Borough of Columbia, PA
Lancaster County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Columbia 7-22-2013 by Ord. No. 829. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known as the "Pawnbrokers, Antique and Second-Hand Dealers Ordinance of the Borough of Columbia."
A. 
For the purpose of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meanings given herein. When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense include the future, words in the plural number include the singular number, words in the singular number include the plural number, and words of the masculine gender shall include the feminine. The word "shall" is always mandatory and not merely directory.
B. 
As used in this chapter, the following words shall have meanings indicated:
ANTIQUE DEALER or SECONDHAND DEALER
Any person who either wholly or in part engages in or operates the trade or business of buying and/or selling used goods or secondhand goods such as antiques, precious stones, metals, jewelry, any tools, any electrical devices, fixtures, appliances, household goods, firearms and bric-a-brac. The foregoing enumeration of articles, goods and properties shall not be deemed to be exclusive or all-inclusive.
BOROUGH
The Borough of Columbia, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
BUSINESS
All kinds of vocations, occupations, professions, enterprises, establishments, and all other kinds of activities and matters, together with all devices, machines, vehicles and appurtenances used therein, which are conducted for profit, or benefit, directly or indirectly, on any premises in the Borough.
COUNCIL
The Borough Council of the Borough of Columbia.
LICENSE OFFICER
The Borough Manager, his designee(s) or such other enforcement officers as may be appointed by the Borough Manager or Borough Council.
LICENSE or LICENSEE
Includes respectively the words "permit" or "permittee" where the holder for any use or period of time of any similar privilege, wherever relevant to any provision of this chapter or other law or ordinance.
PAWNBROKER
Includes any person who:
(1) 
Engages in the business of lending money on the deposit or pledge of personal property other than choses in action, securities or written evidence of indebtedness;
(2) 
Purchases personal property with an expressed or implied agreement or understanding to sell it back at a subsequent time at a stipulated price; or
(3) 
Lends money upon goods wears or merchandise pledged, stored or deposited as collateral security.
PERSON
Individual natural persons, partnerships, joint ventures, societies, associations, clubs, trustees, trusts, limited-liability companies or corporations; or any officers, agents, employees, factors or any kind of personal representatives of any of the above, in any capacity, acting either for himself, or for any other person, under either personal appointment or pursuant to law.
PLEDGE
An article or articles deposited with a pawnbroker as security for a loan in the course of his business as a pawnbroker.
PLEDGOR
The person who obtains a loan from a pawnbroker and delivers a pledge into the possession of a pawnbroker, unless such person discloses that he is or was acting for another, in which case a "pledgor" means the disclosed principal.
POLICE
The sworn police personnel of the Borough of Columbia.
PREMISES
All lands, structures, places, and also the equipment and appurtenances connected or used therewith in any business, and also any personal property which is either affixed to, or as otherwise used in connection with any such business conducted on such premises.
SECONDHAND ARTICLES OR GOODS
Are any articles or goods that are purchased, salvaged or received from any person, association, copartnership, corporation, trust or limited-liability company. The items dealt with by an antique dealer or a secondhand dealer shall not be deemed to include:
(1) 
Judicial sales or sales or purchases by or from executors or administrators in conjunction with the settlement of an estate;
(2) 
Sales of unredeemed pledges by or on behalf of licensed pawnbrokers in the manner prescribed by law;
(3) 
Occasional or auction sales of household goods sold from private homes;
(4) 
Auctions of real estate;
(5) 
The buying or selling of printed or recorded material; or
(6) 
The taking in trade by a business of an item of a like kind to items which such businesses sell as the principal or substantial part of their business.
A. 
Compliance required. No person, either directly or indirectly, shall conduct any business or use in connection therewith any vehicle, premises, machine or device, in whole or in part, for which a license or permit is required by this chapter without a license or permit therefor being first procured and kept in effect at all such times as required by this chapter or other law or ordinance of the Borough. A person conducting any business which involves either wholly or in part a combination of one or more of the types of business activities regulated hereunder shall be required to obtain a separate license for each type of business conducted and shall comply with all requirements and regulations for each type of business; provided, however, that such person shall pay only one license fee, which shall be the fee to the business having the highest fee.
B. 
Agents responsible for obtaining license. The agents or other representatives of nonresidence who are doing business in the Borough shall be personally responsible for the compliance with this chapter of their principals and of the businesses they represent.
A. 
Issue licenses. The License Officer shall collect all license fees imposed hereunder and shall issue licenses in the name of the Borough to all persons qualified under the provision of this chapter and shall:
(1) 
Make rules. Promulgate and enforce all reasonable rules and regulations necessary to the operation and enforcement of this chapter.
(2) 
Adopt forms. Adopt all forms and prescribe the information to be given therein.
(3) 
Require affidavits. Require applicants to submit all affidavits and notes necessary to the administration of the provisions of this chapter.
(4) 
Obtain endorsement. Submit all applications, in a proper case, to appropriate Borough officials for their endorsements thereon as to compliance by the applicant with all Borough regulations which they have the duty of enforcing.
(5) 
Investigate. Investigate and determine the eligibility of any applicant for a license.
(6) 
Examine records. Examine the books and records related to information required to be kept or maintained by this chapter of any applicant or licensee when reasonably necessary to the administration and enforcement of this chapter.
(7) 
Give notice. Notify any applicant of the acceptance or rejection of his application and shall, upon refusal of any license or permit, at the applicant's request, state in writing the reasons therefor and deliver them to the applicant.
(8) 
Enforcement powers. Take all action necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter, including but not limited to institution of summary criminal proceedings, filing civil or equitable actions, revocation of licenses and any other appropriate legal action.
B. 
Information confidential. The License Officer, to the extent permitted by Pennsylvania law, shall keep all information furnished or secured under the authority of this chapter in strict confidence, excepting names and addresses of licensees. Except as otherwise provided by Pennsylvania law, such information shall not be subject to public inspection and shall be kept so that the contents thereof shall not become known except to the person who is charged with the administration of this chapter.
The general standards herein set forth relative to the qualifications of every applicant for a Borough license under this chapter shall be applied by the License Officer.
A. 
Good moral character. Each shall be of good moral character. In making such determination, the License Officer shall consider only:
(1) 
Penal history. All convictions for crimes and moral turpitude.
(2) 
License history. The license history of the applicant; whether such person, in previously operating in this or another state under a license had such a license revoked or suspended and the reasons therefor.
B. 
No obligations to the Borough. Each applicant shall be in default under the provisions of this chapter if indebted or obligated in any manner to the Borough except for current taxes.
C. 
Compliance with building and zoning laws. The applicant shall certify to his knowledge that he is not in violation of the building or zoning laws of the Borough.
A. 
Formal application required. Every person required to procure a license under the provisions of this chapter shall submit an application to the License Officer which shall:
(1) 
Be a written statement upon forms provided by the License Officer; such forms shall include a sworn affidavit that the information furnished is true and correct. Furnishing false certifications or false or intentionally misleading information shall be grounds for denial or revocation of the license or other legal action hereunder by the License Officer.
(2) 
Require the disclosure of all information necessary for compliance with § 158-5 of this chapter and of any other information which the License Officer finds to be reasonably necessary for the fair administration of this chapter.
(3) 
Be accompanied by the full amount of the fee chargeable for such license.
B. 
Issuance of receipts. Whenever a license cannot be issued at the time the application for the same is made, the License Officer shall issue a receipt to the applicant for the money paid in advance subject to the condition that such receipt should not be construed as the approval of the License Officer for the issuance of a license; nor shall it entitle or authorize the applicant to open or maintain any business contrary to provisions of this chapter.
C. 
Duplicate license procedure. A duplicate license shall be issued by the License Officer to replace any license previously issued, which has been lost, stolen, defaced or destroyed without any willful conduct on the part of the licensee, upon the filing by the licensee of an affidavit sworn to before a notary public of this state attesting to such fact and the paying to the License Officer of a fee of $5. This fee may be changed from time to time by resolution of Council.
D. 
Issuance of license. If the License Officer is satisfied that the applicant has met all requirements of this chapter, the license shall be issued to the applicant. If the License Officer determines that the requirements of this chapter have not been met, he shall disapprove the application and refund all fees paid in advance from which disapproval the applicant shall have the right to appeal to Council in the manner hereinafter provided.
License fees shall be in the amounts established hereafter as may be modified from time to time by resolution of Council.
A. 
Adjustment of fee. The License Officer shall require an increase in fee when the status of a licensee changes to place him in a classification imposing such increase in fee.
B. 
Rebate of fee. No rebate or refund of any license fee or part thereof shall be made for any reason except if such license fee was collected through an error.
Each license issued hereunder shall state upon its face:
A. 
The name of the licensee and any other name under which such business is to be conducted.
B. 
The kind and address of each business so licensed.
C. 
The amount of license fee therefor.
D. 
The dates of issuance and expiration thereof.
E. 
Such other information as the License Officer shall determine.
A. 
General standards of conduct. Every licensee under this chapter shall:
(1) 
Permit inspection. Permit all reasonable inspections of his business and examinations of his books containing information required to be kept or maintained by this chapter by public authorities so authorized by law.
(2) 
Comply with governing law. Ascertain and at all times comply with all laws and regulations applicable to such licensed business.
(3) 
Operate properly. Avoid all forbidden, improper or unnecessary practices or conditions which do or may affect the public health, morals or welfare.
(4) 
Cease business. Refrain from operating the licensed business on premises after expiration of the license and during any period the license is revoked or suspended.
B. 
Display of license. Every licensee under this chapter shall:
(1) 
Premises. Post and maintain such license upon the licensed premises in a place where it may be seen at all times.
(2) 
Inoperative licenses. Not allow any license or insignia to remain posted, displayed or used after the period for which it was issued has expired or when it has been suspended or revoked or for any reason becomes ineffective. The licensee shall promptly return such inoperative license to the License Officer.
(3) 
Unlawful possession. Not loan, sell, give or assign to any other person or allow any other person to use or display or to destroy, damage, or remove or to have in its possession except as authorized by the License Officer or by law, any license which has been issued to such licensee.
C. 
New location desired. A licensee shall have the right to change location of the licensed business, provided, that he shall:
(1) 
Obtain written permission from the License Officer for such change of location; and
(2) 
Pay a removal fee of $5 to the License Officer, which fee may be changed from time to time by resolution of Council.
D. 
Records kept. Keep all records and books to provide the information required by this chapter and necessary for the enforcement of this chapter.
A licensee shall not transfer his license to another person.
A. 
Council shall hear all appeals from the decision of the License Officer disapproving an application for a license. The Borough Council may, upon recommendation of the License Officer, refuse to renew, suspend or revoke a license of any applicant or licensee based upon one or more of the following reasons:
(1) 
The practice of any fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation or furnishing false information in obtaining or attempting to obtain a license.
(2) 
The practice of fraud, deceit, misrepresentation or furnishing false information in the course of carrying on the licensed business.
(3) 
The conviction of any of the enumerated crimes set forth in sections of this chapter for the particular business license involved.
(4) 
Violation of or noncompliance with the provisions of this chapter or orders of the License Officer issued under the authority of this chapter.
(5) 
Loaning, borrowing or using the license of another, or of knowingly aiding or abetting in any way the granting of improper licenses.
(6) 
The doing of any act or engaging in any contact in the course of the business which demonstrates incompetency, bad faith or dishonesty or substantially adversely affects the health, safety or general welfare of the public.
B. 
Before Council acts upon any recommendation of the License Officer refusing to renew, suspending or revoking any license, the License Officer shall notify the applicant or licensee of the charges against him and shall afford the applicant or licensee ample opportunity to be heard thereon in person or by Council. The notice shall be in writing and be served by certified mail, addressed to the applicant or licensee at the address appearing in the application for the license or on the issued license and shall notify the applicant or licensee of his right to a hearing before Council. The applicant or licensee shall have a period of 30 days from the date of service of the notice, which shall be the date of the mailing, to request a hearing before the Council, which hearing shall, if requested, be fixed upon not less than 10 days written notice to the applicant or licensee. If no hearing before the Council is requested, it shall be conclusively presumed that the applicant or licensee concurs in the recommendation of the License Officer and the Council shall take the action recommended by the License Officer without necessity for any further proceedings.
In addition to its duty to take any action upon the recommendation of the License Officer in refusing, suspending or revoking any license, Council shall hear all appeals from persons aggrieved by any decision or order of the License Officer, except the decision to file summary enforcement proceedings with the Magisterial District Judge, when it is alleged that the decision or order complained of is not authorized by this chapter or directs a method of compliance which imposes an unreasonable burden upon the licensee without good cause. In such cases, Council shall have the authority, in a proper case, to change, modify or rescind any decision or order of the License Officer or to extend the time for compliance. All appeals to Council from decisions or orders of the License Officer shall be filed with the License Officer within 10 days of the date of the decision or order complained of. The appeal shall be in writing, shall specify the grounds therefor and the relief requested and shall be accompanied by an appeal fee of $50, which fee may be changed from time to time by resolution of Council. Upon receipt of an appeal, a hearing shall be held upon not less than 10 days written notice to the licensee.
A. 
Inspections. The following persons are authorized to conduct inspections in the manner prescribed herein:
(1) 
License Officer. The License Officer shall make all investigations reasonably necessary to the enforcement of this chapter.
(2) 
Officials having duties. The License Officer shall have the authority to order the inspection of licensees, their businesses and premises by the police and all Borough officials having duties to perform with reference to such licensees or businesses.
B. 
Authority of inspectors. All inspectors shall have the authority to enter premises of any provision of this chapter. The License Officer shall, when acting within the scope of his employment, hereunder have the powers of a police officer of the Borough; provided, however, that under no circumstances shall the License Officer have the power of arrest. Persons inspecting licenses, their businesses or premises, as herein authorized shall report all violations of this chapter or other laws or ordinances to the License Officer and shall submit such other reports as the License Officer shall order.
C. 
Enforcement duties of License Officer.
(1) 
When the License Officer determines that there exists any violation of this chapter, he shall, at his option:
(a) 
Issue and serve upon the violator a notice of violation, which notice shall be in writing, shall specify the violation and shall contain an order directing correction of the violation within a specified time to be not less than 10 days from the date of the notice. Any person aggrieved by such notice shall have the right to appeal as set forth in this chapter.
(b) 
Institute and prosecute summary enforcement proceedings before a Magisterial District Judge; and/or
(c) 
Initiate before Council in the manner specified above proceedings to suspend or revoke the license of the violator.
(2) 
The License Officer shall be authorized to take any or all of the above enforcement actions in any given case as are deemed necessary in his opinion for proper administration and enforcement of this chapter, and his right to take any particular enforcement action shall not be limited by reason of the fact that he has also taken a different action in the same case.
Where a person allows another person who has not procured a license to use his premises for an activity requiring a license under this chapter, such person who allows his premises to be used shall be held liable for any applicable fees required herein and shall be deemed in violation of the provisions hereof.
A. 
License required. No person shall use, exercise or carry on the trade or business of a pawnbroker within the Borough without first obtaining a license from the License Officer. A pawnbroker's license term is from October 1 to September 30 of each year.
B. 
Records. Each pawnbroker shall keep a book legibly written in the English language in which shall be recorded:
(1) 
A full and accurate description of all articles purchased or left in pawn with him.
(2) 
The date and time of pledging, pawning or purchasing the same.
(3) 
The date and time which such pawned or pledged article is to be redeemed.
(4) 
The amount of money lender paid therefor.
(5) 
The description of the person or persons, including such person's name, age and address making a pledge.
C. 
Report to police. All pawnbrokers shall, before 12:00 noon of every Monday report to the Bureau of Police a description of all articles so received in the course of their pawnbroking business during the business week immediately previous, together with the number of ticket or tickets and description of the person or persons making such sale, including such person's name, age and address. Forms for this purpose shall be provided by the Bureau of Police.
D. 
Information to be given to pledgor. Every pawnbroker shall, at the time of making or receiving any article in pawn, deliver to the pledgor a memorandum signed by him containing:
(1) 
The date.
(2) 
The amount of the loan.
(3) 
The rate of interest and storage charges.
(4) 
The time within which the article is to be redeemed.
(5) 
A description of the article pledged.
E. 
Forbidden transactions. A pawnbroker shall not accept a pledge from a person under the age of 18 years nor from any intoxicated person or any known thieves.
F. 
Conviction of certain crimes. If any pawnbroker is convicted of robbery, burglary, theft or receiving stolen goods or any other crime involving the unlawful obtaining of personal property, Council shall, after notice and hearing, revoke his license.
G. 
Fee. The fee for the issuance of a pawnbroker's license shall be $25, which fee may be changed from time to time by resolution of Council.
A. 
License required.
(1) 
Except as provided in Subsection A(2) hereof, no person shall engage in the business of being an antique or secondhand dealer without procuring a license from the License Officer. An antique or secondhand dealer's license term is from October 1 to September 30 of each year.
(2) 
No person shall be required to obtain a license under this subsection who engages in isolated or occasional purchases or sales of those items detailed in the definition of antique dealers or secondhand articles or goods set forth in § 158-2 hereof, provided that such person maintains no place of business within the Borough, engages in no promotion or advertising and can prove by appropriate records that total sales of the previous year did not exceed $1,500.
(3) 
Notwithstanding any provisions herein contained, no person engaged in a business licensed or regulated hereunder shall be required to comply with any provisions of this chapter in order to participate in an organized antique or art show or exhibit.
B. 
Records. Each antique or secondhand dealer shall keep a book legibly written in the English language at the time of acquiring articles in the course of business, which book shall give:
(1) 
An accurate description, including brand names, model number, serial number, inscribed initials, dates, names and any other forms of identification, of the article purchased, salvaged or received; and
(2) 
The name, age, description, address, of person selling, transferring or trading in the same.
C. 
Reports to police. Every antique or secondhand dealer shall furnish the information specified in Subsection B above by 12:00 noon Monday for the previous week to the Bureau of Police. The Bureau of Police shall furnish forms for this purpose. The report shall not include:
(1) 
Names and investors of collectors personally known to the dealer. (Where this exclusion is claimed, the report shall contain the legend: "Known Investor" or "Known Collector");
(2) 
Any information on transactions by a person seeking a trade-in or allowance on goods or items originally sold by the dealer to the person seeking such trade-in or allowance;
(3) 
Any information on transactions involving a trade-in on a like item; or
(4) 
Information regarding dealer-to-dealer transactions.
D. 
Nothing contained in Subsection C regarding exceptions, shall excuse the maintenance of information records required to be kept by Subsection B hereof.
E. 
Retention of purchased articles.
(1) 
No antique or secondhand dealer shall sell or dispose of in any way any of the following secondhand articles or goods: antiques, precious stones, jewelry, watches, gold, platinum, silver or other precious metals, or any of similar articles or things, until seven days have elapsed after the purchase of the same or until 48 hours from the time of furnishing to the police a form containing the information on such articles as required by Subsection C hereof.
(2) 
It shall be an affirmative defense to any prosecution or administrative proceeding brought for a violation of this subsection that, in the case of precious metals, retention for the time period required would have resulted in serious and substantial economic losses to the dealer, or the possibility of such losses was significant due to rapid and highly fluctuating market conditions, provided that the person so charged shall prove the existence of the market conditions giving rise to the aforesaid defense by a preponderance of the evidence. Market conditions, in order to be a defense hereunder, shall be such that financial analyst would characterize trading as at or approaching a level or occurrence in an atmosphere of panic so as to clearly distinguish trading conditions from normal variations in market movement in response to economic news or other events.
F. 
Forbidden transactions. No antique or secondhand dealer shall purchase any article from any person under the age of 18 or from any intoxicated person or from a known thief or thieves.
G. 
Conviction of certain crimes. If any antique or secondhand dealer shall be convicted of robbery, burglary, theft, receiving stolen goods or any other crime involving the unlawful obtaining of personal property, Council shall, after notice and hearing, revoke his license.
H. 
Fee. The fee for issuance of an antique or secondhand dealer's license shall be $25, which fee may be modified from time to time by resolution of Council.
All existing businesses required to be licensed hereunder shall apply for a license within three months from the passage of this chapter, and all such applicants shall be charged a fee applicable to their license which license shall thereafter be renewed in accordance with this chapter upon payment of the specified fee and fulfillment of all other requirements hereunder.
Any person who violates any provision of this chapter or any final order of the License Officer or Council issued pursuant to authority of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof in a summary proceeding, be fined not less than $50 nor more than $600, shall pay the cost of prosecution or, in default of payment, undergo imprisonment for not more than 30 days. Each day during which a violation continues shall constitute a separate offense. As used in this section, the term "person" shall have the meaning set forth in § 158-2 above.