City of Taunton, MA
Bristol County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Municipal Council of the City of Taunton as Rev. Ords. 1964, §§ 10-9 to 10-12 (Ch. 12, Art. V, of the 2010 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Advertising and bill posting — See Ch. 176.
Junk, old metal, antiques and secondhand articles — See Ch. 287.
Pawnbrokers — See Ch. 329.
A. 
License required; exceptions. No person shall go from place to place within the City selling or bartering, or carrying or exposing for sale or barter, goods, wares or merchandise in or from any cart, wagon or other vehicle or in any other manner without a license therefor from the Sealer of Weights and Measures; provided, however, that this section shall not apply to any person selling or exposing for sale fruits, nuts or berries which are uncultivated, or fruits, vegetables or other farm products raised or produced by himself, or fish obtained by his own labor or that of his family. A person shall not occupy the same location for a period of more than 1/2 hour and shall not move to a location within 300 feet of any previous location within the last two hours.
[Amended 8-8-2000]
B. 
Licenses generally. The Sealer of Weights and Measures shall have authority to grant the license required by Subsection A to any person of good repute as to morals and integrity who is, or has declared an intention to become, a citizen of the United States. Such licenses, unless sooner revoked for cause, shall expire one year after the date of issue, and each person so licensed shall pay therefor a fee of $52. This sum includes the license fee and charges for the badge required by law to be provided with each license at the expense of the licensee. Any such license may be revoked at any time by the Sealer of Weights and Measures for violation of the provisions of these Revised Ordinances or for other good cause.
[Amended 8-8-2000]
C. 
Certificates required. No person shall be licensed as a hawker or peddler under the provisions of this chapter until the petitioner presents a certificate from the Board of Health stating that the vehicle, receptacles and utensils are in sanitary condition and receives, from the Sealer of Weights and Measures, a certificate stating that all weighing and measuring devices intended to be used by such person have been duly inspected and sealed as required by law. The use of, or possession with intent to use, any false or unsealed weighing or measuring devices by any person so licensed shall be sufficient cause for the revocation of the license.
D. 
License to be signed and made available for inspection; badges. Every person licensed as a hawker or peddler shall endorse his/her usual signature upon the license. The petitioner shall produce the license for inspection whenever demanded by the Mayor, a member of the Municipal Council, the Sealer or Deputy Sealer of Weights and Measures, the City Treasurer/Collector, the City Clerk, or a constable, police officer or justice of the peace, and if the petitioner fails so to do, he/she shall be subject to the same penalty as if he/she had no license. The Sealer of Weights and Measures shall provide a badge for each peddler. Such badges shall bear the number of the license and the word "peddler." Each peddler shall wear the badge in a conspicuous place.
[Amended 8-8-2000; 1-14-2003][1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Original § 12-77.1, added 6-16-1981, which immediately followed this section and pertained to business regulations relative to the license, was repealed 12-8-1981.
[Added 11-29-2016]
A. 
No person, whether unlicensed, licensed as a hawker or peddler under City ordinance, or licensed as a hawker or peddler by the Deputy Director of Standards in the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation or any other officer of the commonwealth, shall, on the parade date from the parade start time until four hours thereafter, go from place to place selling or bartering, or carrying for sale or barter or exposing therefor, any goods, wares, or merchandise, either on foot or from any animal or vehicle, on the parade route.
B. 
As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
PARADE DATE
The first Sunday in December or such other date upon which the annual City of Taunton Christmas Parade is actually held.
PARADE START TIME
12:00 noon, or such other start time at which said parade is scheduled to start.
PARADE ROUTE
The public ways and sidewalks of Broadway (from James Street to Taunton Green), Taunton Green (from Broadway to Weir/Main Streets), Main Street, and Summer Street (from Main Street to Spring Street), and shall include the entire surfaces of Liberty and Union Plaza on Broadway, Broadway Arcade, Knotty Walk and the unnamed street located between Broadway and Washington Street at the Plain Cemetery.
C. 
It is the intent and purpose of this section to protect the safety of participants and spectators of parades by limiting the ability of hawkers and peddlers from interfering with the moving components of the parade participants.
D. 
This section shall not prohibit persons duly licensed as hawkers and peddlers from hawking and peddling on the parade date in areas other than the parade route where doing so is otherwise permissible by law.
E. 
All hawkers and peddlers shall immediately after the conclusion of a parade collect and remove all trash (plastic wrap, broken toys, balloons, cardboard, etc.).
F. 
This section is enacted pursuant to authority granted to municipalities under Chapter 101 of the General Laws of Massachusetts to enact local rules and regulations relative to the selling or bartering, or carrying for sale or barter or exposing therefor, any goods, wares, or merchandise by hawkers and peddlers.
[Added 1-11-1977; amended 12-8-1981; 2-8-1983; 12-23-1986]
A. 
No person shall solicit money or goods or offer to sell services, magazines, periodicals, or goods, wares or merchandise, sample or otherwise, for future or immediate delivery on any public street, or any public place, or in any public building, or by going from door to door by entering upon private property, without first making written application for a license to the Chief of Police, stating his/her name and residence, and stating the name and address of the person or organization in whose interest said foregoing activity is to be conducted, and submitting satisfactory evidence of his/her honesty and moral character and satisfactory proof of identity and obtaining from the Chief of Police at least 45 days prior to the date requested for sale a license to do so.
[Amended 6-6-2016]
(1) 
Nor shall any person other than a representative of a generally recognized informational or commercial advertising medium, such as regularly published newspapers and magazines, duly licensed commercial broadcasting and cable operations, duly authorized commercial outdoor advertising concerns, and governmental agencies, without the prior issuance of said license, solicit United States currency, property, goods, or advertisements by means of a telephone located within or without the boundaries of the City of Taunton whereby the message of solicitation terminates within the City limits. Said license shall also be required for any person soliciting by means of a telephone located in the City of Taunton whereby the solicitation terminates outside of the City.
(2) 
Nor shall any person, other than a representative of the news media, without the prior issuance of said license, solicit United States currency, property, goods, or advertisements by means of a telephone located within or without the boundaries of the City of Taunton whereby the message of solicitation terminates within the City limits. Said license shall also be required for any person soliciting by means of a telephone located in the City of Taunton whereby the solicitation terminates outside of the City of Taunton.
(3) 
Any person soliciting for United States currency, property, goods, or advertisements in exchange for a percentage or commission upon receipts or any form of sharing the United States currency, property, goods, or money received for advertisements, whether by personal contact or via telephone, shall so notify the potential donor or individual contacted of said facts, including the percentage or sharing basis agreed upon between the solicitor and the company represented by the solicitor and the name of the person and/or the name of the organization in whose interest the solicitation is being conducted. Furthermore, the solicitor shall give his/her true name and residential address, in addition to the address of the location from which the telephone call is originating if contact is via telephone.
[Amended 6-14-2016]
B. 
The license shall be restricted to a one-day period. The issuing authority may establish restrictions as to the time of day during which said activity may be conducted in addition to any other restriction deemed necessary for the protection of the public.
C. 
The license may be terminated at any time by the issuing authority upon violation of the foregoing or upon complaint of misconduct or other just cause.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
D. 
Each collector of United States currency, property, goods or advertisements so solicited shall be required to be licensed as aforementioned.
E. 
Any violation of the foregoing shall be punishable as provided in § 1-5 of these Revised Ordinances.
[Added 6-26-1984; amended 7-11-2000]
A. 
No person or business entity shall place, erect, or maintain or cause to be placed, erected, or maintained, either temporarily or permanently, upon any street, way, sidewalk, or other place to which the public has a right of access any machine, rack, or other unattended device for the sale or display of newspapers, magazines, or other forms of publication without first obtaining a permit from the Municipal Council to do so. In determining whether or not to grant a permit under this section, the Municipal Council shall consider such factors as the proposed location of such machine, rack, or device; the nature of such machine, rack, or device; the aesthetics of such machine, rack, or device in such location; whether such location would be obstructive to vision or flow of vehicular or pedestrian traffic; and the utility of such machine, rack, or device at such location.
B. 
Every permit granted under the provisions of this section shall be signed by the City Clerk and shall be recorded by said Clerk in a book for that purpose before being delivered to the permit holder and shall be affixed by the permit holder to the machine, rack, or device for which the permit is granted. Such permit shall set forth the name of the person or entity so permitted and the place where the machine, rack, or device is located and shall continue in force until the first day of May next ensuing after the date of its issuance unless sooner revoked. The City Clerk, upon issuing permits hereunder, shall receive for the City for each permit issued $25.
C. 
All such machines, racks, or devices located within areas under the jurisdiction of the Historic District Commission under the provisions of Chapter 273, Historic District, of these Revised Ordinances and MGL c. 40C shall be subject to the aesthetic approval and regulations of the Commission.
D. 
Any such machine, rack, or device existing at the time of the enactment of this section for which a permit has not been granted within 90 days after the enactment of this section shall be removed within 135 days after the enactment of this section.
E. 
Any machine, rack, or device placed, erected, or maintained in violation of the provisions of this section shall be subject to removal by the Chief of Police or duly authorized representative. Any person or business entity causing such unauthorized placement, erection, or maintenance shall be liable for the costs of removal, transportation, and storage of such machine, rack, or device and shall be subject to a fine of not more than $200 for each violation. The Chief of Police shall be invested with full authority to enforce the provisions of this section.
[Added 7-2-1984; amended 8-8-2000]
A. 
Definitions. The following words shall, for the purpose of this section, have the following meanings, unless the context requires otherwise:
LICENSING AUTHORITY
The Municipal Council for the City of Taunton.
TEMPORARY OR TRANSIENT BUSINESS
Any exhibition and sale of goods, wares or merchandise which is carried on in any tent, booth, building or other structure, unless such place is open for business during usual business hours for a period of at least 12 consecutive months. The term shall also be applicable to any exhibition and sale of goods, wares or merchandise from vehicles, or stands, or otherwise displayed, which does not come within the definition of hawker and peddler.
TRANSIENT VENDOR
Any person, either principal or agent, who engages in a temporary or transient business in the City of Taunton selling goods, wares or merchandise, either in one locality or in travelling from place to place.
B. 
Application for license; investigation; fee. Every transient vendor, before making any sales of goods, wares or merchandise in the City of Taunton, shall make application to the licensing authority for the issuance of a license to conduct a temporary or transient business within the City. Said application shall thereafter be forwarded to the Chief of Police for investigation with the results thereof being submitted to the licensing authority. Thereupon, if the application is approved, the licensing authority shall authorize the City Clerk, upon payment by the applicant of a fee of $200, to issue a license authorizing the sale of such goods, wares and merchandise within the City. The licensing authority may, in lieu of a fixed license fee, require the applicant to file with the licensing authority a true statement, under oath, of the average quantity and value of the stock of goods, wares and merchandise kept or intended to be kept or exposed by him/her for sale. Said licensing authority shall submit such statement to the Assessors of the City, who, after such examination and inquiry as they deem necessary, shall determine such average quantity and value and shall forthwith transmit a certificate thereof to said licensing authority. Thereupon, in lieu of a fixed license fee and prior to the issuance of said license, the applicant shall pay to the City Clerk a fee equal to the taxes assessable in the City of Taunton under the last preceding tax levy therein upon an amount of property of the same valuation. Said license shall remain in force until the first day of May next ensuing after the date of its issuance unless sooner revoked.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
C. 
Fines for refusal or neglect to file required statements or false or fraudulent representation. Any transient vendor who sells, or exposes for sale, at public or private sale, any goods, wares or merchandise without a license therefor, or any transient vendor who neglects or refuses to file the statement previously described, if required by the licensing authority, or makes a false or fraudulent representation therein, shall be punished by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $200 for each day on which he/she keeps or exposes for sale any goods, wares or merchandise.
D. 
Prohibited sales. The sale by transient vendors of jewelry, furs, gold, silver, or other precious metals is prohibited.
E. 
Filing applications with false statements prohibited. No person shall either as principal or by agent file any application, original or supplementary, containing any false statement.
F. 
Authority to arrest. A police officer shall have the authority to arrest without a warrant a hawker and peddler or transient vendor or any other person the officer has a probable cause to believe is violating any provision of this section.
G. 
Violation of Subsection D or E. Any violation of Subsection D or E of this section shall be punishable as provided in § 1-5 of these Revised Ordinances.
[Added 8-4-1992; amended 11-1-1993; 7-14-2009]
A. 
Definitions. The following words shall, for the purposes of this section, have the following meanings, unless the context requires otherwise:
LICENSING AUTHORITY
The Municipal Council of the City of Taunton.
TEMPORARY FIXED-LOCATION BUSINESS
The exhibition and sale of goods, wares, merchandise or food from vehicles, stands or otherwise displayed, which is not carried on in any tent, booth, building or other structure or shelter. The term shall also be applicable to any exhibition and sale of goods, wares and merchandise from vehicles, stands or otherwise displayed which does not come within the definition of hawker and peddler or transient vendor.
TEMPORARY FIXED-LOCATION VENDOR
Includes any person, either principal or agent, who engages in a temporary business in the City selling goods, wares, merchandise or food from vehicles, stands or otherwise displayed and who is not required to be licensed as a transient vendor or hawker and peddler under MGL c. 101.
B. 
Application for license; investigation; fee. Every temporary fixed-location vendor, before making any sales of goods, wares, merchandise or food in the City, shall make application to the licensing authority for the issuance of a license to conduct a temporary fixed-location business within the City. Such application shall thereafter be forwarded to the Chief of Police for investigation, with the results thereof being submitted to the licensing authority. Thereupon, if the application is approved, the licensing authority shall authorize the City Clerk, upon payment by the applicant of a fee of $250, to issue a license authorizing the sale of such goods, wares, merchandise or food kept or intended to be kept or exposed by him/her for sale. The licensing authority may, in lieu of a fixed license fee, require the applicant to file with the licensing authority a true statement, under oath, of the average quantity and value of the stock of goods, wares and merchandise kept or intended to be kept or exposed by him/her for sale. Such licensing authority shall submit such statement to the Assessors of the City who, after such examination and inquiry as they deem necessary, shall determine such average quantity and value and shall forthwith transmit a certificate thereof to the licensing authority. Thereupon, in lieu of a fixed license fee and prior to the issuance of the license, the applicant shall pay to the City Clerk a fee equal to the taxes assessable in the City under the last preceding tax levy therein upon an amount of property of the same valuation. The license shall be at all times prominently displayed and shall remain in force until the first day of May next ensuing after the date of its issuance unless sooner revoked. Such license shall not be transferable. It shall not authorize more than one person to sell goods, wares, merchandise or food as a temporary fixed-location vendor either by agent or clerk or in any way other than his/her own proper person, but a licensee may have the assistance of one or more persons in conducting the business who may aid but not act for or without him/her.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
C. 
Prerequisite for issuance. No person shall be licensed as a temporary fixed-location vendor under the provisions of this section until he/she obtains the following:
(1) 
A certificate from the Board of Health stating that the vehicle, receptacles and utensils are in sanitary condition.
(2) 
A license for the sale of milk from the Board of Health.
(3) 
A license as a common victualer from the Board of License Commissioners.
D. 
Fines for refusal or neglect to file required statements or false or fraudulent representation. Any temporary fixed-location vendor who sells or exposes for sale any goods, wares, merchandise or food without a license therefor, or any temporary fixed-location vendor who neglects or refuses to file the statement previously described, if required by the licensing authority, or makes false or fraudulent representation therein, shall be punished by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $200 for each day on which he/she keeps or exposes for sale any goods, wares, merchandise, or food.
E. 
Prohibited sales. The sale by temporary fixed-location vendors of jewelry, furs, gold, silver or other precious metals, wines or spirituous liquors, small artificial flowers or miniature flags is prohibited.
F. 
Filing application with false statements prohibited. No person shall either as principal or by agent file any application, original or supplementary, containing any false statement.
G. 
Authority to arrest. A police officer shall have the authority to arrest without a warrant a temporary fixed-location vendor or any other person the officer has a probable cause to believe is violating any provision of this section.
H. 
Violation of Subsection E or F. Any violation of Subsection E or F of this section shall be punishable as provided in § 1-5 of these Revised Ordinances.
[Added 6-13-2017]
A. 
As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
YARD SALE
The offering for sale, trade or exchange new or used goods, articles or wares at any residential premises, where said goods, articles or wares are conspicuously displayed on the premises.
B. 
No person shall conduct a yard sale without first obtaining a permit from the City Clerk. No person shall conduct a yard sale unless said permit is conspicuously displayed at the premises at all times during the yard sale. The City Clerk shall not charge a fee for said permit. Each yard sale shall be limited to not longer than two consecutive days and shall be conducted only on the premises where the permittee resides. At the conclusion of a yard sale, all goods, articles, and wares must be removed and properly stored; no goods, articles or wares shall remain on display, or, remain in place covered by a tarp or otherwise. No person shall be issued more than three permits in a calendar year. Not more than three yard sales in any calendar year shall be permitted at any one residential premises. Application for a license shall be filed with the City Clerk or online prior to the sale. The City Clerk shall establish a procedure by which application may be made online.
C. 
The City Clerk shall provide the Police Department with notice of all permits issued under this section. The Police Department and/or the City Trash Enforcement Officers shall enforce this section.
D. 
Any person who violates this section shall be fined $50 for a first offense; $100 for a second offense; and $150 for a third or subsequent offense. Each day of a violation shall constitute a separate offense.
E. 
This ordinance may be enforced by application for criminal complaint, or, through the MGL c. 40 § 21D procedure.
[Added 12-20-2011]
A. 
Definitions. The following words shall, for the purpose of this section, have the following meanings, unless the context requires otherwise:
FLEA MARKET
That portion of a building or property occupied by one or more vendors, other than retail stores, for sale to the public of new or used goods or products on a seasonal, limited or full schedule of operation.
FLEA MARKET PROMOTER
A person who, either directly or indirectly, rents, leases or grants a license to use space to any person for the display for sale or for the sale of tangible personal property subject to tax under MGL c. 64H.
TRANSIENT VENDOR
Any person, either principal or agent, who engages in a temporary or transient business in the City of Taunton selling goods, wares or merchandise, either in one locality or in travelling from place to place.
B. 
Annual permit; application fee. A flea market permit may be granted for the operation of a flea market after a location is properly zoned for that purpose. The permit shall be valid from January to December. The Municipal Council may, in its discretion, refuse to issue a permit to a flea market promoter if, after public hearing, it determines that the applicant has not or is not conforming with the requirements of this section and other ordinances, rules and regulations of the City and its departments. The fee for the annual permit shall be $500.
C. 
Renewal. No later than 30 days prior to its expiration, the holder of a flea market permit seeking renewal of said permit shall provide information to the Municipal Council regarding the number of vendors, vendor permits, days and dates of operation and all pertinent information regarding compliance with the provisions of this section and other ordinances, rules and regulations of the City and its department.
D. 
Vendor permits. Every vendor offering for sale items at a flea market is required to obtain a transient vendor permit from the City as outlined in § 337-4. Any vendors operating at a flea market are required to post their permits or licenses at the point of sale.
[Added 2-17-2015]
A. 
Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
PERSON
Natural person or legal entity, to include nonprofit corporations.
TAG DAY
A person stationed in front of a business engaging in the in-person solicitation of immediate monetary donations on behalf of an organization from passersby and/or patrons of the business.
B. 
Permit required. It is unlawful for any person to organize, hold or participate in a tag day except as provided by this section. No person may organize, hold or participate in a tag day without a permit from the City of Taunton and permission from the business in front of which a solicitor is to be stationed. The permit must be in the possession of a person in charge, who is readily available during the period of solicitation. The permit must be produced for inspection upon request.
C. 
An application for a tag day permit shall be made to the Mayor's office upon forms provided by the City, and such application shall be filed with the Mayor's office at least 15 days prior to the date for which the permit is sought. The City may, for good cause shown, allow the filing of an application less than 15 days prior to the date for which the permit is sought.
(1) 
Each applicant must provide the name, phone number and address of the organization and name and telephone number of the responsible contact person applying for the permit. If the organization is not based within the City, proof of an organization's establishment as a local chapter based within the City must be provided.
(2) 
Each applicant must state the purpose for which such solicitation is to be made and the use or disposition to be made of any receipts.
(3) 
All organizations must be based and have a street address within the corporate limits of the City or alternatively be a local City-based chapter of a larger umbrella organization which is not based within the corporate limits of the City.
(4) 
All solicitors and soliciting organizations with a post office box address must also have a street address in the City where their organization is based, works out of or where meetings are held.
(5) 
Soliciting organizations must present documentation depicting their not-for-profit status within current IRS guidelines. Permit will not be granted without proof of not-for-profit status.
(6) 
Soliciting organizations must use sealed cans for collecting funds.
(7) 
City of Taunton departments are exempt from this section.
D. 
Limitation of permits. Permits shall be issued on a first-come-first-served basis and shall be for one calendar day. No more than one soliciting organization will be permitted to solicit on any day. No more than two permits shall be issued to any one organization within the same calendar year, and the permits must be for separate days.
E. 
Hours of soliciting in a public place. Solicitation activities are not to occur prior to 8:00 a.m. or after 8:00 p.m.
[Added 10-13-2015]
A. 
Purpose. The purpose of this section is to promote the maintenance of outdoor drop boxes to protect the health, safety, and well-being of the community and to maintain the community in an aesthetically pleasing manner.
B. 
Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
DROP BOX
Any container or device used by the owner thereof for the purpose of the collection and temporary storage of any item, including but not limited to clothing, placed therein by a member of the public. Trash receptacles and dumpsters are not included in the definition of "drop box" for the purposes of this section.
PERSON
Includes natural person, corporation, limited liability company and any other legal entity.
C. 
Permit required. The owner of any drop box must secure a permit. The permit will be valid for up to one calendar year beginning on January 1 of each year and expiring on December 31 of each year. The owner of the drop box must provide on the permit application the name, address and telephone number of the owner of the drop box. In addition, the application must contain the name, address and telephone number of the property owner. The application must be signed by both the owner of the box and the property owner. This section may be enforced against the owner of the box, the property owner, or both. The owner of the drop box must notify the City Clerk of any changes in the information provided on the permit application. The annual permit fee is $25. The City Clerk shall be responsible for issuance of permits. The Zoning Enforcement Officer and/or the Trash Enforcement Officer shall be responsible for enforcing this section.
D. 
Requirements.
(1) 
The drop box shall be properly maintained in a clean and neat condition and in reasonably good repair at all times.
(2) 
The drop box shall be emptied on a regular basis to prevent overflow, but in any event not less than once monthly.
(3) 
Neither the owner of the drop box nor the property owner shall permit or suffer items to accumulate in the vicinity of the drop box.
(4) 
The name, address and telephone number of the owner of the drop box shall be clearly indicated on the outside of the drop box.
E. 
Violation and penalties.
(1) 
Operation of a drop box without a permit or failure to abide by any requirements of this section or failure to keep the information provided on the permit application current shall be a violation of this section and grounds for revocation or denial of a permit. Any person in violation of this section shall be punished by a fine of $50. Each day a violation exists may be considered a separate violation. The United States of America, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and its subdivisions are exempt from this section.
(2) 
In addition to the fine, a violation of this section may be deemed to constitute a public nuisance. The City may, after reasonable notice to the owner of the drop box and property owner, enter the property and remove or cause to be removed the nuisance and destroy any drop box or personal property removed. The costs and charges incurred shall constitute a debt due to the City and may be enforced in an action of contract. Said fine, costs, and charges shall constitute local charges for the purposes of MGL c. 40, § 58.
(3) 
The remedies provided herein are in addition to any other lawful remedy available to the City.