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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Licensing lemonade stands

Dec 01, 2017 08:00AM ● By Cassie Goff

Business permits used to be required to run a lemonade stand. Not anymore. (Pixabay)

Did you ever open a lemonade stand in the summer as a child? Did you get a business permit? You should have. Previously within the state of Utah, lemonade stands and other occasional businesses were required to have a business license. Luckily, a bill was passed during the 2017 legislative general session to address the issue.

The bill was S.B. 81, titled Local Government Licensing Amendments. It was passed on March 24, 2017 and prohibited municipalities or counties from “requiring a license or charging a fee for certain home-based businesses: including businesses that are operated only occasionally and businesses that are operated by an individual who is under 18 years of age.” 

Municipalities and counties are now also prohibited from charging a license fee “for a home-based business unless the combined offsite impact of the home-based business and the primary residential use materially exceeds the offsite impact of the primary residential use alone.”

Basically, this bill just made the acquisition of a business license for occasional businesses obsolete. Our lemonade stands are safe! 

What about the adult lemonade, though? During the general session, a handful of bills addressing the sale of alcohol within the state surfaced. Specifically, S.B. 155 — Alcohol Beverage Control Budget Amendments — modified provisions for the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control’s budget; and S.B. 279 — Alcohol Modifications —modified the proximity of alcohol-related stores within communities. 

Perhaps the most significant bill for the sale of alcohol within the state was H.B. 442 — Alcohol Amendments — which modified specific provisions pertaining to the regulation of alcoholic beverages. This bill had implications for alcoholic beverage business licensing. When it passed, it allowed for “a local authority to set policy by written rules that establish criteria procedures for granting, denying, suspending, or revoking a business license…within the meaning of Title 32B, Alcoholic Beverage Control.” 

These bills made changes to the Utah Code Title 32B — the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act (32-B-1-101 and 32B -1-202). It also addressed the Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission of the state of Utah. 

After these bills passed, many cities needed to come into compliance with the new laws. In order to do so, the city of Cottonwood Heights recently passed two new ordinances. 

On Oct. 10, the Cottonwood Heights City Council unanimously passed Ordinance 278, which amended specific chapters of Title 5 from the Cottonwood Heights Municipal Code. 

The original code of ordinances was adopted when Cottonwood Heights became a city in January 2005. Title 5 of the Cottonwood Heights Municipal Code regulates business licensing within the city and is a living document that “responds to changes in applicable law and to address new issues.” 

There are over 50 chapters of Title 5 ranging from 5.02 to 5.92. Some examples of business licenses that the code addresses are dance halls, mobile home parks and auto courts, movie theaters, nursing and convalescent homes, outdoor advertisers, private detectives, scavengers, coin dealers, junk dealers, shooting galleries, flea markets and vending machines (cigarettes).

Ordinance 278 made specific changes to chapters 5.06, 5.08, 5.24, 5.54 and 5.93. These changes regarded business licensing, alcoholic beverage business licensing and tobacco specialty shops and brought Title 5 into compliance “to recent changes of the state code and made other technical changes.”

One of the main changes to the code was under 5.06.020, which requires licenses for businesses within the city. Previously, this code stated that any person engaging in any type of business needed to procure the required license. Now, the code states that “no business license shall be required for a business that is operated: only occasionally, or by an individual who is under 18 years of age.” 

This amendment also included the “authorization of the issuance of no-fee business licenses to home occupations which have minimal or no impact on the surrounding neighborhoods and provided exemption for occasional businesses operated by those under 18 from business licensing.”

Essentially this means that youth-run lemonade stands within the city no longer need a business license. 

In addition, certain home occupations will not have a licensing fee. These home occupations must meet specific criteria, including the conductance being entirely within one dwelling carried on by one person residing in that dwelling, the business does not change the character of the property and parking has to be limited to two parking spaces where parking customarily occurs. 

Minor home occupations will not need to pay a licensing fee, either. These occupations must meet the above criteria as well as the following: customers cannot visit the home, no more than 300 square feet — or 10 percent of the gross floor area of the home — will be used for the occupation, no advertising for the occupation on the home, traffic will not increase because of the occupation and the occupation cannot produce offensive noise, vibration, smoke, dust, odor, heat or glare. 

Essentially this means that small online stores, like Etsy stores, can be licensed with the city. 

The main changes to the alcoholic beverage business licensing chapter included technical changes to the alcoholic beverage business license provisions. These changes included redefining “Act” as the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act and “Commission” as the Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission of the state of Utah. With the addition of these terms, many of the sub-categorical terms regarding alcohol licensing within the city could be removed. These minor changes will not have any significant changes within the city. 

The last chapter amendment included in Ordinance 278 created a separate chapter (5.93) for tobacco specialty shops and provided a necessary legal framework.

After the above ordinance passed, Cottonwood Heights needed to make one last change in order to finalize compliance with legislature bill S.B. 81. 

On Oct. 24, Cottonwood Heights passed Ordinance 281, which amended the consolidated fee schedule. The ordinance adopted these amendments as a result from the code amendments affected by Ordinance 278. The ordinance passed unanimously. 

Bills Referenced: 

S.B. 81 — Local Government Licensing Amendments:

S.B. 155 — Alcohol Beverage Control Budget Amendments:

H.B. 442 — Alcohol Amendments:

S.B. 279 — Alcohol Modifications:

Utah Code — Alcoholic Beverage Control Act:

Cottonwood Heights Municipal Code: