Chapter 2

Vendors, Solicitors, Temporary Merchants

3-2-1: Legal Authority


Idaho Code sections 50-301 and 50-307 authorize the City to adopt and enforce ordinances, rules and regulations governing standards and procedures for licensing persons who engage in or operate a trade or business within the City. (2019 Code)

3-2-2: Purpose And Intent


A. Purpose: The purpose of this chapter is to protect the health, safety and welfare of the City and its residents.


B. Intent: This chapter is not intended to prohibit or hamper speech which is protected by the First Amendment, but merely to regulate specific activities which are commercial in nature. (1952 Code § 5-12-01)

3-2-3: Scope


This chapter establishes the minimum standards and procedures for licensing and operating as a vendor, solicitor or temporary merchant. (2019 Code)

3-2-4: General Licensing Provisions Applicable


To the extent not inconsistent with this chapter, the licensing provisions set forth in chapter 1, article A of this title shall apply with full force and effect to all provisions and sections of this chapter. (2019 Code)

3-2-5: Definitions


For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words and derivations shall have the meanings given herein. When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense include the future tense, words in the plural number include the singular number, and words in the singular number include the plural number. The word "shall" is always mandatory and not merely directory. Words used throughout this chapter, but not defined herein or in chapter 1, article A of this title, shall have their plain, ordinary and common meaning. Words in any gender shall apply to the feminine, masculine and neuter genders.

ADA COUNTY HIGHWAY DISTRICT (ACHD): The Ada County Highway District has jurisdiction over public streets and sidewalks in Ada County, Idaho.

DOWNTOWN BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT (DOWNTOWN BID): Area bounded by State Street, Fourth Street, Myrtle Street and Thirteenth Street in Boise City, Idaho.

IDENTIFIED VENDING LOCATION (IVL): Marked location in the Downtown BID where a licensee may vend.

MIDBLOCK CROSSWALK AREA: The sidewalk area which falls between the two (2) lines fifteen feet (15') beyond each side of a marked midblock crosswalk area (identified by the crosswalk lines delineated on the street pavement) and perpendicular to the curb.

MOBILE VENDING CART: A movable push cart that is operated by a vendor standing on the sidewalk.

MOBILE VENDING TRAILER: A mobile trailer operated by a vendor standing on or within the frame of the trailer on the public right-of-way between the curb lines.

MOBILE VENDING VEHICLE: A motorized vehicle operated by a vendor standing on or within the frame of the vehicle on the public right-of-way between the curb lines.

PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICER: A City Licensing Officer, firefighter, police officer or meter monitor.

SIDEWALK: That portion of the public right-of-way which is between the curb lines or the lateral lines of a roadway and the adjacent property line intended for the use of pedestrians in public places of Boise City.

SIDEWALK VENDING: The peddling, vending, selling, displaying or offering for sale any item of tangible personal property or other thing of value from a mobile vending cart by a vendor to persons on the public rights-of-way, including sidewalks.

SOLICITOR: An individual who is taking or attempting to take, in person door-to-door, orders for sale of food, beverages, goods, merchandise or services to be furnished or performed in the future, regardless of whether he/she is collecting advance payments on such sales. Such definition shall include any person who, for himself, or for another person, hires, leases, uses or occupies any building, structure or motor vehicle within the City for the purpose of exhibiting samples and taking orders for future delivery for door-to-door sales.

SPECIAL EVENT: The temporary use, with a valid permit, of public property, including streets, beaches, parks, community centers and waterways, for the purpose of conducting certain short term events, such as art shows, music concerts, fund raising events, sidewalk sales, amusement attractions, circuses, carnivals, rodeos, swap meets, sporting events and including, but not limited to, organized float trips, contests, street dances, tournaments, walkathons, marathons, races, exhibitions or related activities.

STREET CORNER AREA: The sidewalk area at the intersection of two (2) streets, circumscribed by curbs, the property lines abutting the sidewalk area, and the line including the point along the curb of the street either fifteen feet (15') from the outside line of a corner crosswalk, or where there is no marked crosswalk, twenty five feet (25') from the curb line on the midpoint of the intersecting streets.

STREET VENDING: The peddling, vending, selling, displaying or offering for sale any item of tangible personal property or other thing of value from a mobile vending trailer or vehicle situated on the public rights-of-way between the curb lines by a vendor to persons on the sidewalk.

TEMPORARY: Six (6) months or less.

TEMPORARY MERCHANT: Any person, whether owner or otherwise, whether a resident of the City or not, who engages in a temporary business of selling and delivering goods, wares, merchandise and services within the City, and who, in furtherance of such purpose, hires, leases, uses or occupies any building, structure or motor vehicle within the City for the exhibition and sale of food, beverages, goods, merchandise or services.

VENDOR: Any person, including an employee or agent of a group of individuals, partnership or corporation, who sells or offers to take orders or sell food, beverages, goods or merchandise from a mobile vending cart, mobile vending vehicle or mobile vending trailer, or any other type of conveyance or from his or her person. The word "vendor" shall include the words "hauler", "huckster" and "peddler". (1952 Code § 5-12-02; amd. 2019 Code)

3-2-6: License Required


It shall be unlawful for any vendor, solicitor or temporary merchant, as the same are defined in section 3-2-5 of this chapter, to engage in such business or to employ another in such business within the corporate limits of the City without first obtaining a license from the City Clerk's Office in compliance with the provisions of chapter 1, article A of this title, and this chapter. All vendors, solicitors or temporary merchants must meet all applicable City, State and Federal law licensing requirements, including all Central District Health Department regulations and requirements, to be issued and to maintain a City issued license. (1952 Code § 5-12-03; amd. 2019 Code)

3-2-7: Exceptions


The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to:


A. Court Ordered Sales: Any sales under court order;


B. Traveling Salespersons For Local Businesses: Traveling salespersons, commercial travelers or the like who exclusively or primarily sell to, or solicit orders for, future delivery from local retailers, local businesses, local governments, local schools or local wholesale firms;


C. Farm, Garden Products: The sale of farm or garden products by the person producing the same;


D. Newspaper Subscriptions: The sale of a newspaper subscription in which the seller is a person engaged in both the delivery and sale of the newspaper;


E. School Students, Fundraising: The occasional sale of admission by local school students to a function of their school; or fundraising sales by local service clubs or groups such as Elks, Kiwanis, Lions, Boy or Girl Scouts;


F. Political Funds, Membership: Any political group seeking funds or membership;


G. Garage, Yard Sales: Garage, yard or similar sales by individuals at their residence or place of business not exceeding two (2) separate sales in one calendar year, not to exceed three (3) days each, which sales shall not include business inventory or items that have been purchased for the purpose of resale at another garage sale;


H. Tax Exempt Organizations: Any organization exempt from taxation as provided by 26 USC 501 and meeting all the requirements for the exemptions provided in that chapter;


I. Special Events: Any activity conducted pursuant to a special events permit. (1952 Code § 5-12-04)

3-2-8: Application For License


All vendor, solicitor and temporary merchant applications and renewals shall comply with the minimum license application requirements set forth in chapter 1, article A of this title, and be submitted to the City Clerk's Office. In addition to those requirements set forth in chapter 1, article A of this title, the following information shall be supplied:


A. Persons Named: If the applicant is an association, company or corporation, then it shall state its name along with the names and descriptions of the persons who will be soliciting in the City;


B. Description: A brief description of the nature of the business and the goods to be sold;


C. Employer Information: If employed, the name and address of the employer, together with credentials establishing the exact relationship between the employer and the applicant;


D. Method Of Operation, Length, Vehicle: The proposed method of operation, length of time for which the right to do business is desired and if a motor vehicle is to be used, a description of the same, together with license number or other means of identification;


E. Location; Delivery: The place where the goods or property proposed to be sold, or orders taken for the sale thereof, are manufactured or produced, where such goods or products are located at the time said application is filed, and the proposed method of delivery; and


F. Food Products: When the applicant proposes to peddle any prepared food product for human consumption, a certification by the Central District Health Department and an eating and drinking license, issued under title 4, chapter 3 of this Code, shall be required prior to issuance and throughout the duration of a license. (1952 Code § 5-12-05; amd. 2019 Code)

3-2-9: Issuance Of License


A. Investigation: Upon receipt of an application for a license, the City Clerk's Office shall cause an investigation to be made to the extent necessary to determine whether the applicant is qualified to hold a vendor, solicitor or temporary merchant license.


B. Qualifications: No applicant or licensee shall be issued a vendor, solicitor or temporary merchant license unless that person meets all of the qualifications and has none of the disqualifications set forth in chapter 1, article A of this title, and this chapter.


C. Issuance: If the applicant meets all of the qualifications and has none of the disqualifications, the City Clerk shall issue, upon application and payment therefor, a vendor, solicitor or temporary merchant license. (1952 Code § 5-12-06; amd. 2019 Code)

3-2-10: Bond Required


Before any license as provided herein shall be issued for engaging in the business of vendor, solicitor or temporary merchant, as defined in section 3-2-5 of this chapter:


A. Individual: Every applicant plying his trade as an individual shall file with the City Clerk a bond in the amount of one thousand dollars ($1,000.00).


B. Associations, Corporations: Every business association, company or corporation which has employees or agents acting in the capacity of vendor, solicitor or temporary merchant, shall file with the City Clerk a bond covering all such employees in the amount of one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) per employee, up to a maximum bond amount of five thousand dollars ($5,000.00).


C. Form Of Bond: The bond may be in form of a surety bond issued by a company licensed to issue insurance in the State, a money order or cashier's check payable to the City, or cash delivered to the City Clerk. The bond shall protect against any and all claims against the vendor, solicitor or temporary merchant arising during the effective dates of the license issued under this chapter and filed with the City Clerk within sixty (60) days of the expiration of any such license.


D. Notification To Customers Regarding Claims: Vendors, solicitors and temporary merchants shall notify each customer that they are bonded, and that any claim may be presented to the City Clerk's Office located at 150 N. Capitol Blvd., Boise, Idaho, during regular business hours. Vendors, solicitors and temporary merchants maintaining a stationary location through the term of the license may satisfy this requirement by a notice conspicuously posted near the point of sale.


E. Return Of Bond: After expiration of a license, the City Clerk shall, upon application of the licensee, return the bond to the person designated in the application sixty (60) days after receipt of application for return, unless the Clerk has been notified of the pendency of any claim or cause of action by any person upon the bond. If the Clerk receives notice of a claim, the bond shall not be released except as directed by a court or the persons submitting the claim.


F. Waiver Of Bond: After being licensed for two (2) consecutive years without claims against the bond, the above bonding requirements will be waived. (1952 Code § 5-12-08; amd. 2019 Code)

3-2-11: Issuance And Exhibition Of License


A. Content Of Issued License: The City Clerk shall notify the applicant whether the license request is approved and shall issue a license. Such license shall show the name, photograph of said licensee, the type of license issued, and the date of expiration.


B. Exhibition: The license issued to the licensee hereunder by the City Clerk shall be exhibited in a conspicuous place if the licensee is using a vehicle or a building in his business, and otherwise must be displayed on the outside garment of the individual during hours of operation. (1952 Code § 5-12-09; amd. 2019 Code)

3-2-12: General Restrictions


Vendors, solicitors and temporary merchants are subject to the following restrictions:


A. Locations: No vendor, solicitor or temporary merchant shall have any exclusive right to any location in a public street or sidewalk, nor shall they be permitted to operate in any congested area where his operations might impede or inconvenience the public. This license does not preclude the issuance of a special events permit or other permits by the City Parks and Recreation Department in public parks, or the granting of permission to sell or operate on private property by its owners.


B. Hours Of Operation: Vendors, solicitors and temporary merchants shall be allowed to engage in their licensed business only between nine o'clock (9:00) A.M. and one hour after sunset, unless located in a commercially zoned area. In commercially zoned areas, vendors, solicitors and temporary merchants shall be allowed to engage in their licensed business between the hours of six o'clock (6:00) A.M. on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday until three o'clock (3:00) A.M. on the following day. Vendors, solicitors and temporary merchants shall be allowed to engage in their licensed business between the hours of six o'clock (6:00) A.M. on Friday and Saturday until five o'clock (5:00) A.M. the following day in commercially zoned areas. All mobile vending carts, trailers or vehicles must be removed from public property during nonvending hours. If a special event permit is sought, the City may make an exception to the usual hours of operation.


C. Enforcement Authority: Any law enforcement officer or City Licensing Officer shall be authorized to enforce this chapter.


D. Prohibited Locations: Unless positioned on a designated identified vending location, as defined in section 3-2-15 of this chapter, a mobile vending cart, trailer or vehicle shall not be located:

1. Where clear pedestrian passage on the public sidewalk is less than five feet (5') wide;

2. Within a midblock crosswalk area;

3. On the portion of a public sidewalk crossed by a public or private driveway or within ten feet (10') of either side of the driveway;

4. Within any street corner area;

5. Within five feet (5') from a perpendicular line drawn to the curb from either side of a doorway;

6. In a manner in which the movement or visibility of vehicles using the street or other public right-of-way is obstructed.


E. Distance: Unless otherwise provided, mobile vending carts, trailers or vehicles shall not be placed within fifty feet (50') of another mobile vending cart, trailer, vehicle or identified vending location.


F. Attachment Prohibited: Mobile vending carts, trailers or vehicles shall not be locked or chained to a parking meter, tree, streetlight or street furniture.


G. Unattendance: Mobile vending carts, trailers and vehicles shall not be left unattended on City streets or sidewalks for more than fifteen (15) consecutive minutes.


H. Utility Service Prohibited: Utility service connections are not permitted. Electrical lines are not allowed overhead or lying in the pedestrian portion of the sidewalk. City streetlight facilities shall not be used in any way to supply electrical service to a vendor site.


I. Garbage And Refuse: Vendors, solicitors and temporary merchants shall keep the area of operation free of debris. Vendors selling food or beverages must provide trash receptacles and waste removal adjacent to or as a part of their operations. All spilled food, beverages, grease or other trash or debris accumulating within twenty feet (20') of any mobile vending cart, trailer or vehicle shall be cleaned and collected by the vendor and deposited in the vendor's trash receptacle. The vendor is prohibited from depositing waste, ice and any gray or wastewater into sidewalk waste receptacles, privately owned dumpsters, City planters, gutters or the street drainage system.


J. Maintenance Of Mobile Vending Operations: Mobile vending carts, trailers or vehicles shall be maintained in such a manner that prevents the spilling or splattering of grease, water, food or trash on any public right-of-way where the cart, trailer or vehicle is located. The cart, trailer or vehicle owner shall be responsible for the cleaning and repair of any public right-of-way soiled, stained or damaged by the placement and operation of their mobile vending operations. (1952 Code § 5-12-10; amd. 2019 Code)

3-2-13: Mobile Vending Cart, Trailer And Vehicle Standards


A. Standards: Mobile vending carts, trailers and vehicles must be designed and built meeting normal industry standards and used in a safe manner.


B. Size; Design; Brakes: A mobile vending cart frame must not exceed five feet (5') wide by nine feet (9') long by seven feet (7') high, and must be able to be pushed by one person. The mobile vending cart must have a minimum of two (2) functional, rubber tired wheels. The braking mechanism on the mobile vending cart shall be affixed in such a manner that it is not readily removable in order to secure the cart when parked on the sidewalk. The use of ropes and shocks as the sole braking mechanism is prohibited.


C. Generators: Generators on mobile vending carts, trailers and vehicles powered by gasoline are prohibited. Only generators powered by propane are acceptable. No mobile vending cart shall carry more than two (2) 5-gallon containers of propane on a public right-of-way. Generators shall not be placed on the ground.


D. BBQ Grills: Mobile vending carts, trailers and vehicles must have the BBQ grill enclosed and permanently built into the structure of the vendor cart, trailer or vehicle.


E. Fire Extinguisher: A five (5) pound, "K" class, handheld fire extinguisher is required if a heating or cooking appliance is used.


F. Inspections: With the exception of merchandise or food items to be sold, mobile vending carts, trailers and vehicles presented for inspection shall be exactly as they will appear when operating on a public right-of-way, including any food rack.


G. Support Equipment And Accessories: Support equipment and accessories, other than the generator and the propane tanks, must not extend more than four feet (4') from the edge of the cart, trailer or vehicle in any direction and shall not be placed so as to impede pedestrian traffic. Umbrellas, canopies or other covers used on mobile vending carts, trailers or vehicles must be securely fastened. The open diameter may not exceed nine feet (9'), with a minimum vertical clearance of seven feet eight inches (7'8"), and must not extend more than four feet (4') from the edge of the cart, trailer or vehicle in any direction.


H. Signage: Unsecured menu boards or sidewalk signs are prohibited.


I. Clean Appearance: Mobile vending carts, trailers and vehicles shall have a clean appearance at all times. (1952 Code § 5-12-11)

3-2-14: Street Vending Restrictions


In addition to the restrictions and qualifications contained in this chapter, street vendors are additionally subject to the following restrictions:


A. Parking Restrictions: Vendor trailer or vehicles must at all times be parked in a legal manner. Vending operations shall be conducted only to pedestrians on sidewalks. No service to the public shall be made from the street side of the vehicles.


B. "Open For Business" Sign: To differentiate between vending trailers or vehicles that are merely legally parked on the street from those that are actively engaged in vending operations, any street vending cart, trailer or vehicle must place an "open for business" sign on the cart, trailer or vehicle in a conspicuous manner when the vending operations are open for business. This sign must be taken down when vending operations have ceased. (1952 Code § 5-12-12; amd. 2019 Code)

3-2-15: Downtown Business Improvement District (bid) Restrictions


In addition to the restrictions contained in this chapter, all vendors, solicitors and temporary merchants must comply with the following restrictions in order to vend in the Downtown Business Improvement District (Downtown BID), unless exempted by a special events permit:


A. Street Vending Prohibited: Street vending is prohibited in the Downtown BID.


B. Sidewalk Vending: Mobile vending carts and trailers are prohibited from selling within the specific area of Main and Idaho Streets between Fourth and Eleventh Street, and Sixth Street between Idaho and Grove Streets, unless selling from a designated vending location that is designated with the symbol "IVL" (identified vending location). IVLs may be determined and marked, moved, removed or restricted by hours and days of operation by administrative order of the City Clerk, as set forth in subsection C of this section. A map indicating all Downtown BID IVLs can be obtained at the City Clerk's Office located at 150 N. Capitol Blvd., Boise, Idaho, 83702.


C. Determining Identified Vending Locations (IVLs): The City Clerk's Office, together with the Ada County Highway District (ACHD) and Capital City Development Corporation (CCDC) will identify locations that are compatible with the public interest in the use of the sidewalk areas as public rights-of-way. The City Clerk's Office shall determine and mark each IVL, and may move, remove or restrict by hours and days of operation. For each IVL location, the City Clerk's Office shall consider, among other factors: the width of sidewalk, the proximity and location of intersections, crosswalks, driveways, doorways, police or fire stations, hospitals, schools, parks, fire escapes, trees, bus stops and shelters, truck loading zones, taxi stands, hotel zones, existing street fixtures, such as signposts, lampposts, parking meters, fire hydrants, benches, phone booths, and the known pedestrian congestion of a particular area to determine if the IVL will provide for adequate public safety and pedestrian flow twenty four (24) hours a day.


D. IVL Regulations:

1. IVLs are available on a first come, first serve basis.

2. Only one vending cart may occupy an IVL at one time.

3. A mobile vending cart occupying an IVL that is unable to conduct business shall be removed after fifteen (15) minutes.

4. Beginning at six o'clock (6:00) A.M., the first properly licensed mobile vendor that positions his or her cart over the IVL may maintain that position until three o'clock (3:00) A.M. the following morning or five o'clock (5:00) A.M. on Saturday and Sunday, except as provided herein.

5. Any IVL which is designated as a "restricted IVL" by administrative order of the City Clerk, shall be prohibited from use by all vendors, solicitors and temporary merchants between the hours of nine o'clock (9:00) P.M. on Friday and Saturday evenings until five o'clock (5:00) A.M. the following morning.


E. Display Of License, Permit: No person shall use a mobile vending cart while engaged in sidewalk vending within the Downtown BID without displaying thereon, in a conspicuous manner, all applicable licenses and permits. (1952 Code § 5-12-13; amd. 2019 Code)

3-2-16: Unlawful Conduct


In addition to those acts set forth in section 3-1A-28 of this title, it shall be unlawful for any person to:


A. Failure To Comply: Fail to comply with any of the requirements and restrictions set forth in this chapter;


B. Misrepresentation: Misrepresent the purpose of, or affiliation of those engaged in, the solicitation;


C. Continue Efforts: Continue efforts to solicit from an individual once that individual informs the solicitor that he does not wish to give anything to or to buy anything from that solicitor;


D. Represent Endorsement: Represent the issuance of any license under this chapter as an endorsement or recommendation of the solicitation;


E. Posted Premises: Enter upon any premises when the same is posted with a sign stating "No Peddlers Allowed" or "No Solicitation Allowed" or other words to such effect; or


F. Fraud, Misrepresentations: Commit fraud, make misrepresentations or false statements in the course of carrying on the business. (1952 Code § 5-12-14; amd. 2019 Code)

3-2-17: Cancellation Of Sale


The buyer shall have the right to cancel the door-to-door sale within three (3) business days. A business day is any calendar day, except Sunday, or the following holidays: New Year's Day, Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. (1952 Code § 5-12-15)

3-2-18: Revocation Or Suspension; Notice And Hearing


Except as otherwise provided herein, the procedures for denial, suspension, revocation and appeal of a license shall be as set forth in chapter 1, article A of this title. (2019 Code)

3-2-19: Penalty


Any person, business, firm, company or corporation who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be subject to penalty as provided in section 1-4-1 of this Code. Each day a violation is continued shall be a separate offense. (1952 Code § 5-12-20; amd. 2019 Code)