At the direction of Delta City Council, city staff is preparing an ordinance that will regulate door-to-door sales.
Currently, the "Green River" ordinance prohibits commercial solicitation of any type in city limits.
That ordinance has been challenged in Delta, as well as other cities where the case has been made that prohibiting door-to-door sales is unconstitutional. To protect the city against potentially costly litigation, city manager Justin Clifton suggested adopting regulations similar to those in place in Montrose and Fort Collins. Those communities have adopted ordinances that allow, but regulate, solicitations.
Clifton outlined some parameters for council's consideration:
1. Regulations would apply to all commercial door-to-door sales, not charitable organizations and/or other door-to-door activity.
2. Door-to-door sales shall be prohibited when a "no trespassing" or "no solicitation" sign is posted near a residential entrance.
3. Door-to-door sales shall be allowed between the hours of 9 a.m. and sunset.
4. The city shall establish a registry of residents wishing to prohibit commercial sales. Permittees will be given an updated list every 30 days.
5. Vendors shall be required to obtain a permit and identification badge for all individuals permitted to engage in door-to-door commercial sales. Background checks on all individuals permitted to engage in door-to-door sales shall be required. Individuals with a felony or class 1 misdemeanor shall be denied a permit.
6. Each permittee will pay a $200 permit fee plus $25 for each identification badge issued.
7. Permits shall be revoked if applications include any false information; permittee fails to obtain all necessary sales and use tax licenses; or permittee is found guilty of deceptive practices or other violations of the permit terms.
8. The city manager shall hear all appeals.
Councilmember Robert Jurca questioned the rationale behind the hours sales will be permitted. He doesn't want salesmen knocking on the door at 9 p.m. on a summer evening. Other councilmembers agreed the hours should be more clearcut and should not vary during the year.
Jurca also questioned whether the registry would work, since the no-call list doesn't seem to be very effective.
Enforcement was also discussed, with attorney David Smith saying citizens should be educated about the ordinance once it's finalized. Citizens who wish to avoid door-to-door sales can simply post a sign. When others are approached by salesmen who are clearly not following city regulations, the resident should suggest a visit to city hall for proper permitting.
A draft ordinance will be brought back to council at a future meeting. The regulations will become effective upon final adoption and publication.blog comments powered by Disqus