[HISTORY: Adopted by the Municipal Council of the City of Taunton as Rev. Ords. 1964, §§ 10-52 and 10-53 (Ch. 12, Art. XI, of the 2010 Code); amended in its entirety 12-8-2015. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
No person, except one whose principal business is the manufacture and sale of new motor vehicles but who incidentally acquires and sells secondhand vehicles, or a person whose principal business is financing the purchase of or insuring motor vehicles but who incidentally acquires and sells secondhand motor vehicles, shall engage in the business of buying, selling, or exchanging of secondhand motor vehicles or allow any property under his control to be used as a place of sale or display of such motor vehicles without first securing and maintaining in full force and effect a Class 2 license as provided in MGL c. 140, §§ 57 through 69, inclusive.
The licensing authority in the City of Taunton shall be the Municipal Council, which shall, in the issuance, regulation, and revocation of such licenses, follow the procedures set forth in MGL c. 140, §§ 57 through 69, inclusive.
Application for a Class 2 license shall be made by submitting to the City Clerk the application forms and tendering to the City Clerk the fee set forth in § 413-2.
The Chief of Police shall establish and maintain, and shall from time to time revise, such application forms as, in his reasonable judgment, shall be in conformity with law and which enable the Municipal Council and the Police Department to obtain the information necessary to adequately investigate applications for Class 2 licenses. The Chief of Police shall ensure that the City Clerk is provided with such application forms.
All applications for issuance, renewal, change of situation, or transfer of a Class 2 license shall be accompanied by a nonrefundable fee of $200.
In addition to the information contained within the application forms, the Municipal Council may require any applicant for a Class 2 license to provide such additional information as it deems necessary in order to investigate the application. Any such application may be denied in the event the applicant fails to provide such additional information.
No such license shall be granted until the Municipal Council is satisfied from an investigation of the facts stated in the application and any other information which it may require of the applicant that the applicant is a proper person to engage in such business, that said business is or will be the applicant's principal business, and that the applicant has an available place of business suitable for the purpose.
All applicants shall submit to the Municipal Council the names, dates of birth, and current residential addresses of all individuals 1) having an ownership or equity interest of 10% or more in the proposed licensee, 2) serving as president, treasurer, clerk, director, manager, director, or any other principal officer of the proposed licensee, and 3) serving as the licensee's on-site manager, which all licensees shall so designate at least one individual to serve. All applicants for a Class 2 license, and all licensees, shall be under an affirmative obligation at all times to file with the City Clerk, on a form to be promulgated by the Chief of Police, notice of any change to any of the information required to be disclosed under this subsection within 30 days of the time any of such information changes. The purpose of this subsection is to permit the licensing authority to have sufficient information to perform an investigation into whether the licensee is, and continues to be, a proper person.
The Municipal Council shall cause an investigation to occur of the facts stated in the application and such other information provided by the applicant.
No such license shall issue unless the applicant demonstrates that the applicant is or will be actively involved in the sale of secondhand motor vehicles in the City of Taunton. No pocket licenses shall be issued.
The applicant shall submit to the Municipal Council a plot plan of the proposed licensed premises whether or not a plot plan is required by any other provision of law.
The applicant shall specify all portions of the premises to be occupied and used by the licensee for the purpose of carrying on the licensed business.
If the applicant has not held a Class 2 license in the year prior to the making of the application, the application shall be completed in duplicate, with one copy being filed with the City Clerk, and the other copy being filed with the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles.
No such license shall issue unless the licensee demonstrates that it will have and maintain access at all times to repair facilities on-site or nearby that are sufficient to enable the licensee to satisfy the warranty repair obligations imposed upon licensees pursuant to MGL c. 90, § 7N1/4.
Any licensee, upon application therefor, and upon tendering to the City Clerk the fee set forth in § 413-2, may seek a change of situation of the licensed premises or for additions thereto. Permits for the same may be granted at any time by the Municipal Council in writing, a copy of which shall be attached to the license.
Any license granted shall be revoked by the Municipal Council if it appears, after a hearing, that the licensee is not complying with MGL c. 140, §§ 57 through 69, inclusive, or the rules and regulations thereunder.
Any license granted shall be revoked by the Municipal Council if it appears, after a hearing, that the licensee has not complied, or is not complying, with the provisions of this chapter.
In addition to the mandatory conditions set forth in Subsection C, below, and the conditions required by applicable zoning ordinances, the Municipal Council may place reasonable conditions and restrictions upon the grant of any Class 2 license, including, but not limited to, the number of motor vehicles permitted to be displayed on the licensed premises at any one time. The Municipal Council may request the assistance and advice of the City Planner, the Planning Board, the Development Impact Review Board, or any other City official or board, in determining what site-specific conditions, if any, shall be imposed upon the grant of any such license.
Appropriate fencing may be required if, in the judgment of the Municipal Council, such fencing is necessary to control access to the licensed premises or to maintain the aesthetic value of the immediate neighborhood.
All licenses shall be subject to the following conditions:
No dismantled, incomplete or damaged motor vehicles or parts thereof shall be visible from any public or private way or streets or from any abutting property.
All repairs and maintenance of motor vehicles conducted upon the premises, if the same is otherwise permitted to be performed anywhere on the licensed premises, shall be performed only inside an enclosed building.
The number and placement of motor vehicles on the licensed premises shall be in accordance with the plot plan and as approved by the Municipal Council and shall be, at a minimum, in accordance with applicable zoning ordinances. For licensees operating on a preexisting, nonconforming lot, the Municipal Council shall nonetheless have the authority to require the licensee to undergo the site plan review process, appear before the Development Impact Review Board, or otherwise grant a license subject to conditions restricting the number and placement of motor vehicles on the licensed premises.
Licensees shall maintain a sufficient number of parking spaces on the licensed premises for customer parking. The number of customer spaces shall be, at a minimum, the number of spaces required by applicable zoning ordinances and such number of additional customer spaces that the Municipal Council, for good cause shown, shall require.
Unless other provisions of applicable law provide for more restrictive hours, no licensee shall operate or be open to the public earlier than 8:00 a.m. nor later than 9:00 p.m.
The licensed premises, and any other property in the immediate vicinity thereof, owned or under the control of the licensee or any individual whose identity is required to be disclosed pursuant to § 413-3C, shall be maintained in a clean and sanitary manner and shall at all times be kept clean and free of debris.
No licensee shall engage in the business of buying, selling, or exchanging of secondhand motor vehicles on any portion of the licensed premises other than those portions of the licensed premises specified under § 413-3G and approved for such use by the Municipal Council.
All licensees shall comply with all rules and regulations promulgated by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles defining sufficient repair facilities for holders of used car dealer's licenses.
All licensees shall at all times comply with all requirements of applicable zoning statutes and ordinances.
All licensees shall permit any duly delegated agent of the licensing authority or any police officer of the City of Taunton to enter and inspect all areas of the licensed premises at all reasonable times in order to conduct an inspection of the licensed premises or to investigate the conditions thereon in order to ensure compliance with the terms of the license or this chapter, to investigate complaints of alleged violations of this chapter, or to take any other action relative thereto.
Any license granted shall be suspended or revoked by the Municipal Council if it appears, after a hearing, that the licensee has not complied, or is not complying, with the any of the conditions placed upon the grant of such license or any of the provisions of this chapter.
Any application for a Class 2 license which proposes to conduct operations on any premises which has not been the site upon which a Class 2 licensee has been in actual operation at any time in the past 12 months shall be considered a new license application. A person who submits a new license application shall, in addition to the provisions of §§ 413-1 through 413-3, inclusive, be subject to the following requirements:
The Municipal Council or a committee thereof shall hold a public hearing upon a new license application. The City Clerk shall cause a legal advertisement of such public hearing to be published at least once in a newspaper of general circulation in the City of Taunton, said publication to be no less than 14 days prior to the date of the public hearing. The applicant shall reimburse the City Clerk's office in full for the cost of said publication and shall provide evidence of payment and evidence of publication at the beginning of the public hearing.
The applicant shall obtain from the Board of Assessors a certified abutters list of all persons owning property within 300 feet of the proposed licensed premises. The applicant shall, at its cost, and no less than 14 days prior to the date of the public hearing, mail notice of the public hearing to each person appearing on the list. The applicant shall provide evidence of such notification at the beginning of the public hearing.
No new license application shall be granted unless the applicant demonstrates to the Municipal Council at the public hearing each of the following:
The proposed licensed site is an appropriate location for such use.
The use of the property for the sale of secondhand motor vehicles will not be detrimental to the established or future character of the surrounding neighborhood.
The proposed licensed activity on the premises will not create a nuisance or hazard to pedestrians or motorists traveling on public ways.
The public convenience and welfare will be substantially served by the granting of the application.
The application and the proposed licensed site and operations will otherwise comply with the General Laws of Massachusetts and the Revised Ordinances of the City of Taunton.
The provisions of this chapter to include §§ 413-1 through 413-5, inclusive, and all of their respective subsections, shall be deemed to be severable; and if any of said provisions shall be held unconstitutional or otherwise invalid by any court of competent jurisdiction, said finding shall not affect or impair the validity of any of the remaining provisions of this chapter, which shall remain in full force and effect.