Alabaster changes door-to-door solicitation law

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

All Alabaster door-to-door solicitors, whether nonprofit or for-profit, will now have to obtain a permit from the city after the City Council voted to change the solicitation law during a June 17 meeting.

As a result of the changes to the solicitation ordinance, every group or individual who solicits door-to-door must obtain a permit from the city and keep it in their possession while soliciting.

The ordinance applies to every organization from Scouts to door-to-door salespeople.

For-profit organizations also are required to have current Alabaster business licenses to furnish upon request while soliciting. 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, according to Alabaster City Attorney Jeff Brumlow.

Solicitors caught going door-to-door without the required documentation can be cited by the Alabaster Police Department.

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.

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