Township Committee approves “no-knock” registry

Hopewell residents can now prevent solicitors from knocking on their front doors after the Township Committee unanimously approved an ordinance creating a do-not-solicit registry.

The registry is a response to citizen complaints about aggressive peddlers approaching homes in the Township during recent years, according to Committee Member David Chait, who introduced the ordinance. 

“This ordinance will help protect our residents’ privacy and safety and security,” Chait said during a lightly-attended public hearing last Monday night.

The “no-knock” ordinance amends the existing Hawkers, Peddlers and Canvassers law and provides new language that allows all businesses and residences in the Township to register on a do-not-solicit list maintained by the Township clerk.

It makes it unlawful for someone with a peddler or solicitors license to approach a residence or be within the perimeter of the property. The Township will also provide a front door warning decal or sign for a small fee to those who register.  Any violation would result in a $100 fine and the revocation of the solicitation permit.

The ordinance also will limit solicitation hours in the Township to between 9am and 6pm and increase the vendor application fee to $20 from $15 and a license fee to $125 from $100.

The ordinance does not affect deliveries of goods or merchandise, such as through Amazon. It also exempts door-to-door solicitations protected by sSate law, including military veterans and volunteer firefighters, as well as solicitations protected by the US Constitution, such as political candidates or religious organizations.

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