[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Lower 12-10-1975 as Sec. 4-1 of the 1975 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
No person shall engage in or carry on any business in the Township, nor encourage and assist in the carrying on of any business, unless a license as hereinafter provided for shall have been first obtained.
Application for a license to conduct a business shall be made to the Township Clerk. Upon application and the payment of the fee prescribed herein, a license shall be issued, which license shall bear the name of the person to whom it is issued, the nature of the business licensed, and the location at which the business is to be carried on.
All mercantile licenses under this chapter shall be due and payable on July 15 of each year and shall terminate and become invalid on July 14 of the next succeeding year.
[Amended by Ord. No. 83-12; Ord. No. 83-16; Ord. No. 83-27; Ord. No. 89-22; Ord. No. 92-14; Ord. No. 92-34; Ord. No. 97-28; Ord. No. 2000-22; 1-23-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-02; 7-7-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-10]
The annual fees to be paid to the Township Clerk for conducting the business of selling goods, services or a combination thereof shall be as follows:
The following amusement entities shall pay the following annual fees:
Beach concession stand: $100.
Billiard/pool room: $125.
Each pool table: $30.
Bicycle rental stand: $100.
Bowling alley: $300.
Boxing/sporting events: $250.
Golf courses (mini): $100.
Golf courses; par-three, nine-hole and eighteen-hole: $50 per hole.
Roller rink: $100.
Water sports (parasailing, jet skis and kayaking): $75.
Amusement devices or machines, including amusement use premises and nonuse premises, shall pay an annual fee for each such device or machine as follows:
Food handling establishments.
Food handling establishments for the sale of prepared foods for on-premises consumption shall pay an annual fee as follows based upon the number of seats contained therein:
Food handling establishments for the sale of prepared foods for off-premises consumption shall pay an annual fee as follows: $75.
Bakery store: $50.
Parking lot: $300.
Peddlers utilizing a motor vehicle for the sale of goods or services other than ice cream shall pay an annual fee for each such vehicle of $275.
Peddlers engaged in the sale of goods or services or the distribution of advertising or in the distribution of books or periodicals or any form of canvassing other than political canvassing shall pay a fee of $15 for each day upon which said peddler shall be engaged in said activity within the confines of the Township.
Public storage. The owner of any premises containing public storage units shall pay an annual fee of $0.02 per square foot, based on the total number of square feet contained in all the storage units on said premises.
Rental units. Premises containing rental units shall pay an annual fee as follows:
Hotels and motels shall pay, in addition to any other fee provided by law, an annual fee in the amount of $4 per rental unit or $75, whichever is greater.
Apartment houses, rooming houses and boardinghouses shall pay an annual fee in the amount of $4 per unit or $50, whichever is greater.
Retirement homes shall pay an annual fee in the amount of $75 or $4 per unit, whichever is greater.
Premises containing trailers or cabins for rent shall pay an annual fee in the amount of $4 per unit or $50, whichever is greater.
Structures which contain one or more separate furnished or unfurnished living units (other than apartment houses, rooming houses and boardinghouses), which are rented on either a seasonal or year-round basis, shall pay an annual fee in the amount of $75 per unit.
[Amended 10-4-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-10]
Structures containing one or more separate units in or at which any business is conducted and carried on, which are rented on either a seasonal or year-round basis, shall pay an annual fee of $75 per unit, regardless of whether or not the lessee of such unit has a separate mercantile license for the business conducted therein.
[Amended 10-4-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-10]
Retail sales. Each and every entity engaged in the retail sale of goods or services, excluding only professional services requiring a professional license from the State of New Jersey, to the general public shall pay an annual fee based upon the number of square feet contained in the business premises as follows:
Vending machines. The owner of any premises containing coin-operated vending machines, excluding state/federal licensed machines, shall provide a list of all machines on the premises and pay an annual fee $25.
Additional use fee. Any entity containing more than one use shall be required to pay a license fee pursuant to the schedule contained herein for the primary use contained on the premises. For each additional collateral or subsidiary use maintained on the premises, the licensee shall be required to pay an additional fee of $50 annually.
Unclassified category. An entity engaged in the retail sale of goods or services not covered by the terms of this chapter or by the terms of any other ordinance of the Township of Lower shall pay an annual fee of $75.
Late fees. All annual fees for mercantile licenses are to be paid on or before July 15 of the year of intended operation or conduction of business. Any business owner or operator who conducts any business governed by Chapter 432 of the Lower Township Ordinances, who has not paid the required annual fee set forth herein by the August 15 deadline, will be subject to a late fee of $75 in addition to that fee which is normally required.
[Added 4-1-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-08]
All licenses issued to peddlers and hawkers are expressly restricted, prohibiting said peddling or hawking to the streets, avenues and ways of the Township carrying both vehicles and pedestrian traffic.
The holders of said licenses are expressly forbidden any right to peddle or hawk upon the bathing beach, or any public park or playground.
Licenses issued under this chapter shall be posted at the place of business shown on the license in a conspicuous place. The license shall remain posted for the duration of the licensing year when issued, and so long as the licensed business is carried on.
No business shall be permitted on the location licensed other than that for which the license is issued.
The issuance of a license under this chapter is in addition to, and not in derogation of, any law of the State of New Jersey or ordinance of the Township regulating the business so licensed. Failure to comply with the regulations set out in the laws or ordinances shall be cause for revocation of the license by the Township Committee by due notice and hearing.
[Amended by Ord. No. 84-2A]
Nothing contained in the within chapter shall be deemed to require the acquisition of a mercantile license by any farm or residential property for the sale of produce grown on said farm or residential property at a roadside stand located on said farm or residential property.
The proper enforcement of the provisions of this chapter and related ordinances dealing with the regulation of businesses shall be a proper concern of the Police Department of the Township.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
Charitable and nonprofit organizations are exempt from the provisions of this chapter.
[Amended by Ord. No. 92-15]
Findings. The Township Council hereby makes the following findings of fact:
The Township has enacted requirements for the licensing of any person or entity engaged in conducting or operating a business within the confines of the Township of Lower.
The United States Postal Service has not designated a United States Post Office for the Township of Lower as a municipal entity, thus requiring all Township mailing addresses to be directed to subsections of the Township or surrounding communities.
Patrons of mercantile licensees may be deceived as to the actual location of the business premises within the Township.
Patrons with grievances should be properly informed to address those grievances to the Township which has provided penalties and fines for violations by Township mercantile licensees.
Designation of location required. Based upon the findings of fact set forth above, any person or entity who or which receives a mercantile license from the Township of Lower shall be required, in any and all advertisements for the licensed business activity which shall state the business location, to designate that location as "Lower Township."
[Amended by Ord. No. 99-8; 8-7-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-14]
Any person, firm, corporation or other entity violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be subject to a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,250, or imprisonment for any term not exceeding 90 days, or both, for each violation. For the purposes of this chapter, each day during which the violation occurs shall constitute a separate offense.
[Amended by Ord. No. 99-8]
No mercantile license may be issued until all delinquent local real property taxes on business-owned real property have been paid, and any license issued by the Township may be revoked or suspended if real property taxes have remained unpaid for a term of three consecutive quarters, as more specifically set forth in and subject to Chapter 413, Licenses and Permits, Article I, Payment of Taxes Required Prior to Issuance.
[Amended by Ord. No. 2001-13]
The holder of any mercantile license authorized for issuance pursuant to this chapter shall execute and deliver to the Township Clerk, concurrently with the filing of an application for the issuance or renewal of such license, a power of attorney in a form prescribed or approved by the Township Attorney wherein and whereby the holder of such mercantile license shall appoint the Township Clerk as his or her true and lawful attorney-in-fact for the purpose of acknowledging service of any process from a court of competent jurisdiction, pursuant to the rules governing the procedure of such court, to be served against the licensee by virtue of any business transacted or activity conducted in the Township pursuant to such license.
[Added 11-1-2004 by Ord. No. 2004-21]
The terms "license" and "permit" may collectively be referred to as "license."
Causes for revocation:
[Amended 4-21-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-09]
Any license or permit issued by the Township pursuant to the provisions of any ordinance of the Township may be revoked by the Township Clerk after notice and a hearing in accordance with N.J.S.A. 40:52-2. The Township Clerk shall conduct such hearings and be the sole authority to revoke said license or permit for any of the following causes, which shall not be deemed to be exclusive:
Fraud or misrepresentation in any application.
Fraud, misrepresentation or other dishonesty in the conduct of the licensed activity.
A violation of any provision of this chapter.
Conduct of the licensed activity, whether by the licensee or his or her agents or employees or tenants, in an unlawful manner or in a manner that constitutes a breach of the peace or a danger to the public health, safety or general welfare. When the location at which the licensed activity is to be conducted has been cited for a health, fire, building or land use code violation, and such cited violation remains unabated or unresolved at the time a permit, license or renewal is sought.
The commission of, or permitting or causing the commission of, any act in the operation of the licensed activity, which act is unlawful or is prohibited by any ordinance, rule or law of the Township, state or federal government.
Conviction of the licensee or his or her agents or employees or tenants of a licensee of a violation of any state law or Township ordinance or regulation related to the licensed premises or business activity. The Municipal Court Administrator shall, immediately upon such conviction, provide written notice thereof to the Township Clerk, who shall place such notice in the license file of the licensee. Additionally, the Township Clerk shall provide a copy thereof to the licensee.
Failure to permit the Township, its agents, assistants, officers or inspectors to have access to any building or premises for the purpose of ascertaining whether there has been compliance with the provisions of this section and other local ordinances, and any refusal thereof, shall be deemed a violation of this section.
Operation of the licensed premises in violation of state or local land use provisions.
Failure to pay real estate taxes for the licensed premises.
Failure to obtain a certificate of inspection.
Failure to pay all appropriate fees and/or penalties due the Bureau of Fire Safety relating to the licensed premises.
In determining whether sufficient cause exists for the revocation of a permit or license hereunder, the Township Clerk shall consider, without limitation, the lack of proper supervision provided by the licensee and the number of valid requests for police assistance which were caused, in whole or in part, by acts or omissions of the licensee or his or her agents or employees.
Notice of hearing. Notice of a hearing for the revocation of a license or permit shall be given in writing by the Township Clerk. The notice shall specifically set forth the grounds upon which the proposed revocation is based and the time and place of the hearing. Notice shall be served by mailing a copy to the licensee at his or her last known address by certified mail, return receipt requested, at least five days prior to the date set for the hearing.
Hearing; determination. At the hearing, the licensee shall have the right to appear and be heard, to be represented by an attorney, to present witnesses in his or her own behalf, to cross-examine opposing witnesses, and to have a permanent record made of the proceedings at licensee's own expense. The Township Clerk shall revoke or suspend the license if the Township Clerk is satisfied by a preponderance of the evidence that the licensee is guilty of the acts charged.
Reinstatement of revoked licenses. The Township Clerk may reinstate any license or permit revoked or denied in accordance with this section if the Township Clerk is satisfied by clear and convincing evidence that all violations of this section have been cured and the acts which led to the revocation or denial will not occur again; otherwise, no person whose license has been revoked or denied, nor any person acting for that person, directly or indirectly, shall be issued another license to carry on the same activity.
Denial; renewal. Any license or permit application or renewal application made pursuant to the provisions of this chapter or any ordinance of the Township may be denied by the Township Clerk for any cause for revocation set forth in Subsection A.
Exclusion of other penalties and provisions. It is expressly declared that the provisions of this section are applicable to any license or permit issued or applied for pursuant to any ordinance of the Township of Lower. The provisions of this section are in addition to any grounds for denial, renewal, suspension, cancellation, revocation or other penalties set forth in any other ordinance of the Township.
Transferability. No license or permit issued by the Township shall be transferred from one person to another person, and no license or permit shall cover any other place of business or activity than that for which it was issued.
[Added 11-1-2004 by Ord. No. 2004-21]
The Township Council may, by resolution, make rules and regulations which interpret or amplify any provision of this chapter or for the purpose of administering the provisions of this chapter or making them more effective. No regulation shall be inconsistent with or alter or amend any provisions of this chapter and no regulation shall impose any requirement which is in addition to or greater than the requirements that are expressly or by implication imposed by any provision of this chapter. The Township Manager may appoint additional personnel, beyond those specified in this chapter, to aid in the administrative, investigatory, and enforcement functions and duties established by this chapter.