Council Delays Vote on Changes to Soliciting Ordinance
Lower Saucon Township Council decided to delay a vote on changes to its peddling and soliciting ordinance after a door-to-door salesperson and township resident criticized the hours when soliciting would be allowed as too restrictive.
Lower Saucon Township Council decided Wednesday to delay a vote on changes to its peddling and soliciting ordinance after a door-to-door salesperson who lives in the township criticized the hours when soliciting would be allowed as too restrictive.
"[Door-to-door salespeople] are here to help the public, to inform them on what they
are selling," said Tammy Polak-Hutterer.
Currently, door-to-door salespeople with valid licenses from the township police can call on homeowners from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
Under the new ordinance, the allowed total number of hours would be reduced.
Monday through Friday, salespeople would be allowed to go door-to-door from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and there would be no provision for weekend cold-calling.
Charitable organizations and groups such as the Girl Scouts would not be affected by the change.
"That's not leaving me much of a pocket to talk to anybody," Polak-Hutterer told council after the proposed changes were highlighted.
The changes to the permitted hours were a recommendation from the Lower Saucon Township Police Department, which has received complaints from residents about a salesperson knocking on their doors after dark, township manager Jack Cahalan explained.
Several council members said they think the recommendation to eliminate evening soliciting makes sense.
"You just don’t walk onto someone’s front porch after dark," said council vice president Tom Maxfield.
Added Councilwoman Priscilla deLeon, "I'd be afraid to answer the door [if it were after dark]."
"The research shows that most municipalities...have kept [soliciting] to daylight
hours, for the safety of both residents and salespeople," Cahalan said.
Polak-Hutterer, who said she sometimes calls on homeowners after dark as part of her job, urged council members to consider allowing door-to-door sales on both Saturday and Sunday.
"I'm getting the sense that the only change we'd be comfortable with
would be 9 to 6 on Saturday—not Sunday," Maxfield told her.
"We have to take the advice of our police department," he added. "That's really
what’s motivating it."
Council voted 4-0 to table the ordinance while it consults with the police department about the possibility of permitting soliciting on Saturdays.