Ordinance No. 18-09

Introduced: March 12, 2018
Public Hearing: March 26, 2018
Status: Pending

Ordinance to Amend and Supplement Chapter 428, Article III of the Code of the Township of Vernon Entitled “Charitable Solicitations”

WHEREAS, various non-profit entities routinely solicit charitable contributions in the Township of Vernon; and

WHEREAS, under N.J.S.A. 39:4-60, the governing body of a municipality has the authority to authorize charitable solicitations on its roadways; and

WHEREAS, the Township Council of the Township of Vernon deems it to be in the public interest to permit charitable organizations to solicit contributions on Township roadways; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED by the Council of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, and State of New Jersey, that Chapter 428 of the Municipal Code is hereby amended and supplemented as follows:


ARTICLE III Charitable Solicitations

§ 428-19. Definitions.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:

CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION - In accordance with N.J.S.A. 45:17A-20, shall mean: (1) any person determined by the federal Internal Revenue Service to be a tax exempt organization pursuant to section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, U.S.C. § 501(c)(3); or (2) any person who is, or holds himself out to be, established for any benevolent, philanthropic, humane, social welfare, public health, or other eleemosynary purpose, or for the benefit of law enforcement personnel, firefighters or other persons who protect the public safety, or any person who in any manner employs a charitable appeal as the basis of any solicitation, or an appeal which has a tendency to suggest there is a charitable purpose to any such solicitation.

CONTRIBUTION - Includes the words “alms,” “food,” “clothes,” “money,” “subscription” and “property” of any nature or kind.

PERSON or ORGANIZATION - Any individual, firm, copartnership, corporation, company, association, church, religious denomination, society, class or league.

SOLICIT and SOLICITATION - The request, directly or indirectly, for money, credit, property, financial assistance, and other things of value on the plea or representation that such money, credit, property, financial assistance or other things of value will be used for a charitable and philanthropic purpose, as defined in this article. “Solicitation” shall be deemed to be complete when made, whether or not the person making the solicitation receives any contribution.

§ 428-20. Permit required; exemption.
No charitable organization shall solicit charitable and philanthropic contributions within the Township without first having obtained a permit authorizing public solicitations; provided, however, that the provisions of this section shall not apply to any established charitable organization authorized and not operated for the pecuniary profit of any person if the solicitations by such charitable organization are conducted among the members thereof or if the solicitations are in the form of collections or contributions at the regular assembly or meetings of such charitable organization.

§ 428-21. Application for permit.

  1. Application for a permit to make a public solicitation of funds by charitable organizations shall be made to the Township Clerk on forms provided by the Township.
  2. The application herein required shall contain the following information:
    1. The purpose for which the solicitation is to be made and the estimated amount of funds proposed to be raised thereby.
    2. A specific statement showing the need for the solicitation.
    3. The name, telephone number, and address of the person or persons who will be in direct charge of conducting the solicitation.
    4. The names and addresses of all persons making the proposed solicitation.
    5. A brief outline of the method to be used in conducting the solicitation.
    6. The specific location or locations of proposed charitable solicitation. If the application is for roadside solicitation a traffic control plan, site layout plan or sketch of the roadways involved including a diagram of the proposed set up or method of solicitation must be included in accordance with § 428.25.2.
    7. The time and dates when the solicitation shall be made, giving the beginning and ending dates of the solicitation.
    8. The amount of any wages, fees, commission, or expenses to be paid to any person or organization for conducting the solicitation and the names and addresses of all such persons.
    9. If applicable, identify the manner in which motorist solicitations will be conducted and the procedures to be used to ensure the safety of members of the public who will be traveling the roadways situated in the Township.
    10. A full statement to the effect that, if the permit is approved, it will not be used or represented in any way as an endorsement of the proposed solicitation by the Township or by any of its officers or departments.
    11. A copy of the ruling from the Internal Revenue Service in which it determined the organization to be a charitable organization under the rules of the Internal Revenue Code so that donations made to such organizations are tax deductible. If such determination has not been applied for, the applicant shall indicate whether it intends to seek such recognition.

§ 428-22. No permit fee required.
There shall be no fee payable to the Township for any charitable and philanthropic permit.

§ 428-23. Time limit of permit.
No permit may grant the right to solicit for charitable and philanthropic contributions for a period longer than 90 consecutive days.

§ 428-24. Written receipts for contributions.
Any person or organization receiving money or any other thing of a value of $1 or more from any contributor under a solicitation made pursuant to this article shall give to the contributor a written receipt signed by the solicitor showing the date and the amount received. This section shall not apply to any contribution collected by means of a closed box or receptacle used in solicitation or where it is impractical to determine the amount of each contribution.

§ 428-25. Hours and days of solicitation.
All solicitations conducted under the authority of this article shall take place between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., and no solicitations shall be conducted on Sundays with the exception of roadside solicitations. Any charitable organization desiring to solicit at hours other than those stated herein shall make special requests therefor on its application, and this special request shall be approved or disapproved by the Township Council. If approval is given by the Township Council for solicitation to be conducted at a time other than the hours stated in this section, the approval shall be plainly stamped on the permit issued by the Township Clerk.

§ 428-25.1. Authorization for Charitable Solicitations on Township Roadways.
Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 39:4-60, charitable organizations are authorized to submit applications for permits for solicitation of charitable contributions on Township roadways. Such solicitations shall not occur on County roadways unless authorized by the Sussex County Department of Engineering. Such solicitations shall further not occur on State highways unless authorized by the Commissioner of Transportation of the State of New Jersey. In the event a charitable organization soliciting adversely affects the flow of traffic or conducts solicitation in an unsafe manner, it shall be at the discretion of the Vernon Township Police Department to make modifications or corrections to ensure the safety of the persons/organizations making solicitations and the motoring public.

§ 428-25.2. Regulations for Charitable Solicitations on Township Roadways.
Charitable organizations authorized to engage in charitable solicitations on the Township’s roadways shall abide by the following conditions:

  1. At no time will anyone under the age of eighteen (18) participate in any solicitation on the roadways within the Township of Vernon.
  2. At all times, any participating members of the applicant organization must be wearing the most current DOT approved reflective vests for high visibility.
  3. At no time will any participating member of the applicant organization stand in the roadway while traffic is moving or to obstruct the flow of traffic.
  4. Participating members of the applicant organization may enter the roadway once traffic has stopped and must return to the shoulder of the roadway when the flow of traffic resumes.
  5. The Chief of Police or his/her designee may request that the Township Council deny a roadside solicitation permit if the number of requests for roadside solicitation exceeds more than one within 2 miles.
  6. In accordance with § 428-25.3, upon receipt of an application for roadside solicitation from a Township Ambulance or Township Fire Department, the Chief of Police or his/her designee shall have 5 business days from the receipt of an application to review and make any recommendation in accordance with § 428-25.1 or § 428-25.2 of this chapter.
  7. The applicant organization may only occupy one (1) section of any roadway within the Township of Vernon.
  8. The applicant organization must provide a site layout plan to include a map of the proposed location and where members will be located along the roadway.
  9. Each application shall be submitted no less than thirty (30) days prior to the project event date.

§ 428-25.3. Background Check Exemption.
When applying for a permit to make charitable solicitations, members of the volunteer fire departments and emergency medical services that service Vernon Township shall be exempt from the background check requirements outlined at § 428-26 (A).

SECTION 2. Each section of this ordinance is an independent section, and the holding of any section or part thereof to be unconstitutional, void or ineffective for any cause shall not be deemed to affect the validity of constitutionality of any other sections or parts thereof.

SECTION 3. Any ordinances or parts thereof in conflict with the provisions of this Ordinance are hereby repealed as to their inconsistencies only.

SECTION 4. This Ordinance shall take effect immediately as provided by law.