Peddlers, solicitors face new regulations
Published 9:54 am, Tuesday, June 14, 2016
DARIEN — The days of traveling salesmen, religious zealots and solicitors knocking on doors whenever they choose is over in town.
The Representative Town Meeting voted overwhelmingly Monday in favor of amending the town’s regulations on peddlers and vendors as written in Darien’s Code of Ordinances.
Many of the previous regulations dated back to 1952, with some amendments having been adopted in 1972.
According to the new amendments, peddlers and solicitors going door-to-door should have a town-issued permit, should only go to the front door of any residence, should not conduct business before 9 a.m. or after sunset, should have a visible town-issued badge and should have their permit to show whenever asked.
Here is the price/time breakdown for the permits:
$10 nonrefundable investigation fee with each new application. The fee does not apply to repeat applicants. The Darien police investigate each applicant.
$50 per day
$100 per week
$200 per month
$250 per year
Although most members of the RTM were satisfied with the changes, Joseph Hardison, of District 4, expressed concern over what he called the ambiguity of language in the change that prohibited solicitors from conducting businesses after “sunset.”
“Would it make more sense to put a more finite end time on that? Would it make more sense to say 5 p.m., so you know after 5 p.m. no one is coming to your door?” Hardison asked the RTM.
It was argued that setting the time at 5 p.m. would unfairly affect vendors on special holidays during the summer months, such as Independence Day, when the sun does not set until close to 9 p.m. and town activities can extend into the early evening hours.
A vote on an amendment to set a specific time for sunset failed.
It was also noted by Jim Cameron, of District Four, that the amendment to the ordinance does not subject Girl Scouts going door-to-door or people under 18 years old — fundraising members of Darien High School sports teams, for example — to the same permitting regulations.