Council to consider sales ordinance

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Despite concern of recent events in Maumelle and Sherwood involving groups conducting door-to-door sales, members of the Cabot Police and Fire Committee voted at the May 6 committee meeting to send a proposed “Door-Knock” ordinance to the city council for approval.

The ordinance is to be considered at the May 20 council meeting.

Committee member Kevin Davis presented the final draft at the meeting.

In speaking of the proposed ordinance, Davis said that central to the ordinance is recognizing that property owners may post their property for “no knock” or “no solicitation,” Davis said.

“And, we have some teeth in here that will actually bite,” Davis remarked.

The regulation sets fines of no less than $100 and up to $1,000 for violations.

Uninvited solicitation would be prohibited at property posted with any sign stating “No Solicitors,” No Solicitation,” “No Soliciting,” “No Peddlers,” or “No Trespassing.” The signs must have lettering no less than 1-inch in height, and must be conspicuously posted.

Responsibility to check for the sign would rest on the person doing the solicitation.

Exclusions to the regulation include anyone invited to a residence prior to arriving at the residence; and anyone delivering picking up previously ordered goods or materials, or providing services because of a previously made request.

Under the regulation, soliciting would be prohibited between 8 p.m. and 10 a.m.

Provisions are also made to prohibit soliciting for donations or offers to sell any item or service on any city street or state highway; within 10 feet of any city street or highway (if there is no sidewalk); or between any city street or state highway and a sidewalk, and within 10 feet of the highway if there is a sidewalk.

Committee member Rick Prentice said he is concerned about situations experienced at Maumelle and Sherwood, with sales crews brought into areas.

The persons making sales have to have permits, but not the drivers who bring them to areas to work, Prentice said.

“[The drivers] are the ones putting people out there casing houses,” Prentice said.

Committee member Ed Long said the Maumelle council was meeting to consider the situation with sales crews. According to reports, “A driver boiled out of one of the vans last week and tried to buck up against an officer. So they are pretty serious about it,” Long said.

Chief of Police Jackie Davis said Cabot has not seen the “fireworks” seen in other cities, yet.

But there is little to nothing that can be done unless there is cause to arrest a driver for an infraction, Davis said.

After discussion, the committee voted to send the ordinance to the council rather than delay action any longer. Prentice said he is reluctant to approve an ordinance that is likely to require amending.

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