[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Rostraver 9-5-1989 as Part 6, Ch. 2, Art. E, of the 1989 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
It shall be unlawful for any solicitor or canvasser as defined in § 141-2 to engage in that business within the limits of the Township without first obtaining a permit and license therefor in compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- CANVASSER or SOLICITOR
- Any individual, whether resident of the Township of Rostraver or not, traveling either by foot, wagon, automobile, motor truck or any other type of conveyance from place to place, from house to house or from street to street, taking or attempting to take orders for sale of goods, wares and merchandise, personal property of any nature whatsoever for future delivery, or for services to be furnished or performed in the future, whether or not such individual has, carries or exposes for sale a sample of the subject of such sale or whether he is collecting advance payments on such sales or not, provided that this definition shall include any person who, for himself or for another person, firm or corporation, hires, leases, uses or occupies any building, structure, tent, railroad box car, boat, hotel room, lodging house, apartment, shop or any other place within the Township for the sole purpose of exhibiting samples and taking orders for future delivery.
- TRANSIENT RETAIL MERCHANT
- Any person, firm or corporation, whether principal or agent, who shall hire, lease or occupy any room, building, vacant lot or other premises within the Township of Rostraver for a period of less than six months for the purposes of purchasing or selling or taking orders for any goods, wares or merchandise.
Applicants for permit and license under this chapter must file with the Secretary a sworn application in writing (in duplicate) on a form to be furnished by the Secretary, which shall give the following information:
Name and description of the applicant.
Permanent home address and full local address of the applicant.
A brief description of the nature of the business and the goods to be sold.
If employed, the name and address of the employer, together with credentials establishing the exact relationship.
The length of time for which the right to do business is desired.
The place where the goods or property proposed to be sold, or orders taken for the sale thereof, are manufactured or produced, where such goods or products are located at the time said application is filed, and the proposed method of delivery.
A photograph of the applicant, taken within 60 days immediately prior to the date of filing of the application, which picture shall be two inches by two inches showing the head and shoulders of the applicant in a clear and distinguishing manner.
Editor's Note: Original Sec. 6-2083(h), requiring fingerprints and evidence of good character, which immediately followed this subsection, was deleted 2-23-2000 by Ord. No. 421.
A statement as to whether or not the applicant has been convicted of any crime, misdemeanor or violation of any municipal ordinance, the nature of the offense and the punishment or penalty assessed therefor.
Editor's Note: Original Sec. 6-2083(j), requiring a physician's statement, which immediately followed this subsection, was deleted 2-23-2000 by Ord. No. 421.
At the time of filing the application, a fee as set from time to time by resolution of the Board of Commissioners shall be paid to the Secretary to cover the cost of investigation of the facts stated in the application.
Upon receipt of the application, the original shall be referred to the Chief of Police, who shall cause such investigation of the applicant's business and moral character to be made as he deems necessary for the protection of the public good.
If, as a result of such investigation, the applicant's character or business responsibility is found to be unsatisfactory, the Chief of Police shall endorse on the application his disapproval and his reasons for the same and shall return the application to the Secretary, who shall notify the applicant that his application is disapproved and that no permit and license will be issued.
If, as a result of such investigation, the character and business responsibility of the applicant are found to be satisfactory, the Chief of Police shall endorse on the application his approval, execute a permit addressed to the applicant for the carrying on of the business applied for and return the permit, along with the application, to the Secretary, who shall, upon payment of the prescribed license fee, deliver to the applicant his permit and issue a license. That license shall contain the signature and seal of the issuing officer and shall show the name, address and photograph of the licensee, the class of license issued and the kind of goods to be sold under the license, the amount of fee paid, the date of issuance and the length of time the same shall be operative, as well as the license number and other identifying description of any vehicle used in such soliciting or canvassing. The Secretary shall keep a permanent record of all licenses issued.
The license fee which shall be charged by the Secretary for the license shall be an amount as set from time to time by resolution of the Board of Commissioners per day, per week, per month or per year. Nonprofit corporations, as the same are defined by the law of the commonwealth, shall pay a license fee of an amount as set from time to time by resolution of the Board of Commissioners per day, per week, per month or per year.
The annual fees herein provided shall be assessed on a calendar-year basis, and on or after July 1, the amount of such fee for annual license shall be 1/2 the amount stipulated above for the remainder of the year.
None of the license fees provided for by this section shall be so applied as to occasion an undue burden upon interstate commerce. In any case where a license fee is believed by a licensee or applicant for license to place an undue burden upon such commerce, he may apply to the Township for an adjustment of the fee so that it shall not be discriminatory, unreasonable or unfair as to such commerce. Such application may be made before, at or within six months after payment of the prescribed license fee. The applicant shall, by affidavit and supporting testimony, show his method of business and the gross volume or estimated gross volume of business and such other information as the Township may deem necessary in order to determine the extent, if any, of such undue burden on such commerce. The Board of Commissioners shall then conduct an investigation comparing the applicant's business with other businesses of like nature and shall make findings of fact from which it shall determine whether the fee fixed by this chapter is unfair, unreasonable or discriminatory as to the applicant's business and shall fix as the license fee for the applicant an amount that is fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory or, if the fee has already been paid, shall order a refund of the amount over and above the fee so fixed. In fixing the fee to be charged, the Board of Commissioners shall have the power to base the fee upon a percentage of gross sales or any other method which will assure that the fee assessed shall be uniform with that assessed on businesses of like nature, so long as the amount assessed does not exceed the fees as prescribed by Subsection A of this section. Should the Board of Commissioners determine the gross sales measure of the fee to be the fair basis, it may require the applicant to submit, either at the time of termination of applicant's business in the Township or at the end of each three-month period, a sworn statement of the gross sales and pay the amount of fee therefor, provided that no additional fee during any one calendar year shall be required after the licensee shall have been paid an amount equal to the annual license as prescribed in Subsection A of this section.
Every applicant, not a resident of the Township, or who, being a resident of the Township, represents a firm whose principal place of business is located outside the State of Pennsylvania, shall file with the Secretary a surety bond, running to the Township in the amount of $1,000 with surety acceptable to and approved by the Board of Commissioners, conditioned that the applicant shall comply fully with all the provisions of the ordinances of the Township and the statutes of the State of Pennsylvania regulating and concerning the business of solicitor and guaranteeing to any citizen of the Township that all money paid as a down payment will be accounted for and applied according to the representations of the solicitor and further guaranteeing to any citizen of the Township doing business with that solicitor that the property purchased will be delivered according to the presentations of that solicitor. Action on such bond may be brought in the name of the Township to the use or benefit of the aggrieved person.
In addition to such bond, every applicant except approved nonprofits, whether resident or nonresident, must furnish to the Township a certificate evidencing a comprehensive general liability policy covering personal injury and property damage naming the Township as an additional insured thereon. The amount of such coverage shall be no less than $1,000,000 for personal injury and $1,000,000 for property damage.
[Added 9-2-2009 by Ord. No. 592; amended 7-5-2012 by Ord. No. 628]
The Secretary shall issue to each licensee at the time of delivery of his license a badge which shall contain the words "Licensed Solicitor," the period for which the license is issued and the number of the license, in letters and figures easily discernible from a distance of 10 feet. The badge shall, during the time that licensee is engaged in soliciting, be worn constantly by the licensee on the front of his outer garment in such a way as to be conspicuous.
[Added 9-7-1993 by Ord. No. 273]
Cleanup requirements. Each transient retail merchant selling food or drink ready to consume must provide a sufficient litter receptacle for customer use. Each transient retail merchant must keep the area within a fifty-foot radius of any truck, wagon, cart, stand, tent or vending station used by such merchant reasonably clean of all litter and trash that originates from the goods, drink and/or food sold by the transient retail merchant, such as wrappers, sacks, cups, napkins and the like. Each transient retail merchant shall pay for a commercial garbage service account at not less than the minimum per month.
Property use. No license shall be issued to a transient retail merchant who is using a site owned by another except upon proof of written permission to use said site, signed by the owner thereof. Such proof of written permission shall be provided to the Township prior to issuance of the license and shall be available for inspection at all times the licensed business is operating within the Township.
Applicable permits required. No license shall be issued to a transient retail merchant except upon proof that the applicant has all valid licenses or permits required by any authority having jurisdiction over the conduct of the business to be conducted by the applicant. Further, all such required licenses or permits shall be kept current as a condition of maintaining the Township licenses.
Unlawful transactions. There shall be no peddling or hawking of any stolen property. Food vendors shall comply with all applicable food handling and health regulations.
Exceptions. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any farmer or his agent or employee who sells fruits, vegetables or other edible farm produce grown by such farmer within Rostraver Township, Westmoreland County, or to any nonprofit or charitable organizations located in Rostraver Township where the income from the peddling entirely benefits such nonprofit or charitable organization; provided, however, that they make application with the Township.
It shall be the duty of any police officer of the Township to require any person seen soliciting or canvassing, and who is not known by that officer to be duly licensed, to produce his solicitor's or canvasser's license and to enforce the provisions of this chapter against any person found to be violating the same.
The Chief of Police shall report to the Secretary all convictions for violation of this chapter, and the Secretary shall maintain a record for each license issued and record the reports of violation therein.
Permits and licenses issued under the provisions of this chapter may be revoked by the Board of Commissioners, after notice and hearing, for any of the following causes:
Fraud, misrepresentation or false statement contained in the application for license.
Fraud, misrepresentation or false statement made in the course of carrying on his business as solicitor or as canvasser.
Any violation of this chapter.
Conviction of any crime or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude.
Conducting the business of soliciting or of canvassing in an unlawful manner or in 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.
Notice of the hearing for revocation of a license shall be given in writing, setting forth specifically the grounds of complaint and the time and place of hearing. The notice shall be mailed, postage prepaid, to the licensee at his last known address at least five days prior to the date set for hearing.
Any person aggrieved by the action of the Chief of Police or the Secretary in the denial of a permit or license as provided in § 141-4 or the action of the Board of Commissioners in the assessing of the fee as provided in § 141-5C shall have the right of appeal to the Board of Commissioners. The appeal shall be taken by filing with the Board, within 14 days after notice of the action complained of has been mailed to that person's last known address, a written statement setting forth fully the grounds for the appeal. The Board of Commissioners shall set a time and place for a hearing on the appeal and notice of the hearing shall be given to the appellant in the same manner as provided in § 141-12 for notice of hearing on revocation. The decision and order of the Board of Commissioners on the appeal shall be final and conclusive.
All annual licenses issued under the provisions of this chapter shall expire on the 31st of December in the year when issued. Other than annual licenses shall expire on the date specified in the license.
Any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall for every such violation, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $50 or more than $600 and costs of prosecution and, in default of payment of fine and costs, to undergo imprisonment for not more than 30 days.