Chapter 5.94


5.94.010    Definitions.

5.94.020    Solicitor’s license – Required.

5.94.030    Certificate – Organizational.

5.94.040    License fee.

5.94.050    Solicitor’s license – Application.

5.94.060    Investigation of applicants.

5.94.070    Issuance of license – Expiration date.

5.94.080    Denial, revocation or suspension of license.

5.94.090    Suspension or revocation procedure.

5.94.100    Carrying of license required.

5.94.110    Prohibited practices.

5.94.120    Notice regulating soliciting.

5.94.130    Uninvited solicitors – Prohibited – Violation a nuisance.

5.94.140    Uninvited solicitors – Departure from premises required.

5.94.150    Time restrictions.

5.94.160    Exemptions.

5.94.170    Violation – Penalty.

5.94.010 Definitions.

Use of Words and Phrases. As used in this chapter, unless the context or subject matter clearly requires otherwise, the words or phrases defined in this section shall have the indicated meanings.

A. “Qualifying felony” means a felony under the laws of the state, or any other state or of the United States, or any territory of the United States, or foreign country, which directly relates to the business or practice of soliciting, including the following crimes:

1. Larceny, theft, burglary;

2. Assault;

3. Domestic violence crimes;

4. Fraud;

5. Sex crimes;

6. Drug-related crimes;

7. Crimes against children and/or vulnerable adults;

8. Trespass.

If the conviction in a foreign country is not defined as a felony, but the conduct would be a felony if it occurred in this state, then the conviction counts as a qualifying felony.

B. “Residence” means and includes every separate living unit occupied for residential purposes by one or more persons, contained within any type of building or structure.

C. “Registered solicitor” means and includes any person who has obtained a valid solicitor’s license as provided in this chapter, which certificate is in the possession of the solicitor while engaged in soliciting.

D. “Soliciting” means, either as a principal or agent, going from place to place within the city, and engaging in one or more of the following activities:

1. Seeking to obtain orders for, or the sale of, goods, wares, merchandise, foodstuffs, or services of any kind, character, or description, for any kind of consideration whatever; or

2. Seeking to obtain prospective customers for application or purchase of insurance of any type, kind or character; or

3. Seeking to obtain subscriptions to books, magazines, periodicals, newspapers, and every other type or kind of publications; or

4. Seeking to obtain gifts or contributions of money, clothing, or other valuable thing for the support or benefit of any charitable or nonprofit organization, association, or corporation, which may or may not include the sale of goods in connection with the activity; or

5. Engaging in activity for which registration is required under Chapter 19.09 RCW, Charitable Solicitations.

Soliciting does not include place to place religious or political activity, advocacy, promotion, or distribution of materials, where the person or entity is not engaged in any of the activities listed in subsections (D)(1) through (5) of this section. A person is not engaged in any of the activities listed in subsections (D)(1) through (5) of this section if the person only offers written religious or political materials (for example, a brochure). (Ord. 3014 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009).

5.94.020 Solicitor’s license – Required.

Every person desiring to engage in soliciting, as defined in PTMC 5.94.010, from persons in residences or businesses within the city is required to make written application for and receive a solicitor’s license as provided in this chapter. (Ord. 3014 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009).

5.94.030 Certificate – Organizational.

Recognizing that bona fide community-based organizations engage in annual fund raising with volunteer solicitors, the city clerk is authorized to grant an organizational certificate, without charge, to an appropriate official of the organization, who shall comply with the application procedure and provide the city clerk with the names and addresses of the solicitors. The organizational certificate shall be limited in time, and in no event for more than 30 days in any calendar year; provided, the city clerk for good cause may extend the time. Each individual solicitor shall then be issued a photocopy facsimile of the organizational certificate, which shall contain the solicitor’s name in prominent letters, and shall contain the inclusive dates of validity. (Ord. 3014 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009).

5.94.040 License fee.

The license fee for a solicitor shall be $50.00 per year per person. A background investigation is required for each solicitor. The cost shall be separate from the solicitor’s application fee, and as set forth in the fees schedule adopted by resolution by the city council. Licenses issued are not transferable. (Ord. 3014 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009).

5.94.050 Solicitor’s license – Application.

A. Applications for a solicitor’s license shall be made to the city clerk upon forms provided by the city. The applicant shall attest to the truthfulness of the application, and shall complete the application in full, providing the following information:

1. Name, prior name(s) and aliases; mailing address; residence address and the length of residence at such address; and business address for the past two years;

2. Applicant’s date of birth;

3. Name(s) and address(es) of any person, firm, or corporations whom the applicant is employed by or represents; and the length of time of such employment or representation;

4. A description of the goods and/or services being solicited and/or a description sufficient for identification of the subject matter of the soliciting in which the applicant will engage;

5. Period of time for which the license is applied;

6. Whether the applicant has ever been convicted of a violation of a felony under the laws of this state or any other state or of the United States, or any territory of the United States, or foreign country;

7. Signature of applicant;

8. Social Security number of applicant;

9. Physical description of the applicant.

B. The applicant:

1. Shall complete an “authorization to release information” form allowing the police department to conduct necessary background checks;

2. May be required to submit to fingerprinting or palm scanning by the police department, in connection with the application for the license;

3. Shall provide a copy of a valid driver’s license or picture ID for identification purposes. (Ord. 3014 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009).

5.94.060 Investigation of applicants.

A. It shall be the duty of the chief of police to investigate each application made under PTMC 5.94.020. In his investigation, the chief of police shall determine:

1. The genuineness of all credentials presented by the principal applicant and/or the individual applicant;

2. If the principal applicant and/or the individual applicant has a criminal record; and

3. The truth of the facts set forth in the application.

B. The chief of police shall endeavor to complete such investigation within 10 working days after receipt of the application.

C. No license shall be issued to any person who has been convicted of a “qualifying felony,” within five years from the termination of any court-ordered time served and including any probationary period ordered; nor to any person whose license issued under this chapter has previously been revoked within five years of application.

D. Should the chief of police determine that a denial of a license is in order, the applicant shall have the right to appeal that decision to the hearing examiner. (Ord. 3014 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009).

5.94.070 Issuance of license – Expiration date.

If, after the completion of the investigation, the chief of police determines that the facts set forth in the application are true, then the chief may approve the application, and the city clerk shall issue the license. The license shall not be transferable. No license shall be issued until the conclusion of the police chief’s investigation of the application. All licenses expire December 31st of the year in which issued. (Ord. 3014 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009).

5.94.080 Denial, revocation or suspension of license.

In addition to the other penalties provided by law, any license issued under the provisions of this chapter may be denied, revoked or suspended at any time, where the same was:

A. Procured by fraud, false representation or material omission of fact, or for the violation of or failure to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter by the person holding such license; or

B. If the licensee has been convicted of a qualifying felony, or if the purpose for which the license was issued is being abused to the detriment of the public, or if such license is being used for a purpose different from that for which it was issued;

C. Upon revocation, the individual shall not be granted a license upon any new application that may be made for a period of five years from the date of revocation;

D. It is unlawful for any person whose license has been revoked or suspended to continue in the business of solicitor or to keep the license issued to him/her in his/her possession and control, and the same shall immediately be surrendered to the city clerk, the chief of police or his/her designee;

E. Upon denial of a license, the city clerk shall give written notice of such action to the applicant, stating the basis for such action. A copy of this letter shall become part of the original application, and kept on file in the city clerk’s office. (Ord. 3014 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009).

5.94.090 Suspension or revocation procedure.

Any license may be revoked by the city clerk, the chief of police or his/her designee for any violation of PTMC 5.94.080. The revocation of the license shall entitle the holder thereof to appeal the revocation to the hearing examiner in writing within 10 days of the revocation or denial of the license. (Ord. 3014 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009).

5.94.100 Carrying of license required.

The license required by this chapter and photo identification shall be carried at all times by the solicitor for whom it was issued when soliciting in the city. The license and photo identification shall be exhibited by the solicitor whenever and wherever he or she shall be requested to do so by any police officer, city manager or designee, or person solicited. (Ord. 3014 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009).

5.94.110 Prohibited practices.

Unless otherwise permitted by law, it shall be unlawful for any person, while engaged or attempting to engage in soliciting within the city, to:

A. Enter upon any other person’s private property, home, residence, apartment complex or business that prominently displays a “No Peddlers” or “No Solicitors” sign, or any other similar sign that communicates the occupant’s desire not to be contacted by solicitors.

B. Persist or continue in any solicitation or attempted solicitation of any particular member or members of the general public if such person or persons state or otherwise communicate a wish or desire not to be subjected to further solicitation efforts.

C. Solicit or sell merchandise upon the city street, sidewalk or public right-of-way or any other public property either on foot or from any cart, wagon, wheeled conveyance or other device.

D. Solicit or sell merchandise within 500 feet of a legally licensed temporary stand, temporary event, or special event. (Ord. 3014 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009).

5.94.120 Notice regulating soliciting.

Every person desiring to secure the protection provided by the regulations pertaining to soliciting contained in this chapter shall comply with the directions contained in this section.

Notice of the determination by the occupant(s) of the refusal of an invitation to solicitors to a residence, business, or development shall be given in the manner following:

A. A sign posted in a conspicuous place, at, near or posted on the door, or upon any gated and fenced property, that reads “no solicitors allowed.”

B. In single-family or multifamily residential developments served by a readily identifiable entrance, notice may be given by posting at each entrance a sign of an appropriate size placed at a location which will give reasonable notice to any person entering the development that solicitors are not allowed, and containing language such as “no solicitors allowed.” (Ord. 3014 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009).

5.94.130 Uninvited solicitors – Prohibited – Violation a nuisance.

It is unlawful and constitutes a nuisance for a person to go upon a premises and ring the doorbell upon or near a door, or create a sound in any other manner calculated to attract the attention of the occupant of such residence or business for the purpose of securing an audience with the occupant thereof and engage in soliciting as defined in PTMC 5.94.010, in defiance of the notice exhibited at the residence, business, or development in accordance with the provisions of PTMC 5.94.120. (Ord. 3014 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009).

5.94.140 Uninvited solicitors – Departure from premises required.

It shall be the duty of every solicitor upon going onto any premises or development in the city upon which a residence, as defined in this chapter, or a business is located to determine if the notice provided for in PTMC 5.94.120 exists, and to be governed by the statement contained on the notice by immediately and peacefully departing from the premises.

A solicitor who has gained entrance to a residence, business, or development, whether invited or not, shall immediately and peacefully depart from the premises when requested to do so by the occupant. (Ord. 3014 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009).

5.94.150 Time restrictions.

No person shall engage in soliciting within the city, except between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. (Ord. 3014 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009).

5.94.160 Exemptions.

This chapter shall not apply to the following:

A. Person or persons engaged in place to place religious or political activity, advocacy, promotion, or distribution of materials, where the person or entity is not engaged in any of the activities listed in PTMC 5.94.010(D)(1) through (5). A person is not engaged in any of the activities listed in PTMC 5.94.010(D)(1) through (5) if the person only offers written materials (for example, a brochure);

B. Any person selling personal property at wholesale to dealers in such articles or commodities;

C. Newspaper couriers;

D. Bona fide candidates, campaign workers or political committees campaigning on behalf of candidates or ballot issues, and persons soliciting signatures of registered voters or petitions to be submitted to any governmental agency;

E. Persons who have been invited to call upon that other person for the purpose of displaying for possible purchase goods, literature or giving information about any article, thing, product or service;

F. Farmers, gardeners, or other persons who deliver or sell any agricultural, horticultural, or farm products which they have actually grown, harvested, or produced; provided, that this exemption does not apply to the sale of firewood;

G. Persons engaged in casual sales of seasonal articles such as produce, holiday items, handmade gift articles, etc.; or services such as lawn care, snow removal and other household jobs by minor individuals;

H. Any person or persons engaged in the business of selling through the United States mail;

I. Any person who is employed or authorized by a business which has a license for a fixed location for conducting business in the city may solicit in connection with that business to other commercial business locations. For example, an insurance company with a location in the city could solicit insurance services to other business. (Ord. 3048 § 1, 2010; Ord. 3014 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009).

5.94.170 Violation – Penalty.

The person, firm or corporation who violates or fails to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be fined in a sum not exceeding $1,000 or by imprisonment for a period not exceeding 90 days, or both, at the direction of the court. (Ord. 3014 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009).