Chapter 5.42


5.42.010    Definitions.

5.42.020    Activities requiring horse taxi permit.

5.42.030    Horse taxi permit – Application.

5.42.035    Horse taxi permit – Issuance.

5.42.040    Horse taxi permit – Expiration.

5.42.050    Horse taxi permit – Transfer.

5.42.070    Required records.

5.42.080    Horse taxi operation regulations.

5.42.090    Horse taxi permit – Approval criteria.

5.42.100    Driver’s license – Application.

5.42.110    Driver’s license – Expiration.

5.42.120    Driver’s license – Transfer.

5.42.130    Driver’s license – Issuance.

5.42.140    Display of driver’s license.

5.42.150    Driver’s regulations.

5.42.160    Suspension and revocation of horse taxi permit or driver’s license.

5.42.170    Fees.

5.42.010 Definitions.

A. A “horse taxi” is a nonmotorized vehicle drawn by a horse, pony, mule, donkey or the like, such as a horse carriage, used for the transportation of passengers and incidental baggage for compensation upon the streets of the city of Port Townsend, available for use by the general public.

B. An “animal” in this chapter refers to horses, ponies, mules, donkeys or the like, used to draw a horse taxi.

C. A “standing zone” is an on- or off-street area designated for a horse taxi to stand, park, or discharge and load passengers. (Ord. 2771 § 1, 2001).

5.42.020 Activities requiring horse taxi permit.

No person may own, operate, use or drive a horse taxi unless the vehicle is permitted under this chapter, and no person may drive a horse taxi without a driver’s license issued under this chapter. (Ord. 2771 § 1, 2001).

5.42.030 Horse taxi permit – Application.

An applicant for a horse taxi permit must submit on forms provided by the planning and community development department:

A. Proof of ownership or lessee’s interest in the vehicle;

B. The name and address of the owner of the vehicle;

C. Proof of a current city business license;

D. The make, model, year of manufacture, color and identifying insignia or number of the vehicle;

E. A certificate of public liability insurance, naming the city as an additional insured in an amount of not less than the coverage limits required by the state of Washington for for-hire vehicles. Proof of said insurance shall require the filing with the planning and community development department of a certificate of insurance providing the required coverage. Such policy shall provide a minimum 30 days’ written notice to the city of the cancellation of the policy or change in the liability limits. The insurance liability limits herein shall be subject to automatic increase if the minimum coverage required by state law is increased for state for-hire vehicle permits;

F. A map of the planned route(s), proposed standing zone(s), and a schedule of trips; and

G. A plan for the proper disposal of manure and other debris related to the horse taxi operation. (Ord. 3287 § 5, 2022; Ord. 2892 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2771 § 1, 2001).

5.42.035 Horse taxi permit – Issuance.

No permit to operate a horse taxi shall be issued unless it is reviewed by the chief of police and the public works department, and approved by the city council. As part of his/her review the chief of police may require a safety inspection of the vehicle. The city council may approve or deny the application, based on approval criteria in PTMC 5.42.090 and consideration of public health, safety and welfare, including, but not limited to, congestion and number of licensees. (Ord. 2771 § 1, 2001).

5.42.040 Horse taxi permit – Expiration.

A horse taxi permit expires on December 31st of each year. Subsequent permits may be approved by the director of planning and community development department without review by city council; provided, that the director may recommend to the city council that the license be suspended or revoked based on any criteria set forth in PTMC 5.42.160. (Ord. 3287 § 5, 2022; Ord. 2892 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2771 § 1, 2001).

5.42.050 Horse taxi permit – Transfer.

A horse taxi permit is not transferable to another person or vehicle. (Ord. 2771 § 1, 2001).

5.42.070 Required records.

Every holder of a horse taxi permit must keep the permit and all documents showing compliance with the requirements of this code available for inspection by the director of planning and community development department or his or her designee at the office address shown on the permit. If the holder operates only one horse taxi, the records may be kept on the holder’s person or with the taxi, in which case they shall be available for inspection by any police officer of the city. Every permit holder must keep the required records at least three years. (Ord. 3287 § 5, 2022; Ord. 2892 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2771 § 1, 2001).

5.42.080 Horse taxi operation regulations.

Every permit holder has an affirmative and continuing obligation to insure that:

A. All records, documents and information required under this code be kept current and accurate;

B. The vehicle must be operated by a careful and experienced driver;

C. Neither the permit holder nor any employee engage in any unfair method of competition or deceptive practice; and

D. The animal or animals shall be treated in a safe and humane manner in accordance with all state and local laws and receive prompt veterinary care for any illness or injury. (Ord. 2771 § 1, 2001).

5.42.090 Horse taxi permit – Approval criteria.

A. Because of the relative lack of speed and maneuverability of horse taxis, the city council may impose special requirements on the horse taxi permit, including prohibiting travel on certain arterials in a congested district or narrow streets and restricting the hours of operation on certain streets. Unless the vehicle is equipped with approved lighting, the city council may prohibit operation during hours of darkness or during times of low visibility. Each vehicle shall be equipped with signs and lights as required by state law.

B. Although a horse taxi is subject to all traffic laws applicable to vehicles when operating on the public ways, the city council may approve a specific route set forth in the application including places not normally accessible to motor vehicles.

C. Subject to the approval of the city council, each owner/operator shall designate and make provision for an off-street area to stand, park or discharge and load passengers. If the owner/operator of a horse taxi has not made provision for an off-street area to stand, park or discharge and load passengers, the city council may designate an area or areas along city streets for such purpose after consultation with the public works department. When areas have been so designated, horse taxis shall not stand or park in any other area not designated for such use. The applicant shall pay the same fee as for a designated loading zone as set forth in PTMC 10.16.080. Payment of this fee will provide the applicant with exclusive use of the designated on-street parking space(s) as a standing zone.

D. The public works department may, at the expense of the operator, authorize a street sign or curb marking designating such parking spaces as a standing zone. In addition, the operator may use one sandwich board sign in conformance with PTMC 17.76.030(E)(3). On-vehicle signs are limited to two nonilluminated signs not exceeding two square feet. A sign permit is required for a sandwich board sign. (Ord. 2771 § 1, 2001).

5.42.100 Driver’s license – Application.

An applicant for a horse taxi driver’s license must submit:

A. A statement:

1. Of name, age and address for the past five years;

2. Of current and last preceding place of employment;

3. Whether previously employed or licensed as a horse taxi driver, and if so, years of experience and the reasons why not now so employed;

4. That he/she has been a licensed motor vehicle operator for at least two years; and

5. That he/she has not been convicted of a crime relating to the fitness or ability to operate a horse taxi within 10 years, or driving under the influence of intoxicants or drugs or reckless driving within one year.

B. Proof:

1. That he/she holds a current, valid motor vehicle Washington or other U.S. state driver’s license; if the applicant is in the process of relocating here from another state he/she must comply with Washington state regulations regarding the time limit for obtaining a Washington state driver’s license. (Ord. 2771 § 1, 2001).

5.42.110 Driver’s license – Expiration.

Horse taxi driver’s licenses expire December 31st of each year. (Ord. 2771 § 1, 2001).

5.42.120 Driver’s license – Transfer.

A horse taxi driver’s license is not transferable to another person or vehicle. (Ord. 2771 § 1, 2001).

5.42.130 Driver’s license – Issuance.

The planning and community development department, upon the recommendation of the chief of police, is authorized to issue a driver’s license for a horse taxi. (Ord. 3287 § 5, 2022; Ord. 2892 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2771 § 1, 2001).

5.42.140 Display of driver’s license.

Every driver must display his/her license in a conspicuous place inside the horse taxi clearly visible from the passenger compartment at all times when he or she is operating or in charge of the vehicle. (Ord. 2771 § 1, 2001).

5.42.150 Driver’s regulations.

It is a violation and grounds for suspension or revocation of a horse taxi driver’s license for any horse-drawn taxi driver to:

A. Commit three or more moving violations while driving a horse taxi during any 12-month period;

B. Be guilty of reckless driving or driving offenses involving the use of alcohol or drugs while driving a horse-drawn taxi;

C. Fail to deliver to the police department within 24 hours any property of value left in any vehicle;

D. Allow a person to enter or alight from the vehicle while it is in motion or pick up or discharge a passenger at any place other than the curb or pavement edge;

E. Pick up any additional passengers without the express consent of the original passenger;

F. Refuse to pick up as a passenger any person of proper deportment when the vehicle is available, or discriminate against any person because of race, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, age or mental or sensory handicap;

G. By reason of neglect or intent to cause or allow any animal under his/her care to endure pain, suffering or injury or to fail or neglect to aid or attempt alleviation of pain, suffering or injury he/she has so caused to any animal under his/her care;

H. Leave any animal under his/her care unattended, whether tethered or untethered, within any area of the city; and

I. Fail to promptly collect and properly dispose of manure or other debris related to the horse taxi’s operation. (Ord. 2771 § 1, 2001).

5.42.160 Suspension and revocation of horse taxi permit or driver’s license.

If the chief of police finds that any person permitted or licensed hereunder has been convicted of a criminal violation of federal or state law, or any ordinance of the city, and that such conviction establishes that such licensee is not capable of operating a commercial passenger vehicle, or is not a careful and experienced driver, or is engaging in acts in violation of Chapter 5.42 PTMC, then the chief of police shall make a written report of the circumstances surrounding such matter to the city council, and shall make recommendations to the city council regarding the suspension or revocation of the license of such person. After considering the report and before revoking or suspending any such license, the city council shall order a hearing and in such case shall notify the licensee of the date of said hearing and of the contents of the report of the chief of police, which hearing shall be held not less than five days from service of notice. If upon hearing before the city council a majority of the city council, for good cause, shall find that the license of the licensee should be suspended or revoked, it shall be so ordered. In case of the revocation of license, the same shall be surrendered to the chief of police and cancelled by the director of planning and community development department, and in case of suspension of a license the same shall be surrendered to the chief of police and returned to the licensee at the termination of the period of suspension. (Ord. 3287 § 5, 2022; Ord. 2892 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2771 § 1, 2001).

5.42.170 Fees.

The annual fee for a horse taxi permit issued under PTMC 5.42.030 shall be $150.00 for the first year for the first vehicle. The renewal fee is $50.00. The fee for additional vehicles operating under the same permit conditions is $50.00. The annual fee for a driver’s license issued under PTMC 5.42.100 shall be $20.00. In case of horse taxi permits or driver’s licenses issued on or after July 1st of each year, the horse taxi permit or driver’s license is valid for 18 months. Such permits or licenses are not transferable. (Ord. 2771 § 1, 2001).