire or gain of distributing commercial or noncommercial handbills, other than newspapers distributed to subscribers thereof, and any person receiving compensation directly or indirectly for the distribution of such handbills.
- Includes any newspaper of general circulation as defined by general law, any newspaper duly entered with the Post Office Department of the United States, in accordance with federal statute or regulation and any newspaper filed and recorded with any recording officer as provided by general law; and, in addition thereto, shall include any periodical or current magazine regularly published with not less than four issues per year and sold to the public.
- NONCOMMERCIAL HANDBILL
- Includes any printed or written matter, any sample or device, dodger, circular, leaflet, pamphlet, newspaper, magazine, paper booklet or any other printed or otherwise reproduced original or copies of any matter or literature not included in the aforesaid definition of a sign or a commercial handbill or newspaper.
- Includes any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind.
- PRIVATE PREMISES
- Includes any dwelling, house, building or other structure, designed or used either wholly or in part for private residential purposes, whether inhabited or temporarily or continuously uninhabited or vacant, and shall include any yard, grounds, walk, driveway, porch, steps, vestibule or mailbox belonging or appurtenant to such dwelling, house, building or other structure.
- PUBLIC PLACE
- Includes any and all streets boulevards, avenues, lanes, alleys or other public ways and any and all public parks, squares, spaces, plaza, grounds and buildings.
Words singular in form may include the plural; any words plural in form may include the singular; and words in the masculine gender shall include the feminine and neuter genders.
No person shall post, stick, stamp, paint or otherwise fix or cause the same to be done by any person, any notice, placard, bill, card, poster, advertisement or other paper or device calculated to attract the attention of the public to or upon any sidewalk, crosswalk, curb or curbstone, flagstone or any other portion or part of any public way or public place or any lamppost, electric light, telegraph, telephone or trolley line pole or railway structure, hydrant, shade tree or tree box or upon the piers, columns, trusses, girders, gates or other parts of any public bridge or viaduct or other public structure or building or upon any pole, box or fixture of any fire alarm or police telegraph system, except such as may be authorized or required by the laws of the United States or New York State and the laws of the Village of Cedarhurst.
It shall be unlawful for any person to deposit, place, throw, scatter or cast any commercial handbill in or upon any public place within this village; and it shall be also unlawful for any person to hand out or distribute or sell any commercial handbill in any public place; provided, however, that it shall not be unlawful for any person to hand out or distribute, without charge to the receiver thereof, any noncommercial handbill in any public place to any person willing to accept such noncommercial handbill.
[Amended 2-1-1988 by L.L. No. 1-1988]
It shall be unlawful for any person to distribute, deposit, place, throw, scatter or cast any commercial or noncommercial handbill in or upon any automobile or cause to be distributed, deposited, placed, thrown, scattered or cast any commercial or noncommercial handbill in or upon any automobile or other vehicle. The provisions of this section shall not be deemed to prohibit the handing, transmitting or distributing of any noncommercial handbill to the owner or other occupant of any automobile or other vehicle who is willing to accept the same.
It shall be unlawful for any person to distribute, deposit, place, throw, scatter or cast any commercial or noncommercial handbill in or upon any private premises which are temporarily or continuously uninhabited or vacant.
It shall be unlawful for any person to distribute, deposit, place, throw, scatter or cast any commercial or noncommercial handbill upon any premises, if requested by anyone thereon not to do so or if there is placed on said premises in a conspicuous position near the entrance thereof a sign bearing the words: "No Trespassing," "No Peddlers or Agents," "No Advertisement," or any similar notice indicating in any manner that the occupants of said premises do not desire to be molested or to have their right of privacy disturbed or to have any such handbills left upon such premises. Such sign or notice shall not be larger than six inches by 18 inches.
No person licensed under the provisions of this chapter or any other person shall distribute, deposit, place, throw, scatter or cast any commercial or noncommercial handbill in or upon any private premises which are inhabited, except by handing or transmitting any such handbill directly to the owner, occupant or any other person then present in or upon such private premises; provided, however, that in case of inhabited private premises which are not posted as provided in this chapter, the aforesaid licensed or other person, unless requested by anyone upon such premises not to do so, may place or deposit any such handbill in or upon such inhabited private premises if such handbill is so placed or deposited as to secure or prevent such handbill from being blown or drifted about such premises or elsewhere, except that mailboxes may not be so used when so prohibited by federal laws or regulations.
It shall be unlawful for any person to distribute, deposit, scatter, hand out or circulate any commercial or noncommercial handbill in any place, under any circumstances, which does not have printed on the cover, front or back thereof, the name and address of the following:
The person who printed, wrote, compiled or manufactured the same.
The person who caused the same to be distributed; provided, however, that in the case of a trade name or organization, in addition to such name, the true names and addresses of the owners, managers or agents of the person sponsoring said handbill shall also appear thereon.
It shall be unlawful for any person to engage in the business of a billposter for hire or as a handbill distributor for hire or for any person to distribute commercial or noncommercial handbills without first complying with the terms of this chapter and all other relevant laws and regulations, provided that nothing contained herein shall apply to any person advertising his or her business or activity upon his or her own premises if such business or activity is regularly established at a definite location in such village and also if a license has been obtained therefor, if such license be required under the terms of any applicable law or ordinance.
Any person desiring to engage, as principal, either in the business of a billposter for hire or in the business of distributing commercial or noncommercial handbills for hire shall make application to and receive from the Village Clerk-Treasurer or other officer empowered to issue the same, who shall act whenever the Village Clerk-Treasurer is herein referred to, a license in the manner and for the period prescribed by the terms of this chapter and by all relevant provisions of the municipal Code. Such applicant shall make written application to the Village Clerk-Treasurer upon a form or forms provided for such purpose by the Village Clerk-Treasurer. Such form shall contain, among other things that may be required, the name, the business address and a brief description of the nature of the business to be conducted by the applicant, the probable number of agents and employees so to be engaged, together with a request for a license for the period for which the applicant seeks to engage in such business.
Without excluding other just grounds for revocation, the Board of Trustees or an official so empowered by law may revoke any license obtained under an application containing a false or fraudulent statement knowingly made by the applicant with intent to obtain a license by means of false or fraudulent representations or for violation of this chapter or any other grounds specified by law. Such application shall be accompanied by the fee hereinafter provided for in this chapter. No license issued under this chapter shall be transferable; and if any such license shall be surrendered by the licensee therein named or shall be revoked for cause, neither the licensee named in such license, nor any other person, shall be entitled to any refund of any part of such fee.
License fees shall be as set by the Board of Trustees by resolution of a majority vote of its members present at a Board meeting, provided that persons acting for licensees as agents or employees in the posting or distributing of any such signs or handbills shall not be required to obtain a license or pay a fee, but each such person shall comply with each and all of the other provisions hereof and be subject thereto.
Editor's Note: The fee schedule is on file in the village offices.
The provisions of this chapter shall not be deemed to apply to the distribution of mail by the United States, political advertising, nor to newspapers as defined in this chapter.
It shall be unlawful for the owner, lessee, occupant or agent of premises to permit any person, whether licensed or acting under the terms of this chapter or otherwise, to post, affix or otherwise attach to any building, structure or fixture located upon such premises, whether such fixture is natural or artificial, any poster or handbill containing any matter prohibited by the terms of this chapter.
It shall be unlawful for any person to post, to hand out, distribute or transmit any sign or any commercial or noncommercial handbill:
Which may reasonably tend to incite riot or other public disorder or which advocates disloyalty to or the overthrow of the government of the United States or of this state by means of any artifice, scheme or violence or which urges any unlawful conduct or encourages or tends to encourage a breach of the public peace or good order of the community; or
Which is offensive to public morals or decency or which contains blasphemous, obscene, libelous or scurrilous language.