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Church Hill looks to restrict or prohibit for-profit peddlers

December 3rd, 2012 6:22 am by Jeff Bobo

CHURCH HILL — Church Hill leaders will be presented next month with a proposed ordinance that would either prohibit, or at least restrict, “for profit” peddling within the city limits.

Mayor Dennis Deal told the Board of Mayor and Aldermen during the Nov. 20 meeting that a company based in Columbia, Ohio, had recently been selling cleaning products door-to-door in several Church Hill subdivisions.

“They did not come in and file for a permit, which by our code book they have to do that,” Deal said. “I started getting a lot of calls that these people were in these subdivisions knocking on doors after dark.”

Deal said he received reports that the peddlers “being very persuasive” which was upsetting some residents, particularly seniors.

At the mayor’s request Police Chief Mark Johnson contacted the company last week and told them to stop peddling in Church Hill because they hadn’t acquired the proper permit.

Deal told the BMA, however that he’d like to see an ordinance in place that will provide a permanent solution to that problem.

“We don’t want to stop Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, nonprofit organizations like churches, from coming around and asking if you want to donate,” Deal said during the Nov. 20 meeting. “But, I really feel like, to protect the citizens of this city, we need to put something in place so that this peddling cannot go on. I

Please see CHURCH HILL, PA G E 2A talked to (police) Chief Mark Johnson today, I talked to (City Recorder) Mark Sandidge, today and they’re in agreement that this is not healthy for our city.”

Deal added, “We stopped them from peddling at the red light. Why would we allow them to peddle at people’s doors?”

No action could be taken during the Nov. 20 meeting but the mayor directed City Attorney Chris Raines to draft a proposed ordinance amending city code to either prohibit or severely restrict for-profit door-to-door peddling.

“Think about if you want to make the requirements more stringent or do you overhaul that code section,” Raines told the BMA. “There’s some pretty tough qualifications in here for peddlers. Perhaps if we looked more at strengthening the code’s restrictions, that may do more to deter that kind of activity.”

Deal asked if he could make an order not to issue peddler’s permits until the ordinance is in place. Raines said that might be unconstitutional, but City Hall can “take a long hard look” at any company which applies for a peddlers’ permit.

“Trust me right now,” Deal said. “You better not be caught in the city of Church Hill peddling.”

In other business during the Nov. 20 meeting the BMA:

• Heard a report from Deal that he expects the city’s next Community Development Block Grant application to be for sewer expansion into the New Canton community which borders the city to the west as part of a possible annexation of that area. A survey of residents of that are would be taken, and if the income level is at a certain level those residents would receive sewer line installation at no cost.

“We really love New Canton and we would like to bring them in the fold, annex them” Deal said. “Those people down there need sewer very, very bad. There’s several lots they can’t get houses on because the land won’t perk.

• Heard a report from Deal on the lone bid for paving Main Boulevard from the red light at South Central Avenue west to the Highway 11-W intersection. Deal said the city won’t accept that lone bid because the city water department will soon be installing a new water line on Main Boulevard which is located near the middle of the street.

Deal said some temporary repairs have been made to the road, and the project will be included in the next fiscal year budget.

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