Don’t come knockin’

By Andrea Cordle
Southwest Editor

Some residents in Grove City are fed up with solicitors ringing their doorbell or knocking on the front door.

Now, those residents have options.

At a recent meeting, Grove City Council approved a do-not-knock registry. This legislation places restrictions on people and organizations visiting private residences for the purpose of peddling or soliciting goods, merchandise or services.

According to councilman Jeff Davis, this legislation came from a request from a resident who had placed “no soliciting” signs on his door. That sign was ignored.

Davis said the do-not-knock registry is voluntary. Those who would like to be on the registry must notify the city’s safety director by submitting an official registration form online. The forms are available on the city’s webpage.

When those wishing to sell goods or services within the city limits go to get their license, the solicitor would receive a copy of the do-not-knock list.

Councilman Steve Bennett said this registry is a service to Grove City residents.

“We have people who work third shift and they are trying to sleep during the day. Then they get people coming to the door trying to sell tree trimming services,” said Bennett.

According to Stephen Smith, the city’s law director, this legislation is for commercial vendors.

“This will keep pure commercial vendors from knocking on your door,” said Smith.

The legislation does not include non-profit organizations, religious groups or political groups.
For example, someone selling cable service or home improvement services would be prohibited from knocking on the door of someone registered. A child selling candy bars for his/her softball team or someone passing out flyers for a political candidate would still be permitted to knock on the door.

“This may seem like overkill, but I have been very surprised by the positive feedback about this,” said Davis.

Under the new law, solicitors who violate the do-not-knock registry, would first receive a warning. The second offense would result in the loss of their license to sell goods or services in Grove City. A third offense would result in a misdemeanor.

“It is not our intent to have the police put them in handcuffs,” said Davis.

The do-not-knock list will expire at the end of every year. Any resident who would like to maintain their name and address on the list must re-submit a registration form. The registry will be updated every 30 days. A copy of the list, as well as the registration form, can be obtained on the city’s website, www.grovecityohio.gov.

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