Forest City Council approved a new ordinance addressing solicitors and peddlers at last night's (8/1/11) regular scheduled council meeting. Chief Jackson recommended the need for a change to the current ordinance to address solicitors/peddlers making door to door sales. North Carolina General Statute 160A-178 gives municipalities the authorization for to regulate such activities. The drafting of a new ordinance came as a result of numerous complaints the police department received from a group selling cleaning products several weeks back. The new ordinance requires each salesman to receive a permit (a pictured identification) from the police department 15 days prior to engaging in sales. The original application will cost $25.00 and each additional salesman permit will cost $5.00 per applicant/salesman. Those denied permits may file an appeal within 10 days of being denied. Salesman can only solicit sales between the hours of 8:00 am to 8:00 pm and they are prohibited from:
(a) Accosting another, or by forcing oneself upon the company of another;
(b) Touching a person being solicited without the persons consent;
(c) Blocking the path of a person being solicited or blocking the entrance or exit of any building or vehicle;
(d) Using profane or abusive language during solicitation;
(e) Using of a gesture or act intended to cause a reasonable person to be fearful of the solicitor or make the person being solicited to feel compelled to accede to the solicitation;
(f) Be under the influence of alcohol or have illegally used controlled substances;
(g) Continue to solicit an individual after the person has made a negative response, either verbally or by physical sign, and
(h) To solicit/peddle or attempt to solicit/peddle from city streets to include the right of way, sidewalks, median or shoulder thereof.
Violations of the above conditions may result in the revocation of solicitor/peddler permits and the violator being charged with a misdemeanor resulting in up to $50.00 fine and/or up to 30 days of confinement.
Anyone interested in applying for a solicitor and/or peddler permit may contact the Forest City Police Department, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.