DISCLAIMER

 

PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE


08-024-O

ORDINANCE NO. __________


AN ORDINANCE AMENDING TAXI LICENSING PROVISIONS, ALLOWING LICENSE REVOCATION FOR ANY VIOLATION OF LAWS, AMENDING SECTION 47-17.7 OF THE DULUTH CITY CODE, 1959, AS AMENDED.

CITY PROPOSAL:

The city of Duluth does ordain:

     Section 1. That Section 47-17.7 of the Duluth City Code 1959, as amended, is hereby amended to read as follows:

Sec. 47-17.7.    Same--suspension and revocation.

     The administrative assistant chief administrative officer of the city is hereby given authority to suspend any license issued under this Article for cause for a period of not more than 30 days. A hearing upon five days' notice to licensee shall be required prior to such a suspension.

     The administrative assistant chief administrative officer of the city is hereby given authority to revoke any license issued under this Article for cause after hearing upon five days' notice to the licensee. The licensee may, within 30 days, appeal such revocation to the city council, which shall give such licensee an opportunity to be heard at or prior to its next regular meeting following the appeal. The council may, at such meeting, reinstate such license by resolution.

     Sufficient cause for suspension or revocation shall include, but not be limited to the following:

     (a)  Violation of any of the provisions of this Article by the licensee, his employees or any other person operating under the licensee's license;

     (b)  Violation of any other ordinance of the city or any state or federal law, the violation of which reflects unfavorably upon the licensee's fitness to offer public transportation by the licensee, his employees or any other person operating under the licensee's license that relates to the licensed business.

     Any licensee's license may be revoked or suspended for the actions of any driver driving a taxicab which is operated pursuant to the licensee's license, regardless of the type of contractual or business relationship between the driver and the licensee.

     Section 2. That this ordinance shall take effect 30 days after its passage and publication.


POLICE/ATTY REA:nmj 3/10/2008


STATEMENT OF PURPOSE:  The purpose of this ordinance is to clarify and strengthen the provisions of the city’s taxi cab licensing ordinance to make violation of any law or ordinance pertaining to the business grounds for revocation of the license.


At present, the violation must be one which “reflects unfavorably upon the licensee's fitness to offer public transportation” in order to justify revocation. That this standard is too narrow is illustrated by an actual case in which an existing taxi company, fully licensed, moved its business to an area not zoned for commercial activities, thereby violating the zoning code. However, the change of location to one which is a zoning violation was not caught when the license was renewed and consequently the operator received a valid taxi license for this illegal location.


It is at least questionable whether this licence, valid and correct in every other respect, could be legally revoked because, arguably, the licensee has not violated any law or ordinance which “reflects unfavorably upon the licensee's fitness to offer public transportation.”


The amendment would clarify that any violation related to the license or the business would justify such revocation.