With the city's solicitor law being tested in the courts, Mayor Gregory Costabile sought other protection for residents who don't want salespeople knocking at their doors.
The result is a "no knock" registry that is being created and will be given to solicitors when they get city permits. Residents can call the city to be added to the list. Members of the Neighborhood Block Watch group also circulating "do not knock" signup forms on their streets.
Because there also are people who sell door-to-door without permits, police officers will give them copies of the registry when it is compiled.
"The city's approach is not to infringe on anything. If people still think that knocking on doors is the way to sell their wares, they can do that," Costabile said.
However, they will be told that it's illegal to knock at residences listed on the registry, which should be in effect in about a month.
"If someone knocks, that may be a violation of various laws, including criminal trespassing," Costabile said.
Residents also can still post "no solicitor" stickers that are available at the police station. But the pending lawsuit means that the city's solicitation lawsuit is not being enforced at the moment.
Costabile said the law was passed at least three years ago because the city was receiving numerous calls from residents with concerns about strangers walking door-to-door.
Religious groups and nonprofit organizations such as Girl Scouts are exempt and do not need to get solicitation permits. Costabile said that the law, which also restricts hours to 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., was based on similar legislation elsewhere and should survive a court challenge.
"We'll have to see," he said. "It's currently in limbo."
The federal lawsuit challenging the law was filed by Working America, which argued that the law restricting solicitation is a violation of First and Fourteenth amendment rights.
Costabile said attorneys for both sides continue to work toward a compromise. However, he said the law is sound.
"Our current ordinance absolutely does not infringe on anybody's rights," Costabile said.