The Hoover City Council tonight is considering action designed to protect residents from unwanted intrusion by door-to-door peddlers and criminals seeking to get into people’s home under the guise of selling something.
An ordinance on the council’s agenda tonight would make it illegal to sell goods or services at private residences in Hoover without either an invitation from the resident or a $100 “solicitation and peddling” permit from the city.
People applying for a peddling permit would have to obtain an identity history summary check from the FBI and indicate whether they have ever been convicted of a crime other than a minor traffic violation. They also would have to show proof they have proper business licenses.
Peddling permits could be denied to anyone who has been convicted of a felony, misdemeanor or ordinance violation involving a sex offense, trafficking in controlled substances or any violent acts against people or property that indicate they would be a risk to the public.
Anyone convicted of fraud, deceit or misrepresentation within the previous 10 years also could be denied a peddling permit.
Peddling or soliciting without an invitation would be prohibited between 7 p.m. and 9 a.m. and on Sundays, and anyone with a peddling permit would have to wear a badge issued by the city when visiting residences.
The ordinance being considered by the council says that city officials have received complaints about door-to-door solicitors being engaged in fraudulent activity and criminals seeking to get into people’s homes under the guise of soliciting.
People have the right to be secure from unwanted intrusion into their privacy and from criminal or fraudulent activity, the ordinance says.
However, city officials also realize there are constitutional guarantees associated with the practice of soliciting which should be respected and safeguarded, the ordinance says.
Therefore, canvassers going to people’s homes to enlist support for or against a particular religion, philosophy, ideology, political party, issue or candidate would be exempt from the ordinance. People selling items or seeking donations for local affiliates of nationally recognized charities or primary, middle or secondary schools also would be exempt.
The term “peddler” would not include a person who distributes handbills or flyers for a commercial purpose to advertise an event, activity, good or service offered for sale at a different location.
Peddling permits issued by the Hoover Department of Revenue would be good for only three months.
In other business tonight, the Hoover City Council is scheduled to consider:
- An agreement with the Alabama Department of Transportation for the resurfacing of U.S. 31 between Bishop Creek in Pelham and the Shelby/Jefferson county line in Hoover.
- Requests to allow the Hoover-Randle House at 2255 Tyler Road to be used as a wedding and event venue and to allow live entertainment and the sale of alcohol at a wedding and event center at 2034 Little Valley Road.
- An appointment to the Hoover Board of Education to replace school board President Derrick Murphy, whose five-year term expires at the end of May. See more about the seven applicants here and highlights from City Council interviews with the applicants.
The Hoover City Council is scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. in the William J. Billingsley Council Chambers at the Hoover Municipal Center at 100 Municipal Lane.