[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Westerly 5-19-2014 by Ch. No. 1819. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Peace and good order — See Ch. 182.
Retail sales — See Ch. 202.
Yard sales — See Ch. 256.
Editor's Note: This ordinance also superseded former Ch. 186, Peddlers, Solicitors and Itinerant Vendors, comprised of Art. I, Itinerant Vendors, adopted 8-13-1991 by Ch. No. 983 as §§ 7-151 through 7-163 of the 1991 Code, Art. II, Street Vendors, adopted 8-13-1991 by Ch. No. 983 as §§ 7-181 through 7-187 of the 1991 Code (as amended through Ch. No. 1281), as amended, and Art. III, Behavior Restrictions, adopted 8-13-1991 by Ch. No. 983 as §§ 8-21 and 8-22 of the 1991 Code, as amended.
Article I Itinerant Vendors
Article II Hawkers and Peddlers
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ITINERANT VENDOR
- Construed to mean and include all persons, both principals and agents, who engage in a temporary or transient business in this Town selling goods, wares and merchandise, and who, for the purpose of carrying on such business, has leased or occupied any building or part of any building for the exhibition and sale of such goods, wares and merchandise from within said building.
The provisions of this article shall not apply to sales made to dealers by commercial travelers or selling agents in the usual course of business, or to bona fide sales of goods, wares and merchandise by sample for future delivery, or to sheriffs, constables or public officers of the state selling goods, wares and merchandise according to law, or to bona fide assignees for the benefit of creditors, or receivers appointed in this state selling goods, wares and merchandise in this Town; provided, however, that the situs of such goods, wares and merchandise was in this Town prior to such assignment or the appointment of such receiver; or to hotels or inns or persons of this Town selling goods, wares and merchandise within any of the summer resorts, so-called, in this Town.
Every itinerant vendor who shall sell or expose for sale, at public auction or private sale, any goods, wares and merchandise without a Town license therefor, issued as herein provided, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $250, or by imprisonment not less than 10 nor more than 30 days.
All persons, both principals and agents, who shall by circular, handbill, newspaper or in any other manner, advertise any such sale referred to in § 186-3 before proper license shall be issued to the vendor, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be punished in accordance with Chapter 1, Article II, General Penalty.
It shall be the duty of every itinerant vendor, whether principal or agent, before commencing business, to take out a license in the manner herein set forth.
Every itinerant vendor desiring to do business in this Town shall, upon application in proper form and upon such application being approved by the Chief of Police, be granted by the Town Clerk an itinerant vendor’s license authorizing him/her to do business in this Town in conformity with the provisions of this article, on the payment of the license fee as specified in Chapter 121, Fee Schedule.
Every license shall set forth the name of the licensee and the authority and term which shall not exceed three months. The license shall not be transferable nor give authority to more than one person to sell goods as an itinerant vendor either by agent or clerk, or in any other way than in his own proper person; but any licensee may have the assistance of one or more persons in conducting his business, who shall have authority to aid their principal but not to act for or without him.
All applications for licenses shall be sworn to, shall disclose the names and residences of the owners or parties in whose interest the business is conducted, and shall be kept on file by the Town Clerk; and a record shall be kept by him of all licenses issued upon such applications. All files and records of the Town Clerk shall be in convenient form and open for public inspection.
Any false statement in an application for a license and any failure on the part of any licensee to comply with all the requirements of § 186-13 shall subject such itinerant vendor to the same penalty as if he had no license, and to the further and additional penalty in accordance with Chapter 1, Article II, General Penalty.
Any officer shall have power to demand the production of the proper license from any itinerant vendor advertising or actually engaged in business, and any failure to produce such license shall be prima facie evidence against such vendor that he has none.
All licenses shall expire by limitation at the expiration of the term for which the license is granted, and may be, if so desired, surrendered at any time prior thereto for cancellation.
Upon the expiration and return or surrender of each license, the Town Clerk shall cancel the same, endorse the date of delivery and cancellation thereon, and place the same on file.
Any license granted under the provisions of this article may be cancelled at any time by the Town Council if any false statement shall have been made in the application upon which such license was granted.
No itinerant vendor shall advertise, represent or hold forth any sale as an insurance, bankrupt, insolvent, assignee, trustee, estate, executor, administrator, receiver, wholesale or manufacturer’s or closing out sale, or as a sale of any goods damaged by smoke, fire, water or otherwise, or in any similar form, unless he shall, before so doing, state under oath to the Town Clerk all the facts relating to the reasons and character of such special sale so advertised or represented, including a statement of the names of the persons from whom the goods, wares and merchandise were obtained, the date of delivery to the person applying for the license, and the place from which such goods, wares and merchandise were taken, and all details necessary to exactly locate and fully identify all goods, wares and merchandise to be sold.
[Amended 4-27-2015 by Ch. No. 1836]
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- FARMERS' MARKETS
- An occasional or periodic market, composed of three or more vendors, with goods offered for sale to the general public by individual sellers from open-air or semi-enclosed facilities or temporary structures, said merchandise being limited to home-produced or locally grown farm produce, food and agricultural crafts.
- Any person, licensed in accordance with this article, who is selling or offering for sale any goods, wares or merchandise, including any food or non-alcoholic beverage in accordance with § 186-22 of this article from a stationary location.
- HOME PRODUCE or LOCALLY GROWN
- Produce, plants, animal products and other products produced in Rhode Island or within the Northeast food shed.
- Any person, licensed in accordance with this article, who is selling or offering for sale any goods, wares or merchandise, including any food or non-alcoholic beverage in accordance with § 186-22 of this article from a vehicle, cart, or any other conveyance which is not stationary.
- Any person licensed in accordance with this article as a hawker or a peddler.
The purpose of this article is to protect the public health, safety and general welfare through the regulation of vendors in the Town of Westerly.
Except as herein otherwise provided, all vendors desiring to sell or offer for sale as hawkers or peddlers any article or substance within the Town, and all hawkers and peddlers desiring to sell or offer for sale any goods, wares, merchandise, ice cream, fruits or vegetables, or other articles or substances, shall first obtain a license therefore to be issued by the Town Clerk and to that end shall make application to the Town Clerk for such license. Upon the approval of the Chief of Police, such license may be issued to sell the articles or substances hereinbefore mentioned, except those articles or substances outlined in § 186-23.
Upon application for a vendor's license, all hawkers and peddlers are required to submit the following: proof of state sales tax permit from the Division of Taxation; proof of certificate of good standing from Secretary of State, if an LLC or corporation; certificate of ownership; proof of license and food manager certificate from the state Department of Health (if applicable); two forms of identification with address, one being the vehicle registration (if applicable) or letter certifying residency from a homeless shelter or transitional housing program in lieu of two forms of identification (if applicable); notarized written consent from commercial property owner (if applicable).
Any person applying for a hawker or peddler license under the provisions of this article shall hold harmless the Town of Westerly, its officers, agents and employees from any liability arising out of or in the course of his or her business or the granting of a license for same.
For licenses so issued as aforesaid, the person receiving the same shall pay to the Town Clerk the fees specified in Chapter 121, Fee Schedule.
In order to limit congestion, to ensure the safe passage of pedestrian and vehicular traffic and to improve the quality of life of the citizenry, it is necessary to control the number, location, and operation of vendors in accordance with the provisions of this article.
The number of peddler licenses issued and outstanding at any time in the Town shall be limited to two licenses. The number of hawker licenses issued and outstanding at any time in the Town shall be limited to 10 licenses. However, a reduction in the number of authorized licenses shall not be deemed to affect the right of any current license holder to continue to renew the license annually. Every licensee who has obtained a license prior to the effective date of the article from which this subsection derives shall be entitled to annually renew the license, notwithstanding the limitations on the number of licenses authorized to be issued, so long as the licensee complies with all of the sections of this article and any applicable regulations. Any licensee who fails to renew the license prior to the expiration date shall not be entitled to renew the license unless and until there is a license available. No new licenses shall be issued until the total number of licenses issued is less than the maximum number set forth in this subsection.
Each license under this article shall remain in force for a period of one year and expire on December 1 of the following year. Any license granted under this article may be revoked by the Licensing Board after notice and hearing, for the following violation:
Any fraud or misrepresentation contained in the license application;
Any fraud, misrepresentation, or false statement made in connection with the business being conducted under the license;
Any violation of this article;
Conviction of the licensee of any felony, or conviction of licensee of any misdemeanor involving moral turpitude;
Conducting the business licensed in an unlawful manner, or in such a way as to constitute a menace to the health, safety, morals or general welfare of the public.
Notice of hearing for revocation shall be given in writing, setting forth specifically the grounds of the complaint and the time and place of the hearing. Such notice shall be mailed to the licensee at his last known address at least 14 days prior to the date set for the hearing.
No license under this article shall be transferable, nor shall it authorize a person other than the one to whom it was issued and named therein to act thereunder. Every licensee shall carry with him such license and produce the same when required by the Chief of Police, his designee, or a constable and failure on his part to produce the same forthwith may be cause for the revocation of such license.
A hawker who is selling or offering for sale any goods, wares, or merchandise or food or non-alcoholic beverage must be stationary and solely on commercial property.
If a hawker is not the owner of the commercial property on which he will be located, said hawker must obtain the written and notarized consent of the owner of the commercial real estate in order to locate the activity on such real estate. Such consent shall be nontransferable and personal to the licensee and effective for no longer than the duration of the license issued to such licensee under this article. Said consent shall be filed with the Town Clerk.
There shall only be one hawker per lot and said hawker will be subject to all other provisions of this article.
Peddlers shall be moving at all times except to service customers and shall not remain in any location awaiting patrons. Stopping for servicing customers shall be in a manner not to impede the flow of vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
The hours of operation allowed for vendors will be limited to 8:00 a.m. to no later than 11:00 p.m.
No peddler or hawker requiring a license under this article shall attempt to sell or offer to sell wares by means of any loudspeaker or other noisemaking device intended to attract public attention, nor shall a vendor or other such person create a nuisance situation.
No peddler or hawker shall permit the sale of "silly string," "snappers" or other similar products, or any explosive devices such as bag bombs, or other explosive products designed to be thrown against a hard surface and explode, upon any street in the Town.
No vendor will be allowed to sell or offer for sale any article, goods or service within a crosswalk or within a fifty-foot radius of any police or firefighter's memorial, or monuments constructed or erected to memorialize those who dedicated or lost their lives during wartime or armed conflicts.
No license is required of any person selling religious books and publications on behalf of bible, tract, or other religious or moral societies for the purpose of promoting religious or moral improvement, and which are sold for that purpose and not for pecuniary profit, or of any person selling any articles of wearing apparel manufactured with his or her own hand.
Nothing contained in this article shall apply to milkmen or to farmers selling the produce of their farms or the produce of other farms or to farmers' markets.
Every application for a license hereunder shall be subject to approval of proper authorities as specified in § 158-3 where applicable.