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Powder Springs Could Tighten Soliciting Laws

Current code could be interpreted in a way that would require each individual house to post a “no soliciting” sign instead of just one for the whole neighborhood.

The Powder Springs City Council is set to vote tonight on whether to tweak the city code to make it clear that people trying to sell goods and services can’t enter whole neighborhoods that don’t want them.

City Manager Brad Hulsey explained at last week’s work session that the current code could be interpreted in a way that would require each individual house to post a “no soliciting” sign.

“It could be challenged that solicitation could still be held the way that our ordinance is written currently,” he said.

“We want to make the ordinance read in such a way that it would cover all properties in the neighborhood. You would assume that that’s the way it’s written now … but there is that potential that it wouldn’t.”

Mayor Pat Vaughn said organizations including the Girl Scouts, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, ball teams and schools still can go door to door because they have obtained the city's required registration to do so.

City Attorney Richard Calhoun called them “charitable organizations, as opposed to somebody out there trying to make a profit.”

City legislation on soliciting first came about a while ago when residents were frequently visited by people trying to make sales, the mayor said.

“We had a lot of complaints about the people that would come to the door selling roofs or they do this or they do that,” she said, later adding, “It had become a real issue. And we had several complaints from citizens about people constantly knocking on the door.”

Also tonight, the council will vote on requiring people selling on public property—streets, sidewalks and right-of-ways—to first obtain a permit from the city.

The move would be an expanse of an ordinance already in place that only pertains to a particular city intersection, Vaughn said. 

“Because all the sudden, it seemed like every Saturday somebody was up on that corner for something,” she said.

Tonight's meeting starts at 7 at the Community Development building in downtown Powder Springs.

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BeckBoo November 05, 2012 at 11:55 AM
Good thing I already have my No Soliciting sigh already up!
Jon November 05, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Tightening the "no soliciting" law is pointless, because the most annoying and frequent door-to-door solicitors are religious evangelists, and they get a First Amendment exemption to those laws.

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