Hoover Council considering amended door-to-door solicitation regulations

The Hoover City Council heard the first reading of an ordinance restricting door-to-door solicitation and peddling during a May 2 meeting. (File)

The Hoover City Council heard the first reading of an ordinance restricting door-to-door solicitation and peddling during a May 2 meeting. (File)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

HOOVER—The Hoover City Council is considering an ordinance that will restrict door-to-door solicitation and peddling within city limits and allow the police department to enforce the regulations.

Ordinance No. 16-2301 limits hours of operation for door-to-door peddlers, and requires peddlers to undergo an application process and pass a criminal background check to receive a permit from the Hoover Department of Revenue.

Permits may be denied if an applicant provides false information, fails to provide any information required by the application or has been convicted of a sex offense, trafficking controlled substance offense, violent offense or fraud.

The proposed amendments are designed to protect Hoover citizens by regulating peddlers and their access to private residences. The ordinance sites previous resident complaints about solicitation practices and fraud and potential safety risks posed by door-to-door peddlers.

“Therefore, the purpose of this article is to adopt police power regulations which are designed to protect the security of citizens in their lives, their homes and their property, and which do not offend constitutional guarantees,” the ordinance reads.

The Hoover City Council heard a first reading of Ordinance No. 16-2301 during a May 2 meeting.

Councilman Jack Natter voiced a desire to further limit the hours of operation for door-to-door solicitation. The current ordinance allows peddlers to approach private residences from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“You’ve got to make reasonable accommodation (for peddlers) after 5 p.m. otherwise people aren’t home,” Hoover attorney Charlie Waldrep said. “You have to give them some reasonable opportunity…to peddle their wares.”

Natter suggested cutting off the hours of operation at 6 p.m. rather than 7 p.m., explaining citizens may not want to be visited by a peddler in the evening after work hours.

“I’m not going any later than 6 (p.m.),” Natter said.

Ordinance No. 16-2301 exempts canvassers and representatives of recognized charities and benevolent entities, such as Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and 4-H organizations.

The Hoover City Council will hear a second reading and consider adopting the ordinance during the May 16 regular meeting.