County of York, VA
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Established by Ord. No. 12-17(R), adopted November 20, 2012]
(a) 
For the purposes of this article, the following terms shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
COUNTY
The County of York, Virginia.
PERSON
Any individual, organization, trust, foundation, association, partnership, corporation, society or other group or combination acting as a unit.
SALE, SELL and SOLD
The transfer of any property or the rendition of any service to any person in exchange for consideration, including any purported contribution without which such property would not have been transferred or such services would not have been rendered.
SHERIFF
The Sheriff of the County of York or a member of his staff to whom he may delegate his duties under this article.
SOLICIT and SOLICITATION
To go from one place of human habitation to another in the County carrying, conveying or transporting goods, wares or merchandise for the purpose of exposing, or offering the same for sale, or taking or attempting to take orders for sale of goods, wares or merchandise, subscriptions, personal property of any nature whatsoever for future delivery, or for services to be furnished or performed, whether or not responding to appointments prearranged by telephone, telegraph, correspondence or other means of communication. A solicitation shall be deemed to occur when and at the place the contact is made to induce the recipient to go elsewhere, whether or not the person contacted actually goes to the other location.
SOLICITOR
Any person who engages in the act of solicitation.
(b) 
Exceptions. The term "solicitor" as used in this Chapter does not include:
(1) 
Persons selling, offering for sale, or soliciting orders for fresh farm food products, including but not limited to, vegetables and dairy products;
(2) 
Persons delivering, selling, offering for sale, or soliciting orders for newspapers;
(3) 
Persons who visit residential premises at the request or invitation of the owner or occupant thereof;
(4) 
Route deliverymen who make deliveries to regular customers and whose solicitation is only incidental to their regular deliveries;
(5) 
Persons engaged in canvassing for or on behalf of political candidates, or referenda;
(6) 
Persons 18 years of age or under who solicit for services to be personally performed by them, where such work is in connection with the employer's home including but not limited to lawn mowing and landscape maintenance, leaf raking, and snow and ice removal, but not services in connection with the employer's business, trade or profession;
(7) 
Persons collecting or attempting to collect a payment due from a purchaser;
(8) 
Persons licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia pursuant to Title 38.2 (Insurance) of the Code of Virginia or pursuant to Chapter 21 of Title 54.1 (Professions and Occupations) of the Code of Virginia; or
(9) 
Members of any nonprofit religious, civic or charitable organization who have means of identification provided by such organization.
(a) 
It shall be unlawful for any person to act as a solicitor, without first securing a solicitor's permit from the Sheriff.
(b) 
It shall be unlawful for any solicitor to ring the bell, or knock on the door, or otherwise attempt to gain admittance for the purpose of soliciting at any residence, dwelling or apartment at which a sign bearing the words "No Peddlers or Solicitors" or words of similar import indicating that such persons are not wanted on said premises, is painted, affixed or otherwise exposed to public view.
(c) 
It shall be unlawful for any solicitor to solicit between the hours of 1/2 hour before sunset and 9:00 a.m. the following morning, or at any time on Sundays, except by specific appointment with or invitation from the prospective customer.
(d) 
It shall be unlawful for any solicitor to fail to disclose to the prospective buyer, upon request, his name and the name of the company, product or organization he represents, and if requested so to do, to leave the premises immediately. Any solicitor who enters upon premises owned, leased or rented by another and refuses to leave such premises after having been notified by the owner or occupant of such premises, or his agent, to leave the same and not return to such premises, shall be deemed guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.
(e) 
It shall be unlawful for any solicitor to make any assertion, representation or statement of fact which misrepresents the purpose of his call, or use any plan, scheme, or ruse which misrepresents such purpose in the course of carrying on the activity for which the permit is granted.
(f) 
It shall be unlawful for any solicitor to fail to provide, at the request of the purchaser, a written receipt, which receipt shall be signed by the person making the sale and shall set forth a brief description of the goods or services sold, the total purchase price thereof, amount of cash payment, if any, and the balance due and terms of payment.
(g) 
It shall be unlawful for any person issued a permit pursuant to this Chapter to use or exploit the fact of being issued a permit so as to lead the public to believe that such registration in any manner constitutes an endorsement or approval by this County. Permitting does not imply endorsement by York County.
(h) 
It shall be unlawful for any person to give any false or misleading information in connection with his application for a permit required by this Chapter.
(i) 
It shall be unlawful for any solicitor to conduct himself in a disorderly or unlawful manner.
The Sheriff shall keep a record of all permits issued under this Chapter for a period of five years.
A solicitor's permit shall be issued subject to all conditions set forth in this Chapter.
All orders taken by the holder of a solicitor's permit issued under this Chapter shall be in writing, in duplicate, stating the terms thereof and the amount paid in advance, and include a statement of the buyer's rights and a notice of cancellation which comply with the provisions of the Virginia Home Solicitation Sales Act (Code of Virginia, Chapter 2.1 of Title 59.1) A copy of such order shall be given to the purchaser.
Solicitation for which a permit is required under this Chapter shall be prohibited in the County at the following locations:
(a) 
Upon any property owned or controlled by the County or by the County School Board of York County, including, but not limited to public buildings; public parking lots owned or under the control of the County; property owned by the County and leased to the Economic Development Authority of York County and developed and used for commercial retail development and known as Riverwalk Landing in Yorktown, and parks and playgrounds owned by the County.
(b) 
Within 10 feet of any handicapped parking space or access ramp.
No holder of a solicitor's permit issued under this Chapter shall sell, distribute or circulate literary material or canvass or solicit orders for goods or merchandise or carry on any other activity of a solicitor as defined in § 18.2-1 from pedestrian or vehicular traffic on or adjacent to any street within the limits of the County in such manner as will interfere with the normal and usual use of such street.
The violation of any provision of this Chapter shall be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.
If any part, section, subsection, sentence, clause or phrase of this Chapter is, for any reason, declared to be unconstitutional or otherwise invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect or impair the constitutionality or validity of the remaining portions hereof.
It shall be unlawful for any solicitor to engage in such business or act within the meaning and application of this Chapter within the County without first obtaining a permit therefor in compliance with the provisions of this Article. Any permit issued pursuant to this Chapter shall remain the property of York County, Virginia, and upon written notification from the Sheriff, any person who has been issued a permit which has been suspended or revoked shall surrender and return that permit to the Sheriff.
[Ord. No. 16-2, 4-21-2016]
The holder of a solicitor's permit issued under this chapter shall have his solicitor's permit in his possession and openly displayed at all times and shall exhibit such permit at any time upon request by any law enforcement officer of the County, by any purchaser, or by any person being solicited. It shall be unlawful for any person required to be issued a permit by this Chapter to refuse to exhibit to a prospective purchaser, purchaser, or to the Sheriff that permit after being requested to do so.
(a) 
All applications for permits and renewals thereof required by this Chapter shall be made in person, on forms provided by the Sheriff. The applicant shall provide the following information, if applicable, under oath:
(1) 
Pertinent personal data requested, including name, local and permanent home address, and business address. The applicant must corroborate this information by producing some form of identification, with photograph, issued by a government agency and at least one other means of identification.
(2) 
Description of applicant's physical condition.
(3) 
Two copies of a photograph of the applicant, taken within 60 days immediately prior to the date of filing of the application, which picture shall be two inches by two inches showing the head and shoulders of the applicant in a clear and distinguishing manner;
(4) 
If employed, the name and address of the employer, together with credentials establishing the exact relationship.
(5) 
A brief description of the nature of the business and the goods to be sold or services to be performed, or in the case of solicitation to induce attendance at sales presentations, the location where the sales presentation will be made and the product or products offered for sale.
(6) 
The name and address of the entity for which solicitations are being sought, if other than for the applicant's employer, together with credentials establishing the authority to solicit on such entity's behalf.
(7) 
A statement as to whether or not the applicant has been convicted of any crime, misdemeanor or violation of any municipal ordinance, the nature of the offense and the punishment or penalty assessed therefor, together with a signed authorization for the Sheriff to conduct a criminal background check of the applicant.
(8) 
The approximate length of time the applicant intends to do business in the County.
(9) 
If a vehicle is to be used, a description of the same, together with the registration and license number or other means of identification.
(10) 
The place where the goods or property proposed to be sold, or orders taken for the sale thereof, are manufactured or produced; where such goods or products are located at the time such application is filed; and the proposed method of delivery.
(11) 
The names of at least two persons who will certify as to the applicant's good character and business responsibility or in lieu of the names of references, such other available evidence as will enable the Sheriff to evaluate properly such character and responsibility.
(12) 
Any other permits or licenses required under other applicable County or state laws or regulations to enable the applicant to peddle or solicit in the manner or location indicated in his or her application.
Every applicant for a permit pursuant to this Chapter shall first pay the Sheriff the sum of $20 to cover processing and the costs of administration prescribed by this Article. This fee shall not be refunded to the applicant in the event that a permit is refused or revoked.
Before any permit shall be issued under this article, there shall also be filed with the Sheriff an instrument in writing, signed by the applicant under oath, nominating and appointing the Sheriff his true and lawful agent, with full power and authority to acknowledge service of notice of process for and on the behalf of such applicant, and service of summons in any action brought upon the applicant's bond shall be deemed made when served on the Sheriff.
The Sheriff shall have an investigation made of the applicant. A confidential record of the investigation shall be kept on file by the Sheriff and be made available to the York County Board of Supervisors if necessary to the York County Board of Supervisor's consideration of an appeal of a denial of a license or renewal thereof. Such record shall also be made available to the applicant upon his request.
(a) 
Except for any action taken pursuant to Subsection (b) of this section, the Sheriff shall issue the applicant a permit within 15 days following the date of the filing of a permit application which is completed in proper form and accompanied by the fee required in this Article. Such permit shall be dated and signed by the Sheriff.
(b) 
The Sheriff may, after investigation and finding that the health, safety and welfare of the public so demand, refuse to issue a permit to an applicant for reasons including, but not limited to, the following:
(1) 
Conviction of any felony within the five years immediately preceding the date of filing of the application.
(2) 
Conviction of any crime within the five years immediately preceding the date of filing of the application, involving a crime against a person or involving moral turpitude, including, but not limited to, violation of any law regulating sexual conduct or the production, sale, possession or use of narcotics.
(3) 
Fraud, misrepresentation or intentional false statement of material or relevant facts contained in the application or previous denial or revocation of any permit as provided by this Chapter.
(4) 
The applicant does not have other necessary permits or licenses required to peddle or solicit in the manner or location indicated in his or her application or is prohibited under other applicable laws or regulations from conducting his or her business in such a manner or location.
(c) 
In the event the Sheriff denies a permit, he shall notify the applicant, in writing, within 10 days of the denial of the permit. Such notification shall be sent by certified mail. The applicant may appeal therefrom as provided for in this Article.
Such permit shall contain the following information: a permit number, name and address of the applicant, photograph of applicant, if an individual; the kind of goods to be sold or services performed; name of employer, if any; date of issuance and expiration; signature of the Sheriff; and an identifying description of any vehicle used in such business.
All permits issued pursuant to this Article shall be valid for a period of one year from the date of issuance. No permit shall be transferable. A permit shall become void at such time as a permittee hereunder changes (i) the permittee's employer, if not self-employed, (ii) the kinds of goods to be sold, or (iii) the type of services to be performed.
A solicitor's permit issued under this Chapter may be renewed on its expiration date for the next consecutive twelve-month period, upon the execution of a renewal application setting forth that the statements made in the original application are true and accurate statements at the time the renewal application is filed, or a renewal application setting forth all changes in the original application required by a change in facts since the date of filing the original application. For each renewal permit, the applicant shall pay the Sheriff a fee of $5. The permit may be renewed at the end of each year during which it remains in force for the next successive twelve-month period. If, however the permit holder fails to timely renew same it shall lapse and may not be renewed, provided that a new permit may be issued in accordance with the application requirements for a new permit.
Any permit issued under this Article may be suspended by the Sheriff, without notice or hearing, for a period of up to 10 days for any of the reasons for which a license could be denied under this Article or for any violation of any provision of this Chapter. Such suspension may be extended beyond the initial period until the charge(s) upon which it is grounded have been disposed of; provided, that the permittee shall be so notified in writing within the initial ten-day period of suspension.
(a) 
Any permit issued under the provisions of this Article may be revoked by the Sheriff after first giving seven days' written notice to the permittee stating the reasons therefor, which may include, but shall not be limited to, the following:
(1) 
Any of the reasons for which a permit can be denied under this Chapter.
(2) 
Conduct of the business or activity for which the permit was issued in an unlawful manner or in such manner as to constitute a breach of the peace or a danger to the health, safety, and welfare of the public, including but not limited to, the following:
a. 
Use of a threat, expressed or implied, or of coercion as inducement to make a sale; or
b. 
Refusal to discontinue efforts to make a sale when specifically requested to do so by the prospective purchaser.
c. 
Fraud, misrepresentation or false statements contained in the application for the solicitation permit.
d. 
Fraud, misrepresentation or false statements made in the course of carrying on the business as a solicitor.
e. 
Conviction of any crime or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude.
(3) 
Violating any provision of this Chapter.
(4) 
Violating any provision of the Virginia Home Solicitation Sales Act (Code of Virginia, Chapter 2.1 of Title 59.1), the Virginia Consumer Protection Act (Code of Virginia, Chapter 17 of Title 59.1) or any other applicable consumer protection measures which are pertinent to the conduct of the permitted business activity.
(b) 
Notice of revocation shall be sent by certified mail to the permittee at the business address appearing on the permit application; or if there be none, to the residence address appearing thereon. The permittee may file an appeal therefrom in accordance with this Article.
(c) 
The Sheriff shall keep a record of all permits revoked for a period of five years.
(a) 
From Decisions of the Sheriff.
(1) 
Right of appeal. If the Sheriff denies, suspends or revokes any permit, any person affected thereby may appeal such decision to the York County Board of Supervisors.
(2) 
Procedure. The appellant or his attorney may file with the Chairman of the York County Board of Supervisors or the York County Administrator a written notice of appeal signed by the appellant or his attorney requesting a hearing and setting forth a brief statement of the reasons therefor. Such appeal shall be filed within 10 days of receipt of the notice of denial, suspension or revocation.
a. 
Upon receipt of such notice of appeal, the York County Board of Supervisors shall forthwith set a time and place for such hearing which shall be scheduled within 60 days of receipt of the request therefor and shall mail written notice thereof to the appellant or his attorney in the same manner as is notice of denial or revocation of a permit as stated in this Article.
b. 
Hearings pursuant to this Article shall be open to the public and shall be, insofar as is reasonably practicable, informal and free of technical rules of law or evidence. Appellant may call such witnesses as are deemed necessary.
1. 
The York County Board of Supervisors shall hear the matter de novo, and shall consider the evidence presented to it, including any statements offered by interested parties.
2. 
The York County Board of Supervisors may establish such additional rules of procedure for the conduct of its hearings as may be consistent with the provisions of this Chapter.
c. 
Decisions of the York County Board of Supervisors shall be reduced to writing, and rendered within 30 days of concluding the hearing. A copy thereof shall be furnished to appellant or his attorney.
d. 
If the York County Board of Supervisors affirms the decision of the Sheriff to deny, suspend or revoke a permit, the denial, suspension or revocation shall be effective from the date of the York County Board of Supervisors' order, except as hereinafter provided in this section.
e. 
If the York County Board of Supervisors reverses the decision of the Sheriff, the York County Board of Supervisors shall direct the Sheriff to issue or restore the permit in accordance with its order.
(b) 
Decisions of the York County Board of Supervisors. The decisions of the York County Board of Supervisors shall in all cases be final and conclusive.
No application for a permit under the provisions of this Article shall be accepted from any person whose application for a permit has been denied or whose permit has been revoked for a period one year from the date of such denial or revocation.