[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of Penn Township 12-30-1992 by Ord. No. 453 (Ch. 99 of the 1975 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
Private sales — See Ch. 238.
The Board of Commissioners has determined, upon full consideration of the matter, that for the health, welfare and safety of its residents it is desirable to adopt regulations governing solicitors and itinerant merchants, and all of the provisions hereof shall be construed for the accomplishment of that purpose.
The definitions as set forth in Chapter 142, the Penn Township Ordinance of Definition, are hereby incorporated into this chapter. In addition, the following definitions shall apply:
- GOODS or MERCHANDISE
- Any personal property of any nature whatsoever.
- HOME SOLICITOR
- A person who goes from house to house or from place to place soliciting or canvassing money, gifts or contributions for any purpose, selling or taking orders for or offering to sell or take orders for any goods, merchandise or services.
- HOME SOLICITATION TRANSACTION
- A transaction or the purchase of goods or services, payable in installments or cash, in which the home solicitor engages in a personal solicitation of a sale to a person at a residence other than his own. A home solicitation transaction shall not include a sale made pursuant to a preexisting retail charge agreement, or a sale made pursuant to prior negotiations between the parties at a business establishment at a fixed location where goods or services are offered or exhibited for sale; or a sale of realty in which transaction the purchaser is represented by a licensed attorney or in which the transaction is being negotiated by a licensed real estate broker or in which the property is offered for sale by the owner.
- ITINERANT MERCHANT
- A person who sets up and operates a temporary business within the premises of another business or any other building or location within the Township, selling or taking orders for or offering to sell or take orders for any goods or services.
- CHIEF OF POLICE
- The Chief of Police of the Township of Penn or his/her designee.
- NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION
- Any organization or corporation duly and legally established for purely religious, charitable, scientific or educational purposes, including civic organizations, fire companies, service organizations and fraternal beneficial societies.
- Any separate living unit occupied for residential purposes by one or more persons, contained within any type of building or structure.
- The act of providing assistance, attention or professional aid to an individual or company in return for a fee, profit, gain or other compensation.
- Canvassing or seeking money, gifts or contributions for any purpose, selling or attempting to sell goods or services, or to take or attempt to take orders for services or goods to be performed or furnished in the future.
- TEMPORARY BUSINESS
- An activity carried on or exercised for gain or profit, including but not limited to the purchase, sale, barter or exchange of merchandise, goods, wares or services for a period not to exceed 45 days in any calendar year.
It shall be unlawful for any itinerant merchant or home solicitor to solicit, sell, display or offer for sale any goods or services within the Township without first obtaining a permit from the Township.
No permit shall be required under this chapter if:
The solicitation is for a charitable, educational or religious purpose, and the defendant exhibits, at the time of solicitation, documentation, in writing, which identifies that person as a representative of the charitable, educational or religious organization for whom that person is soliciting. Said documentation shall include any certificates issued by an appropriate governmental authority which are current and verify the nonprofit status of the organization. In addition, the Township may, at its discretion, require any exempt organization to provide a complete list of names and addresses of solicitors or potential solicitors by the organization prior to any soliciting.
The solicitor is on the property by invitation of the person residing on such premises.
The sales made to dealers by commercial travelers or sales agents in the usual course of business, calling upon or dealing with manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors or retailers at their places of business.
The sales are made by residents selling seasonal fruits and vegetables roadside, which produce is grown on the location at which it is sold, provided that said seasonal business complies with the public safety requirements of § 214-6C.
Any person who wishes to engage in home solicitation or any itinerant merchant who wishes to solicit within the Township shall file a written application with the Township, which application shall include:
Proof of the identity and home address of the applicant and the name and address of the employer or firm which such applicant represents.
A brief description of the nature, character and quality of the goods to be sold.
If employed by another, the name and business address of the person, firm, association, organization or corporation along with written proof of authority to represent the company or individual stated in the application.
If a motor vehicle is to be used, a description of the vehicle together with the valid motor vehicle registration number and the valid license number.
A description of the proposed location(s) of the solicitation.
The period of time the applicant so wishes to solicit, sell or take orders in the Township.
The names of other communities in which the applicant has worked as a solicitor in the past 12 months; and if that person was employed by a different company in those communities, the name of those companies shall also be stated.
Whether the applicant has been convicted within the last five years for any misdemeanor or felony and provide what the nature of the violation was.
Proof of sales tax permit issued by the state or proof that the goods sold are not subject to such sales tax.
An itinerant merchant who makes application to offer goods for sale upon private property other than his own shall provide written proof that he has permission to use such property from the owner or the owner's agent.
Any temporary business shall not be allowed to cause public safety problems such as traffic congestion, hazardous parking conditions or blocking pedestrian rights-of-way. The existence of such conditions shall, in the opinion of the Chief of Police or his designee, constitute grounds for denial of application or forfeiture of permit.
The application shall be accompanied by a fee which shall be set, from time to time, by resolution by the Penn Township Board of Commissioners.
Upon expiration of a permit, the solicitor or itinerant merchant may apply for a new permit in the manner prescribed by this section.
It shall be the duty of the Chief of Police to issue such applicant a permit to solicit or sell or take orders for such goods, services or merchandise set forth in the applicant's application within five working days of the receipt of a completed application and prescribed fee unless it has been determined that the application contains false information. If the application contains false information or if issuance would constitute violation of any other conflicting statute or regulation, the Chief shall not issue the permit.
A permit requested under this chapter shall be issued for the length of time requested, not to exceed 45 days per calender year. However, no permit shall be issued to extend beyond the 31st day of December following the date of the issue.
Upon issuance of a permit, the permittee shall be issued a card which shall contain the name of the permittee, the permit number and the date of expiration. The cards issued to home solicitation applicants shall contain a photo of the applicant. All other cards may contain a photo at the discretion of the Chief of Police.
It shall be unlawful for any home solicitor or itinerant merchant to solicit within the Township without carrying the required permit card on his or her person.
It shall be unlawful for an itinerant merchant to solicit at locations other than those listed in the application for a permit.
It shall be unlawful for any person soliciting to fail or refuse to display such permit card on an outer garment, visible to the general public, and make same available for public or police inspection.
It shall be unlawful for any person to duplicate or otherwise display a facsimile of a permit card issued pursuant to this chapter.
Any applicant aggrieved by the action of the Police Chief in the denial of an application for a permit shall have the right of appeal to the Board of Commissioners. Such appeal must be filed by the applicant with the Township Manager no more than 10 days after the mailing date of the notice of denial sent to the address listed on the application. The appeal shall be a letter containing a written statement setting forth the grounds for the appeal. A hearing on the denial shall be scheduled for the next regular meeting of the Board, to be held no sooner than five days after the appeal has been filed with the Township. Notice shall be sent to the appellant at the address listed on the letter of appeal. The decision and order of the Board of Commissioners on such appeal shall be final and conclusive.
A person shall not go upon any residential premises and ring the doorbell or rap or knock upon the door or create any sound in a manner calculated to attract the attention of the occupant of the residence for the purpose of engaging in or attempting to engage in a home solicitation transaction:
It shall be unlawful for a person engaged in soliciting under this chapter to:
Misrepresent the purpose of the solicitation;
Continue efforts to solicit from an individual once that individual informs the solicitor that he/she does not wish to make a purchase from that solicitor; or
Represent the issuance of any permit under this chapter as an endorsement or recommendation of any solicitation.
A person desiring that no merchant or other person engage in a home solicitation at his/her residence shall exhibit in a conspicuous place upon or near the main entrance to the residence a notice containing the words "No Solicitors."
Every solicitor, upon going onto any premises upon which a residence is located, shall first examine the residence to determine if any notice prohibiting soliciting is exhibited upon or near the main entrance to the residence. If notice prohibiting soliciting is exhibited, the solicitor shall immediately depart from the premises without disturbing the occupant by ringing the doorbell, rapping or knocking on the door, creating any sound in a manner calculated to attract the attention of the occupant of the residence for the purpose of securing an audience with the occupant and engaging in or attempting to engage in a home solicitation transaction unless the visit is the result of a request made by the occupant.