[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Health of the City of East Orange 3-20-2012 by Ord. No. 1-2012. Amendments noted where applicable.]
It is hereby declared that the public policy of the City of East Orange is to protect and promote the general welfare, public health and safety of its citizenry by enacting ordinances that prevent the spread of communicable diseases and curb activity that has the potential to be injurious to the public at large. Boards of health are charged with ensuring that population-based public health services are provided to the public, N.J.A.C. 8:52-3.1. Population-based public health services include the investigation of health hazards, preventable injuries and exposure-related diseases in both work and community settings, N.J.A.C. 8:52-3.2(a)6iv.
The purpose of this chapter is to allow the East Orange Department of Health to issue mercantile permits to persons engaged in commercial activity that has the potential to lead to the spread of communicable diseases, public health nuisances and/or otherwise be injurious to the public at large.
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, corporation and/or other business entity to engage in or carry on any business, trade, occupation or activity as enumerated in this chapter without having first obtained a mercantile permit from the East Orange Department of Health.
Businesses engaged in the following endeavors must obtain mercantile permits:
This chapter in no way absolves businesses from obtaining certificates of occupancy before they commence operations. In fact, businesses must first obtain a certificate of occupancy before a mercantile permit may be issued for a particular location.
Forms for all permits and applications therefor shall be prepared and kept on file by the City of East Orange Division of Environmental Health.
Upon receipt of an application for a mercantile permit, the Department of Health shall have 30 days to conduct an investigation and issue a report to the Health Officer regarding said application. The report shall detail whether the condition and/or state of the applicant's business is likely to lead to the spread of communicable diseases, the creation of a nuisance or otherwise be injurious to the public. If a report is not generated within 40 days or if the Department of Health fails to make a determination as to whether a permit should be issued within 40 days, the application for a mercantile permit will be deemed approved.
The determination as to whether a mercantile permit should be issued is contingent on the investigatory reports of the Department of Health. The Department of Health's position as to whether a mercantile permit should be issued shall be based on the following factors:
Whether the applicant is in compliance with the general laws, public health statutes and codes of the State of New Jersey and the City of East Orange.
The license history of the applicant regarding past violations, rejections or suspensions, and the timeliness of past applications for permits and the applicant's continued compliance with permit requirements.
Applicants for mercantile permits shall be assessed a two-hundred-and-fifty-dollar fee. All fees and charges for mercantile permits shall be paid in cash, certified check, bank check or money order at the time the application is filed. Where an applicant is engaged in more than one activity at a single location that requires a mercantile permit, he shall only be assessed one fee.
All mercantile permits shall expire one calendar year from the date of issue.
This chapter does not excuse applicants from complying with the City of East Orange's land use and zoning laws.
Mercantile permits are tied to the location where a particular business operates. If a permit holder desires to transfer his/her business to another location within the City of East Orange, he must file an application for a new mercantile permit.
It shall be the duty of an applicant to permit an inspector from the City of East Orange to enter and inspect the location where he/she will conduct business. If an inspector is unable to gain access to an applicant's place of business, his/her application will be denied.
The City of East Orange's Mayor and governing body reserve the right to revoke mercantile permits whenever their holders violate any local, state or federal laws, regulations, rules and/or ordinances. Prior to the revocation of a holder's mercantile permit(s), he or she will be provided notice of the City's intention to revoke his or her permit. Said notice shall detail the basis for the City's contemplated action and provide a hearing date wherein the holder of the permit will have an opportunity to contest the City's action. At the time of the hearing, the holder of the permit shall have the opportunity to present evidence, introduce testimony and cross examine any witnesses who testify. Permit holders may be represented by counsel at the hearing. The City must support its allegations by a preponderance of the evidence.
Permits issued under this chapter shall be posted in a conspicuous location at the place of business shown on said permit.
The enforcement of the provisions of this chapter dealing with mercantile permits shall be within the jurisdiction of the East Orange Department of Health.
Any person, firm, association, corporation or business entity that violates any section of this chapter shall be subject to a fine of not more than $500 nor less than $5, in compliance with N.J.S.A. 26:3-70, and shall be barred from conducting business within the City of East Orange.