At the August 12, 2014 meeting, the Town Council voted unanimously to amend various sections of the ‘Peddlers and Solicitors’ ordinance in an effort to better protect residents from the negative impacts associated with soliciting and distribution. The amended ordinance still maintains a business’s First Amendment right to communicate to potential customers, but also allows residents the right to ‘opt out’ if they do not want door-to-door solicitors or handbills dropped at their door.
A No-Knock List (Registry) has been developed for residents who wish to register their home address in a database, indicating the property owner at the address DOES NOT want solicitors/people dropping off handbills to come to the front door. The No-Knock Registry is available online and will be provided to solicitors permitted through the Town. Residents can also register their address on the No-Knock List at the Permitting Office, located in the Public Service Building — 100 Municipal Drive.
If the homeowner has registered their address on the No-Knock Registry and has a posted ‘No Solicitation’ sign, then the ordinance is enforceable if a solicitor is found on the property. Residents should call the non-emergency number right away and report the violation: 972-434-5500.
A valid email address is required to register; however, only street addresses will appear on the published No-Knock Registry. The list will be updated in real time, however registrants are not considered active until the Monday following address submission.
The amended ordinance affects Commercial Solicitation only (Religious, Charitable and Political Solicitation not affected) and violators are subject to a fine up to $500 for each offense. If two or more convictions occur, then the Municipal Court Judge may suspend or revoke the Solicitor’s Identification Card and the violator shall be denied a Solicitor’s Permit or Identification Card for a period of two years following the date of the second conviction.
Prior to the passage of the amended ordinance, the Town regulated home solicitation by requiring potential solicitors obtain a Solicitation Permit and undergo a background check. If the applicant submits all information required by the permit, then they are issued a Solicitor’s Identification Card with the person’s photo and other information that must be worn around their neck while they are in town.
The amended ordinance goes into effect on August 20, 2014.