Solicitor Permit Ordinance Before Moraga Council

The police chief has recommended adopting a requirement that all peddlers and solicitors obtain a permit from the town before knocking on doors.

Who’s that knocking on your door, Moraga? If the Town Council approves a new ordinance Wednesday, if it’s a solicitor or peddler, they will require a permit from the city.

According to a staff report, Moraga officials have long assumed that the town already had an ordinance requiring peddlers and solicitors to have a license. After increased complaints from residents about rude and aggressive salespeople, however, a thorough search of town archives failed to turn up any such requirement. Nearby cities such as Concord, Pleasant Hill and Walnut Creek all require that door-to-door solicitors and peddlers complete a registration process prior to knocking on doors.

On Wednesday, the council will consider approving Moraga’s first such ordinance.

“Over the past few years, complaints from Moraga residents have increased and a common theme of aggressive, confrontational, and rude behavior by peddlers and solicitors has emerged,” said Police Chief Robert Priebe in a staff report to the council.

He cites an example of out-of-state magazine salespeople being brought to Moraga, using false and misleading information to make sales, and being transported to another area the following day.

Sometimes sales people are rude – one resident complained that she was cursed at by a food peddler when she refused to open the door. Others have had similar complaints about a solar company.

It can get more than just rude. In 2005, a 90-year-old Lafayette woman was murdered by an out-of-state magazine salesman who was later found and convicted, Priebe said.

“The proposed new ordinance balances First Amendment rights with the rights of property owners to privacy and security in their own homes,” Priebe said. It requires all peddlers and solicitors to first obtain a permit from the police department.

The council meeting begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Joaquin Moraga Intermediate School Auditorium, 1010 Camino Pablo.

Do you think solicitors should require a permit in Moraga? Share your thoughts.

Traci Reilly January 09, 2013 at 12:46 AM
Because of the criminal nature of some of the salespeople, Lafayette passed a No Solicitor's Ordinance in 2009. It is a comprehensive ordinance to help curb door-to-door salespeople. The ordinance was initiated by Lafayette's Crime Prevention Commission. It has been well received by our residents and our police department. We have had a drop in the aggressive door-to-door salespeople that used to frequent our city and it has allowed the Police to take salespeople with warrants outstanding to jail. Hopefully Moraga is able to pass a similar ordinance.
Dive Turn Work January 09, 2013 at 06:26 AM
Citizens need a "stand your ground" law to effectively deal with these solicitors.
Moraga Mom January 16, 2013 at 03:50 AM
I hope this passes! I wish it was against the law, period, as it is in Carmel.


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