[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Shaler 7-8-2014 by Ord. No. 1925. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Noise — See Ch. 158.
The purpose of this chapter is to regulate commercial solicitation in the Township of Shaler and to establish use-of-street restrictions and hours of canvassing and soliciting for canvassers and solicitors.
For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings set forth below, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the text:
- The act of going upon the property or approaching people on property to discuss or explain issues, which shall include religious proselytizing, exercising an individual's right to freedom of speech, or campaigning for political votes, that does not include the sale of goods or products.
- A person who engages in canvassing.
- COMMERCIAL SOLICITATION
- The practice of going in and upon private residences and appurtenant lots in the Township by salesmen, solicitors, peddlers, hawkers, itinerant merchants or transient vendors of merchandise or services, not having been requested or invited so to do by the owner or owners, occupant or occupants of said private residences, for the purpose of soliciting orders for the sale of services, goods, wares or merchandise or of disposing of or peddling or hawking the same.
- MERCHANDISE OR SERVICES
- Any goods or services, including but not limited to magazines, periodicals, books and orders or contracts for services, home improvements or alterations.
- The act of going on the property or approaching people on property to sell goods, merchandise, products or services.
- A person who engages in peddling.
- To peddle.
- Any natural person, corporation, association or organization, partnership, trust, foundation or other entity, however styled, including but not limited to business organizations, commercial co-venturers and commercial solicitors.
- The act of going upon property or approaching people on property to ask for, request or seek monetary contributions, donations or support.
- To solicit.
- A person who engages in soliciting.
No person, except as otherwise provided herein in § 169-4, shall peddle or engage in the practice of going in and upon private residences and appurtenant lots in the Township by salesmen, solicitors, peddlers, hawkers, itinerant merchants or transient vendors of merchandise or services, not having been requested or invited so to do by the owner or owners, occupant or occupants of said private residences, for the purpose of soliciting orders for the sale of services, goods, wares or merchandise or of disposing of or peddling or hawking the same, unless such person has obtained a commercial solicitor's license as required by §§ 169-5 through 169-9 of this chapter, issued by the Township Manager.
Except for § 169-13A (relating to exclusive right to a location) and § 169-13B (relating to prohibited hours of canvassing and soliciting), nothing in this chapter shall be held to apply to:
Any sales conducted pursuant to statute or by order of any court.
Home delivery of daily or weekly newspapers.
Farmers who themselves or through their employees vend, sell or dispose products of their own farms or gardens.
Soliciting by charitable or religious canvassers when the person is acting in his or her capacity as a member of a charitable, religious or nonprofit organization or corporation which has received tax-exempt status under 26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(3) or other similar civic, charitable or nonprofit organizations.
Persons engaged in political or other First Amendment speech or solicitation.
Minors under the age of 18 years of age.
Any person desiring to procure a commercial solicitor license as herein provided shall file with the Township a verified application.
Each applicant for a commercial solicitor license shall, at the time of applying, file with the Township Manager an application in writing, which shall give the following information:
Name, age and physical description of applicant and each such agent and employee.
Complete permanent home and local address of applicant and his agents or employees.
Name and address of the organization or person for whom the commercial solicitation is being made.
Description of the nature of the commercial solicitation or a description of the purpose or causes for which the commercial solicitation is being made.
Two photographs of the applicant and each such agent and employee, which shall be approximately two inches by two inches in size, showing the head and shoulders in a clear and distinguishing manner.
The days, dates and route of the applicant's commercial solicitation in the Township of Shaler.
A statement as to whether or not the applicant or any of such agents or employees have been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a felony or misdemeanor, where and when so convicted, the nature of the offense and the punishment or penalty, if any.
A current background investigation from a qualified agency, valid for one year accompanied by current valid photo identification to be submitted at the time application is made.
[Amended 6-12-2018 by Ord. No. 1946]
The make, model, year, color and license plate number of automobiles used by the applicant and such agents and employees during the period of solicitation within the Township, and the numbers of their drivers' licenses and the states of issuance.
[Amended 6-12-2018 by Ord. No. 1946]
Fees for commercial solicitors' licenses under this chapter shall accompany each commercial solicitor license application and shall be calculated as follows:
The Township Manager shall approve or disapprove a commercial solicitor license application within five business days of submission. Approval shall not be unreasonably withheld. If approved, the commercial solicitor license shall have fixed upon it one photograph of the applicant, over which shall be impressed the Official Seal of the Township of Shaler. If the commercial solicitor license application is denied for any reason, the applicant may appeal the decision to the Board of Commissioners as provided in § 169-10 of this chapter.
Each licensee shall carry the commercial solicitor license at all times when in the Township and shall exhibit it to any citizen or Township official upon request. At the conclusion of the period for which the commercial solicitor license was issued, said solicitor's license shall be surrendered to the Township Manager for cancellation.
In the event that an application for a commercial solicitor license is disapproved by the Township Manager, or the Township Manager upholds the suspension or confiscation of a solicitor's license by a police officer for a violation of this chapter, the applicant may, within five days of the denial, appeal the decision to the Board of Commissioners, which shall set a time and place for a hearing. This hearing shall be held within 45 days after the appeal is taken by applicant, at which hearing the applicant will be given opportunity to present reasons why the commercial solicitor license should be issued. The decision of the Board of Commissioners shall be made within 10 days of the appeal hearing.
No person who has obtained a commercial solicitor license or any salesperson, solicitors, peddlers, hawkers, itinerant merchants or transient vendors of merchandise or services, not having been requested or invited so to do by the owner or owners, occupant or occupants of said private residences for the purpose of soliciting orders for the sale of services, goods, wares or merchandise or of disposing of or peddling or hawking the same, shall solicit in the Township without first obtaining from the Township Manager a list of all persons and their addresses who have specifically requested that canvassers and solicitors not solicit such persons at any time. The Township shall maintain and make the list of registered owners available to canvassers in the Township electronically without charge.
No person shall canvass, solicit, distribute circulars or other matter or call from house to house or place to place in the Township of any person who has specifically requested that canvassers and solicitors not solicit such persons at any time.
Solicitation and canvassing in the Township are subject to the following additional requirements:
No canvasser or solicitor shall have an exclusive right to any location in the streets or other public passages of the Township, be permitted a stationary location thereon, or be permitted to obstruct such streets and public passages thereby rendering such street or public passage impassable without unnecessary inconvenience or hazard.
No canvasser or solicitor shall be permitted to solicit or canvass before 9:00 a.m. or after 7:00 p.m., prevailing time, Monday through Saturday, and there will be no soliciting or canvassing on Sundays.
[Amended 6-12-2018 by Ord. No. 1946]
Any licensee or person, whether as an individual, representative, principal, agent, employer or employee, obtaining a solicitor's licensee, shall:
Not falsely or fraudulently misrepresent the quantity, character or quality of any article offered for sale or offer for sale any tainted or damaged provisions or merchandise;
Not engage in peddling or soliciting upon any premises or residence located thereon if such premises or residence is posted against solicitation by means of a notice, upon which is printed, a "no solicitors" or a "no trespassing" sign.
Not engage in peddling or soliciting after being asked to leave the premises or residence by the owner or occupant;
Not peddle or solicit home improvement services without being compliant with the Pennsylvania Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act.
No registrant shall be permitted to solicit or canvass on any holiday on which the Allegheny County Courts are closed, or Easter Sunday.
[Added 3-10-2015 by Ord. No. 1932; amended 6-12-2018 by Ord. No. 1946]
No commercial solicitor license issued under the provisions of this chapter shall be used at any time by any person other than the one to whom it was issued.
A police officer observing a violation of this chapter may take one or more of the following actions:
The officer may issue a verbal or written warning to the violator to cease and desist the activity that is in violation of this chapter.
If the person is in possession of a solicitor's license, the officer may confiscate the license and return it to the Township Manager within 24 hours with a written explanation of the violation. In the event a solicitor's license is returned to the Township Manager after confiscation, the commercial solicitor whose solicitor's license has been confiscated shall have three working days in which to request an administrative review of the suspension by the Township Manager. If the request for administrative review is not made within three working days, the solicitor's license is revoked.
A commercial solicitor license may be revoked by any Magisterial District Judge having jurisdiction, after notice and hearing, for any of the following causes:
Fraud, misrepresentation or false statement contained in, or material fact omitted from, the application for license;
Fraud, misrepresentation or false statement or material omission made in the course of soliciting;
Failure to obey a "no trespassing" sign posted by a resident or failure to obey the no-solicitation list;
Any violation of this chapter;
Conviction of any crime or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude by the licensee or any representative of an organization holding a license; or
Conducting any activities in an unlawful manner or in such a manner as to constitute a breach of the peace or to constitute a menace to the health, safety or general welfare of the public.
Notice of the hearing for revocation of the commercial solicitor license shall be given in writing at such address as specified on the licensee's application, setting forth specifically the grounds of complaint and the time and place of hearing. Such notice shall be transmitted by certified mail, postage prepaid, to the licensee or organization holding a commercial solicitor license at least seven days prior to the date set for hearing.
Any person, persons, firm, partnership or corporation that violates § 169-3 of this chapter shall, upon conviction by the issuing authority for the magisterial district which includes the Township of Shaler, be fined not more than $600, plus costs of prosecution, or imprisoned not more than 90 days, or both. Each and every day that a violation occurs shall constitute a separate and distinct summary offense under this chapter and shall be subject to separate and distinct penalties. All other violations of this chapter shall be subject to a maximum fine of $1,000, plus costs of prosecution, or a maximum term of imprisonment of 90 days.