Rosenberg City Council discussed amending the Itinerant Vendor Ordinance during a special workshop session on Tuesday, February 23, 2016. Spear-heading the discussion, Councilor at Large, Position Two, Amanda Barta, cited the safety of citizens as the reason to re-evaluate the City’s current policy on solicitation and itinerant vendor activities.
“This has come up several times with solicitors and peddlers coming to neighborhoods,” Barta said. “My father was ambushed at home and he got robbed by a fake solicitor.”
Barta wants citizens to know their rights when it comes to solicitors in their neighborhoods.
“The police department doesn’t have the authority to enforce the HOA rules and regulations. We have to go by the City Ordinance,” Police Chief, Dallis Warren clarified. “The ordinance does have some provisions in it for whenever someone is engaging in home solicitations, they are required to get a permit from the City. The City then issues them an ID that they can carry. That is key to our enforcement efforts.”
Alternatively, Warren reminds Council that citizens may restrict solicitors by placing a sign near the front door, in clear view, prohibiting them from knocking or attempting contact. According to the current ordinance, a weatherproof card, that is no less than two inches by four inches in size, may be placed outside the home stating (in a font that is at least 2/3 of an inch tall), “No solicitors”.
“We get very few people that come in and get the permits,” Warren said. “And we don’t get a whole lot of calls [about solicitors], but if we do, it is easier for us to police those and check those ordinances.”
Barta posed the question to Council: “Is the ordinance good enough?”, prompting questions regarding what time of day solicitors are able to approach homes. The ordinance is currently under review by City staff and will come to City Council for a vote on March 15, 2016.