Chapter 5.40


5.40.010    Purpose.

5.40.020    Definitions.

5.40.030    Applicability.

5.40.040    Exemptions.

5.40.050    Application for permit.

5.40.070    Operational requirements.

5.40.080    Revocation of permit.

5.40.090    Appeal procedure.

5.40.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to:

(1) Encourage small business by providing opportunities that do not require a permanent structure; and

(2) Promote public safety and ensure the orderly and unhindered movement of pedestrians. [Ord. 2022-04 § 1 (Exh. A), 2022; Ord. 2009-16 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009.]

5.40.020 Definitions.

(1) “Peddler” means any person who goes upon the premises of any private residence in the city, not having been invited by the occupant thereof, carrying or transporting goods, wares, merchandise or personal property of any nature and offering the same for sale.

(2) “Solicitor” means a person, firm or corporation who engages in any oral or written request for a contribution, including the solicitor’s offer or attempt to sell any property, rights, subscription, and/or services door-to-door.

(3) “Special event” means an event approved by the city under Chapter 5.35 LCMC or LCMC 12.25.050(4).

(4) “Vending unit” means a movable cart, kiosk, tent, trailer, vehicle or other structure from which business is conducted. The maximum permissible size for any vending unit shall be 144 square feet, inclusive of storage, vehicles, furniture, seating, and other appurtenances. The vending unit within a licensed motor vehicle shall exclude nonbusiness related areas such as a driving compartment.

(5) “Vendor” means a person, firm or corporation who engages in a business of selling goods of any kind or description and who commonly conducts such business from a vending unit. A person so engaged shall not be relieved from complying with the provisions of this chapter merely by reason of associating temporarily with a storefront business or by conducting such temporary business in connection with, as part of, or in the name of a storefront business. [Ord. 2022-04 § 1 (Exh. A), 2022; Ord. 2009-16 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009.]

5.40.030 Applicability.

(1) It shall be unlawful for any person to act as a vendor, peddler, or solicitor within the meaning and application of this chapter unless that person or their employer shall have first secured a vending permit in the manner provided in this chapter.

(2) Such permit shall be carried at all times when vending in the city of La Center, and shall be exhibited by any such vendor, peddler, or solicitor whenever and wherever requested to do so by any city official.

(3) All persons acting as vendors, peddlers, or solicitors shall comply with all federal, state, and local laws, ordinances and regulations, including all health requirements.

(4) In addition to a vendor permit provided by this chapter, a business license pursuant to Chapter 5.05 LCMC is required to conduct business within the city. [Ord. 2022-04 § 1 (Exh. A), 2022; Ord. 2019-21 Exh. 1, 2019; Ord. 2009-16 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009.]

5.40.040 Exemptions.

The following shall be exempt from permitting and fees but are still subject to federal, state, and county health regulations:

(1) Any farmer, gardener or other person selling, delivering, or peddling any fruits, vegetables, berries, eggs, or any farm produce raised, gathered, produced, or manufactured by such person are exempt pursuant to RCW 36.71.090.

(2) Any person operating a vending unit on private property with the permission of the property owner, or on public property as a part of a city-approved special event permit, are exempt from permitting under this chapter.

(3) Any nonprofit as defined by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in Code Section 501(c)(3) shall be exempt from vendor permit fees but is still required to obtain a vendor permit if they do not fall under another exemption pursuant of this section. [Ord. 2022-04 § 1 (Exh. A), 2022; Ord. 2009-16 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009.]

5.40.050 Application for permit.

(1) Any person, firm or organization seeking a permit shall apply in writing to the director of administrative services, on forms provided by the city, and shall include the following information:

(a) The nature or character of the goods, wares, merchandise or services to be offered by each principal applicant;

(b) Proposed location or area where business is to be conducted;

(c) Certificate of insurance coverage for a minimum of $1,000,000 for liability;

(d) Such other information as reasonably required by city officials;

(e) Written authorization for the city of La Center to conduct a criminal background check including the following information;

(i) The name, date of birth, driver’s license number or state ID number, Social Security number and address of each applicant;

(ii) If the name or address of the applicant has changed within the last two years, each name and address over the previous 10 years; and

(iii) Any and all facts relating to any conviction of crimes;

(f) Such other information as reasonably required by the director of administrative services or designee.

(2) The director of administrative services or designee shall refer the application to a reliable agency to complete a background investigation of the applicant. The director of administrative services or designee shall deny the permit if the applicant has:

(a) Within the previous 10 years, been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony directly relating to his or her fitness to engage in the occupation of vendor, peddler, and/or solicitor including, but not limited to, those misdemeanors and felonies involving moral turpitude, fraud or misrepresentation;

(b) Been refused a permit under the provisions of this chapter; provided, however, that any applicant denied a permit under the provisions of this chapter may reapply if and when the reasons for denial no longer exist; or

(c) Made any false or misleading statements in the application.

(3) All permits shall expire on December 31st of the year in which such permit has been issued. [Ord. 2022-04 § 1 (Exh. A), 2022; Ord. 2009-16 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009.]

5.40.070 Operational requirements.

Any person seeking a permit under the definition of this chapter shall comply with the following requirements:

(1) General Requirements.

(a) Business shall only be conducted between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.

(b) Vendors are only allowed in public parks and public rights-of-way in areas designated by the city for vending or when in conjunction with a city permitted special event.

(c) All advertising shall be placed on the vending unit’s structure. Maximum sign area for any single sign shall be 10 square feet.

(d) The vending site shall be kept clean and orderly at all times.

(e) No portion of a vendor’s inventory or equipment may be outside the vending unit.

(f) No portion of a vendor’s inventory, sales equipment, or any other structure or equipment used in the sales or solicitation process shall be left overnight upon any unenclosed portion of any lot or site within the city.

(2) Vending Units within a Licensed Motor Vehicle. In addition to the foregoing requirements, vending units within a licensed motor vehicle are subject to the following:

(a) May pass through and conduct business within public parks and residential areas but are prohibited from conducting business from one established location except as otherwise allowed by this chapter.

(b) Vendors shall operate said vehicle in accordance with Chapter 10.05 LCMC (state model traffic ordinance as locally adopted).

(c) Must be nonstationary except for a period of up to three hours during the allowable vendor operation time frame of 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

(3) The city, by and through the director of administrative services, shall:

(a) Reserve the right to limit the number of vending permit sites in any given area and determine the allowable number of vendors based upon the needs of the public, the safe flow of pedestrian and vehicular traffic and other similar considerations.

(b) Reserve the right to temporarily close a vending unit in order to protect public health, safety and welfare.

(c) Designate locations on public property where vending is allowed and establish a policy governing assignment and time limitations at these locations. [Ord. 2022-04 § 1 (Exh. A), 2022; Ord. 2009-16 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009.]

5.40.080 Revocation of permit.

A permit issued pursuant to this chapter may be revoked, in writing, by the director of administrative services or designee for any of the following reasons:

(1) Any fraud, misrepresentation or false statement contained in the application for permit;

(2) Any fraud, misrepresentation or false statement made in connection with the selling of products or services;

(3) Conviction of the permittee of a felony or of a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude;

(4) Any violation of the La Center Municipal Code;

(5) Conducting the business permitted under this chapter 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. [Ord. 2022-04 § 1 (Exh. A), 2022; Ord. 2009-16 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009.]

5.40.090 Appeal procedure.

A person aggrieved by the denial of an application for a permit, a permit renewal, or by the revocation of a permit as provided for in this chapter shall have the right to appeal such administrative decision to the hearing examiner as provided in LCMC 18.30.130(4)(b). [Ord. 2022-04 § 1 (Exh. A), 2022; Ord. 2009-16 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009.]