Town of Bethlehem, NY
Albany County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Bethlehem 3-13-1996 by L.L. No. 3-1996. Amendments noted where applicable.]
For the purpose of this chapter, the words used herein are defined as follows:
ESTABLISHED PLACE OF BUSINESS
A building, commercial or residential, in which or where a person transacts business and deals in goods, wares, merchandise or services, which shall have been in operation for at least 90 days.
PERSON
One or more persons of either sex, a firm, a partnership, a corporation or any individual representative or agent thereof with proper identification (ID), such as a driver's license or photo ID with proper addresses.
A. 
Any person who, by means of telephone, by going door-to-door or by standing in any street or public place:
(1) 
Offers to sell merchandise, wares or other goods.
(2) 
Takes orders for the future delivery of merchandise, wares or other goods.
(3) 
Offers to purchase goods, wares or other articles of value.
(4) 
Offers to perform services immediately or at any future date or offers to make, manufacture or repair any article or thing whatsoever for future delivery.
(5) 
Offers to make a future appointment for any of the above purposes.
B. 
For the purpose of this chapter, the following terms shall be considered synonymous with "solicitor": hawker, peddler, itinerant, merchant, transient, vender, purveyor and door-to-door salesman.
VEHICLE
Car, truck, van, pushcart and trailer.
It shall be unlawful for any person to solicit, as defined in § 86-1, within the Town of Bethlehem without first having registered with the Town Clerk and having received and having in force and effect a license for the same if such be required by said Town Clerk.
The following persons or organizations shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter:
A. 
Merchants or solicitors having an established place of business within the Town or their employees while acting within the scope of their employment and not having another use.
B. 
Farmers and truck gardeners or their employees who sell or deliver products of their own farms and gardens.
C. 
Religious, charitable and nonprofit organizations.
A. 
Any person desiring to procure a license or to register to solicit in the Town of Bethlehem shall file with the Town Clerk and Building Inspector a written application, together with an employer's authorization if required, sworn to before a notary public, upon a form approved by the Town Board.
B. 
If the Town Clerk shall approve the application, he or she shall, within five days, issue a license or registration card signed by him, authorizing the holder thereof to conduct business under the terms of this chapter. In the event that the application shall be denied, the Town Clerk shall state the reasons therefore. Any license issued hereunder shall not be assignable, and any holder of a license who permits it to be used by any other persons, and any other person who uses it, shall be guilty of a violation of this chapter.
C. 
No license shall be granted to a person under 18 years of age. No license shall be issued to a person who has been refused a license within the past 12 months or who has had a license revoked within the past 12 months unless he can show that the reasons for such rejection or revocation no longer exist. Every licensee, while conducting business, shall carry the license and exhibit the same upon demand.
D. 
No license shall be issued to any individual whose merchandise to be sold on the streets of the Town consists of souvenirs such as artificial flowers to be worn as boutonnieres, small replicas of the American Flag or a facsimile thereof or any other souvenirs of a patriotic nature unless sponsored by one of the bona fide local veterans' organizations.
E. 
No license shall be issued to any person standing or selling in parking lots, on sidewalks or rights-of-way.
A. 
The Town may at any time, for cause shown or for a violation of this chapter of any other law, immediately revoke any license by delivering to the licensee, either in person or by mailing address given in the application, notice of such revocation in writing and stating therein the reason or reasons for such revocation. A license so revoked shall be returned to the Town Clerk within four days of revocation.
B. 
The refusal of a solicitor to leave private premises after a request by the owner or lawful occupant or the solicitation of persons other than between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. or sundown, whichever is later, shall be cause for revocation. The licensee shall be entitled to a hearing before the Town Board upon any claim that a license was wrongly revoked or refused.
A. 
The license fee for solicitors shall be $75 per person as an annual license fee. In addition, those solicitors who use vehicles shall pay an annual fee of $100 for each vehicle.
B. 
Any veteran of the Armed Forces of the United States holding a peddlers license provided for in Article 4 of the General Business Law shall not be required to pay any license fee whatever, but shall be required to register with the Town Clerk.
C. 
All licenses shall expire December 31 of each year and must be renewed by payment of another annual fee.
D. 
All applicants for food licenses shall exhibit to the Town a permit from the Albany County Department of Health at the time of application hereunder.
E. 
All vehicles which will be used or involved in soliciting shall at the time of application have a valid license and registration.
F. 
All places of sale or soliciting shall be handicapped accessible.
G. 
All premises licensed hereunder shall be in conformity with New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.
Every vehicle used by a licensee hereunder shall bear, prominently displayed on both sides of the vehicle in letters and figures at least two inches in height, the name of the licensee and his address. Such lettering and figures shall be maintained so that they can be plainly and distinctly read at all times while such vehicle is in use during the continuance of the license. Any licensee using a vehicle shall employ only a registered or licensed person in selling and delivering wares and other merchandise.
A licensee or his employee shall not:
A. 
Create or maintain any booth or stand or place any barrels, boxes, crates or other obstruction upon any street, sidewalk or public place for the purpose of conducting business.
B. 
Sell or conduct business of any kind within 250 feet of any school between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on days school is in session.
It shall be the duty of the Town Clerk to keep a record of all applications received and all licenses granted under the provisions of this chapter, in which shall be recorded the names and addresses of persons licensed, the amount of fees paid and all other pertinent data concerning the issuance of licenses under this chapter. All licenses issued and all records pertaining thereto shall contain, in addition to the name and address of the licensee, the kind of goods, wares and merchandise to be sold or the nature of the services to be rendered and the date of expiration of said license.
A. 
Any person who, himself or through an agent or employee, shall act as a solicitor as herein defined without registering with the Town Clerk or obtaining a license, if said Clerk shall require one, or who, having had his license revoked, shall continue to act as a solicitor shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not more than $250, and each day on which such violation continues shall constitute a separate offense.
B. 
Any person who, himself or through an agent or employee, shall violate the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not to exceed $250 for the first offense and not to exceed $500 for each subsequent offense.
C. 
Any violation of the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed an offense.