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Door-to-Door Salesmen, Peddlers, Solicitors:
The Palm Coast Ordinance

| September 2, 2011

A street peddler on New York's Lower East Side, date unknown (New York Public Library)

The following if the Palm Coast ordinance setting forth the regulations and penalties regarding peddlers, door-to-door salesmen, solicitors and hawkers. From Chapter 35 of the Code of Ordinance, under “Nuisances, Offenses and Miscellaneous Provisions,” Article III. See a relevant story here.

Sec. 35-162. – Definitions.

The following words and phrases shall have the meanings as hereinafter defined when used in this division:

(a)

Person means a natural person or any firm, corporation, association, club, society or other organization.

(b)

Solicitor means any person who, not having been invited by the occupant, solicits contributions from the public from door-to-door or place-to-place and any person who solicits the purchase of any type of goods, wares, merchandise or property, of any nature, or services of any nature by going from door-to-door or place-to-place within the City to include, but not be limited to, any person who offers for sale subscriptions to magazines or other materials protected by provisions of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. This definition also includes any person or entity who solicits orders and as a separate transaction makes deliveries to purchasers as part of the scheme to evade the provisions of this article. The term does not include a business conducted at a regular fixed place of business offering to sell goods to be delivered within the City.

Sec. 35-163. – License required; application; issuance; term.

(a)

Except as hereinafter provided, all solicitors desiring to sell or offer for sale any goods, wares, merchandise, services or property, door-to-door or place-to-place except to businesses and commercial establishments in the City of Palm Coast shall first obtain a license therefor, to be issued by the City Manager, or designee, and to that end shall make application to such City Manager, or designee, for such license.

(b)

Upon the recommendation or approval of the Flagler County Sheriff, or designee, in writing, the City Manager, or designee, may issue a license to such person, firm or corporation to act as a solicitor thereby authorizing them to sell or offer for sale any goods, wares, merchandise, services or property within the City for a specified time period not to exceed 12 months from the date of the issuance of such license. Any State licensed real estate broker, real estate salesperson, or other similarly licensed profession shall be presumed to be a person who shall be approved by the Sheriff for licensure without further inquiry. Such licenses may be issued subject to conditions imposed by the City Manager, or designee.

(c)

An administrative processing fee for a solicitor’s license shall be established by resolution of the City Council and said administrative processing fee shall be paid when the application is filed with the City Manager, or designee.

Sec. 35-164. – Restrictions as to certain activities.

(a)

No solicitor engaging in vehicular mobile sales selling or distributing any food items or any other items shall park or stop the vehicle for the purpose of making a sale of such items in an area which is closer than 200 feet to a school building between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on days which school is in session, as measured from the closest point of the property upon which the building is located to the location on which the vehicle is parked.

(b)

Any solicitor engaging in vehicular mobile sales parking in any permissible area within the City must comply with all of the City’s traffic regulations including, but not limited to, stopping with the right wheels to the curb, and shall only be allowed to park for that amount of time which it takes to serve a customer.

(c)

No solicitor engaging in vehicular mobile sales selling or distributing any prepared foodstuffs such as, but not limited to, hot dogs and hamburgers, shall park or stop the vehicle for the purpose of preparing and selling such foodstuffs to a customer in any area other than that area so designated as their authorized sales area under a license issued pursuant to this division.

(d)

It is unlawful to sell, or offer for sale, goods, wares, or merchandise in violation of this section.

Sec. 35-165. – Transfer of license.

No license issued under this article shall authorize any person, firm or corporation other than the one named therein to act thereunder. Licenses are not transferable.

Sec. 35-166. – Failure to exhibit license and identification.

It is unlawful for any person licensed under this Ordinance to fail, upon proper demand of any law enforcement officer, to display or exhibit to such officer license and personal identification.

Sec. 35-167. – Exemption/claim of exemption.

Nothing herein contained shall apply to milkmen, vendors of bona fide newspapers, to bona fide elementary, middle or high school groups engaged in fundraising or to charitable organizations with bona fide physical headquarters located in the City or to any person qualified as a candidate to run for public office or any person campaigning on their behalf.

(b)

Any person claiming to be legally exempt from the regulations set forth in this division, or from the payment of a permit fee, shall cite to the City Manager the statute or other legal authority under which exemption is claimed and shall present to the City Manager proof of qualification for such exemption.

Sec. 35-168. – Prohibited acts.

(a)

In addition to the unlawful acts otherwise enumerated in this division, the acts set forth in this section are unlawful.

(b)

It is unlawful for any solicitor to ring the bell, or knock on the door, or otherwise attempt to gain admittance of a business or residence for the purpose of peddling or soliciting at any residence, dwelling or apartment at which a sign bearing the words “No Peddler 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 is unlawful for any solicitor to fail to disclose to the prospective buyer, upon request, the name of the company, product or organization that he or she represents, and, if requested so to do, to leave the premises immediately.

(d)

It is unlawful for any solicitor to conduct door-to-door sales, promotions or solicitations at any residence between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m.

(e)

It is unlawful for a solicitor to threaten or harass any person in the course of their solicitation or in any way engage in any conduct which is or would tend to create a nuisance.

Sec. 35-169. – License suspension.

(a)

A license may be suspended by the City Manager for a period not to exceed 90 days upon investigation or upon certification by the Flagler County Sheriff, or a City designee, that:

(1)

A licensee has provided false information on an application; or

(2)

A licensee has engaged in conduct in violation of this Ordinance or of the criminal laws of the State of Florida or the United States.

(b)

A licensee shall be given written notice of the cause and terms of the suspension and of the right to have such suspension reversed, modified or affirmed following a hearing to be conducted by the City Council. At the hearing, the licensee shall have the right to hear the evidence relied upon by the City Manager and the right to present evidence and witnesses on [licensees’] behalf. After the hearing, the City Council shall issue a decision in writing.

Sec. 35-170. – License revocation.

(a)

A license may be revoked by the City Council upon request of the City Manager after a hearing at which it is shown that:

(1)

A licensee has provided false information on an application; or

(2)

A licensee has violated the terms of a suspension; or

(3)

A licensee has engaged in conduct in violation of this division or of the criminal laws of the State of Florida or United States.

(b)

Reasonable written notice of the hearing shall be given to the licensee. The written notice shall be mailed by regular mail to the license holder and shall set forth the alleged violation and also the date, time and place of the hearing before the City Council. At the hearing, the license holder shall have the right to present evidence and witnesses on his behalf. After the hearing, the City Council shall make its decision as to whether to suspend or revoke the license and, after the hearing, shall reduce its decision and the reasons therefor in writing.

Sec. 35-171. – Penalties.

Any person or persons violating any of the provisions of this division shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $500.00 plus costs of prosecution or by imprisonment for not more than 60 days, or by both fine and costs and imprisonment in the discretion of the Court.

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