City of Watertown, WI
Dodge / Jefferson County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Watertown as §§ 9.03 and 9.20 of the former City Code; amended in its entirety by Ord. No. 96-21. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Administrative review — See Ch. 10.
Pawnbrokers and secondhand dealers — See Ch. 403.
Peace and good order — See Ch. 410.
Public events — See Ch. 428.
It shall be unlawful for any transient merchant or vehicular food vendor to engage in sales within the City of Watertown without being registered for that purpose as provided herein.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION
Includes any benevolent, philanthropic or patriotic person, partnership, association or corporation, or one purporting to be such.
CLERK
The City Clerk/Treasurer of the City of Watertown, Wisconsin.
COMMITTEE
The Site Plan Review Committee.
[Added by Ord. No. 05-27]
MERCHANDISE
Includes personal property of any kind, and shall include merchandise, goods or materials provided incidental to services offered or sold. The sale of merchandise includes donations required by the seller for the retention of goods by a donor or prospective customer.
PERMANENT MERCHANT
Any person who, for at least six months prior to the consideration of the application of this chapter to said merchant:
A. 
Has continuously operated an established place of business in the local trade area among the communities bordering the place of sale;
B. 
Has continuously resided in the local trade area among the communities bordering the place of sale and does business from his/her residence; or
C. 
Has shown an intent to establish a permanent presence within the municipality (e.g., membership in the Watertown Area Chamber of Commerce or Central Business Association).
TRANSIENT MERCHANT
Any individual who engages in the retail sale of merchandise at any place in this municipality temporarily, and who does not intend to become and does not become a permanent merchant of such place. For purposes of this chapter, "sale of merchandise" includes a sale in which the personal services rendered upon or in connection with the merchandise constitute the greatest part of value for the price received, but does not include a farm auction sale conducted by or for a resident farmer of personal property used on the farm.
VEHICULAR FOOD VENDOR
Any person engaged in the business of selling food products from a vehicle, self-powered or motorized, on the public streets and sidewalks of the City, including sales persons who use vehicles to go from place to place or house to house for the purpose of soliciting sales of food products for future delivery directly to the consumer. This term shall not include those persons who deliver food products to restaurants, grocery stores or similar distribution businesses in the normal course of business, nor shall it include sales persons who solicit sales, at wholesale, of food products to commercial or institutional entities.
The following shall be exempt from all provisions of this chapter:
A. 
Any person delivering newspapers, fuel or dairy products on at least a monthly frequency to regular customers on established routes.
B. 
Any person selling merchandise at wholesale to dealers in such merchandise.
C. 
Any person selling agricultural products which the person has grown or raised in Jefferson or Dodge Counties, Wisconsin.
D. 
Any permanent merchant or employee thereof who takes orders at the home of the buyer for merchandise regularly offered for sale by such merchant within Dodge or Jefferson County and who delivers such merchandise in his regular course of business.
E. 
Any person who has an established place of business where the merchandise being sold is offered for sale on a regular basis and in which the buyer has initiated contact with and specifically requested a home visit by said person.
F. 
Any person who has had, or one who represents a company which has had, a prior business transaction, such as a prior sale or credit arrangement, with the prospective customer.
G. 
Any person selling or offering for sale a service unconnected with the sale or offering for sale of merchandise.
H. 
Any person holding a sale required by statute or by order of any court and any person conducting a bona fide auction sale pursuant to law.
I. 
Any employee, officer or agent of a charitable organization who engages in direct sales for or on behalf of said organization, provided that there is submitted to the City Clerk/Treasurer proof that such charitable organization is registered under § 202.12, Wis. Stats. Any charitable organization engaging in the sale of merchandise and not registered under § 202.12, Wis. Stats., or which is exempt from that statute's registration requirements, shall be required to register under this chapter.
J. 
Any person who claims to be a permanent merchant but against whom complaint has been made to the City Clerk/Treasurer that such person is a transient merchant, provided that there is submitted to the City Clerk/Treasurer proof that such person has leased for at least six months, or purchased, the premises from which he/she has conducted business in the market area for at least six months prior to the date the complaint was made.
K. 
Any individual licensed by an examining board as defined in § 15.01(7), Wis. Stats.
L. 
Transient merchants or vehicular food vendors while doing business at special events authorized by the City Council or any commission, committee or board thereof having the specific responsibility of authorizing or regulating the special event.
[Amended 6-2-2015 by Ord. No. 15-16]
M. 
Persons under 18 years of age who are residents of the City or surrounding areas of Dodge or Jefferson County, Wisconsin.
[Amended by Ord. No. 98-22]
A. 
Applicants for registration must complete and return to the City Clerk/Treasurer a registration form furnished by the City Clerk/Treasurer, which shall require the following information:
(1) 
Name, permanent address and telephone number, and temporary address, if any.
(2) 
Age, height, weight, and color of hair and eyes.
(3) 
Name, address and telephone number of the person, firm, association or corporation that the transient merchant represents or is employed by, or whose merchandise is being sold.
(4) 
Temporary address and telephone number from which business will be conducted, if any.
(5) 
Nature of business to be conducted and a brief description of the merchandise and any services to be offered to the general public.
(6) 
Proposed methods of delivery of merchandise, if applicable.
(7) 
Make, year, model, color and license number of any vehicles to be used by the applicant in the conduct of his/her business.
(8) 
Most recent cities, villages, towns, not to exceed three, where applicant conducted his/her business.
(9) 
Place where applicant can be contacted for at least seven days after leaving this City.
(10) 
Statement as to whether applicant has been arrested or convicted for any crime or ordinance violation within the last five years, and the nature of the offense and the place of conviction.
(11) 
If the transient merchant will be operating from a fixed location within the City, the property owner's written permission shall be obtained.
B. 
If the transient merchant will be operating from a fixed location within the City, the applicant shall present to the City Clerk/Treasurer a site plan of sufficient detail to allow the Site Review Committee to become familiar with the layout of the operation and which demonstrates compliance with all of the following:
(1) 
All display, parking, pedestrian movement and traffic circulation associated with the activity shall be located on private property.
(2) 
All display, parking, pedestrian movement and traffic circulation associated with the activity shall not be located on public sidewalks, bike paths, public rights-of-way, or other public lands.
(3) 
All display, parking, pedestrian movement and traffic circulation associated with the activity shall not be located within traffic visibility triangles or within parking lot driveways, accessways, alleys or parking lot driving aisles, or in a manner which otherwise creates a hazard.
(4) 
If located adjacent to any area in which motor vehicles are present, the display area shall be separated from the vehicle circulation area by a minimum of a forty-inch-high pedestrian barrier limited to a single six-foot-wide access point, so as to make pedestrian movements between the display area and vehicles predictable and limited to a single point of contact.
(5) 
Lighting shall be limited to a maximum of one footcandle over ambient.
(6) 
No amplified sound systems are permitted within the display area.
C. 
Applicants shall present to the City Clerk/Treasurer for examination:
(1) 
A driver's license or some other proof of identity, containing a photograph of the applicant, as may be reasonably required.
(2) 
A state certificate of examination and approval from the Sealer of Weights and Measures, where applicant's business requires use of weighing and measuring devices approved by state authorities.
(3) 
A copy of any appropriate state license as may be required or an inspection by the City Public Health Department if the applicant's business is the sale of food items.
D. 
The applicant shall sign a statement appointing the City Clerk/Treasurer as his/her agent to accept service of process in any civil action brought against the applicant arising out of any sale or service performed by the applicant in connection with the direct sales activities of the applicant, in the event the applicant cannot be served personally.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Added at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
E. 
At the time the registration is returned, a fee as set by the Common Council and provided under separate fee schedule shall be paid to the City Clerk/Treasurer to cover the cost of processing said registration. An applicant who is a member of a religious organization selling religious literature shall be exempt from payment of the fee.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
F. 
Upon compliance with this section and § 580-5, the City Clerk/Treasurer shall register the applicant as a transient merchant and date the entry. Said registration shall expire on the next June 30 after issuance, subject to subsequent refusal as provided in § 480-5C below.
A. 
Upon receipt of each application, the City Clerk/Treasurer shall refer it immediately to the Chief of Police, who may make and complete an investigation of the statements made in such registration.
B. 
If the applicant is to operate from a fixed location, the application shall also be sent to the Site Plan Review Committee. The Committee shall review the proposal and make recommendation for approval, denial or approval with changes to the application as to layout, access, etc.
[Added by Ord. No. 05-27]
C. 
The City Clerk/Treasurer shall refuse to register the applicant if it is determined, pursuant to the investigation under Subsections A and B above, that the application contains any material omission or materially inaccurate statement; complaints of a material nature have been received against the applicant by authorities in the most recent cities, villages and towns, not exceeding three, in which the applicant conducted similar business; the applicant was convicted of a crime, statutory violation or ordinance violation within the last five years, the nature of which is directly related to the applicant's fitness to engage in direct selling; or the applicant failed to comply with any applicable provision of § 480-4B above.
[Amended by Ord. No. 05-27]
D. 
If a registration is denied under this section, the Chief of Police and/or the Committee shall state the specific reasons in writing, and the City Clerk/Treasurer shall provide a copy of the reasons to the applicant.
[Amended by Ord. No. 05-27]
E. 
The City Clerk/Treasurer shall issue to each person, at the time of the delivery of his approved registration, an identification card or badge bearing the words "Transient Merchant," a photograph of the person on the front of the identification card or badge, and the period of time for which the registration is issued. Each person shall conspicuously display such identification card or badge whenever he is engaged in sales pursuant to this chapter, except when so engaged by telephone.
Any person refused or denied registration may appeal the denial through the appeal procedure provided by Chapter 10 of the City's Code, pertaining to administrative review, by filing a written request for such administrative review with the City Clerk/Treasurer within 10 days of the refusal or denial of the registration. The City Clerk/Treasurer shall immediately transmit said appeal to the Licensing Board of the Common Council, which shall then fix a reasonable time for the hearing of the appeal and give public notice thereof to the parties in interest and determine the same within 30 days of the date of notice to the persons or parties interested, as more specifically enumerated in Chapter 10 of this Code.
A. 
Prohibited practices.
(1) 
A transient merchant or vehicular food vendor shall be prohibited from calling at any dwelling or other place between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m., except by appointment; calling at any dwelling or other place where a sign is displayed bearing the words "No Peddlers," "No Solicitors," or words of similar meaning; calling at the rear door of any dwelling place; or remaining on any premises after being asked to leave by the owner, occupant or other person having authority over such premises.
(2) 
A transient merchant or vehicular food vendor shall not misrepresent or make false, deceptive or misleading statements concerning the quality, quantity or characteristics of any merchandise offered for sale, the purpose of his/her visit, his/her identity or the identity of the organization he/she represents. A charitable organization transient merchant shall specifically disclose what portion of the sale price of the merchandise being offered will actually be used for the charitable purpose for which the organization is soliciting. Said portion shall be expressed as a percentage of the sale price of the merchandise.
(3) 
No transient merchant or vehicular food vendor shall impede the free use of sidewalks and streets by pedestrians and vehicles. Where sales are made from vehicles, all traffic and parking regulations shall be observed.
(4) 
No transient merchant or vehicular food vendor shall make any loud noises or use any sound-amplifying device to attract customers unless issued a separate registration therefor under § 410-40 of this Code.
(5) 
No transient merchant or vehicular food vendor shall allow rubbish or litter to accumulate in or around the area in which he/she is conducting business.
B. 
Disclosure requirements.
(1) 
After the initial greeting and before any other statement is made to a prospective customer, a transient merchant or vehicular food vendor shall expressly disclose his/her name, the name of the company or organization he/she is affiliated with, if any, and the identity of merchandise or services he/she offers to sell.
(2) 
If any sale of merchandise is made by a transient merchant or vehicular food vendor or any offer for the later delivery of merchandise is taken by the seller, the buyer shall have the right to cancel said transaction if it involves the extension of credit or is a cash transaction of more than $25 in accordance with the procedure as set forth in § 423.203, Wis. Stats.; the seller shall give the buyer two copies of a typed or printed notice of that fact. Such notice shall conform to the requirements of § 423.203(1)(a), (b) and (c), (2) and (3), Wis. Stats.
(3) 
If the transient merchant or vehicular food vendor takes a sales order for the later delivery of merchandise, he/she shall, at the time the order is taken, provide the buyer with a written statement containing: the terms of the agreement; the amount paid in advance, whether full, partial or no advance payment is made; the name, address and telephone number of the seller; the delivery or performance date; and whether a guarantee or warranty is provided and, if so, the terms thereof.
(4) 
During any contact with a prospective customer, a transient merchant or vehicular food vendor shall prominently display the registration as issued by the City Clerk/Treasurer at all times.
The Chief of Police shall report to the City Clerk/Treasurer all convictions for violation of this chapter, and the City Clerk/Treasurer shall note any such violation on the record of the registrant convicted.
A. 
Registration may be revoked by the Licensing Board of the Common Council after notice and hearing, if the registrant made any material omission or materially inaccurate statements in the application for registration, made any fraudulent, false, deceptive or misleading statement or representation in the course of engaging in transient sales, violated any provision of this chapter or was convicted of any crime or ordinance or statutory violation which is directly related to the registrant's fitness to engage in selling.
B. 
Written notice of the hearing shall be served personally or pursuant to § 480-4D above on the registrant at least 72 hours prior to the time set for the hearing; such notice shall contain the time and place of hearing and a statement of the acts upon which the hearing will be based.
Any person adjudged in violation of any provision of this chapter shall forfeit not less than $50 nor more than $1,000 per day for each violation plus costs of prosecution. Each violation shall constitute a separate offense.