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Sandy Journal

Sandy City Council approves changes to business license code

Jun 08, 2016 02:11PM ● By Chris Larson

The Sandy City Council approved a change to city licensure, allowing the city departments—namely the police department— clearer means to deny a business licenses. 

According to Sandy City Business License Coordinator Lesley Casaril, the city administration was prompted to clarify the standards by which Sandy City Police may deny licenses after, what Casaril called, an influx of reiki and massage parlors that were a front for prostitution operations came to the city. 

"Communities were having issue with these business when in fact they were proven they were proven to be fronts for prostitution," Sandy City spokesperson Nicole Martin said. "We wanted to make sure that we have an ordinance that allows the police to deny a business that is trying to fraudulently come into the community."

Casaril started the process in the Fall of 2012. 

Sgt. Dean Carriger said that all city offices that have regulations over certain types of business in certain zones examine business license applications to assure that there are no inherent violations to code or attempt to mitigate potential problems for the community. 

The police needed clearer standards of rejecting business license applications based on the business' previous history. 

Business that attempt to gain licenses fraudulently, refusing sampling or inspection, knowingly allow illegal activity or are associated in the conduct of forbidden business will face application denial, according to the new code.

Casaril said additional updates and clarifications were added to update it to current practice, like removing the city recorder from the licensing process which isn't current involved in the licensing and merging replicated sections of code under one heading. 

Such updates or consolidations of the code came after the updating the denial section drew a sharp contrast on what the what the city actually does and allows for better adaptability for new types of business.

“When you buy a new couch, the whole living room looks shabby,” Casaril said.  

The measure also clarifies the the place of temporary permits and temporary uses. Temporary permits are now 60 days long if the business would appear to be approved for a license and there is a delay in the city's approval process, a delay in the process of someone other than the applicant or if the business is operating without a license "under innocent mistake of fact" but would otherwise be approved for a license. 

“(P)umpkin sales, Christmas tree sales, flowers sales for Memorial Day" are specified as temporary businesses that require temporary use permits and all temporary or seasonal businesses must reapply every year for a license. 

This includes door-to-door solicitors.

Martin said the new ordinance no longer requires lemonade stands to attain licenses. 

“(A) person under the age of sixteen conducting a business as a part time hobby or occupation who is not engaged in such business activities that would be considered the principal means of that person's support” would be exempt from licensure, according to the exhibit adopted as code.

Farmers that produce “crops, livestock and other agricultural products” and sell them on the property where they were produced are exempt from getting a license.

Certain non-profits, employees working under a license employer, a contractor working with the city who is licensed properly in the jurisdiction of their office, businesses that are approved vendors at city-sponsored events and “mere delivery in the city” do no require a license

Those exempt from fees include private non-profit education facilities, disable peoples who are restricted to certain business and certain non-profits.

Martin said the many changes were attempts to remove “vague” portions of the business license code.

“We as a city have no clue what new types of businesses are going to want to come the city,” Martin said. “A lot of changes are reflecting that to create an ordinance that has a longer shelf life.”

 Below is a PDF copy presented to the city council.