Door-to-door solicitation law likely changing in Alabaster

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

The Alabaster City Council likely will make some changes to the city’s door-to-door solicitation laws during a June 17 meeting, council members said during a June 11 work session.

If passed, the new ordinance would require all door-to-door solicitors – both nonprofit and for-profit organizations – to have a certificate from the city.

For-profit organizations would also be required to have current Alabaster business licenses. If a sale takes place, the buyer must be issued a receipt displaying the item received, the selling entity’s name, the price paid and the “fair-market value” for the item received, said Alabaster City Attorney Jeff Brumlow.

Solicitors caught going door-to-door without the required documentation could be cited by the Alabaster Police Department, Brumlow said.

“Everyone who comes door-to-door and wants to sell or solicit something is supposed to have a certificate. They will all have to have it,” Brumlow said of the proposed ordinance.

The proposed changes to the city’s solicitation ordinance came as the result of issues brought up during a lawsuit brought against the city in 2012 by the South Central Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Brumlow said.

The city’s current ordinance makes door-to-door solicitation exceptions for some organizations such as the United Way and Girl Scouts, but requires others to first obtain permits from the city.

“(The Seventh-Day Adventists) argued that our previous ordinance favored one group over another type of group,” Brumlow said.

If a “no solicitation” sign is posted on a resident’s property, solicitors are prohibited from approaching the house, said Alabaster City Manager George Henry. Solicitors also are required to leave a property immediately if the property owner requests it.

“If you put a no solicitation sign up and they still knock, call (the Alabaster Police Department at) 663-7401 and we’ll get it addressed for you,” Henry said.