WILMINGTON — The judiciary committee of Wilmington council began considering legislation prohibiting various kinds of solicitation. It ended its discussion without taking action and will take up the discussion at its next meeting.
Wilmington Safety and Service Director Brian Shidaker said the legislation is based on other cities’ “in the hopes of regulating solicitation, misleading distribution, being solicited while you’re stopped at a traffic light and finally ATM privacy.”
For door-to-door solicitation, Shidaker said the proposed legislation would make it illegal to return to a person’s property if the property owner told the solicitor to not return.
It would also be illegal to provide false or misleading distribution. Shidaker used the example of someone saying he or she is raising money for a sports team when in fact they are just soliciting money for personal use.
It would also become illegal to solicit near traffic lights, to continue soliciting when asked to stop and to approach within three feet of someone using an ATM without their consent.
The legislation would not prevent someone from selling items for a fundraiser unless that person was told not to come back.
Shidaker said Wilmington Police Chief Duane Weyand had reviewed and approved of the legislation. He also said the city received several complaints this year and last.
The city’s current solicitation ordinance calls for a permit, which the courts said violates citizens’ rights. The committee asked that removal of the old legislation be included in any new legislation.
Shidaker said soliciting only refers to obtaining money or items of value and wouldn’t impact religious groups who went door-to-door trying to get people to attend a church service. It would cover religious groups if they were soliciting money.
The committee will continue its discussion at its next judiciary committee meeting at 6 p.m. Aug. 17.
Reach Nathan Kraatz at 937-382-2574, ext. 2510 or on Twitter @NathanKraatz.