Possible changes for city’s solicitation ordinance

One of the top complaints I hear from neighbors is about door-to-door solicitors—the thought being that they’re are annoying, and possibly casing homes for future crimes. If these complaints gain enough steam, it could lead to a change in the city ordinance down the road.

This morning I spoke with Mick McCord in the city’s strategic customer service office about the issue.  

“The truth is we don’t want to run out solicitors because they have rights as well—but we also want to make sure our residents have a good quality of life.  If enough neighbors are complaining about it, then it’s worth looking into.”

Ideas on the table include requiring solicitors to carry a permit, or tracking repeat-violators of the ordinance.

 “My gut tells me this isn’t a big problem across the city, but I do think it’s under-reported.”

In fact, out of the 400,000 complaints the city received via its 311 system last year, only 172 of those were about door-to-door solicitations. McCord says he hears the most complaints about flyers being left on front doors.

You can only file a complaint if you have a no solicitation sign on your home. The law says solicitors cannot come to your house before 9 a.m., or half an hour after the sun has set. They’re also not supposed to be there on New Years Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Non-profits and charitable groups (like the Girl Scouts) are exempt from these rules.
 
“And while residents are allowed to put no solicitation signs near the entrance of their neighborhoods, they’re actually not enforceable by law because that’s a public street. Only the signs on your home can legally keep solicitors away.”



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