Chapter 5.02


5.02.010    Title.

5.02.020    Purpose.

5.02.030    Exercise of power.

5.02.040    License required.

5.02.050    Applications.

5.02.060    Investigations.

5.02.070    Building and premises.

5.02.080    Inspections.

5.02.090    Issuance.

5.02.095    Billing.

5.02.100    License not transferable.

5.02.110    Suspension or revocation.

5.02.120    Denial of license.

5.02.130    Appeals.

5.02.140    Termination and renewal of license.

5.02.150    Posting requirements.

5.02.160    Clean-up requirements.

5.02.170    Regulations.

5.02.180    Nonprofit license.

5.02.190    Severability.

5.02.200    Savings clause.

5.02.210    Definitions.

5.02.010 Title.

The regulations contained within Chapters 5.02 through 5.28, inclusive, shall collectively be known as “Title 5, Business Licensing and Regulation” and are referred to herein as “this title.”  (Ord. 1163(part), 2007)

5.02.020 Purpose.

The purpose of this title is to provide minimum standards to safeguard the health, property and general public welfare by regulating and controlling business licensing and regulating of certain business as outlined in this title. (Ord. 1163(part), 2007)

5.02.030 Exercise of power.

This title shall be deemed an exercise of the power of the city to license for revenue and regulation, and nothing in this title shall be construed to repeal or affect any other ordinance of the city which purports to regulate some business or activity pursuant to the general police power of the city, notwithstanding the fact that such ordinance may or might contain provisions relating to the licensing of such activity. (Ord. 1163(part), 2007)

5.02.040 License required.

Each and every business operating within the city of Wapato is required to be licensed. No person shall operate a business within the city without a license from the city clerk/treasurer. (Ord. 1163(part), 2007)

5.02.050 Applications.

Applications for all licenses shall be made to the city clerk/treasurer in writing, signed and verified by the applicant. Each application shall state the name under which the business is to be conducted, the address of the business, the mailing address of the business (if different than the physical address), the name of the applicant, the residence address of the applicant, the mailing address of the applicant (if different than the physical address of the applicant), the nature of the business to be conducted, the state of Washington uniform business identification number (UBI), and such additional information as may be needed for the proper guidance of the city officials in the issuing of the license applied for, including, but not limited to, certification that the applicant has any and all licenses required by the state of Washington and county of Yakima. All applications must be made to the city clerk/treasurer on the form provided by the city. (Ord. 1163(part), 2007)

5.02.060 Investigations.

Within five business days of the time of the receipt of an application for a license or renewal thereof, where ordinances of the city necessitate an inspection or investigation before the issuance of a license, the city clerk/treasurer shall refer such application to the proper city department for making such investigation. The person charged with the duty of making the investigation shall make a detailed written report thereon, favorable or otherwise, within ten business days after receiving the application. A copy of the application may be substituted for the original for the purposes of this section. (Ord. 1163(part), 2007)

5.02.070 Building and premises.

Before a license may be issued, the applicant must certify that, to the best of his knowledge and belief, the premises and building where the business is to be conducted are in substantial compliance with all city ordinances, including, but not limited to, Title 15, Buildings and Construction, and Title 17, Zoning. (Ord. 1163(part), 2007)

5.02.080 Inspections.

A. Generally. Whenever inspections of the premises used for or in connection with the operation of a business, or the application for a business license, are reasonably necessary to secure compliance with any ordinance provision, including, but not limited to, Titles 15 and 17, it shall be the duty of the licensee, or the person in charge of the premises to be inspected, to admit onto the premises for the purpose of making inspection any officer or employee of the city who is authorized or directed to make such inspections at any reasonable time that admission is requested.

B. Upon Renewal of License. All renewals of business licenses are conditioned upon, and are granted with the understanding that, an inspection by the code enforcement officer will be done.

C. Code Enforcement Officer Entry. The code enforcement officer and/or his agent shall be allowed entry into or onto any business premises for the purpose of inspecting the property. If the code enforcement officer is denied entry, the premises’ business license shall be suspended pursuant to Section 5.02.110. (Ord. 1163(part), 2007)

5.02.090 Issuance.

The city clerk/treasurer may issue a license within ten business days after the submittal of the application, or shall notify the applicant in writing, sent regular mail to the mailing addresses of the business and applicant provided in the application, why a license may not be issued. The license fee, which shall be paid prior to issuance, shall be set annually by fee resolution. (Ord. 1163(part), 2007)

5.02.095 Billing.

A. The city clerk/treasurer shall bill each business yearly after its initial application and approval. For purposes of this title, the year runs from March 1st through February 28th (or February 29th in cases of a leap year). Bills shall be sent to businesses before February 1st of each year, and license fees shall be due on or before March 1st. Bills shall be mailed certified mail to the address listed on the business license application. Businesses are obligated to inform the city clerk/treasurer of address changes.

B. In the event a business fails to pay its license fee on or before March 1st, it will be assessed a penalty, as determined in a yearly fee resolution, and shall cease all operations within two weeks (March 14th) and continue to not operate until a license is obtained.

C. License fees will be reviewed yearly and determined by a fee resolution to be voted upon by the city council at its first regularly held meeting in January each year. The license fee for 2007, which shall be paid prior to issuance for the year 2007, is:

1--2 employees (includes owners)


Each additional employee





Cab Driver per driver




Flea Market


Flea Market plus per vendor per day


Secondhand Dealer


Taxicabs per vehicle


Landlord License--first rental


Landlord License--per additional rental


Circus per day


Carnival per day


Shows, Exhibits, or Fairs per day


Transient Merchant, Hawker:

Temporary flat fee plus


Temporary per day






Late Fee


(Ord. 1163(part), 2007)

5.02.100 License not transferable.

Once issued, a business license may not be assigned or transferred to another person to carry on the same business, or to a different location than that listed on the business license. Upon transfer of ownership or location, the business license for the prior owner or location is terminated. In the event the business is transferred either to another person or another location, a new business license must be obtained prior to the new owner beginning operations or beginning operations at a new location, with fees to be paid as a new license. (Ord. 1163(part), 2007)

5.02.110 Suspension or revocation.

Any license may be suspended or revoked at any time during the term of such license for any violation by the licensee of any of the provisions of the Wapato Municipal Code related to the license, the subject matter of the license, or to the premises occupied; such suspension or revocation may be in addition to any fine imposed. Reasons for suspension or revocation include, but are not limited to, any one or more of the following reasons, when determined to exist after investigation by city staff.

A. Reasons for Suspension.

1. Any business license may be suspended when, after investigation by city staff, any one or more of the following reasons are determined to exist:

a. Failure to comply with any of the terms and conditions on which a license or permit is issued;

b. The licensee or any of its employees, officers or agents, while acting within the scope of their employment, violates or fails to comply with any federal, state, or local law or regulation, including but not limited to any provision of the Wapato Municipal Code, and including but not limited to the commission or acquiescence or permitting of any unlawful activity on the business premises. Conviction or plea of guilty in the Wapato municipal court or any court of record shall be deemed conclusive as to whether such a violation or failure to comply has occurred;

c. When reasonably necessary in the interest of protection of the public health, safety, peace or welfare, to include, but not be limited to, when a license holder is conducting business in a facility without public utilities such as water service, sewer service or refuse collection service;

d. When a business becomes an instrument of or a cover for public disorder, crime, or other danger to public safety, morals or health;

e. The licensee has caused or permitted a public nuisance to exist;

f. The licensee’s continued conduct of the business for which the license was issued has or will result in a danger to the public health, safety or welfare;

g. The place of business does not conform to city ordinance, county code provisions, Washington State law, or federal law;

h. The license is being used for a purpose different from that for which it was issued;

i. Failure to allow the code enforcement officer reasonable access to the business premises to conduct an inspection pursuant to this title or any other title under the Wapato Municipal Code.

2. If a determination is made that licensee has violated any of the provisions of this title or any of the provisions of the Wapato Municipal Code, such licensee shall be subject to a suspension. Licensees must be in full compliance of all federal, state, or local laws prior to the reinstatement of the business license. The city clerk/treasurer shall mail written notice of such determination to the licensee at the mailing addresses provided on the license application.

3. Emergency Suspension. In the event of conduct or activities which create an imminent risk of harm to public health, safety, or welfare, as determined by the police chief, fire chief, or code enforcement officer, the license of such business may be summarily suspended upon notice to the licensee; provided, that the registrant shall be entitled to a hearing before the city council, at the next regularly scheduled city council meeting, upon a written appeal being filed with the city clerk/treasurer by the licensee within ten days of the license suspension.

B. Reasons for Revocation.

1. Any business license shall be revoked when, after investigation by city staff, any one or more of the following reasons are determined to exist:

a. Illegal issuance of the license;

b. Issuance of the license without power or authority;

c. Issuance under an unauthorized ordinance or an ordinance illegally adopted, or issuance in violation of an ordinance;

d. When the business license was procured by fraud, misrepresentation, or false representation, evasion or suppression of facts;

e. When the business license was issued by mistake or inadvertence; or

2. Reasons for Immediate Revocation. Any business license shall be revoked when, after investigation by city staff, any one of the following reasons is determined to exist:

a. Three suspensions within any five-year period;

b. Loss of any insurance required by this title or any other title of the Wapato Municipal Code, federal, state, or county law;

c. Anything which causes a threat to the safety of persons or property.

3. The city clerk/treasurer shall mail written notice of all determinations to the licensee at the mailing addresses provided on the license application.

C. In lieu of suspension or revocation, the city council may issue a conditional business license outlining certain conditions that must be met prior to issuance of a business license and/or during the tenure of the business license. In the event a conditional license is granted by the city council, the applicant may appeal the conditions of the license in the same method as outlined in Section 5.02.130. (Ord. 1163(part), 2007)

5.02.120 Denial of license.

The city clerk/treasurer may deny issuance of a business license for one or more of the following reasons:

A. The applicant is not eighteen years of age at the time of application. An applicant may submit written consent of his or her parents or guardians to make application together with a covenant from said parents or guardians that they will be responsible for a guarantee of performance of all related laws and ordinances of the applicant. The city clerk/treasurer may consider such written consent and covenant in determining whether it is appropriate to issue the license.

B. The applicant had a prior license revoked or suspended in this or any other jurisdiction.

C. The applicant is in violation of state and local law.

D. The applicant seeks a license to practice some illegal act or any act injurious to the public health or safety.

E. The applicant is not qualified under any specific provision of this title for any particular license for which he or she applies.

F. Complaints or objections are received by the city clerk/treasurer by any Wapato residents which would give good cause for denial of a license. Any person, including city officials, may submit such objections regarding the application for a license. The city clerk/treasurer may then request and receive information from all city departments to aid him or her in determining whether to issue or deny the license. Such information shall be confidential unless a hearing is requested on the application, or if the applicant requests the information in writing. All information and/or complaints will be investigated and considered prior to issuing, denying, or renewing any license. (Ord. 1163(part), 2007)

5.02.130 Appeals.

Any business may appeal a suspension, revocation, or denial of a business license. The licensee may obtain an appeal by appealing, in writing, to the city clerk/treasurer. The city clerk/treasurer shall forward the appeal, as well as all complaints, objections, and investigations thereof, to the mayor within five business days for review. The appeal must state the grounds upon which the licensee is appealing.

The decision of the mayor may be appealed to the city council by appealing, in writing, to the city clerk/treasurer the mayor’s decision, within ten days of the mayor’s decision. The appeal must state the grounds upon which the licensee is appealing. The city clerk/treasurer shall forward the appeal, as well as all complaints, objections, and investigations thereof, to the city council within five business days for review.

The city council shall hold a public hearing to gather facts upon which to make a decision at the next regularly scheduled public meeting after the appeal is forwarded to it. The city council shall mail written notice of its decision to the licensee at the addresses stated on the license application. A decision shall be mailed within fourteen days of the hearing. The decision of the city council shall be appealable to the Yakima County superior court only upon grounds of being arbitrary and capricious. Any appeal must be filed with the Yakima County superior court, and a copy of the appeal forwarded to the city clerk/treasurer, within fourteen days of the mailing of the decision of the city council.

During the appeal period, a licensee may continue to operate its business if allowed by city council through its findings after public hearing on the appeal to the city council. If such a continuance is allowed, the licensee continues to be required to follow all local, state and federal laws relating to his or her business. (Ord. 1163(part), 2007)

5.02.140 Termination and renewal of license.

All annual licenses shall terminate on the last day of February of each year and be renewed on the first day of March of each year.

The city clerk/treasurer shall mail to licensees of the city a notice of expiration of the license held by the licensee at least thirty days prior to the date of such expiration; provided, that a failure to send out such notice does not excuse the licensee from failing to renew its license or obtain a new license, nor shall it be a defense in an action for operation without a license. (Ord. 1163(part), 2007)

5.02.150 Posting requirements.

It shall be the duty of any person conducting a licensed business in the city to keep his or her license posted in a prominent place on the premises used for such business at all times, except that peddlers, hawkers and transients, and their employees, shall carry their license on their persons at all times when conducting their business and shall display it upon request by any public safety official or their designee. (Ord. 1163(part), 2007)

5.02.160 Clean-up requirements.

A. Each business shall keep all exterior premises of the business, including, but not limited to, alley ways, rights-of-way and buildings, reasonably clean and clear of all litter and trash, and the exterior of the premises free of graffiti.

B. All businesses serving, handling or dealing in food, in any way, must comply with all county and city code sections relevant to its business, in addition to the provisions of this title.

C. All businesses must comply with Chapter 8.16 regarding garbage collection service, in addition to the provisions of this title.

D. Any violation of this section will be considered a nuisance under Chapter 8.24. (Ord. 1163(part), 2007)

5.02.170 Regulations.

A. The regulations set forth in this title are not exclusive. Other regulations set forth in the Wapato Municipal Code shall apply when appropriate from their meaning and context.

B. Any violations of Title 15 which result in the suspension, revocation or denial of a business license shall be appealed through the Title 15 appeal procedure. (Ord. 1163(part), 2007)

5.02.180 Nonprofit license.

Nonprofit community organizations from the city, including, but not limited to, the Chamber of Commerce, the Lions Club, and other similar nonprofit community organizations from the city, shall not be required to obtain a nonprofit business license. Business or fund-raising activities which are conducted at a community event sponsored by a nonprofit community organization shall not be required to obtain a business license if registered with and operating under the nonprofit license of the sponsoring nonprofit community organization. Business not registered with the sponsoring organization shall be licensed in accordance with this chapter. For purposes of this section, a “community event” shall mean any event sponsored by a nonprofit community organization. Such nonprofit license shall be valid only for community events which are conducted on city property with the prior approval of the city council. (Ord. 1163(part), 2007)

5.02.190 Severability.

If any section, subsection, paragraph, sentence, clause or phrase of this title is declared unconstitutional or invalid for any reason, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining parts of this title. (Ord. 1163(part), 2007)

5.02.200 Savings clause.

Ordinance No. 1059, which is repealed by this title, shall remain in force and effect until the effective date of the ordinance codified in this title. (Ord. 1163(part), 2007)

5.02.210 Definitions.

The definitions set forth in this section shall apply throughout this title, unless context clearly requires otherwise. Additional definitions pertaining to specific words in other chapters may be found in those chapters.

A. “Business” means all vocations, occupations, professions, and activities which are conducted for private profit, directly or indirectly, and, for the purpose of this chapter, the leasing or renting of any residential unit (apartment, house, or other dwelling) shall be considered to be a “business.”

B. “City” means the city of Wapato.

C. “Person” means any individual, sole proprietorship, partnership, association, cooperative, corporation, nonprofit organization, state or local government agency, and any other organization required to register with the city to do business in the city and to obtain one or more licenses from the city or any of its agencies.

D. “Title” means Title 5 of the Wapato Municipal Code. (Ord. 1163(part), 2007)