[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Bethel 4-28-1994 (Ch. 95 of the 1990 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter is adopted to regulate the distribution of certain materials, peddling, soliciting and related activities within the Town. The licensing of persons engaged in the above-mentioned activities is required so that the identity of persons going door to door or distributing materials within the Town may be more effectively enforced that citizens of the Town of Bethel be protected from crime and their peace and property preserved; that said citizens be protected and that the health, safety and welfare of the inhabitants of the Town be maintained; and to prevent dishonest business practices and dishonest solicitation of funds in the Town.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any person, whether a resident or nonresident of the Town, who as part of his or her customary business goes from house to house, from place to place or from street to street, traveling by foot, automotive vehicle or any other type of conveyance, carrying or transporting goods, wares and merchandise for purpose of sale at retail to customers. "Peddler" shall also include persons known as "hawkers" and "hucksters."
- Includes an individual, firm, corporation, organization or any other legal entity.
- A. Any person, whether a resident or nonresident of the Town, who as part of his or her customary business goes from house to house, from place to place or from street to street, traveling by foot, automotive vehicle or any other type of conveyance, soliciting, taking or attempting to take orders for the sale of goods, wares and merchandise of any kind for future performance or delivery, whether or not such individual has, carries or exposes for sale a sample of the merchandise or services and whether or not he is collecting advance payments on such sales or orders, or who engages in any of the foregoing activities from a stationary location on any street or public place. "Solicitor" shall also include persons known as "canvassers."
- B. Includes a person who solicits and/or collects funds from a stationary location on any street, road or highway or other public place.
It shall be unlawful for any person within the limits of the Town to act as a peddler or solicitor either on private property or on public highways or runnings therefor as herein defined or assist same without first having obtained and paid for, and having in force and effect, a license therefor.
Where a person makes application for himself and one or more helpers, all applicable personal information specified shall be given for each helper, and an individual license shall be required for each helper. No license issued under this chapter shall be transferable from one person to another.
Every licensee, while exercising his license, shall carry the license with him or her and shall exhibit the same upon demand.
Each license hereunder shall be issued by the Town Clerk, upon said Clerk's approval in accordance with this chapter upon finding that the applicant has good business and moral character and that said issuance will protect the public good. Notwithstanding its date of issuance, each such license shall expire on December 31 of the year in which it is issued unless revoked prior thereto.
In the event any license holder violates the terms of this chapter or any other law, rules or regulation, the license hereunder shall be revoked by the Town Clerk upon notice thereof.
No license shall be issued under this chapter except upon payment made to the Town of Bethel by certified check, money order, bank check or similar currency or cash.
Any person qualified to pursue or carry on within the Town the trade, business or occupation of hawking and/or peddling shall file with the Town Clerk a sworn written application on a form to be furnished by said Clerk, which shall give or be accompanied by the following information or documents:
The name and description of the applicant.
The permanent home address and full local address of the applicant.
A brief statement of the nature of the business and a description of the goods, wares and merchandise to be sold.
If employed, the name and address of the employer, together with credentials establishing the exact relationship.
The length of time for which the certificate is desired.
If a vehicle is to be used, a description of each vehicle and its license number.
A statement as to whether the applicant has been convicted of any crime, misdemeanor or violation of any municipal ordinance and the nature of the offense and the punishment or penalty assessed therefor.
The requirements of this chapter shall be held not to include the following persons who are expressly exempt from its application:
The peddling of meats, fish, fruit and farm products by farmers and persons who produce such commodities.
To any honorably discharged member of the armed forces or any other person who has procured a license issued by the County Clerk as provided by § 32 of the General Business Law of the State of New York.
Nonprofit and charitable organizations, including their representatives, agents and employees.
Garage sales or similar sales by homeowners of the Town of Bethel of their own personal property.
Persons 15 years of age or under, with permission of parent or guardian.
It shall be unlawful for any person to engage in peddling or soliciting before the hour of 9:00 a.m. of any day or after the hour of 9:00 p.m. of any day except upon the invitation of the householder or occupant.
It shall be unlawful for a person to be a peddler or solicitor on any property located in the Town belonging to a resident of the Town of Bethel without first obtaining permission of that resident for the purpose of selling his wares and merchandise.
No person shall stand in a roadway for the purpose of soliciting from or selling to occupants of any vehicle and no person shall occupy any part of a state highway in any manner for the purpose of selling or soliciting.
In the event any individual wishes to appeal any determination of the Town Clerk relating to the issuance or revocation of a license hereunder, the same may be appealed to the Town Board of the Town of Bethel in writing, provided that said appeal is made within 30 days of the date of the determination by said Clerk. The Town Board shall hear this matter, reviewing the determination of the Clerk, as well as the allegations of the applicant and/or license holder and make its decision within five days thereafter.
Any person violating any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a violation punishable by a minimum fine of $250 and not to exceed $1,000, or imprisonment for not more than 15 days, or both; loss of license privilege; and license fee being nonrefundable.