City of Pawtucket, RI
Providence County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Approved 1-26-1995 by Ch. No. 2376; amended in its entirety 6-26-2014 by Ch. No. 3051]
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
HAWKER
Any person selling or offering for sale any goods, wares, or merchandise, on any public street highway public right-of-way, or private property in the state, from a stationary location.
PEDDLER/SOLICITOR
Any person selling or offering for sale any goods, wares, or merchandise, from a vehicle, cart or any other conveyance which is not stationary.
PERSON
Any individual, organization, trust, foundation, group, association, partnership, corporation, society, or any combination of them, whether principal or agent:
A. 
Who shall sell or barter or carry for sale or barter or expose any goods, wares or merchandise either on foot or from any animal, vehicle or stand on or near the streets of the City, and shall include but not be limited to the words "street vendor," "peddler" or "hawker;" or
B. 
Who shall engage in a temporary or transient business in the City, either in one locality or in traveling from place to place, selling goods, wares or merchandise, and who, for the purpose of carrying on such business, shall hire, lease or occupy any building, land or structure for the exhibition and sale of such goods, wares or merchandise in the City, and shall include but not be limited to the words "itinerant vendor."
TEMPORARY BUSINESS or TRANSIENT BUSINESS
Includes 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 legally open for business during usual business hours for a period of at least nine months in each year.
A. 
Except as excluded under the provisions of this article, it shall be unlawful for any person, as defined herein, to solicit, peddle, hawk or vend on a stationary, moving or itinerant basis within the City of Pawtucket without first obtaining a license from the City Council in compliance with the provisions of this article. This article shall specifically apply to those hawkers/peddlers selling miscellaneous merchandise, ice cream/lemonade vendors, and catering trucks. Any mobile food vehicles or stationary food vendors must refer to Article II.
B. 
Except as excluded under the provisions of this article, it shall be unlawful for any person, as defined herein, to peddle any flower or flowers in combination with other goods, wares or merchandise on any public or private property without first obtaining a license from the City Council in compliance with the provisions of this article.
The provisions of this article shall not apply to the following:
A. 
Sales made by traveling sales agents who sell and supply goods, wares and merchandise to established local businesses.
B. 
Sales of goods, wares and merchandise for future delivery when full payment is not required at the time of solicitation.
C. 
Sales, distribution and delivery of milk, teas, coffees, groceries, meats, bakery goods, pharmaceutical items and newspapers.
D. 
Sales of products raised on any farm or garden located within the City which is owned by the applicant.
E. 
Sales by any person of any article of wearing apparel manufactured with his or her own hands.
F. 
Sales of goods, wares or merchandise on the grounds of any incorporated agricultural society during any annual fair held by such society or to any general sale, fair, auction or bazaar held or sponsored by an ecclesiastical society or church corporation, or occasional tag sales, yard sales or garage sales on premises devoted to residential use, subject to existing provisions of the Code of the City of Pawtucket regulating such activities.
G. 
Sales of 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.
H. 
Sales by representatives of any nonprofit organization operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, literary, historic or educational purposes and exempt from taxation pursuant to federal and state law, provided that the following conditions are satisfied:
(1) 
The representatives abide by § 302-17 of this article relative to territorial limits.
(2) 
The representatives abide by state tax regulations governing sales by nonprofit organizations.
(3) 
The representatives register with the City Clerk and provide proof of the organization's tax-exempt status. A copy of such registration certificate, for which there shall be no charge, shall be retained and displayed conspicuously at the place where sales are conducted.
A. 
Every person over 18 years of age desiring to solicit, peddle, hawk or vend on an itinerant basis in the City of Pawtucket, other than those persons expressly exempted in § 302-3 of this article, shall make application under oath to the City Clerk for a license on a form provided by the Clerk. Individuals seeking both a hawker's license and a peddler's license, as authorized pursuant to this article, shall be required to file separate applications and pay separate fees for said license(s).
B. 
The application shall include but shall not be limited to the following information:
(1) 
Proof of compliance with all state requirements.
C. 
The application must state the nature of the items to be sold and the location where the hawker or peddler would conduct his or her business. If utilizing private property, any person who is licensed under the provisions of this article must present to the City Clerk, and must retain a copy to keep in his or her possession, a notarized letter from the owner of the property on which he or she is selling authorizing the person to sell upon the property. This authorization must be current and must state for how long the permission is granted, but in no event will same authorization be valid for a period of more than one year. All property listed in the application must be properly zoned for such activity.
[Amended 8-23-2017 by Ch. No. 3141]
A. 
Each license issued by the City Clerk shall not give authority to sell goods, wares or merchandise in more than one place at the same time and shall be valid only for the person/business in whose name it is issued, unless sooner revoked or voided by reason of having been obtained, held or used in violation of this article and/or Rhode Island General Law.
B. 
The fee for the issuance of a license granted pursuant to this article shall be $125. Each location, stand or vehicle to be used by a person shall be separately licensed, and the license fee chargeable hereunder shall be paid for each such location, stand or vehicle.
C. 
Upon proof by a commercial applicant to the City Clerk that he or she has an existing commercial situs located in the City of Pawtucket, then the fee for the issuance of the first license is $125 and any additional license or licenses granted pursuant to this article to that corporate applicant shall be $50 per additional license. Each separate license issued to a commercial applicant shall be subject to the provisions of Subsection A as expressly set forth herein.
The City Clerk shall, at the time of issuing a license, enter upon a list kept for that purpose the name of the person so licensed, the kind of license and the time of the expiration of the license, and shall also furnish to any person who may request it a statement, copied from that list, of all licenses as may be or may have been in force during any period designated by the person requesting the statement. In addition, records of all persons issued licenses shall be made available by the City Clerk in order that residents may obtain information concerning the person to whom such licenses have been granted.
A. 
In accordance with R.I.G.L. § 5-11-7, the City Council may grant and the City Clerk may issue to a veteran, for a term not exceeding one year continuously, a nontransferable license without requiring payment of the license fee, provided that the veteran is able to satisfy the following conditions:
(1) 
The veteran has resided in the state for two consecutive years preceding the date of application for such license.
(2) 
The veteran served the United States of America faithfully and honorably in time of war.
(3) 
The veteran is able to present satisfactory evidence that he or she is the person who so served and produce the certificate of his or her honorable discharge from military service.
B. 
Any person who makes a false representation for the purpose of obtaining a license under this section shall be fined not more than $500, and said license shall be automatically revoked.
[Amended 11-22-2017 by Ch. No. 3145]
All licenses issued under the provisions of this article shall be for a term of one calendar year and shall expire on the first day of March unless sooner revoked or voided under the provisions of this article.
All licenses issued under the provisions of this article shall authorize only the person named therein to sell and offer for sale as aforesaid. No license issued under the provisions of this article shall be transferable.
Each person licensed under this article may change his/her location, or add a location, only after approval by the City Council, subject to all requirements as set forth for a new license application. The fee for said change of location or additional location application shall be $25
A. 
Upon receipt of the application by the City Clerk's office, the Chief of Police or his or her designee shall undertake and complete within 30 days an investigation of the applicant's business and moral character, and of the statements made in the application, as well as, in the case of street vendors as described in § 320-1, the vendor's proposed location.
B. 
The City Council may, in its sole discretion, either approve, reject or revoke such license or any application therefor. In reviewing any application for such license, the City Council may consider any of the following factors:
(1) 
The potential for traffic congestion.
(2) 
The need in the community for the proposed license.
(3) 
The zoning of the parcel in question and its compatibility with the proposed application.
(4) 
The presence of any similar businesses within the immediate vicinity of the application.
(5) 
Any other conditions which may prove inimical to the public health, safety and welfare of the community.
C. 
The City Council may, in its sole discretion, either approve, reject or revoke such license or any application if, as a result of the investigation performed by the Chief of Police or his or her designee, the applicant's character or business responsibility is found to be unsatisfactory, or if the applicant has been convicted of any crime, whether felony or misdemeanor, or violation of a municipal ordinance within the previous five years.
D. 
A license issued under this article may be revoked by the City Council after notice and hearing for, but not limited to, any of the following causes:
(1) 
Fraud, misrepresentation, omission or false statement contained in the license application.
(2) 
Fraud, misrepresentation or false statement made by the person in the course of carrying on his or her business as a solicitor, canvasser, street vendor, peddler or hawker.
(3) 
Any violation of this article.
(4) 
Conviction of any crime or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude.
(5) 
Conducting the business of peddling, soliciting or 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.
E. 
Persons whose licenses have been revoked under this section may not reapply for a license within one year of the date of revocation.
A. 
Each person, upon applying for a license, must show acceptable proof to the City Clerk or his or her designee of having been issued a current State of Rhode Island sales and use tax permit or must provide a tax-exemption permit.
B. 
Each person licensed under this article shall be required to:
(1) 
Maintain the validity of his or her sales and use tax permit for the duration of his or her license.
(2) 
Collect and turn in all applicable sales taxes to the State of Rhode Island and list any sales made in the City of Pawtucket.
[Amended 8-23-2017 by Ch. No. 3141]
(3) 
Conspicuously display his or her sales tax permit.
A. 
Each person, upon applying for a license, and whose business will include the sale of any food or beverage, must show acceptable proof to the City Clerk or his or her designee of having been issued from the Department of Health a current State of Rhode Island permit for the sale of food.
B. 
Each person licensed under this article shall be required to:
(1) 
Maintain the validity of his or her permit for the sale of food for the duration of his or her license.
(2) 
Conspicuously display his or her permit for the sale of food.
It is further required that any person applying for a license under the provisions of this article sign a hold-harmless agreement indemnifying the City of Pawtucket, 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.
A. 
Each person granted a license in accordance with the provisions of this article shall conspicuously exhibit the license at all times while selling within the City limits.[1]
[1]
Editor’s Note: Former Subsection B, which immediately followed and set forth requirements for the issuance of a badge, was repealed 8-23-2017 by Ch. No. 3141.
A. 
Peddlers:
(1) 
No peddler or solicitor shall operate:
(a) 
In a residential zone.
(b) 
Within 1,000 feet of another mercantile establishment offering the same or similar goods, wares or merchandise for sale.
(c) 
Within 1,000 feet of any public or private school, municipal building or municipal park.
(d) 
Within 100 feet of driveways, bus stops or crosswalks.
(e) 
Within 500 feet of any intersection.
(f) 
Within 100 feet of any other street vendor, hawker or peddler.
(g) 
In any metered parking area or no-parking zone.
(h) 
In any area where his/her operation will be deemed by the Chief of Police, or his/her designee, to endanger or inconvenience the general public, including but not limited to sidewalk and roadside areas.
(i) 
In a manner that obstructs or prevents the free and convenient use of any street or sidewalk by pedestrian or vehicular traffic.
(2) 
The City Council may modify the provisions of this section in order to promote a special event which the City Council finds will benefit the entire community.
(3) 
No peddler or solicitor shall have an exclusive right to any location in or near the public streets, nor shall he or she be permitted a stationary location.
(4) 
No peddler or solicitor shall operate on the following streets or in the following areas:
(Reserved)
(5) 
Subsection A(1)(a), (b), (c) and (f) of this section shall not apply to mobile/nonstationary ice cream and/or lemonade vendors. However, nothing in this section shall be deemed or construed to be an exception to the rules and regulations of the Division of Parks and Recreation as the same pertain to vendors and/or concessionaires.
B. 
Hawkers:
(1) 
No hawker shall operate:
(a) 
At a stationary location for more than nine (9) months each year.
(b) 
Where there is a potential for traffic congestion.
(c) 
In a residential zone or where the zoning of the parcel in question is not compatible with the proposed application.
(d) 
Within 1,000 feet of another mercantile establishment offering the same or similar goods, wares or merchandise for sale.
(e) 
Within 1,000 feet of any public or private school, municipal building or municipal park.
(f) 
Within 100 feet of any other hawker or peddler.
(g) 
In any area where his/her operation will be deemed by the Chief of Police, or his/her designee, to endanger or inconvenience the general public, including but not limited to sidewalk and roadside areas.
(h) 
In a manner that obstructs or prevents the free and convenient use of any street or sidewalk by pedestrian or vehicular traffic.
(2) 
The City Council may modify the provisions of this section in order to promote a special event which the City Council finds will benefit the entire community.
(3) 
No hawker shall operate on private property without the written permission of the owner of the property on which the operation is located, and he or she shall conspicuously display this document at all times.
All licensees under this article shall be licensed to do business only between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 1:00 a.m., Monday through Saturday, and from sunrise to sunset on Sundays and holidays.
A. 
Each person licensed under this article shall:
(1) 
Conduct himself or herself at all times in a quiet, orderly and lawful manner.
(2) 
Enter within any home only upon being expressly invited to do so by an occupant thereof.
(3) 
Leave any premises immediately upon the request of any occupant or owner of the same.
(4) 
Deliver as agreed or represented, and within a reasonable time and in good quality, all goods, wares or merchandise and perform in like manner all services for which he/she has been paid in whole or in part, except as provided in Subsection A(5).
(5) 
Refund promptly any payment made to him/her if he or she shall find that it is not reasonably possible for him or her to comply with Subsection A(4), unless the refund shall be refused by the other party.
(6) 
Give a written and signed receipt for all payments received by him/her, stating the amount of the payment, a description of the goods, wares or merchandise and/or services for which said payment was made, the applicable sales tax and the total of all charges made or to be made in connection with the same and when and in what amounts any additional payments are to be made.
(7) 
Maintain accurate and detailed records of all sales and applicable sales tax charges.
B. 
No person licensed under this article shall shout, make any outcry, blow a horn or use any sound device, including any loudspeaking radio or sound-amplifying device, for the purpose of attracting attention to any goods, wares or merchandise which the person proposes to sell, without specific authorization by the City Council.
C. 
No person licensed under this article shall imply that having such license constitutes an endorsement or recommendation of the City, nor shall be or she advertise in any manner that he or she has obtained a license from the City.
D. 
No person shall be permitted to remain stationary on any public street for a period exceeding 15 minutes.
A. 
No person licensed under this article shall have in his/her vending location any racks, placards, display boards, signs, vending tables, vending pushcarts or other devices that are more than 60 inches tall from the ground and/or umbrellas and canopies that are more than 84 inches from the ground.
B. 
No person licensed under this article shall erect or display any signs, goods, wares, merchandise or piece of equipment farther than 12 feet away from the vendor's location.
C. 
No vehicle or stand or other item related to the operation of a vending business described under this article shall touch, lean against or be affixed to any building or structure, including but not limited to lampposts, parking meters, mailboxes, traffic signal stanchions, fire hydrants, tree boxes, benches, bus shelters, refuse baskets or traffic barriers. All stands and equipment shall be of a portable nature.
D. 
Persons licensed under this article shall remove all paper, food, cardboard, wood or plastic containers, wrappers or any similar type of litter deposited by the licensee or his/her customers. The licensee shall provide and use a waste container, of not less than ten-gallon capacity and not more than thirty-gallon capacity, for the placement of such litter. The licensee shall remove all waste and litter generated by the licensee and his or her customers on a daily basis. It shall be a violation of this article for any licensee to dispose of litter in a municipal receptacle.
A. 
It shall be the duty of any police officer or Zoning and Code Enforcement Officer of the City to enforce the provisions of this article against any person found to be in violation thereof.
B. 
Any police officer who has probable cause to believe a person has violated the provisions of this article may arrest any such person and may also detain the goods, wares or other merchandise which the person so arrested may have with him or her at the time of his/her arrest for the purpose of hawking and peddling; and the arresting officer so detaining the goods, wares or merchandise shall be allowed a reasonable compensation for the safekeeping and care of the merchandise and property, to be taxed in the costs of prosecution and conviction for the offense.
Any person who shall neglect or refuse within a reasonable time after demand by the Chief of Police, or his/her designee, or Zoning and Code Enforcement Officer that said person exhibit his or her license and badge shall be deemed to be unlicensed and to have violated the provisions of this article.
A. 
Any person violating any of the provisions of this article may be fined the maximum allowed under Rhode Island General Law and the Pawtucket City Charter (i.e., not less than $50 nor more than $500), and his or her license may be revoked by the City Council for the remainder of its term. Any licensee whose license is revoked by the City Council shall not have the right to reapply for another license under this article for a period of one year.
B. 
Every individual sale or offer for sale made contrary to the provisions of this article shall be deemed and construed as a distinct and separate offense, and the person making the sale or offer of sale shall be prosecuted therefor in the manner hereinafter prescribed.
C. 
Upon the cancellation or revocation of any license, the person holding the license shall surrender or return the same to the City Clerk or his/her designee.
D. 
Any person operating without the appropriate license shall be fined a minimum of $250 for each offense.