Chapter 5.02


5.02.005    Applicability.

5.02.010    Definitions.

5.02.020    Licenses Required.

5.02.030    Requirements for Issuance or Renewal of License.

5.02.035    Background Investigations.

5.02.040    Denial of License.

5.02.050    Term of License.

5.02.060    Probationary License – Temporary License.

5.02.070    Renewal of License.

5.02.080    Display of License.

5.02.090    Suspension or Revocation of License.

5.02.120    Appeals.

5.02.140    Death or Incapacity of Licensee.

5.02.150    Limitation of Transfers and Reapplications.

5.02.170    Liability Insurance.

5.02.180    Authorization to Enter and Inspect Premises.

5.02.190    Civil Penalty.

5.02.195    Notice and Order.

5.02.200    Operating Without a License.

5.02.210    Criminal Penalties.

5.02.220    Right to Pick Up and Hold License.

5.02.230    Validity of Title 5.

5.02.240    License Fee – Nonrefundable.

5.02.005 Applicability.

Unless otherwise provided, the provisions of this Chapter shall apply to all Chapters of Title 5 PCC. (Ord. 2011-44 § 1 (part), 2011)

5.02.010 Definitions.

As used in this Title unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

A.    "Council" means the Pierce County Council.

B.    "Person" means and includes, but is not limited to, natural persons of either sex, firms, corporations, partnerships or associations.

C.    "Examiner" means any hearing board or Hearing Examiner appointed by the Pierce County Council.

D.    "Auditor" means the Pierce County Auditor and/or his agents.

(Ord. 2011-44 § 1 (part), 2011; Res. 20356 § 3 (part), 1977; Res. 18145 § 2 (part), 1975; prior Code § 50.01.010)

5.02.020 Licenses Required.

Licenses required are for regulation and control. This entire Title shall be deemed an exercise of the power of the State of Washington and of the County of Pierce to license for regulation and/or control and all its provisions shall be liberally construed for the accomplishment of either or both such purposes. (Res. 18145 § 2 (part), 1975; prior Code § 50.01.020)

5.02.030 Requirements for Issuance or Renewal of License.

No license required hereunder shall be issued except upon application therefor made in writing to the Auditor by filing the same with the Auditor. The Auditor shall provide application forms for each license under this Title, which shall require such information as the Auditor deems appropriate, in addition to the information required by the various licensing provisions of this Title, as now existing or hereafter amended. The applicant himself must prepare and sign the application. If the application is a partnership, a partner must sign and the names of the partners in full shall be given with their current residences. If the applicant is a corporation, an authorized officer thereof must sign and the names and current residences of all of the officers and directors or trustees of the corporation shall be given together with the location of the principal office or place of business of such corporation. All corporations must have a designated manager who meets the requirements of this Section. All corporations must designate an agent, who resides in Pierce County, to receive service for said corporation. The Auditor shall approve or deny all applications for license required hereunder.

No license shall be issued pursuant to the provisions of this Title to the following persons:

A.    Any person who is not 18 years of age at the time of the application (except as may specifically otherwise be provided herein).

B.    Any person who has been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, excluding minor traffic violations, if:

1.    the felony or misdemeanor for which he was convicted directly relates to the license sought, and

2.    the time elapsed since the felony is less than ten years, or

3.    the time elapsed since the misdemeanor is less than three years.

This Section shall not preclude the fact of any prior conviction of a felony or misdemeanor from being considered.

C.    Any person who has had a license revoked within a period of one year prior to the date of making application for a license hereunder.

D.    Any person who is not qualified under any specific provision of this Title for any particular license for which application is made.

E.    Any person who at the time of application is in default in the payment of any sum due Pierce County for any license.

F.    Any person whose license is under suspension or revocation at the time of application for a license.

G.    Any partnership or corporation having as a partner, member of the board of directors, corporate officer or stockholder holding over 20 percent of the stock, anyone who does not meet the qualifications of this Section.

H.    Any person who has made a materially false statement in the application for a license.

No license shall be issued unless the premises where the activity is to be conducted complies with the requirements of all governmental agencies, including, but not limited to, Federal, State, City and County resolutions relating to buildings, fire, health, sanitation, zoning, taxation, public safety, and all other requirements and conditions specifically set forth in other Sections of this Title.

The mere filing of an application for a license shall not give the applicant any right to engage in the activity covered thereby.

(Ord. 2011-44 § 1 (part), 2011; Ord. 2009-47 § 2, 2009; Res. 18145 § 2 (part), 1975; prior Code § 50.01.030)

5.02.035 Background Investigations.

An application for the following occupations will require a background investigation by the Pierce County Sheriff's Department:

A.    Pawnbrokers and Secondhand dealers (Chapter 5.12 PCC)

B.    Adult Entertainers/Managers (Chapter 5.14 PCC)

C.    Panoram, Picture Arcades, and Peep Show Premises, Owner, or Device (Chapter 5.16 PCC)

D.    Outdoor Public Music Festival (PCC 18A.40.080 F.)

A background investigation shall include an investigation into the criminal history of the applicant. The applicant shall be responsible for paying the costs of the investigation as directed by the Auditor. The applicant shall submit to fingerprinting and photographing. The fingerprints and the appropriate fees shall be submitted to the Washington State Patrol. The Washington State Patrol will compare the applicant's fingerprints against its criminal database and submit the fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a comparison with nationwide records. The results of the Washington State Patrol and Federal Bureau of Investigation's check will be returned to the Pierce County Sheriff's Department. The Sheriff shall then inform the Auditor as to the results of the investigation and the Sheriff's recommendation as to the disposition of said application.

(Ord. 2013-85 § 1 (part), 2013; Ord. 2013-30s2 § 10 (part), 2013; Ord. 2013-79s § 1, 2013; Ord. 2012-17 § 1, 2012; Ord. 2011-44 § 1 (part), 2011)

5.02.040 Denial of License.

If the requirements for issuance or renewal of a license are not met, the application shall be denied by the Auditor. A decision regarding denial shall be in writing. The decision shall be mailed to the applicant to the address listed on the application via first class and certified mail with return receipt requested. (Ord. 2011-44 § 1 (part), 2011; Res. 18145 § 2 (part), 1975; prior Code § 50.01.040)

5.02.050 Term of License.

Any license issued pursuant to the provisions of this Title, except a probationary license and those licenses for which a shorter term is herein specified, shall expire one year from the date of issuance unless sooner revoked in the manner provided for in this Chapter. (Res. 18145 § 2 (part), 1975; prior Code § 50.01.050)

5.02.060 Probationary License – Temporary License.

The Auditor may, if deemed in the public interest, grant a probationary license which shall authorize limited operation on such terms and conditions as the Auditor deems necessary to provide reasonable safeguards for the public against misuse of such license. Grounds for issuances of a probationary license include but are not limited to:

A.    Applicant has had a business occupation license for any nature revoked within ten years prior to the date of application;

B.    Applicant has been convicted of a felony within ten years prior to the date of application. Except as otherwise provided herein, the Auditor may issue a temporary license to be operative pending the Sheriff's investigation, if a preliminary investigation indicates the applicant will more than likely receive a license.

(Res. 18145 § 2 (part), 1975; prior Code § 50.01.060)

5.02.070 Renewal of License.

All licenses issued pursuant to the provisions of this Title, except as otherwise specifically provided, may be renewed at the expiration of the term thereof in the same manner as provided in PCC 5.02.030 and 5.02.040 on or before 15 days from the date of expiration of such license. Any licensee who shall fail to submit application or make payment on or prior to the expiration date of said license shall be subjected to penalty payments in the following amounts:

A.    One to ten days inclusive – no penalty;

B.    Eleven days to thirty days inclusive – a penalty of 10 percent of the license fee or $2.00, whichever is greater;

C.    Over thirty days – canceled. No person may continue to work subsequent to the expiration date of his license.

The Auditor shall review all applications for a renewal and cause such investigation, as he deems necessary, to be conducted.

All licenses issued subsequent to the initial license period shall be deemed renewal licenses if there has been no discontinuance of the licensee's operations or activities, or unless otherwise provided.

(Res. 18145 § 2 (part), 1975; prior Code § 50.01.070)

5.02.080 Display of License.

Unless otherwise stated in the specific provisions of other Sections of this Title, all licenses issued pursuant to the provisions of this Title shall be posted on the device, vehicle or thing licensed or at the place where the licensed business, calling, profession, trade, occupation or activity is carried on, in such a manner as to be readily viewed by the general public. (Res. 18145 § 2 (part), 1975; prior Code § 50.01.080)

5.02.090 Suspension or Revocation of License.

The Auditor or any examiner appointed by the Council shall have the power and authority to suspend or revoke any license issued under the provisions of this Title when the Auditor determines that there are sufficient grounds for suspending or revoking any license issued pursuant to this Title. The Auditor shall notify such licensee in writing by certified mail of the suspension or revocation of his license and the grounds therefor. Notice mailed to the last business address on file with the Auditor shall constitute sufficient notice. In addition to grounds specifically provided in the individual licensing Sections, any license issued pursuant to the provisions of this Title may be suspended or revoked based on one or more of the following grounds:

A.    The license was procured by fraud or false representation of fact.

B.    The licensee has violated or failed to comply with any of the provisions of this Title.

C.    The licensee, or any of his servants, agents, or employees while acting within the scope of their employment, has committed a felony or misdemeanor, excluding minor traffic violations.

D.    The licensee or any of his servants, agents, or employees, while acting within the scope of their employment, have violated any law or resolution relating to the sale or possession of intoxicating liquor; the use, possession or sale of narcotic or dangerous drugs or violated any law or resolution relating to public morality and decency.

E.    The conduct of the business or activity for which the license was issued has resulted in the creation of a nuisance or has caused disorderly conduct to occur on or immediately adjacent to the business premises.

F.    The check submitted with the license application has been dishonored.

The Auditor and Sheriff are hereby designated as the enforcing officers of this Code. Any failure or refusal on the part of any licensee to obey any rule, regulation or request of the Auditor or his agent, or Sheriff or his agent, shall be grounds for the revocation of a license.

A decision regarding suspension or revocation shall be in writing. The decision shall be mailed to the applicant/licensee to the address listed on the application via first class and certified mail with return receipt requested.

The period of revocation shall be at least one year and the licensee shall not again be licensed for a similar business during such period or for such additional period as is fixed by the Auditor or Examiner.

The period of suspension shall be fixed by the Auditor or Examiner at not more than 365 days.

(Ord. 2011-44 § 1 (part), 2011; Res. 18145 § 2 (part), 1975; prior Code § 50.01.090)

5.02.120 Appeals.

A.    An applicant/licensee shall have the right to appeal the Auditor's decision by submitting a written notice of appeal along with payment of a $250.00 appeal fee to the Auditor within ten calendar days of the date of the decision.

B.    The appeal shall be heard within 90 calendar days by the Examiner, unless the parties agree otherwise.

C.    The timely filing of a notice of appeal and payment of the appeal fee by an applicant/ licensee shall stay the decision of the Auditor until a final decision is issued by the Examiner, unless the Examiner determines that the actions of the applicant/licensee constitutes an imminent danger to public health, safety, or welfare, in which case the Examiner may order that the action not be stayed pending appeal. A stay shall automatically terminate if the check that was submitted with the written appeal is dishonored.

D.    Except as provided in this Section, the appeal shall proceed in accordance with the Pierce County Hearing Examiner Code, Chapter 1.22 PCC.

E.    The burden of proof shall be upon the County to show, by a preponderance of evidence, that the requirements for issuing a license have not been fulfilled, or that the applicant is ineligible for the license, or that the standards for suspending or revoking a license have been met.

F.    The scope of evidence and the scope of review before the Examiner shall be de novo.

G.    The Examiner may affirm, modify, or overrule the decision, and may reinstate the license and may impose any terms upon the continuance of the license which may seem advisable.

H.    All decisions of the Examiner shall be rendered within 30 calendar days following the conclusion of all testimony. Copies of the decision shall be sent to the Auditor and the applicant/licensee.

I.    If the applicant/licensee prevails on appeal, the appeal fee listed in this Section shall be refunded.

J.    The decision of the Examiner shall be final, unless a writ of review is filed in Superior Court within 20 calendar days from the date the decision.

(Ord. 2012-51 § 1, 2012; Ord. 2011-44 § 1 (part), 2011; Res. 18145 § 2 (part), 1975; prior Code § 50.01.120)

5.02.140 Death or Incapacity of Licensee.

In the event of the incapacity, death, receivership, bankruptcy, or assignment for benefit of creditors of any licensee, then his guardian, executor, administrator, receiver, trustee in bankruptcy or assignee for benefit of creditors may, upon written authority from the Auditor or its designated agents, continue the business of the licensee on the licensed premises for the duration of the license, unless sooner terminated. (Ord. 2011-44 § 1 (part), 2011; Res. 18145 § 2 (part), 1975; prior Code § 50.01.140)

5.02.150 Limitation of Transfers and Reapplications.

A.    Except as provided herein, no individual may transfer a license issued pursuant to this Chapter.

1.    This limitation shall not apply in any of the circumstances set forth in PCC 5.02.140.

2.    In the event of the withdrawal of a partner, the license may be transferred to the remaining partner or partners.

B.    No reapplication for a license shall be made within a period of 90 days following a denial of such license.

C.    No change shall be made in the management or officers of any licensed business unless said personnel comply with PCC 5.02.030.

D.    Unless otherwise specifically provided, no licensee shall change location without reapplying for a license. No portion of any prior licensee fee shall be refundable.

E.    All corporations must have a designated manager.

(Res. 18145 § 2 (part), 1975; prior Code § 50.01.150)

5.02.170 Liability Insurance.

Unless otherwise provided, such applicant for any license under this Title shall at all times maintain in full force and effect a policy of property damage and public liability insurance equal to the minimum state requirement for private vehicles on any vehicle used by said applicant, his servants, agents, or employees in the conduct of the business or thing licensed. A copy of such policy shall be filed with the Auditor with written endorsements thereon showing that the Auditor must be given written notice in the event of cancellation of said policy either by the company or the insured. (Res. 18145 § 2 (part), 1975; prior Code § 50.01.170)

5.02.180 Authorization to Enter and Inspect Premises.

By making application for the privilege of having any license included in this Title, each applicant authorizes the Auditor or his/her agent, the Sheriff and/or any other appropriate County agency to enter and inspect to ensure compliance with Code provisions, all licensed premises, or any premises in any way connected physically or otherwise with a licensed business, including vehicles used in connection therewith, at any time during normal business hours. (Ord. 2011-44 § 1 (part), 2011; Res. 20249 § 5, 1977; Res. 18145 § 2 (part), 1975; prior Code § 50.01.180)

5.02.190 Civil Penalty.

In addition to, or as an alternative to any other penalty provided herein or by law, any person who engages in any activity, for which a license is required pursuant to the provisions of this Title, while his or her license is suspended or revoked, or who fails to obtain a license prior to engaging in the activity for which a license is required, shall be subject to a penalty not to exceed $1,000.00 for each day of operation without a license, and shall be subject to such further penalties as set forth herein. The penalty shall be paid within 15 days unless a timely appeal is filed. (Ord. 2011-44 § 1 (part), 2011; Ord. 2003-119s2 § 2 (part), 2003; Res. 18145 § 2 (part), 1975; prior Code § 50.01.190)

5.02.195 Notice and Order.

The Auditor or his/her agent may issue a notice and order directed to the person whom the Auditor or his/her agent has determined to be in violation of any of the terms and provisions of this Title. The notice and order shall contain:

A.    The street address, when available, or a description sufficient for identification of the premises upon which the violation occurred;

B.    A statement that the Auditor or his/her agent has found a violation of this Title or the terms of any license with a brief and concise description of the violation;

C.    A statement of any corrective action required to be taken;

D.    If the Auditor or his/her agent has decided to assess a civil penalty, the order shall so state along with the payment due date;

E.    A statement that failure to comply with the instructions outlined in the notice and order will constitute sufficient grounds for suspension or revocation of the license;

F.    A statement advising:

1.    that the licensee may appeal the notice and order in accordance with PCC 5.02.120, and;

2.    that the failure to file a timely and complete appeal will constitute a waiver of all rights to an appeal.

The notice and order, and any amended notice and order, shall be served upon the person either personally or by mailing a copy of such notice and order by regular and certified mail with return receipt requested to such person at his address as it appears on the license.

(Ord. 2011-44 § 1 (part), 2011)

5.02.200 Operating Without a License.

Each day that any person operates any device, vehicle or thing, or engages in any business, calling, profession, trade, occupation or activity licensed herein without having a valid existing license as provided for by this Title shall constitute a separate offense and be punished as such. (Res. 18145 § 2 (part), 1975; prior Code § 50.01.200)

5.02.210 Criminal Penalties.

Except as otherwise specifically provided, any person violating or failing to comply with any of the provisions of this Title shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine in any sum not exceeding $1,000.00 or by imprisonment in the County jail for a period not exceeding 90 days or both, at the discretion of the court. (Ord. 2011-44 § 1 (part), 2011; Res. 18145 § 2 (part), 1975; prior Code § 50.01.210)

5.02.220 Right to Pick Up and Hold License.

The Auditor or his agent and the Sheriff shall have the right to pick up and hold a license when a violation of this Title has been committed in his presence, to be held by the Auditor where said license could be used as evidence in a criminal or administrative hearing. (Res. 18145 § 2 (part), 1975; prior Code § 50.01.220)

5.02.230 Validity of Title 5.

If any phrase, phrases, Section or Sections of this Title are determined to be invalid, it shall not affect the validity of the other Sections of this Title. (Res. 18145 § 2 (part), 1975; prior Code § 50.01.230)

5.02.240 License Fee – Nonrefundable.

Any license fee submitted to the Auditor is nonrefundable. (Res. 18145 § 2 (part), 1975; prior Code § 50.01.240)